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ghoststar
02-12-18, 04:04 PM
It's entirely possible that this is mostly just me being Uncultured Swine, but I'm wondering how many other people experience entertainment this way. To a point, there is a correlation between the quality of a character's concept and execution on the one hand, and my appreciation for said character on the other. However, it's far from being 1:1. Or maybe even 1:2. While I won't get immersed in a character's story if the writing and acting aren't solid, they don't have to be stellar, and there are plenty of top-notch characters that I just don't care about. I mean, I can't think of anyone on BtVS who consistently gets better dialogue and a better performance, over the series as a whole, than Willow. She might even have the show's single best character arc. None of that makes "what will happen to Willow?!" a high-stakes question for me, personally. It's good TV on a first viewing, but it doesn't have extra rewatch value.

Same thing with Wes on Angel. I have little doubt that Alexis Denisof is the best actor to appear in all five seasons; he might be the best in the show's entire run. Wesley's character progression makes a bleak kind of sense. It's good storytelling. But Wes, by design I think, lacks the sorts of charisma and motivations that would make me actually care about him.

Who else has a set of characters that they admire from an artistic standpoint, but whom they just don't like?

TimeTravellingBunny
02-12-18, 04:12 PM
It's entirely possible that this is mostly just me being Uncultured Swine,™ but I'm wondering how many other people experience entertainment this way. To a point, there is a correlation between the quality of a character's concept and execution on the one hand, and my appreciation for said character on the other. However, it's far from being 1:1. Or maybe even 1:2. While I won't get immersed in a character's story if the writing and acting aren't solid, they don't have to be stellar, and there are plenty of top-notch characters that I just don't care about. I mean, I can't think of anyone on BtVS who consistently gets better dialogue and a better performance, over the series as a whole, than Willow. She might even have the show's single best character arc. None of that makes "what will happen to Willow?!" a high-stakes question for me, personally. It's good TV on a first viewing, but it doesn't have extra rewatch value.

Same thing with Wes on Angel. I have little doubt that Alexis Denisof is the best actor to appear in all five seasons; he might be the best in the show's entire run. Wesley's character progression makes a bleak kind of sense. It's good storytelling. But Wes, by design I think, lacks the sorts of charisma and motivations that would make me actually care about him.

Who else has a set of characters that they admire from an artistic standpoint, but whom they just don't like?

I'm pretty much the same with Wesley. I get that he has an incredible arc and is a complex character and I can appreciate it intellectually, but I just never connected to him at all.

Priceless
02-12-18, 04:18 PM
Now it depends on if you count a character making you angry as caring, which I think I do. That's why, even though I'd say I don't care about Wes, his arc and characterisation make me angry, so I must care on some level. I hate to say it, because I like Gunn, but I don't really care about him. If his character were killed off in Season 5, I'd easily be able to move on. Fred, like Wesley, is written in such an annoying way, that I dislike her quite a lot, so she just escapes the 'don't care about' section.

I feel the same about Willow as you do ghoststar. Alyson Hannigan is a great actor, Willow is a complex and interesting character, but I'm not deeply invested in her story. From listening to podcasts I would say that Willow is actually people's favourite character, and I can understand that, but she just doesn't have the same effect on me. Oz would be another character that just doesn't interest me when it comes to storytelling, he always feels quite bland and innocuous. I also never understood the love some people feel for Jenny Calendar. She was only interesting to me in respect of her impact on Giles. Her death was only important because of how it affected other characters, I certainly wasn't overwhelmed by grief at her death.

Most of the other characters I either love or like or are in the Wesley/Fred category of making me mad, so I am at some level, invested in what happens to them, even if I wish them nothing but ill :D

ghoststar
02-12-18, 04:32 PM
Now it depends on if you count a character making you angry as caring, which I think I do. That's why, even though I'd say I don't care about Wes, his arc and characterisation make me angry, so I must care on some level. I hate to say it, because I like Gunn, but I don't really care about him. If his character were killed off in Season 5, I'd easily be able to move on. Fred, like Wesley, is written in such an annoying way, that I dislike her quite a lot, so she just escapes the 'don't care about' section.
:D

If by "angry" you mean "love to hate," then Angel pulls this off several times, but only with outright villains. Darla, Holland, Lindsey, and Lilah are all great fun to watch. Wes doesn't have this effect on me, though. I guess he's not quite evil enough for my tastes.:lol:

Alce
02-12-18, 04:43 PM
For me Wesley was the main and almost the only reason why I even bother to watch Angel in 3rd and 4th seasons. So for me answer would be everyone on Angel except Wesley (and some episodic characters like Lindsey ). Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Fred - they are maybe great characrters, but I don't really care about any of them. Cordy is another story as she was destroyed as character.

