Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Golden Characters

The minute that I saw Jeremy Previn's Ari Gold smirk on the cover of this book I knew I had to read it and read it fast. For those of you who aren't fans of the HBO series Entourage, Previn plays a talent agent with a giant personality who's ego and approach to life is as obnoxious as it is funny. Of course, in that fictional world, he's also very successful. In real life, I wouldn't put up with him for five minutes. And I don't even think I need to see the new Entourage movie. So why did I pick this book up? Because I knew what I was getting - a certain kind of laughter.  

My Ari fascination got me to thinking about stand out characters that you never forget. There are the classic and obvious ones, like Scarlett O'Hara, Mickey Mouse and Sherlock Holmes. But there are also lesser known characters that have stuck with me - Deputy Brenda Leigh Johnson from TNT's The Closer with her petite frame, southern drawl and feminine clothes that distinguished her from other TV detectives as much as her willingness to do anything to close a case and her secret addiction to candy bars. 

I think of Mary Russell, Laurie R. King's creation, of a female equal to Sherlock Holmes, or Boyd Crowder, the eloquent anti-hero of stories written by Elmore Leonard and on the TV show Justified who has a need to call lawman Raylan Givens his friend because they dug coal together. 

But what makes Poirot and his little grey cells more memorable than dozens of other crime solvers. How do Sherlock, Dracula and Peter Pan stand the test of 100 years. Why do I prefer the 10th Doctor to all of the other Doctor Whos? They are all time lords, live in a TARDIS, have a sonic screwdriver and have the knowledge of multiple lifetimes. You could say with Doctor Who that it's the charm of David Tennant or the little details added to the tenth doctors character. But it raises more questions than answers. 

I don't think it's just about likeability. Most of the characters are larger than life with exaggerated tendencies that would make them all hard to deal with on a daily basis. It's not about charm, there isn't a charming iteration of Sherlock out there. 

Who are some of your favorite characters and why do you love them? 

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