Thursday, 26 February 2015

Favourite Screen Characters Blog Hop

I've been tagged by the very good writer Kris Holt to participate in the Favourite Screen Characters blog hop. It’s a simple, fun hop in which you name your ten favourite TV or Movie characters, and then nominate some people with a Blog to do the same! Here are mine, in no particular order:

Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
An absolutely mesmerising, scene-stealing character who you just can't take your eyes off. She's introverted, anti-social, vengeful, vulnerable and dreadfully damaged, but is also a brilliant computer hacker with an eidetic memory, who never fails to surprise all who stereotype or dismiss her.

Fitz from Cracker
In arguably the best British drama of them all, the acutely perceptive but hopelessly flawed and undependable criminal psychologist Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald is the pivot around which all the police investigations and domestic commotions revolve. This is the role Robbie Coltrane was born to play.

Sir Humphrey from Yes Minister
The pompous, arrogant yet loveable Oxford-grad wordsmith makes a hugely funny and erudite Permanent Secretary to his less well informed Minister Jim Hacker - frequently using his superior command of language and more comprehensive grasp of the political system to obtain the results he requires. Possibly British sitcom's best ever character.

George Costanza from Seinfeld
Seinfeld is probably the best sitcom ever made, and perhaps with the best characters of all. George is a litany of qualities and traits - full of clever observations, but always held back by his neuroses and self-deprecation, which comes from the fact that he is, at heart, a self-serving arse who never quite works out how to rescue himself from the parochialism of his plight. The interactions between Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are pure comedy gold, and, for me, have yet to be matched anywhere.

Celine from Before Sunset
There's something invigorating about two people meeting on a train and having the spontaneity and adventure of heart to spend the day together in an unfamiliar city, leaving themselves open to what develops. Celine is an attractive person with whom one could have a string of interesting conversations - and in the last quarter of Before Sunset (filmed in real time) we see the whole gamut of emotions that sum up what the vulnerabilities of love do to a person.

Hannibal Lector from Silence Of The Lambs
 Yes it's true, there's a slight fault with this character in that he's a murdering cannibal. But behind those staring eyes there lies a sophisticated, classically educated polymath with a towering intellect, and without whom the world would be a less interesting place (this is observed far more acutely in the books than the films). Naturally, given his cannibalistic proclivities, the viewer is somewhat torn regarding the desired trajectory of Dr Lector.

Larry from Curb Your Enthusiasm
The creator of Seinfeld plays himself in this terrific sitcom, based on Larry David's worldview. Due to Larry's moniker as 'The social assassin', each episode is littered with punchy perceptions about people and social situations that you've felt all along are accurate, but have always been too courteous or reticent to say out loud.  Larry says what most of us are thinking, and what most of us would say if ordinary social protocols were suspended for a time.

Penny Carroll from Swing Time
Oh how I love the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers musicals of the 1930s - they are the most wonderful kind of escapism, and perhaps the most apt movies about which one can say "They don't make 'em like that anymore". Penny Carroll, like many of Ginger's characters, was smart, self-assured, beautiful, artistic, and more than a match for any male that tried to pursue her. These are classic boy meets girl, boy nearly gets girl, boy loses girl, boy ends up winning girl's heart movies - and you're always rooting for Fred Astaire's character because Ginger Roger's characters are so alluringly winsome.

Jimmy Porter from Look Back In Anger
 A superb play by John Osborne, and in Jimmy Porter we have a great leading character for whom the frustrations of other people's unwillingness to think, engage and explore the depths of their cognition perpetually angers and frustrates. Often he's unmercifully harsh, but like most harsh intellects, what lies in the subterranea of their personality is an agglomeration of frustrations and disaffections towards mediocrity and a failure to maximise potential.

Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory
 Whether it's with his rigidly logical put-downs and intellectual prowess at the expense of others, or his near inability to get to grips with the socio-personal need for empathy, thoughtfulness and reading between the lines, this genius of a theoretical physicist has become The Big Bang Theory's biggest draw, despite being surrounded by a whole host of other excellent characters. Perhaps the best praise I have for the character is that I can't ever remember a dull moment when Sheldon has been on screen. He's even starting to get to grips with sarcasm, bless him.

That was my 10, but here are a few other excellent characters worth a mention:

Norman Stanley Fletcher from Porridge
Johnny from Naked 
Elaine Bennes from Seinfeld
Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard
Frasier Crane from Frasier
Randall P McMurphy from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Jessa from Girls
George Kellerman from The Out Of Towners 
 Karen from Outnumbered
Carol from One Night 
Robert Dupea from Five Easy Pieces  

(Thanks for reading)







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