Dipstick
02-12-18, 04:51 PM
Spike would be my entry. I think James Marsters is talented and he's particularly great at comedy. His charisma doesn't really meld with my preferences but I see it. I see the appeal in how he had such a transformative arc on the show but it was actually to the Good Side. This is unique given how most of the characters who radically changed became darker. However, he frequently bores me. He's good as a bitchy villain in S2. However through S4-6, I can't really engage with the morality of his actions because he's necessarily incompetent because he doesn't have a soul. Yeah, he did xyz bad thing but fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, vampires gotta do evil. I'm also constantly distracted by his plot armor and how the Scoobies should have staked him at multiple points. The only route to connect with him in S5-7 is Spuffy which I found boring. I feel like he got his soul at the wrong time because S7 is generally boring to me, and Spike isn't immune. Other than him doing some straightforward heroic stuff at Buffy's direct instruction, I didn't believe that Spike's soul was truly tested by giving him complex moral challenges or forcing him to interact with the other Scoobies. He just continued having more Spuffy scenes, but more schmoopy. AtS S5 is a mix of the pros and cons. When he's non-corporeal, his ethical values from his soul are actually interestingly brought out and comes through in how he challenges Angel for being corrupted....but he's over-exposed and repetitive. But when he's corporeal, he joins Team Angel for non-satisfactory reasons....but his dynamic with Illyria is a series-best for him.

a thing of evil
02-12-18, 05:15 PM
Characters I don't care about are not great characters \_(ツ)_/

Sosa lola
02-12-18, 05:38 PM
For me, it has to be Faith. I can see the appeal and ED does her justice. But she doesn't do it for me.

Priceless
02-12-18, 06:00 PM
For me, it has to be Faith. I can see the appeal and ED does her justice. But she doesn't do it for me.

I might have said the same, if it wasn't for the comics. I've come to really appreciate Faith a lot more in the comic then I ever did on the show, and that's affected how I see her when I re-watch the show.

flow
02-12-18, 07:55 PM
I have to say no to that question. There is not one single character on the show I don`t find in some way interesting, intriguing, funny, annoying or adorable. I can even find to say a few good things (and some bad) about Riley, although he is probably the most boring great character on the show for me. Oz is a character I don`t care about at all, but I am not sure, if he counts because he was such a side character and he was only for a short time a member of the cast.

So yeah, in case Oz counts, I name Oz.

flow

Willow from Buffy
02-12-18, 08:04 PM
For me, it would be easier to name bad characters I care too much about :p

I don't care about Gwen, though. Screw Gwen Raiden!

Stoney
02-12-18, 09:41 PM
There are plenty of characters that I was less engaged by after my first watch that I have come to appreciate and understand better from discussing them in fandom: Xander, Riley, Gunn, Tara, Cordelia. I always had preferences of course. I adore Spike's arc above all, top to toe, but Connor, Wes, Angel and Willow also really stood out to me straight away. I suppose the character I still struggle most to have investment in despite coming to appreciate them more is Dru. Dru is a character that despite thinking she is very individual and interesting, I still don't really care about. I think her appearances being so deeply driven to matter for her ties to someone else's story rather than building her own each time reduces my connection to her. I feel she was an untapped asset that could have had a bigger role in Angel's story that included time/space to expand on her own. So I'm not sure that counts as not caring, to feel she should have been explored more.

Sosa lola
03-12-18, 04:11 AM
I might have said the same, if it wasn't for the comics. I've come to really appreciate Faith a lot more in the comic then I ever did on the show, and that's affected how I see her when I re-watch the show.

I loved Faith's arc in the comics. I especially enjoy her friendship with Giles and later Angel. One of my favorite moments of AtS are Angel's visits to Faith while she was in prison.

I won't say that I don't care about Faith at all, I guess I care about her less than fandom does, but like flow, I find all the characters interesting but the heart wants what the heart wants and my heart belongs to the Scooby Gang: Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Spike, Dawn, Tara, Anya, Cordelia, Oz, Angel and Riley. I'm so invested in this group of characters, including Joyce.

bespangled
04-12-18, 02:12 AM
Mine would be Anya and Fred. Anya annoys me. She's too one-note as a character. I just find it hard to believe that she interacted for 1000 years with human women, and yet has no verbal filter. If she had told her potential clients even one of her success stories they would have run like hell, I suspect. I don't like the fact that she is a supposedly souled demon who was a mass murderer, and I really don't like the fact that they used her as a one trick pony dirty joke. She could have been a female wise woman - and this is a supposedly feminist show where all wisdom comes from men.

