Elizabeth: Character Crushes

Flashpoint-Hugh-cast_bigWhen I’m not working or writing, or even sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing, I’m a fan of a good television show.  I tend toward light, humorous, happily-every-after type stories, but sometimes I get caught by something completely different, and it’s often a character on a show that catches and keeps my interest.  There are a number of shows I’ve watched (and kept watching) because I wanted to know what was happening with a specific character, regardless of what else was going on in the story.

Normally I wouldn’t have given a show featuring a Strategic Response Unit whose members spent every episode dealing with bomb threats, heavily armed bad guys, and general trauma a second look, but I became hooked on the Canadian police drama, Flashpoint because of the character of Ed Lane.   The interactions he had with his team members, wife, and family, as well as his efforts to balance everything, kept me watching week after week (even if I had to fast-forward through the violent parts).  He made mistakes, faced difficult choices, and kept trying to get things right.  I was caught by his vulnerability and the many layers of his character.

Spike from BuffyDespite his Billy Idol hair and lamentable tendency to drink blood, I found Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer oddly endearing.  I’ve never been a fan of vampire stories or an endless parade of evil creatures and supernatural phenomena, but the way Spike’s character changed and grew as the series progressed kept me watching to the very end.  He wasn’t all good or all bad.  He fought for what he believed in, regardless of the odds, and went to extreme lengths for the one he loved, despite the real possibility of failure.  He was complex, vulnerable, and loyal.  I was pleased when he reappeared on the show Angel, where his character continued to evolve.

410689-richard_castleMy current character crush is on Rick Castle from Castle.  I started watching about a month ago and have worked my way through the first three seasons in short order.  Ignoring the inevitable dead bodies and gore (it is a police drama, after all), I find Rick a charming combination of youthful innocence, wit, and intelligence.  He’s clever when helping with police cases, insightful when dealing with his teenaged daughter, and generally gives off the aura of someone who would be a great deal of fun to be around.    An added appeal is the fact that he is a writer, so there is a lot of talk about “the story” within the story.

So what does all of this have to do with writing?  Looking at the various characters who have really caught my attention has helped me understand the attributes I want to imbue my own characters with and how to layer those characteristics effectively.  So really, I haven’t been crushing on TV characters, I’ve been studying craft.  Honest.

Today’s word count:  506.  If only I hadn’t deleted almost as much as I wrote.

So, what characters have caught your attention?

19 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Character Crushes

  1. Yup. *Coughing, blushing, coughing*

    I definitely have character crushes, both in books and on TV/the big screen. And just as much as a character can make me watch a show, or swallow a book in one go, characters can also repel me and make me lose interest, even if the story or the series/movies is interesting and entertaining.

    Lets see…

    I got a long-term crush on Nick Stokes in CSI, Las Vegas. And while we’re talking CSI, I should also mention that I’ve got an almost equally long-term non-crush on Horatio Caine that is so strong, I never the Miami series.

    I’ve also got a crush on Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O. Apparently, I must be a typical girl-girl falling for tough guys.

    I LOVE Clint Eastwood’s character in The Bridges of Madison County, and I’ve got a thing for Sam Bennett in Private Practice.

    Of the more concerning crushes, I got strange flutterings watching Sam Worthington in Avatar. Never knew I had a soft spot for blue Mars men until then. Oh, and while we’re at somewhat out of the ordinary creatures, Thor is just…divine?

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one with character crushes, and I’m sure there’s nothing to be concerned about your flutterings for blue Mars men. I’m not familiar with all of the other characters you’ve mentioned – guess I have a few shows to check out.

    • Thor and Cap America. I can’t wait until the beginning of April. Love a strong, noble guy without too much snark (aka Tony Stark).

      I have a crush on Loki, too, but for a completely different reason. He’s so good at being BAD. There are layers and layers with him and you’re never quite sure if you’re getting the real deal with him.

      I also have a crush on real-life Tom Hiddleston. I saw him in Coriolanus a month ago and O.M.G…definitely squeee-worthy!

    • Rachel – have you seen that you can actually buy books by “Rick Castle” on Amazon? There is an author page for him and everything.

  2. I think character crushes are a really good thing, it shows how well that character has been written/acted. I would love to give characters in my books that quality that makes readers woon for them :D

    I have a major crush on Colonel Jack O’Neill from Stargate. Great character, confident and just awesome!

    • It is definitely a combination of how the character has been written and how the actor interprets/presents him/her. I have to wonder if I would have found these three characters as interesting if they were portrayed by other actors.

      Note to self: add Stargate to the list of shows to take a look at. “Great character, confident and just awesome” sounds like a definite recommendation.

  3. So I just started watching this, but I’m already hooked…House of Cards on Netflix. Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a Congressman from South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a southerner (representing an area where I went to college, near Clemson University) or because he’s so dynamic, but I love watching him and what he’ll do next. Robin Wright, who plays his wife, is also really good. There’s some great characters in that series. Highly recommend.

  4. Then there’s the opposite of the character crush, or maybe it’s just a character crush gone bad — that moment when you realize that you can no longer watch TV show because the character you initially like has become so grating on your nerves. Bones — the one on “Bones”, not the one in Star Trek — is that character for me. I would have cheerfully watched more episodes about Booth, Angela, Hodgins… but Bones herself became unwatchable, despite having started out as a character I found completely sympathetic.

    • I absolutely agree with you. I stopped watching that show too because her character never really seemed to grow/change. Angela definitely fell into the “character crush” category for me though. She was fun and interesting and continually changing. Unfortunately, as the seasons progressed, the writers seemed to stop focusing much at all on the secondary characters and she began to seem more like scenery.

    • I definitely have to get caught back up with Dr. Who. I’m back at the final two episodes for the tenth doctor. Looking forward seeing Amy when I get further along.

  5. It’s been a long time since I’ve “crushed” on a television character, mainly because I don’t have the time to sit down and really follow a series anymore (which seems to be required for a crush to develop). But recently I saw some old reruns of Star Trek NG and remembered how interesting (and yes, sexy) I found Captain Picard to be (sorry to reach so far back into TV history). He was manly (in a confident but quiet sort of way), and the inevitable comparisons to captain Kirk made him look like a genius.

    • Kat – I remember Captain Picard being “crush” material for a number of friends back when the series was first running. I’m pretty sure you’re in good company there.

  6. I like all your choices for character crushes, Elizabeth. I watched Flashpoint exactly once (imo, show tagline was “Got a problem? Point a gun at it”), but if I’d gone back, it would have been for Ed Lane. Also Spike. I still miss him. Also Parker from Leverage. I love her.

  7. My first character crush ever was Mork from Orc. (-: That’s a long, long time ago, and Robin Williams has come a long way. I watched the shows again a year or two ago, and still found Mork to be innocent and charming — I had a lot more sympathy for Mindy, though.

    And then there’s Indiana Jones. Oh, my. Adventurous, stubbly, and he cleans up so nicely! I think I really fell in love with him when I saw him lecturing, and all the girls (and the one boy) swooning over him. Mmmmm, just love me some pre-war fashions.

    This is so shallow of me, but has anyone seen the fairly new Ghibli, “The Wind Rises”? Oh, boy, another example of great, pre-war pants draping just right over a pair of male buns. I don’t care if it’s just pen and ink.

    (-: Of course, a great rear end is rather difficult to translate into words. And not really part of character development.

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