Sunday, August 31, 2008

By Request

What makes us love or hate television characters? Sure, their charm and general appeal has something to do with it, but if we're going to buy into a whole character story, we have to relate.

G. and I were asked to which L-Word character we most relate ("Which one is most like you?"). We later decided that neither of us related fully to one character a great deal more than the others.

So just for fun (taking a break from a thought intensive, serious project currently), here is what makes the following selected characters--past and present-- relate-able for us, according to me (G. has yet to see my final analysis).


Me: Bette's a workaholic perfectionist, like me. The big difference is that so far I haven't been able to achieve tv-level perfection ;-), and often I have to give up altogether. Bette is articulate (I like to think of myself as being so), driven, and has a vision for what she wants, and like me, she has difficulty asking for and accepting help. She admires art more than she is an artist, like me, but I'd still bet that she's more of an artist than me too. Lastly, Bette is a highly cognitive person, but every once in a while just does something completely irrational for emotional reasons, and risks it all. I feel like I verge on that on occasion too.

My Love G: Bette is super tight with her sister, like G. Bette had a strained relationship with her difficult-to-get-along-with father, but loved him deeply, like G loves her dad. G. previously really related to Bette's fairly rigid moralistic code, though of course Bette soon found many shades of gray. And although she doesn't look like Bette, out of all the characters, G. has the most physical resemblance to Bette because they have slightly dark skin and brown, curly hair, expressive eyes, and a face shaped more similarly than different in my opinion. Plus, they're both more on the athletic side. Oh yeah, and I just was reminded that Bette and G. also share in common that they find public displays of emotion embarrassing.


Me: Kit is a creative go-getter who enjoys being around people and wants people to enjoy themselves more than anything. Kit has a great deal of compassion, and tries hard to be a shoulder to cry on for her friends and family. She is warm and loving. Kit has done many things she regrets.

G: One can maintain a rigid moralistic code in many facets of life, like on the issues of cheating and lying, but still maintain a very open mind about others. That's how G. is, and nobody illustrates it better than compassionate, loving, and demanding Kit. Kit knows how to "lay down the law," but she also knows how to forgive and how to accept forgiveness.


Me: Half the time, Alice acts first, thinks later. Um. Yeah. She is a talker, she meddles with others (with loads of good intent), and she can get obsessive. She's outspoken, she's bi, she is a complete extrovert, and she is highly curious. She has compassion but still gets annoyed with things like otherwise successful people hiding in the closet. She has a low b.s. tolerance.

G: Alice is equally loyal to all her friends. Also, she usually knows what is up in pop culture and lesbian stuff too. But although G adores Alice as a character, she can't relate to much else about her.


Me: Tina at the core is a family-focused person. She is interested in doing something meaningful in the world. When angry, she can be toxic. Out of all the characters, I suppose I look most like her in terms of very pale skin and often straight, blonde hair. Also, the overall look, though of course I am curvier ;-). Our facial features are very different, however.

G: Tina can be quiet and shy. She can also tolerate and put up with misbehavior among her friends and loved ones if it seems to her that putting up with it is for the greater good. She doesn't feel she needs to always call people out, and she's not hungry for control.


We think Jenny is mentally ill. Additionally, it has been really hard to like her overall. In terms of relating to her, neither of us feel we really can. The strongest resemblance is that both she and I write, and neither of us are as good at it as we like to think we are.


Neither of us really relate to Jodi, either. We admire that she is unapologetic for who she is and what she values, but she also seems selfish, which is annoying to us both.

Me: Jodi is driven to challenge herself. The more she fears something, the harder she goes after it. Jodi can also attack pointedly when hurt.

G: In comparison to the other characters, Jodi may be one of the more emotionally healthy?? G is emotionally healthy, so there is some resemblance there. She's also an independent thinker.


Me: Shane can see beauty in all types of people. She isn't into just one type of woman. She is sensitive to others, but she can't figure out how to keep her self-destructo button turned completely off. Shane sometimes struggles with how to say "no" when situations turn bad.

G: Shane and G are so super different in many ways, but somehow when asked which character most resembles G, I thought of Shane first. Here is why. One of my main qualities is reflected in Alice. I have to control myself big time to keep from meddling. In sharp contrast, G-- like the character Shane-- does not have the impulse to meddle and actually finds it disturbing when others get involved in anything having to do with anyone else. Also, both are keen observers and fantastic listeners, and both have a subtle shy quality. Neither are planners, and both prefer not to set themselves up for disappointments. Instead, they like to just ride through life with (not low expectations but) no particular expectations or objectives. Yet both somehow seem to live meaningful existences (of different types). Not to mention, they are both into skateboarding and stuff like that.


