Mar. 6th, 2016

ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So MeTV is doing another round of their silly MeTV Madness this year, where MeTV shows are paired up and voted on by the viewers who use the Internet. I'm really not sure what the point of the thing is. I originally figured it was to determine what was popular so they'd have some idea what to keep/what to toss/what to bring back, but the MeTV Madness results really don't seem to have any bearing on that, so I'm not sure what the point is. Maybe it's just silly fun. Sometimes I wonder, though, if the voting is really completely what the users are saying or if MeTV makes the end result be something they want. I can never forget when 4Kids did that voting thing to get viewers to pick which new show they wanted to see a special preview of, and Tokyo Mew Mew was ahead for most of the voting time, yet suddenly when it was time, they announced that F-Zero had somehow won. Considering it had the least votes all the way along, that was more than a little suspicious.

And I was thinking about politicians being immature and flinging stupid insults back and forth at each other and that got me thinking about that Patty Duke Show episode where Patty and Cathy are running for student body president and start doing the same thing. The students get so sick of it that they end up overwhelmingly voting for the one candidate who wasn't insulting everybody else. But she also didn't have much of a voting pitch; she'd always get up and flatly say, "Vote for me." LOL. But according to Patty, she actually started doing a good job once she was voted in.

Then I started thinking how strange it is that while I remember the series fondly, there are many, many episodes that I either don't like or find tedious to watch. Episodes that I truly, genuinely liked all the way through are actually less in number than the other kind, I believe. So that made me wonder why I bought the first two seasons on DVD years ago. I think it was because I wanted the episodes with that recurring character actor who looked like Autor, Jeff Siggins. Then season 3 changed production areas and the supporting cast was dropped, including him, and season 3 changed the show in other ways and overall I didn't like it as much. But I still recorded the ones I liked best.

The other great thing about The Patty Duke Show is William Schallert. I became very fond of him while watching him in all those episodes. He reached the tier right below the actors I actually crush on, which is for other actors I am very enthusiastic about and can go out of my way to see and get very excited to see when stumbling on them by chance. I don't know if I would have come to like him as much as I do if not for seeing him every night as part of that main cast.

I also think off and on how Cathy is usually remembered for being so demure and sweet, and yet she can actually be pretty nasty too, like in the voting episode and several others. Sometimes I think she can actually be more nasty than Patty, because Patty usually just says things off the top of her head without thinking about it, whereas Cathy seems more likely to plan out at least some of what she says. Sometimes she behaves on impulse too, though, like in the Cleopatra episode. And I suppose she has to behave badly sometimes so she'll be a well-rounded character. But I have to say, it's always painful to see her like that and I don't think I like any of the episodes where it happens. Regardless, though, I do prefer her to Patty, as Patty Duke herself does. But both girls are pretty well-rounded and have good and bad points, which is nice.

That sort of thing is necessary, but while flaws are important, I honestly have trouble writing characters actually acting out/deliberately being vicious and petty and mean. Even if they're prone to such behavior in canon, I just cannot get into that mindset if I'm trying to write them as a protagonist. It's easy if they're an antagonist, but if I want them to be the one the readers are rooting for, I just ... can't seem to make myself do it, which is why canon jerk or villain characters in my hands usually end up not being anywhere as bad as canon portrays (although generally there's an explanation of trying to turn over a new leaf instead of it coming out of the blue, like it did with Hook on Once Upon a Time). It's just not my nature and I can't get into their heads and don't feel comfortable trying if I don't try to soften them/humanize them a bit to make them relatable to me. Some of them I still can't really relate to regardless of my efforts, since of course I have to try to stick to canon information and sometimes that means the character will end up darker than I'm comfortable with no matter what I do. (Usually that means I eventually drop the character, as in the cases of Gin and Vodka and some certain others in other fandoms.) But anyway, yeah, I usually have to fall back on other types of flaws for protagonists than acting out.

Then I started reading one of my locally-written mystery books. I was slightly concerned when I saw the main character described on the back as "quirky", as usually that seems to mean an absent-minded weirdo or someone who can't be serious if their life depends on it. Both character types are fine for people who like them, but they can grate on my nerves very quickly, especially since the latter category often leads to practical jokers and that's a sub-character type I don't care for either. (Which is why I've honestly never been that excited about the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.... Not that I'm that excited about Harry Potter in general, honestly. But despite my feelings, I still felt it was sacrilege to kill off one of the brothers. Gah.) There's a character in the latter category who's in a fairly popular locally-written book and movie adaptation. She says she's an intellectual, but she honestly never acts like it. She pretty much spends the whole book/movie acting like a silly, mischievous, slightly naughty goof and being rather outrageous at times. Although technically, she does get serious when her life depends on it. She dies and the thing ends up heartbreaking after starting so screwy and silly.

But to my relief when I started reading the mystery book, the lead character is a serious, capable person and her quirkiness mostly stems from OCD. I can totally deal with that. And it's rather nice to see an OCD character written seriously; as much as I had fun watching Monk, it always did bother me that he and the other OCD characters who popped up were portrayed as acting so childishly due to their phobias. We're really not all that way!

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