I thought Fred was great the first time I watched ATS but each viewing has made her less tolerable. Once they set her up as den mother and an object to be possessed by a man, I just can't. She was saved from being manic pixie dream girl by her intelligence and creativity. After season two that pretty much disappears. Once she gets to season 5 she becomes an exert in every field of science - including medicine. That's a rather weird view of science. I would not want a physicist making my medical diagnosis and deciding on my treatment.

I loathe Glory. I actually fast forward through a lot of her scenes. And I pretty much do the same with Connor. Again, they are both one note characters. Glory is exhausting to watch, and Connor is always sullen and angry. I understand them - I just don't enjoy them.

ghoststar
04-12-18, 02:53 AM
Mine would be Anya and Fred. Anya annoys me. She's too one-note as a character. I just find it hard to believe that she interacted for 1000 years with human women, and yet has no verbal filter. If she had told her potential clients even one of her success stories they would have run like hell, I suspect. I don't like the fact that she is a supposedly souled demon who was a mass murderer, and I really don't like the fact that they used her as a one trick pony dirty joke. She could have been a female wise woman - and this is a supposedly feminist show where all wisdom comes from men.

I thought Fred was great the first time I watched ATS but each viewing has made her less tolerable. Once they set her up as den mother and an object to be possessed by a man, I just can't. She was saved from being manic pixie dream girl by her intelligence and creativity. After season two that pretty much disappears. Once she gets to season 5 she becomes an exert in every field of science - including medicine. That's a rather weird view of science. I would not want a physicist making my medical diagnosis and deciding on my treatment.

I loathe Glory. I actually fast forward through a lot of her scenes. And I pretty much do the same with Connor. Again, they are both one note characters. Glory is exhausting to watch, and Connor is always sullen and angry. I understand them - I just don't enjoy them.

I agree about the writer's choices re: Anya and Fred, but I think that you're addressing reasons why they're not very good characters, rather than why they're good characters who can't hold your interest. Anya's characterization never made any sense to me, and Fred's potential is slowly squashed under the weight of Angel and Gunn's overprotective instincts. Anya and Fred are both thankless roles that are halfway redeemed by good acting. (As much as Fred's tics get on my nerves, there are real people who have similar mannerisms, so that part isn't bad, it's just not my thing.) I'd put Dawn in the same category.

bespangled
04-12-18, 08:29 AM
I agree about the writer's choices re: Anya and Fred, but I think that you're addressing reasons why they're not very good characters, rather than why they're good characters who can't hold your interest. Anya's characterization never made any sense to me, and Fred's potential is slowly squashed under the weight of Angel and Gunn's overprotective instincts. Anya and Fred are both thankless roles that are halfway redeemed by good acting. (As much as Fred's tics get on my nerves, there are real people who have similar mannerisms, so that part isn't bad, it's just not my thing.) I'd put Dawn in the same category.

Other people think they are great characters. They see strengths that I just can't care about. I'd assume all the characters are great to some part of fandom.

IMO, Fred and Gunn were both destroyed by a toxic relationship. You can see the effect of the relationship on both of them. I know some fans blame this on Wesley but I do think that Gunn gets a pass on things he says and does - in part because he is black. Just read their early dialogue and close your eyes to race.

Fred: "This is so wrong."

Gunn: "You're right. I don't want the bunny."

Fred: "We're supposed to be working."

Gunn: "No, we're supposed to be doing some bogus, half-assed recon. That's different then working."

Fred: "Still. It's our job."

Fred nods: "You bet I, uh - didn't. Charles, I like you and I wanna keep liking you."

Gunn takes a step closer: "Then do!"

Fred: "Maybe when we're out like this we should - we should just work."

