1. Ashley Harrison
    Offline

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    33

    Empathy for misunderstood TV characters.

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Ashley Harrison, Mar 13, 2016.

    Three examples of television characters that I think are misunderstood in the context of imagining them as real people are Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers) Gordon Brittas (The Brittas Empire) and Victor Meldrew (One Foot in the Grave) Of course the humour derives from the fact they are misunderstood and get caught up in embarrassing situations, where their foibles are exploited for comic effect. For the purposes of the point I'm making, is to envisage the characters as authentic and the predicaments they find themselves in, are legitimate circumstances. The misunderstanding of the charcater's best intentions, fuels the complications that unfolds for them, when they try and do the right thing. That's where I feel empathy towards them because they never set out to harm or cause mayhem.

    If you're familiar with the comedies I've used as an example, do you have empathy for their point of view and their reactions to the unfortunate events, that seem to befall them constantly? If you're not acquainted with the characters or sitcoms I've identified, please feel free to specify your own examples you're empathetic towards and why you think they're misunderstood?
     
  2. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think a lot of female villains are misunderstood - or rather, not given the same benefit of the doubt male villains are. Everyone can acknowledge that Walter White is a terrible person but a great and nuanced character, they can extrapolate on him all day long, but characters like Cersei Lannister don't get the same treatment even though they're equally full of depth and nuance. Male characters are allowed to be unlikable but as soon as a female character does something in the same vein she's written off as the "bitch." That's not the point - she's a great CHARACTER if not a great person, but that distinction is rarely allowed in conversational spaces. I empathize with that even if I don't like the characters.
     
    ManOrAstroMan likes this.
  3. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,285
    Likes Received:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    I think in many cases it's really the opposite--we feel empathy for characters that, if we met them in real life, we would despise. We're fond of them because the make us laugh but if you really did stay in Basil Fawlty's hotel, it wouldn't be a funny experience. Same with going to Brittas' leisure centre.

    Victor Meldrew I agree with. I can never see him as grumpy or moaning. He's always very reasonable and all he wants is for people to treat each other well. It also annoys me that "I don't believe it" is treated as a catchphrase when he hardly ever says it during the series.
     
  4. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,418
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Australia
    Who does that? That's slightly disgusting.
     
  5. Ashley Harrison
    Offline

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    33
    I can't really comment on Cersei Lannister because I've never watched the show she's in. What I can contribute thought, is two television programmes I would highly recommend if you're not aware of them already. If you want strong female leads, then I think they'd be right up your street. They're both prison dramas. The first one is from the UK and it's called 'Bad Girls'. The second one is from Australia and it's called 'Wentworth Prison'.

    Yvonne Atkins from 'Bad Girls' is the best female character I've ever seen in a British drama. Joan Ferguson from 'Wentworth Prison' is a phenomenal character and is not a derivative and generic villain, but is quite a complex figure. I don't know your age, so it maybe inappropriate if you're young watching these dramas, in that case I'm sorry to have wasted your time, if not, I hope you enjoy the formidable women in these outstanding television programmes. You may change your opinion, that there are not many programmes that feature great female villains. :)
     
  6. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm 21, so you're totally good with the recs! Thank you so much - I'm always on the lookout for stuff like this.
     

Share This Page