Monday, March 5, 2012


I wrote a post a little while ago about how I prefer a great story to "delicious words." Today's topic is about how sometimes the story isn't anything stunning, but the characters make it work.

One of my favorites for a long time has been Alan Partridge (you'll find I have a soft spot in my heart for British comedy). In the series, the character is a late night talk show host who routinely insults his guests and generally makes an ass of himself. In this clip, he accidentally shoots one of his guests and carries on with the remainder of the show.

A more recent favorite is Roy from The IT Crowd, because he acts like he doesn't care about anything, but in almost every show, he ends up in some strange predicament, crying over a girl, or overreacting to something seemingly normal. One of my favorite scenes involves him learning (from a website) the exact date and time he will die. When that minute arrives, (in the congregation of a funeral) he mistakes his cell phone vibrations for a heart attack.

Sticking with the British theme, I've also started re-reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. (Can we all agree that the movie would have been better if they hadn't made it American? No? Just me?) I'd forgotten how much I like Rob, the main character. What makes him, and all of these characters (and so many others) memorable and enjoyable is that there's not just one side to them. Just like the rest of us, they're happy, sad, their hearts get broken, they're annoyed, they're good and evil, and all a little bit unhappy with the way their lives are turning out. Characters like this let us know someone else understands what we're going through -- that's why we love them.

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