Me: Tasha relatively successfully straddled two worlds for a while. I don't really do that because I feel like I live a pretty integrated life. Also, I am totally out and pretty much always have been. *But,* I *think* (and I could be way off base) that sometimes when people know me from only one of the two main roles I play in life, they are sort of shocked when they finally see me in the opposite. Sort of like I "clean up nice" for my vocation and I also get way more goofy than people expect when not in my professional role. What can I say? "I'm a Gemini," I suppose. The fact is, I am both profoundly serious and also a complete over-the-top goofball. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that Tasha is a "take charge" kind of girl when called upon to be so. I am too. The character and I don't have much in common, overall.

G: Tasha is described on the L-Word website basically as meticulously honest, "passionate, beautiful, and strong-willed." That would almost be G in a nutshell. Their overall demeanor and personality are very different, and good thing too because G knows how to relax and have a good time, but their basic values and characteristics are about dead on.


Second to Jenny, Max may be one of the characters with whom we have the most difficult time relating.

Me: I relate to Max's socially inept qualities, but they manifest in such different ways than my own.

G: Max has a strong work ethic, and is hardworking, which is a characteristic G definitely shares and a value she definitely has. I also think Max is pretty loyal, and generally cares for others, even people he doesn't know (it seems like Max's mean streak was indeed primarily the transition stuff, and that this has generally faded).


Another toughie (especially when it comes to the type of mom she has been). Let's see...hmm...

Me: She is passionate and can very easily be as creative as she needs to be to get what she wants or needs, or to help her friends (flip side is being manipulative, but I hope that isn't a big trait I have nowadays).

G: Both G and Helena are very generous with their friends, even when they have little or nothing to give.


Me: She has a great sense of humor, if dry at times (hmm...hello familiar), and she is a kind, warm, caring, and relatively compassionate person. Well, most of the time. Her prejudice as it manifested in regards to Shane was pretty ugly though, so I hesitated a bit in saying that. She has a good professional life, but that doesn't mean she "has it all together." She can be naive. She tries her best, but she screws things up a lot.

G: These two have nothing in common really, other than sometimes being harsh on others (different others in each case...G is mainly harsh about certain ethical standards) while also being kind and caring, warm and compassionate.


Me: Slightly neurotic, pretty ditsy, not at all fashion-aware, and just slightly on the naive side. But also very funny (saying stuff even without trying to be funny, and it just cracks everyone up), and super adorable.

G: A good friend, thoughtful, really anxious at first about coming out, and you guessed it...super adorable.


Me: Playful and funny, but that's all I can think of right now. Oh yeah, and she appreciated the value of good food.

G: According to G, who has a better memory than I do, she too is one of the healthiest characters on the show, er uh, was. She had a fairly healthy balance between self-care and selflessness. She was funny and friendly, but also just a little on the shy and quiet side (G said, "Not shy...she's just normal, honey."). Plus, she had a love of cooking.


Me: I don't share much in common with the Carmen character, at least I don't think I do.

G: Carmen had a big family, like G, and a super similar family situation, attitude, and experience. Carmen demonstrated in a very clear way that she believes people can change and is willing to give people the benefit of the doubt (I'm talking about the marriage thing). G fundamentally believes people can change and is always giving people the benefit of the doubt. Both are tremendously patient, but can be too jealous for their own good.


The character that G and I probably both share the most in common with is Paige. From the little I can remember of her, she was a down to earth (slightly rocker) mom. She adored her son first and foremost and tried to be a good mom to him, and it seemed, mostly succeeded.

Note: But what on earth was the implication in terms of the fire? I think that was from that one receptionist chick Shane had to fire. Remember?


sf said...

Love this , um, "synopsis"!!!!!!
Totally agree, in the few I have seen so far, about Jenny. She's nuts. Not in a good way.
You talk about some of them in the past tense. That does not give me a good feeling dude.

Masasa said...

Dude, I'm excited you are watching now that we got on this we can gossip about my lesbian soap opera ;-).

sf said...

I know, but I can't watch them very fast since I can only do it in 20 minute increments!!!

Masasa said...

I don't even know where you are finding them. They ended up being all labeled wrong and out of order on Surf the Channel, and I can't seem to find any complete series of any episode on You Tube.

By the way, I edited for some of my more blatant typos, etc.