Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Character Study

I would like to say that I'm the intellectual type. The type who would rather curl up with a nice, fat tome that improves upon the state of my grey matter than curl up in front of the television watching the adventures of fictional people.

I'd like to say it, but it isn't true.

In my defense, some of my favorite television shows provided early, albeit subliminal lessons in character development. My mom and I had many conversations about why our favorite soap opera characters behaved in a certain way, back in the time before character motivation was inspired by when an actor's contract was up.

Growing up, I had crushes on Keith Partridge and the Brady boys, and though I knew I should have known better, I fell for Hawkeye's soft side on M*A*S*H. Though I'm a loyal Grey's Anatomy fan, I never swooned over McDreamy, but I must admit to an affection for Johnny Galecki's vulnerable Leonard on The Big Bang Theory and a small crush on Nathan Fillion's Castle, as much because of the way Castle treats his mother and daughter as because of his bumbling over Beckett.

Maybe that's why I look forward to the new fall season so much -- I've missed my fictional friends. Despite my own chiding that "it's only a television show," I couldn't wait to see if Beckett said yes, just as I can't wait to see what new adventures await the Big Bang gang, the doctors on Grey's Anatomy and Alicia Florrick's Good Wife. The final episode of Desperate Housewives is still on my DVR, as is the Young and the Restless's tribute to the iconic Jeanne Cooper (mother to Corbin Bernsen, who will always be an L.A. Lawyer to me.

I grew up in the television generation, and try as I might to relegate it to its rightful place behind books and real, live people, it will always possess an allure for me. I'm neither a sound junkie, nor must I watch it constantly -- I went through four years of college neither having nor missing a television set, and though I am frequently at home during the day, the TV is rarely on -- but in the evenings, I tune in to see what all those characters are up to.

I study them for professional purposes of course -- the way Leonard always squints just a little bit, the nuances in Hawkeye's delivery of dialogue, Julia Sugarbaker's stance and proper Southern lady pronunciation when she makes one of her liberated woman speeches -- but mostly I just enjoy them, trying not to peek behind the curtain and ruin the illusions created by the actors who bring them to life.

So, if you're looking for me tomorrow night, I'll be on my sofa with a spreadsheet, trying to figure out how I'm going to watch so many favorites all at one time. The TV powers that be have conspired to put Michael J. Fox, Sean Hayes & Megan Hilty, Johnny Galecki & company, the Grey's gang, the Glee  folks and Robin Williams all on one night. I'm not sure if that's a cruel joke or an embarrassment of riches, but you can bet I'm going to find out.

So please be quiet, and pass the popcorn.


  1. So maybe Stana Katic? When the acting is good and the characters real,they do pull us in, don't they. And I am glad she said yes.