If I made a list of things of things that I am not naturally inclined towards, in terms of media/entertainment, that list would most likely consist of zombies, graphic novels, and general television.
That’s not to say I automatically dislike any of these things; just that if a zombie-story or a graphic novel or a TV show is going to really get my attention, it’s got to be damn good.
If there’s one thing I am naturally inclined towards, however, it’s people. Characters.
I’m a character-writer. Plot and setting mean nothing to me if the characters inhabiting that story can’t make me care about it first. And, of course, that transfers over into the stories I consume as a reader/watcher myself.
(For example, let’s take a quick look at Wuthering Heights. Was absolutely blown away by the language, by the prose. Adored the general atmosphere. Wanted, so badly, to love the book itself; it could easily have been one of my all-time favourites. And yet I hated the characters themselves so much that, even despite everything else the book had going for it, I could not care. I wanted to love it, but I was entirely too busy wanting to spew profanity at Heathcliff and Catherine and then beat my own head against the wall. I can easily see why other people love it, but with my character-bias, I cannot. And I’m still disappointed about that one, by the way.)
Give me characters that I love, that I find fascinating, and I will love whatever story or world you throw them in, without question.
Say, for example, you had a television show, based off a series of graphic novels, about zombies. I would not instanteously leap on and love all over this, because nothing about it would be really my ‘thing’.
But if you made me care about the characters, then I would.
Yep. Cue Jacey’s epic love for The Walking Dead. ♥
That show has, in all honesty, some of the best character development I have ever seen. Ever. In any medium. And, of course, I fell in love…even if I probably shouldn’t have.
As I was telling my best friend earlier, in an attempt to sell him on the show as well…
This show made Jacey, Jacey who was raised in Appalachia next-door to neighbours literally called ‘Big Bub’ and ‘Lil Bub’ (no, I am not making this up) and who pointedly escaped to an actual city (ie, ‘not just a bunch of houses scattered around Walmart’) because she is a giant hippie with no patience for that sort of close-minded atmosphere, not only fall in love with but acquire a giant ladyboner for a character who started out the absolute embodiment of Deep-South Trash. Dirty. Classless. Hunter. Acts an epic asshole, in that special sort of way that only Deep-South Trash can be. Everything I ripped my life apart to escape from, essentially.
And yet I adore Daryl Dixon anyway.
The writing and acting in this show are that bloody good.
And if that is not a ringing endorsement, or a testament to my own inclination towards characters above everything else, I do not know what is.
To be fair, however, Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon, would probably make it easier to love on pretty much anything. The man is awesome, and even spoke out recently against animal-testing!
“Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals,” he writes. “Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let’s stop their suffering right here, right now. Join me in supporting the Cruelty Free International call to Congress and the FDA to bring an end to animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.”
Seriously, if the man is awesome enough to help make even me adore a character who starts off as nothing but Deep-South Trash, listen to him. Check out the website. Take a few seconds out of your day to sign their pledge. It won’t hurt anything, and maybe it can help to stop a lot of other hurt.
And this is maybe the cutest quote I’ve read all week, also courtesy of that article:
“I’m driving back to Manhattan with a cat in my lap right now,” he told the magazine. “It’s just this fat, black alley cat. My son wanted a black kitten when he was a kid, and I found it in the East Village in some rescue shelter, but it was born in a box and the guy that was getting rid of it was like, ‘You don’t want this cat. This cat’s never gonna love anyone.’ And the first time I saw it, it was like just hissing and scratching everything it saw and now it’s like this big, fat, chill cat.”
Thumbs up, sir.
See? I told you he was awesome.
And the point of this post?
Characters trump everything for me, nothing is sexier than a man who loves animals, and even if you’re also not typically into the whole zombie thing you should really watch The Walking Dead.
(And I may or may not still be bitter that the characters totally ruined Wuthering Heights for me. Ahem.)
Who are some of your favourite fictional characters?