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Don’t Buy: These Characters

The most offensive part of my day is undoubtedly the 30 seconds I spend walking through the parade of advertising that is the 47-50th Street subway station. For the past few months the ads in this station have been exclusively for the little-seen and little-loved Spike-TV comedy “Blue Mountain State.” Most of them are offensive to women in a number of different ways, but one in particular is offensive to ME.

I’ve never seen “BMS” and I’m sick of Thad Castle. More accurately, I’m sick of characters like Thad Castle. “Look his expression! You can tell that he’s totally repulsive – and he doesn’t care who knows it!”

I don’t have a problem in the abstract with fictional people being douchebags. In fact, some of my best characters are assholes. But ever since the golden days of Stifler this particular type — the gross dumb alpha dog — has been an excuse for writers to get away with using their laziest, laziest gags. Dick joke, fart joke, puke joke, goodnight.

(Also, while looking for that picture I discovered that Thad Castle has a Twitter, and it’s every bit as lame as you’d expect.)

But this isn’t the only archetype I’m tired of. You and I will explore some more — after the jump!

The Irreverent Best Friend

So you’re a screenwriter. You’ve got some funny lines in your head. But some of them are a little too ‘out there,’ and you can’t have your main character saying them; he’s a nice boy. So presto: You create a best friend character and have him say them — that’s called comic relief! Make sure this new guy dresses  outlandishly and can make obnoxious faces, that way everyone will know who he’s supposed to be. And as a bonus, this keeps you from having to make your main character interesting in any way.

In fact, now that we’re there already…

Boring Hopeless Romantic Protagonists

Hey, liking girls is great. Scientists agree some 90% of all dudes do it. But you know what we call people who are entirely defined by their attraction to a girl? Stalkers. Or alternatively, really boring main characters. Get some other things to talk about dude, you’re making this movie feel like it’s five hours long.

And don’t get me started on guys who are “totally in love” with some girl they’ve never even talked to because “they can just feel it” or they’re “soul-mates.” Grow up.

Bureaucracy Man

“Bureaucracy Man” probably needs a more accurate nickname, but in general this guy is going to be the boss of the main character. He is going to be played by Christopher Plummer or James Rebhorn, depending on how big his role is. No matter how many lines he has, he only has one purpose: to be wrong when the hero is right.

I always feel bad for Bureaucracy Man. His logic can be sound and all the evidence can be pointing in his favor, but the narrative always makes him look like a douchebag just so the hero has someone to say a stupid one-liner too. (This actually is the main reason I hated 9. Christopher Plummer’s character spends the whole movie making a lot of sense — but since he’s not the hero and Elijah Wood is, he also spends the whole movie getting shit on constantly.)

Sexy Native Girls (Or, The Chief’s Daughter)

Maybe you’re an alien. Maybe you’re a Native American. Maybe you’re some weird allegorical mix of the two. Regardless, you’re a hot girl from some sort of indigenous culture who’s all about being one with nature, not like those inauthentic white people who totally use technology and shit.

So when some white dude comes stumbling into your camp/town/planet talking about wanting to understand you, what should you do? Kill him, of course! It’s probably some sort of trap!

No, what are you doing? Why are you teaching him your pure native ways? Don’t fall in love with him! I don’t care how “different” he seems, or if he’s much more fun than the stern warrior you’re betrothed to, or if you can see inside him that he has a “special destiny.”

Dammit, now he’s assimilated. Hope you like taking orders from a white guy for the rest of the movie.

I’m going to stop now, before I get driven mad by The Hero’s Journey. But what do you guys think? Did I miss any egregiously annoying types?

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About the Author: Nate

2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Alli
    Add rating1Subtract rating0
    Feb 19th, 2010

    manic pixie dream girl, duh

  2. Can we just agree that “nastiest sack” should not be used in any context, ever?

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