Gunn: "No. Can't do it that way. Maybe I'm greedy, but I want it all: the great girl *and* the great job


If this was Xander instead of Gunn people would do a war dance on his head. He's belittling her concerns, ignoring her discomfort, and gas lighting her. But Gunn remains an interesting character because of his eventual crisis of conscience. Fred just looses all her depths.

vampmogs
04-12-18, 09:22 AM
My pick is Spike. I can completely understand why others are so passionate about him, I think JM nails the role, he has a really interesting story arc, I find him perfectly enjoyable and entertaining to watch, and I think he was an asset to the series, and yet, I'm not emotionally invested in him at all. I relate to him on practically no level whatsoever. With Spike, my interest in him is purely cerebral (he's an interesting character to discuss) but he'll never be a favourite of mine because I don't have an emotional connection with him. I'm also one of those rare fans who gravitate strongly towards the protagonist characters whereas I think Spike (and his appeal to a lot of fans) is how he's the polar opposite to that (he was the classic side character who got to show up and say something snarky and funny) so I was never overly enamoured by his role in the story the way a lot of people obviously are.

My other pick would be Wesley who I have even less emotional investment in than Spike but who is definitely the fan favourite in Angel. I completely understand why people love his arc so much and are impressed by how much he changes over the years but it does absolutely nothing for me. But, unlike Spike, who I like the vast majority of the time, I often dislike Wesley on many occasions so that doesn't help. However, I don't find anything about Wesley's progression to be particularly realistic or relatable. He goes through a lot of the rather cliched "badass" developments (other characters even comment on how cool and go looking he is now) that you see a lot on TV and it leaves me pretty cold. But other fans absolutely love it *shrugs*

Priceless
04-12-18, 09:58 AM
I agree about the writer's choices re: Anya and Fred, but I think that you're addressing reasons why they're not very good characters, rather than why they're good characters who can't hold your interest. Anya's characterization never made any sense to me, and Fred's potential is slowly squashed under the weight of Angel and Gunn's overprotective instincts. Anya and Fred are both thankless roles that are halfway redeemed by good acting. (As much as Fred's tics get on my nerves, there are real people who have similar mannerisms, so that part isn't bad, it's just not my thing.) I'd put Dawn in the same category.

I think Fred's potential was squashed when she became an adjunct to Wesley, of secondary importance to him and his story and therefore she got no arc of her own until she became a whole new character.


I loathe Glory. I actually fast forward through a lot of her scenes. And I pretty much do the same with Connor. Again, they are both one note characters. Glory is exhausting to watch, and Connor is always sullen and angry. I understand them - I just don't enjoy them.


I agree about Glory, she is exhausting. I listen to podcasts were people rave about her and think her performance is amazing, but I just don't feel it. The same could be said about Dru. I know she's popular, but her performance is too mannered for my tastes. I would say that I do care about Dru though, as she is such an integral part of Spike and Angel's stories.

DeepBlueJoy
04-12-18, 11:20 AM
Maybe in other series. Not Buffy or Angel. I find i care about all the main characters, even though i do not like some of them. Even villains and minor characters are nuanced and three dimensional enough that i feel something about them. I have seen every episode of Buffy enough times i lost count and every episode of Angel at least 5 times, so a lot of the characters feel like family, mostly loved, often annoying. Even one episode characters make me have an opinion - negative, often, because many are villains. But i am not often indifferent. About the only characters i don't have feelings regarding are one-of victims, most of whom did not have lines.

Even victims sometime garner sympathy. The very first victim for example. First, he annoys me, cocky bastard, thinking he is getting some. For a moment we think he might be the perpetrator. Finally, his horrible death brings a mix of shock and schadenfruede. I don't love the victim, but thanks to his becoming a real, annoying character, i do not feel nothing.

The writing is that good.

Even the throw-away victims are often perceived as people. It is part of why i am still watching more than 20 years after the series first aired. I have spent more time with the characters than with most of my own family. No wonder so many of them feel familiar - they are part of me. I cannot be neutral or worse, indifferent. Pissed off, definitely, neutral, no.

Dipstick
04-12-18, 01:15 PM
Anya is like the opposite of this thread to me. She's a crappy character that I care about. She has so many serious writing deficiencies- no coherent arc despite her length of time on the show, committed incredibly serious crimes that aren't taken seriously at all, a profoundly inconsistent personality between her vengeance demon self and her human self, she make the same two joke about money and sex. But I.....love her. A lot of that is EC's performance. Some of it is that she has a loving, helpful, close relationship with Xander and Giles right when they needed someone like her and her relationship with Willow is like, the closest Anya gets to a genuine arc and it's beautiful. But with Anya there was a kismet in acting, her relationships, and how I personally find her set of two jokes hilarious (money and sex make for good comedy material, IMO) to get me to love her even though I think she's full of it pretty much all the time.