Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Why Must I Like Them? Really Really Like Them?

So this weekend, in a fit of laundry-folding, filing of papers and other organizational chores, I watched a lot of television. On Friday night, I watched Cedar Rapids. Ed Helms plays a total shnook of an insurance salesman who gets sent to the big regional conference. My expectations were pretty low, but still it was funnier and way sweeter than I expected. There's a moment where Ed Helms explains why he became an insurance salesman and it all has to do with helping people and being there for people when their lives are falling apart. So through all the goofiness and even John C. Reilly walking around in his boxer shorts, I hung in there because I wanted Ed Helms to win.

I also watched Web Therapy. My expectations were a little higher for this one. I love shows with psychologists. To keep it simple, I hated it. Lisa Kudrow's character had, from what I saw, absolutely no redeeming qualities. She was a narcissistic, selfish, self-absorbed, greedy twit. I didn't even make it all the way through the first episode because there was absolutely no one to root for. Not even her clients.

I can't decide if this need to have someone to root for is a failing or not. There seem to be plenty of shows and movies where everyone else is perfectly happy that the heroes aren't heroic. Chicago, anyone? I hated it. I wanted them all to be executed. On the other hand, though, I get so sick of the perfect heroines who are always smart and kind and blindingly pretty. I need a good middle ground.

So what drives you nuts more? Having no one to root for or having the person you're rooting for be too effing perfect?


Molly O'Keefe said...

I liked Cedar Rapids too - John C Reilley was hilarious - the whole thing was fun.

Last night I watched The Swith - that Jennifer anniston Jason Bateman comedy about the guy who switches his sperm for his best friend's sperm donor. So many suprises - based on a short story by Jeffery (guy who wrote Middlesex - Eugindes?)And the switch wasn't actually the zany set up I thought it was going to be. Bateman is FANTASTIC. Parts of it were trite but a lot of it was quite sweet. I could totally root for Bateman. And Aniston.

I want to root for someone.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm with you Eileen. I need middle ground. I do have to root for them, but I don't like perfection.

For me an example of this is Margaret on Boardwalk Empire. Her daughter has polio - and in typical Irish fashion - she's blaming this on all of her sins (which are many).

Now she's trying to redeem herself - and I find I'm liking her less. I like her a little badass. She's doing what she was doing what she needed to survive.

Now she's all repentent and I'm like... boooorrrrinnnng.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Steph - my question is how do you feel about Jimmy after last weeks episode???!!!

Eileen said...

Ooh, good to know about The Switch. I'll watch for it. I always want to like Jennifer Aniston movies. She's so appealing. I wish someone else would pick the scripts she decides to make . . .

Maureen McGowan said...

I really liked Cedar Rapids. Very sweet through all the silly.

Oh, and The Switch. Loved that movie, too. It was WAY deeper than the trailers suggested. Badly marketed. It was Bateman's character's story, totally.

I'm not sure what I think of this repentant Margaret, either. (Although I loved the moment when Nucky asked her who she'd cheated on. Oh, the tension!

I think I'm going to blog about Jimmy's backstory tomorrow... Assuming I get my revising done today and have time to think about and write the post. :)

Eileen... Jennifer Aniston hasn't picked a good script since The Good Girl. The Switch isn't perfect, but the Bateman character is appealing. I remember enjoying it.

FWIW, when I first started reading Molly's comment, I thought she was talking about the recent Justin Bateman/Ryan Reynolds body swap movie. HATED that one. And I love both of those actors. A script has to be bad to make me hate a movie with those two. The characters were ridiculous stereotypes.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Ooooh a Jimmy blog! Lovin' it.

I think they did a great job of revealing... what we all really knew.

Didn't we?

Anonymous said...

The Switch was all about Bateman for me in that movie... and his relationship with the kid. But who doesn't love Bateman.

Give me someone relatable. I can't relate to someone who's perfect, or a complete bitch.

It will be interesting to go see the new Diablo Cody movie, YA where the heroine is supposedly not a nice person... see if they make it work in that

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm excited about Young Adult too, Sinead. It was at the TIFF and they've also done other pre-screenings around the city. I've missed them all. :( That many pre-screenings, you know the distributor is worried...

Molly O'Keefe said...

margaret is boring - i'm with you. Jimmy...oh Jimmy, I want to study him.

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