Fangirl Dilemma – Character Betrayal

December 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

Lauren asked, “How do you deal with being emotionally invested in a character on a show that betrays them?”

The funny thing about fangirls is that we know characters better than their creators do. Think about it. We spent hours analyzing characters. Sometimes we even write about them more than their authors, diving into omniscience as we share the thoughts and inner workings in fic that you’ll never find in a tv or movie script. So when a season takes a turn for the worse and we find our fictional loves operating like they were body snatched in their sleep and replaced with a less than BAMFy version of themselves, we demand a recount. Or a guillotine.

In preparing to answer this question I found myself thinking about what characters I feel have been betrayed by their creators. I think Lorelai Gilmore ranks at the very top of that list. If you ask me how many seasons of Gilmore Girls there are, I will tell you that there are 5. It’s like if you ask me how many Star Wars movies there are (3. There are 3.).  Watching Sad Lorelai take the place of BAMFy quirky Lorelai was one of the most tragic tv downfalls I have ever had to watch. Thank you Amy Sherman Palladino, for destroying every good thing you ever did.

Oh wait, the question was how you deal with it though, it’s it?  Well I guess denial is one way. Rewriting fic that corrects the mistakes is another.  Arguing with other fans who agree with the changes is not.  But what if you dissected the trait from the character like a game of Operation, and examined what you really find so reactive about it?  You could take a good look at it and put it in a jar on your mental shelf labeled “Ways I Don’t Want to Live My Life” as a reminder.  If you’re reading Fangirl Therapy and learning to pinpoint the character traits you do want to emulate, I think the bad ones are just as poignant. Choosing not to watch the bad episodes is one thing. Deciding not to live them is another. Learn from the writer’s mistakes, and be glad you are the author of your own story.

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