1. #1
    Legendary! Gallahadd's Avatar
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    [TV] Are ambiguous characters by their nature more compelling?

    So I've been watching Farscape again recently, which means I get to spend more time with one of my favourite characters in TV history... The machiavellian Peacekeeper Commander Scorpius

    This got me thinking, why is it the most compelling characters in shows tend to be the ones with a more... Mixed nature.

    Characters like Scorpius, Benjamin Linus from Lost, Cigarette Smoking Man from X Files, Spike from Buffy, Eric Northman from True Blood I could do on . The one thing they all have in common is that you're never REALLY sure who they're working for, what their motives are. Sometimes they'll help the main characters, sometimes they'll stab them in the back, you just can't be sure which one they'll do this time. Now this should lead to them being totally unlikeable, horrible characters, but somehow they always end up as great characters, usually among the best in the show. This is especially true when the 'main' character of the show is the typical goodie two shoes type, always doing what is right, no matter the odds or the cost to themselves and others.

    So is it just me that thinks this, or does everyone else find themselves liking and often rooting for these less 'moral' characters?
    Reading A Song of Ice and Fire is like playing with an adorable puppy, then someone comes up out of nowhere, shoots the puppy and punches you in the face.

    Stands in front of 100 enemies with 10% health left "Myeh, I'll save my potions for when I REALLY need them." - every rpg player ever.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Gallahadd View Post
    So I've been watching Farscape again recently, which means I get to spend more time with one of my favourite characters in TV history... The machiavellian Peacekeeper Commander Scorpius

    This got me thinking, why is it the most compelling characters in shows tend to be the ones with a more... Mixed nature.

    Characters like Scorpius, Benjamin Linus from Lost, Cigarette Smoking Man from X Files, Spike from Buffy, Eric Northman from True Blood I could do on . The one thing they all have in common is that you're never REALLY sure who they're working for, what their motives are. Sometimes they'll help the main characters, sometimes they'll stab them in the back, you just can't be sure which one they'll do this time. Now this should lead to them being totally unlikeable, horrible characters, but somehow they always end up as great characters, usually among the best in the show. This is especially true when the 'main' character of the show is the typical goodie two shoes type, always doing what is right, no matter the odds or the cost to themselves and others.

    So is it just me that thinks this, or does everyone else find themselves liking and often rooting for these less 'moral' characters?
    Why should they be unlikeable? If anything they should be more likable because you can relate to them. Not every decision is black and white, right and wrong. You don't always do the right thing. Personally, I like characters who access a situation and re-act according. It's one the reasons I really like Rick from the Walking Dead, even when I hate him for the decisions he is making.

  3. #3
    Legendary! Gallahadd's Avatar
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    Because they tend to follow their more.... base desires ( I.E the willingness to betray friends/companions to further their own aims), and walk a more grey path, usual filling a more antagonistic role, compared to the main character, who usual follows a more 'just' path, sticking to higher ideals. To be honest, this character is kinda dying out in modern TV as we go towards more 'realistic' character types, of which Rick from TWD is a perfect example.
    Reading A Song of Ice and Fire is like playing with an adorable puppy, then someone comes up out of nowhere, shoots the puppy and punches you in the face.

    Stands in front of 100 enemies with 10% health left "Myeh, I'll save my potions for when I REALLY need them." - every rpg player ever.

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