Characters Meme
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Gotten from lokifan.

Give me a character and I will tell you...

* How I feel about this character:
* All the people I ship romantically with this character:
* My non-romantic OTP for this character:
* My unpopular opinion about this character:
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon:
* Something about them I consider true, even though it's only my head canon/fanon:

Historical Memes!
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So, I'm a little drunk/tired from two nights of Passover seders. I guess that means futzing around the Internet! (Sure, "Why on this night does sunclouds33 waste time on the Internet while all on other nights...sunclouds33 wastes time on the Internet!")

A meme from a while back. Here are my top fifteen TV characters in alphabetical order from their first names- tell me if you spot any similarities.

1. Atia of the Julii (Rome)
2. Buffy Summers (Buffyverse)
3. CJ Cregg (West Wing)
4. Don Draper (Mad Men)
5. Elaine Bennis (Seinfeld)
6. Frank Underwood (House of Cards)
7. Jed Bartlet (West Wing)
8. Lucius Verenus (Rome)
9. Pete Campbell (Mad Men)
10. Sally Draper (Mad Men)
11. Skylar White (Breaking Bad)
12. Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
13. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Buffyverse)
14. Willow Rosenberg (Buffyverse)
15. Xander Harris (Buffyverse)

I will say Frank Underwood was definitely in the last place- perhaps because I'm only five eps into S2. The other fourteen were solidly on my faves list. However, I could have easily put George Costanza (Seinfeld), Niles Crane (Frasier) Leo McGarry (West Wing), Christopher Moltesanti The Sopranos), Saul Berenson (Homeland), Dana Whitaker (Sports Night) or if I can bifurcate the series, S1-3 Dr. Gregory House (House) in that fifteenth slot.

Day 22: Favorite Male and Female Character Who I Love But Everyone Else Hates
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For Favorite Male/Female Character that everyone else hates but I love, I decided to pick both halves of a couple- Richard and Emily Gilmore. I haven’t spent much time in Gilmore Girls fandom but I read a lot of hate for those two. For my money, the most entertaining and interesting parts of Gilmore Girls were almost always the Friday Night Dinners and other get-togethers with Richard and Emily. That was the emotional core of the story- besides the Lorelai/Rory relationship.

First, major props to Kelly Bishop and Richard Hermann who were a big part of Emily and Richard’s charm. However, Richard and Emily weren’t just awesome because of snarky and brilliantly delivered lines. (Even though, that's really a lot of it. Plus, bizarre situation comedy made hilarious.)

R&E were also very coherent characters that blended the best of straight-forward character-work and complex character-work. In a bunch of areas, Richard and Emily were really as bad as on the label and the show didn’t hedge those areas to woobify them or to add more white to their grey but end up just making a big mess. It feels very real to me that R&E were never redeemed in some big way into total sweethearts. These are old rich farts. They enjoy being old rich farts. There's no incentive for Emily to start treating her maids nicely or for Richard to pussy-foot around his insurance business. They are who they are. Emily *was* miserable to her maids. Richard *was* a ruthless businessman. They *were* controlling. However, their good points were also presented with the same clarity. They *did* love Lorelai and Rory with all their hearts. They were conscientious and active in their community and had genuine intellectual curiosity through their golden years. They could mean to each other but they were very much in love and made sense as a couple.

Well, fine, you have your precious pride and I have my weekly dinners. Isn't that nice? We both win.Collapse )

Finishing up My Top 5 Requests
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I'm finishing up my top five requests. So far I've done:

Top Five Seinfeld Eps

Top Five Moments Where Angel was a Dick and Top 5 West Wing Friendships

Top Five Moments where Angel WASN'T a Dick

In the comments: Top five Sopranos lines/dialogue snippets, top five West Wing episodes, and top five characters from any 'verse that should join Sterling Cooper.

Now, I shall tackle lokifan Top Five ambiguously canon/non-canon ships and Top Five BtVS moments. I found both incredibly challenging. However, I shall do my best!

Top Five ambiguously canon/non-canon ships and Top Five BtVS MomentsCollapse )

Top Five Seinfeld Episodes
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Here is my Top Five Seinfeld Episodes for local_max. That wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I really love quite a lot of the Seinfeld eps but IMO, these are the big standouts.

1. The Contest: One of the cleverest TV episodes of anything. local_maxand I discussed how Seinfeld, in some ways, doesn’t feel like reality so much as Jerry’s made-up work of nonsense and trivia. This ep really epitomizes that as the characters come up with every euphemism for masturbation that they can imagine- and THAT forms the basis for the comedy. Thus, the ep takes a very private and almost taboo discussion in masturbation and then, turns it in-story into the prime source of conversations of the Seinfeld Four for a week and out-of-story into the whole plot of a primetime network sitcom. The language itself mocks how much masturbation of all things is being discussed and driving the plot by always referring to it in euphemistic terms.

