Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Character Development, Part Three: Romantic Tension

Speaking of relationships, the romantic tension has to make sense. One of my pet peeves is female characters who keep putting themselves down, but yet somehow the male love interest is supposed to find her irresistable. Stephanie Plum, I'm looking at you.

Plum is a bounty hunter, which means she has to have some competence, right? And yet she puts herself down and does some stupid things (we all do that, I know, but come on. She's supposed to be the heroine. Be more like Zoe from Firefly!) doesn't know how to do her hair, (Zoe knows how to do her hair and still kick ass, shoot a gun and hit the target) and dresses in oversized clothes. She eats mostly junk food, yet when she puts on slinkly clothes to go undercover, she's slender and hot. That's just not believable.

Her love interests aren't believable either. One's a police officer and the other's a bounty hunter like her. Both are really good at their jobs and both are sex on legs. But if she's such a loser as she's written to be, why would they be interested in her? and why is she interested in them when they're not as fleshed out as she is, annoying as she is. Can you tell this really bothers me?

Another thing that annoys me is characters who contradict themselves and do stupid things, just so the plot moves forward. I just finished reading "Fool Moon" in the Harry Dresden series. Harry is a wizard for hire in contemporary Chicago. The books were made into the series the Dresden Files, which I haven't seen. I'll be looking it up on Hulu later.

Anyway, Harry gets hired in book one (which the library doesn't have, so I'm starting with the second book) by the Special Investigations unit of the Chicago PD, headed up by Karrin Murphy. Harry admits that he's kind of a chauvanist and thinks women should be protected. So he withheld information from her in an attempt to protect her and ignores the fact that she's a skilled and experience police officer!

They have an argument in her car in book 2 about this, he finally gets a clue about why she's mad at him, he apologizes for withholding information and says in won't happen again. All this happens as he's noticing that they're being followed. But he doesn't say anything! Murphy drops him off and drives off, and Harry gets in his car and follows the car that was following them. Hello! You just promised not to withhold info from her and then you withhold info. WTF???

I did finish reading the book, but not sure that I'm going to read any others. I am going to try watching the show. As with most adaptations, changes are made and maybe I'll like the show better. But not if he continues to be chauvanistic.

And to end this post on a happy note, I found out about the Dresden Files from the comments to a post from the Yarn Harlot asking for recommendations for geeky TV now that Battlestar Galactica is done. I, by the way, was the first to respond to her post, and suggested Torchwood and Firefly. She e-mailed me to let me know she's see both already. So the happy note is that Brother One and I had a happy conversation, when our last long conversation was the argument about nature vs nurture. And the Yarn Harlot e-mailed me!

1 comment:

KnitTech said...

A brush with greatness!! Go you!