Monday, July 21, 2008

i love 'em, but i really hate 'em

These are the TV characters that I love on their shows, in the context of their shows, within the genre of their shows. But in real life, I think I would punch them in the face.

1. Anyone from the cast of Friends

They're a good-looking bunch and, when combined, they're pretty funny. But the laugh-track helps. And I'm not sure that every situation is all that humorous. I could count on my fingers the number of times they were serious! And after season four, they became caricatures of themselves and I don't think I would be able to stand more than five minutes with any of them. Think about it. Who is more annoying? The ditzy chick who says weird things? The obsessive and bossy clean-freak? The idiot actor who says thinks like "it's a moo point"? The squeaky pubescent bore-osaurus? The one-line suddenly-not-gay guy? Or the chick without a real personality? Hmm...

2. Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica

I love Gaius. He is so well-written, and I back him on every decision he's made. He's all about survival, and I get that. There is no shame in wanting to live. If I were in any of his situations, I would do what he did. I'd let D'Anna into my bed... so she wouldn't kill me. I'd try to hang myself once back on the fleet... so they wouldn't kill me. In fact, at the very beginning, he could've switched his lottery number with the old lady's, but he didn't. I would have. He's such a fantastic bad guy because he represents the truth about human nature, and it's much darker than any of us are willing to admit. We all want to be noble... but this isn't Sparta. When all is said and done, we'd rather live. But... I wouldn't be his friends in real life because he stammers, even though he knows full well what he's saying, and he talks to himself. Oh, and he thinks he's the Chosen One. My Frakkin' Weird radar would be going off every second with him.

3. Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace from Battlestar Galactica

I love Kara, I do. She's a strong female character, but she messes up. On purpose. She's arrogant and crass and doesn't care about hurting other people. She's outspoken and rude. These are all reasons why I love her character, what makes her human and real to me. But she's too real, and in real life, I wouldn't be able to justify her actions or get inside her head. Also, I'm kind of sick of her pouty lips-pursed face. Maybe if she laughed more, I'd be her friend... but what's funny about the apocalypse?

4. Pam Beesly from The Office

I heart Jam (Jim + Pam). The kiss from Season 2 could have been between me and Jim, for all my heart knows. It stopped beating for about seven seconds. And as cute as they are, and as adorable and sweet and almost frumpy as she is, Pam is just too soft. She doesn't have a backbone, and that is one of the reason I love her. She's the underdog. You want her to dump Roy, attend an art school, and have little prank-pulling babies with Jim. But she doesn't. It's not fear so much but low self-esteem. Until Season 3, she really doesn't believe she deserves better than a secretary job and a man that doesn't appreciate her. But I need friends who can stand on their own two feet, fight their own fights, and have opinions.

5. Josh Lyman from The West Wing

Oh, Josh. His little walk and how he looks around when he's talking to someone is cute. His banter with Donna is precious, and his one-shoulder-slung backpack is darling. But he's pompous and way too oblivious about anything personal. Take his relationship with Mary-Louise Parker's character, for instance. He dated her because she was in politics. I could never have a serious personal conversation with him (and Donna points that out on a regular basis), and I would want to strangle him every time he told me I was wrong even though I would be saying the same thing he was. And, come to think of it, his walk would annoy me.


Goddessdster said...

I pretty much agree with you on all of these, though I do think BSG paints a much darker picture of human nature than I see and believe in.

Pam reminds me of that girl I would meet my first day of school and I would hang out with her so I wouldn't be alone (I moved a lot), but soon I would start getting really tired of how draining being friends with her would become and I would start avoiding her, then feel like an asshole and apologize on the last day of school, but she would be too spineless to do more than tell me it's okay. Wow. I just made myself sound like a total bitch, didn't I? I really wasn't.

And I love Jam, I truly do, but I am tired of being strung along in that "will they, or won't they?" limbo. I know it's all about keeping viewers interested, but The Office is a great show because it's full of surprises. Why don't the writers surprise us by keeping them together and happy? I ask for too much, I know.

keyser soze said...

Haha, that doesn't make you sound horrible. In fact, I think everyone has had an experience like that at one time or another, either at school or in the family or at the workplace.

But, you know, I think BSG represents a variety of human natures, with a much better execution than Lost by far. For instance, the Cylons are archetypes of humans; they each embody a type of person -- the agreeable one, the intelligent/logical one, the religious one, the aggressive one, etc. So with the humans, I think BSG paints a multitude of natures. Kara is strong-willed and sees the worst in herself, but the best in other people (which in turn makes her feel that much worse about herself). Lee sees the best in people. Roslin does not. Adama is a traditionalist, Baltar is more progressive. Zarek is an aggressor who thinks the ends justify the means.

So while I, personally, think people are awful, I like BSG's interpretation that human nature cannot be applied across the board. We all have our own personal natures.