Masturbation is important enough for it to drive people's behavior. Not masturbating or having sex for even just a few days is an insurmountable challenge for the characters- and TV viewers can relate. However despite masturbation's/sex's importance to daily life, it can't be mentioned and the Seinfeld crew needs to twist their words to even refer to it. It's such a sly comment on how the most important things that really drive human behavior can't even be discussed because they just strike too close to home, they're too base. And does that make sense?

I'm also a pretty big fan of early Jane Leeves. (She lost all of her charm by the later seasons of Frasier and certainly by Hot in Cleaveland.) So, I have to thank this ep for putting her on NBC's radar for a year later career defining role as Daphne Moone.

2. The Opposite: I wrote before the Elaine and George are my favorite sitcom characters. This ep epitomizes their roles in the group. When George’s stock is rising, Elaine’s stock is falling- because someone always has to be The Loser of the group.

The ep also realistically sets up a storyline where I can believe that George would turn from an employed single loser to a manager at the New York Yankees with a pretty blonde girlfriend by just following his idle coffee-shop pouty epiphany to do the opposite. The whole motor of George’s transformation is that he decided to do the opposite- summon the confidence to talk to an attractive woman and be honest about his life straight off instead of being phony. Yes, it’s blind luck that this woman happened to have a relative at the Yankees.

However, it mocks the notion of epiphanies (much better than AtS should have mocked Angel’s mockable epiphany). George had a very rare and wonderful thing- an epiphany that he followed which instantly improved his life by several orders of magnitude. However, the funny thing is that George didn’t get to the heart of the epiphany. The lesson was easily that George can improve his life by being more confident and more honest. In those respects, George should be the opposite of his lazy, cowardly, mendacious usual self. However, that whole lesson got buried under George’s conviction of just doing the opposite of everything. Then in fine Seinfeld trivianess, George and Jerry were debating whether salmon is the opposite of tuna because salmon swims upstream or whether chicken salad is the opposite of tuna salad because it’s a bird and missing the point that the coffee shop lunch order has nothing to do with what George can and should change.

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli! I got about fifty feet out and suddenly, the great beast appeared before me. I tell ya, he was ten stories high if he was a foot. As if sensing my presence, he let out a great bellow. I said, 'Easy big fella'....Collapse )

Top Five Moments Where Angel WASN'T A Dick
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My next batch of Top Fives. I chose to tackle local_max Top Five Moments Where Angel WAS NOT a Dick. More lists later!

I also struggled how to define the top five moments where Angel WASN'T a dick. Do I go wildly in the other direction and pick Angel's most wonderful, heroic moments? Or do I focus on how Angel could have acted like a dick given his MO and the tempting reasons to be dick but he DIDN'T and that's the miraculous things. AND THE OIL THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO ONLY LAST FOR ONE DAY LASTED FOR EIGHT DAYS AND HENCE, CHANUKAH! I chose to pick the latter.

1. I really have to give props to Angel for hiring Wesley and putting him on salary after three eps on AtS and for paying Gunn freelance after Gunn gave him like six occasions of unpaid work (although the latter was Cordelia's idea). Angel really could have squeezed both guys for a *lot* more free work. Wesley was hanging around- desperate for good things to do and for friends. Gunn was pretty used to living on no-salary and was willing to pitch in if Angel asked for his help. When you consider how many employers squeeze unpaid interns and try to get non-paid hours of labor and keep dangling that elusive paying job to just squeeze even more unpaid labor, Angel was very ahead of the curve.

2. Angel was Big Time Heroic by refusing to chop off Fred's head in the middle of that crowded Pylean square and escaping with Fred. Complete with a shiny white steed. However, this list is about the small interpersonal stuff and I do love Angel following Fred after she ran off with the "handsome man, saved me from the monsters" to check up on her and how she's doing. Angel could have taken an attitude that he saved Fred from the mob but she's clearly nuts and he needs to find his friends to make sure they're OK so they can get back home. However, Angel saw that Fred was insane with pain and made it a point to check up on her and give her some peace of mind in her cave.

3. Angel giving Cordelia money to enjoy herself with Groo at a resort in Couplet is like the opposite of dick. It's a classical example of "Times Angel WAS NOT a dick".

4. I think Angel has too many dickish moments to Wesley, Buffy, and poorly advised methods of dealing with Faith in Five by Five/Sanctuary for me to lionize Angel for his conduct there. However, I do give full Non-Dick props for visiting Faith in prison in Judgment and any other time that he visited her. It would have easy to just consider his work done in getting Faith to take responsibility and relinquish her dangerous impact on society. However, Angel took the time to follow through and be there for Faith. (Although given that Faith didn't even know about Connor's existence or Fred in Salvage before Wesley told her about them, Angel's visits and calls apparently really dropped off. Way to be someone's evil-addiction sponsor! Yeah, I'm supposed to come to praise Angel- but I actually come to get digs in because I can't stop myself...)

5. I think Angel is delightful through Doppelgangland. Once he saw the henchavamps start taking over the Bronze, Angel could gone all Cock of the Walk to fight them. However, he calmly brain-stormed with Oz showing rare caution and rare respect to a non-Buffy and Giles Scooby. I like that he immediately followed Oz's instruction to get Buffy when Vamp Willow appeared. His grief over Willow "dying" felt real. Yes, he has big time self-interest in lying that a vampire is NOTHING like the soulled person that was- but I think that Angel was partly trying to look as different as possible from Angelus to Buffy and partly trying to be polite and comforting to Buffy and Willow.

Man, that was hard. Maybe I should have just gone for the big "Angel kicked a bad guy and that helped stuff!" moments.

Top Fives: Top Five Times When Angel Was a Dick and Top Five West Wing Friendships
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My latest batch of Top Fives. I chose to tackle local_max Top Five Moments Where Angel Was a Dick and lokifan Top Five West Wing Friendships. More lists later!

Per local_max and my brief conversation here, I struggled a bit on how to define "dick". I ultimately came down on the side that "dick" is a diminutive term used to describe people or occasions where people are just nasty or stupidly mean in small but character-forming occasions. Angel is the most dramatically *monstrous* in his unsouled acts or his Twangel genocide or smothering Wesley or locking the lawyers in to die. However, it minimizes the monstrosity of the actions but also the potent emotions/cost benefit analysis to call it "dickish". It's something else. So, my list of Angel being a dick is Angel being stupidly mean and petty pretty much mostly for kicks without even a true motive to be a dick.

Relevant to Both Subjects: Could Angel be a bigger horse's patoot?; I don't know exactly what part of a horse that is...Collapse )

Top Five Requests
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Ask me for a top five list of anything! Looking for a distraction from life.

Favorite Characters Screwed By Canon- West Wing's Toby Zielger and Boardwalk Empire's Angela Darmody
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Yes, I know I've been very late on these posts. I have big problems finishing things! I struggled with this one because I think that characters get screwed over by canon in a lot of ways so I have a bunch of different complaints. However, Toby Ziegler and Angela Darmody stand out as my favorite characters that were screwed over by canon.

Big time West Wing and Boardwalk Empire Spoilers AheadCollapse )

Favorite Antagonists: John Hoynes and Olivia Soprano
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Two of my favorite antagonists are The West Wing’s John Hoynes and The Sopranos’s Olivia Soprano. (Although, I also picked these two because I was a little tired of writing about the supernatural genre.) I didn’t have much say about Livia. I think that my last two big essays involving Tony and Christopher wore me out on The Sopranos. I think I’ll pick up Olivia later at the end when I cover Buffy/Wesley and possible miscellaneous characters who didn’t fit into a character. This is mainly a love letter to John Hoynes.

The hilarious thing about John Hoynes is that he’s the designated antagonist that is actually a complex and flawed but decent man with real tilts towards goodness and public service. IMO, Hoynes largely gets the antagonist label because the Bartleteers are very far up their own asses. I actually believe that Aaron Sorkin was rather slyly showing Hoynes as a man with a lot of merit who got the antagonist label because he doesn't fit in Bartlet’s inner circle. IMO, Sorkin pulls this trick with Sally Sasser in Sports Night, Jack Rudolph in Studio 60, Leona in Newsroom and it's always a highlight and it was never more cool as with John Hoynes. So yeah, Hoynes is one of my favorite antagonists because he's really not much of an antagonist if you did a little deeper.

In the Bartlet for America audio commentary, Sorkin said that he wrote Bartlet behaving very badly and Hoynes in the right when Bartlet just announced to Hoynes right before the convention that Bartlet had MS this whole time, Bartlet concealed it from everyone, Hoynes needs to be his running mate and Hoynes doesn’t get time to consider it and Bartlet needs his answer NOW right in the hotel room but Hoynes should feel flattered because Bartlet just gave an important secret that Hoynes gets to keep. Yay? Then, by Bartlet’s own admission in S1, he plays macho alpha games where he humiliates Hoynes in front of the whole Cabinet because Hoynes “made him beg”. I love Bartlet- I’ve already written about him as my favorite male character in a drama. But what a jerk, huh?

Well, you know, now that you mention it, I've been having this recurring dream about killing you. Collapse )

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