- Elite Member
- November 7, 2011
Reading this post, I flashed back to my college days when I sometimes engaged in Role Playing Games with my friends on weekends--like Dungeons & Dragons, and all their variants. Game systems generally called for players to create characters, with abilities, quirks, advantages, and disadvantages, and "act" them for the duration of the session. All of us tended to find that characters who had flaws and handicaps, quirks and foibles, and things to overcome were far more interesting to play than straight-up paragons or characters who hadn't really been given any strong qualities, good or bad. That's kind of how it is with me and characters like Jack: they're flawed but compelling, and their struggles draw you in. They can convince you that, despite their past misdeeds, they honestly want to be better people, and so you become invested when they try and fail, when they try and succeed, or when they simply go about their lives, trying to do a little better than the day before. Willy-nilly, they make you care. And I care about Jack, even at his most exasperating, infuriating, and arrogant.
- Sep 27 2013, 10:52 AM
Great job with these interviews, and a really interesting discussion here. Lots of good points brought up.
1. I agree with the majority that Shawn Christian seems like a good guy. I feel kind of sorry for him, having to find motivation and depth in a character that's written so poorly. And I would find the OTT praising of him by almost every character on-screen embarrassing, and even annoying if I was having to portray him. It would have been interesting to hear what his thoughts were about the "rest" his character was given. I'd like to know his perspective on why the rest was necessary, and what changes he thought were made to the character when he returned (because I didn't see any).
2. Also agree with somebody upthread who said they enjoyed the brief moments he had commiserating with Jack. I don't dislike him at all when he's given light material and all I'm being expected to see him as is a regular guy who enjoys hanging out with his bros. I had a thought yesterday that it might have been interesting if Daniel had been the one to witness Jack have a PTSD episode and be totally freaked out and feeling in-over-his-head about it (rather than being a brilliant psychologist on top of everything else), and be in the position to make Jennifer understand exactly how dire the situation was. Or for Daniel to feel some real sympathy for Jack and for that the be the reason he was turned off to the dating game scenario.
3. Looking over people's comments about Daniel, I realize it's not Daniel himself that I dislike so much. It really is just the endless praising of him by almost everybody. Again, I can enjoy him as just a guy, but I don't see him as anything particularly extraordinary in any way, and I'm beyond tired of the writers telling me that he is constantly.
4. As for the Daniel vs. Jack stuff, and the point brought up that Jack gets propped on this board, that really got me thinking. I can only speak for myself, but I absolutely acknowledge Jack's faults. He has always been impulsive and short-sighted and proud, and at times so full of self-loathing that he pushes people away in a misguided effort to protect them from himself. None of that makes him someone I would want to date in real life. But for a fictional character, I think all of it makes him complex and compelling, infinitely more interesting to watch. Maybe that's what it boils down to for me: it's not that Jack is a "better" person than Daniel; it's that he's so much more interesting and engaging as a character. I would much rather watch Jack in Salem, re-establishing relationships with his friends and family, trying to overcome his past, making mistakes along the way, but growing in the process, than watch Daniel talk endlessly with everyone about how wonderful he his and how tragic it is that he and Jennifer aren't together, in between his weekly make-ups and break-ups with her.
5. I'm also feeling torn about the frequent Jack mentions. On the one hand, I love hearing Sonny calling Jack "my uncle" and showing interest in his book. But it's also bittersweet because it only reminds me of the wasted opportunity the writers had to explore the Johnson family dynamic after all of these years. I mean, why do the writers only remember that Sonny is Jack's nephew now that Jack's gone? Why didn't we get to see any interaction between them when he was still here?
It's no secret that I dislike Daniel, and find it hard to care about him even when he's not being a douche. And I think that's because he doesn't have a strong enough identity. He's flat. He doesn't really stand for anything, and there's no redemptive journey for him to go on, no involving character arc, as there was with Jack, because we're constantly being told that he's perfect and doesn't need improvement or redemption. Dull for viewers to watch, and dull for an actor to play. Still, it's a paycheck. :shrug: