Friday, June 4, 2010

100 Greatest Characters, Hmm?

Being a bit late to the party will be standard for many of my posts so consider your heads given an up. I don't suspect the majority will slag through old news items but I have years of incredibly vital opinions that I've kept from you for far too long! Worry no more, for the agonizing wait stops here.

*Reigning it in*

However, seeing as last weeks Entertainment Weekly issue, "The 100 Greatest Characters of the last twenty years" is a double, I figure I'm coming in just as the party is startin' to pop. So... Nyah.

As with each and every 'Best of', 'Greatest', 'Mostest Worst', etc., type list there will be endless debates on what is and isn't included, as well there should be, and while I can usually understand why most choices do or do not make the cut regardless of my feelings, another constant element of these lists is that there are and will always be ones that hurt my brain place. EW's list is no exception. 

How can a mag so devoted to Buffy get so much wrong?

Perhaps I would've done less twitching were it called what it actually is; "The 100 Most Remembered At The Moment Characters In Pop Culture of the last twenty years". Many, nay, most of the choices earned their place (if not proper slot) but others inspired everything from a tongue-slapping eye roll (#46 Jerry Maguire) to twisting up the magazine with the slightest bit of maniacal verve that they might feel it (#91 Hancock?!). I'm not going to bother carrying on about the placement because I've already worked that ou-- Seriously, #18 Glee's Sue Sylvester and #28 Medea before #42 Sydney Bristow and #99 The Bride?! WTF?!... Erm, I've worked that out so I'm, um, just gonna bitch speak about specific entries.

#09 Carrie Bradshaw. Now, now, before your eyebrows peak at the notion of a 'mo who actually shuns the city and its sex, ya ain't gonna find him here. I. Funking. Love Sex and the City. I also love Carrie. My beef is with them choosing ONLY Carrie. Thelma & Louise are counted in unison (even though I adore both, Louise always felt a much more realized character). Mulder & Scully, Lorelai & Rory Gilmore, all four Gorillaz (whatever with that) and three video game dudes in stuff I've yet to play. Why aren't Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda - arguably the series' best character - not grouped with her? Love Carrie but without the entire ensemble it would be a vapid suck fest about a very indecisive, self-absorbed, lonely shoe freak. 

#17 Lara Croft. I'm sorry, exactly what character is she in possession of besides the two barely contained within her tank top? Hell, she was a dude until some geek drew boobs!

#24 Felicity Porter. Um, her hair wasn't that good.

#40 Ron Burgundy. While I wouldn't include either, I'd think Will Farrell's Elf character would edge out his Anchorman flop. I don't really get this one. The movie was one of those where the trailer gave you all the funny. I include it mostly for Will's comment about why it took so long to sell: "People thought it was too weird. They didn't understand a movie set in the news world." Uhh, they understand it fine Will. They simply prefer it to be good.

#41 Harold & Kumar. Another perfect example of the pop culture influence on the list. The movie was not entirely unfunny but these two as characters? Yyyyeah. Even stoned I don't buy it.

#53 Edward Cullen. Heh. Really? What's to say that isn't glaringly (sparkling even!) obvious to the thinking world? The prime example of inclusion based solely on pop culture impact. Also, see Felicity.

#55 Tracy Jordan. Makes me want to punch a baby. Besides being chosen over Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Jenna Maroney, Pete Hornberger, Frank Rossitano, Kenneth Parcel, Dot-Com, Grizz, Danny, Cerie, Toofer, Jonathan, Dr. Spaceman, Lutz, Sue, Josh, the lady by the water cooler in that one episode and every other person who has ever appeared on the show in any capacity, I simply don't agree.

I didn't say it was an episode of 30 Rock but is she serving it up or what?

#77 Mimi Marquez/#79 Elphaba. Nothing against either choice, I merely desire their inclusion to make a point. While I obviously acquired the penchant for witty, sexually liberated, cosmo swilling fashionistas at the group meetings, I skipped Musical Appreciation Day. Not a big fan, unless they strike some chord with originality, edge and kick ass music. Which is why I happily concede with Mimi. I've seen Rent and she earns her spot. However... WHERE IN THE HELLING HELL IS HEDWIG?!

#87 Tony Stark. So, he snakes in even though he first appeared in 1963? Granted, the movie version is more charming but it just seems that this technicality would toss a whoooole lot of (worthier) characters into the mix. Wolverine, infinitely more appealing in the films if not exactly true to form, seems an obvious go-to.

#91 Hancock. *blink blink* After I punch the baby I'm going to kill the world.

Hancock? HANCOCK?! Why on earth would you-- Oh, right. Dudes + Saying Hancock repeatedly = Teh awsum!

#93 Game Boys (Uncharted's Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos, Grand Theft Auto IV's Niko Bellic).
Resident Evil 2's Claire Redfield. BioShock's Big Daddy. Mortal Kombat 2's Princess Kitana.  

Hmm, despite the volume of word space taken up I don't appear too upset with the list overall. Of course, I've ignored a lot and truly hold no opinion on many others. Still, this almost makes me look downright agreeable. Optimistic even!

... Oh right, some glaring omissions:

Ten picks in no particular order because it really is unnecessary (Whilst wagging my judgy finger).
  • Sidney Prescott. The Scream heroine is the greatest final girl since Nancy Thompson and one of the many well-written, wonderfully acted horror characters shockingly not included!
  • Hedwig Schmidt. That's just... I mean... Stupid EW.
  • Catwoman. Passes in under the Tony Stark rule. Michelle Pfeiffer's Selina Kyle took ownership of the character as well as the entire movie Batman Returns. Everyone knows it. Shut up, I said everyone!
  • Harley Quinn. Harley (especially when voiced by Arleen Sorkin) makes everything she is in better. It is hard to believe she was created in 1992 when it so often feels like she's always been around - and I don't wan't any 18yr-olds telling me that she has been. 'Cause I'll kill ya... After Hancock. 
  • Satine. Moulin Rouge's tragic Sparkling Diamond. The role she should have won the Oscar for... Stupid, nekkid Halle Berry.
  • Karl Childers. Not necessarily a fan of Sling Blade but this one seems like a big, fat steaming pile of DUH.
  • Dawn Weiner. Unlike #88 Napoleon Dynamite, this indie dork had real character.
  • Clarice Starling. Like Mulder & Scully and other duos, she deserves to sit right next to Hannibal Lecter at #8. Well, not right next to him. Next to him on the other side of the glass.
  • Jack Skellington. 1,000 times cooler than Shrek. *ptooey*
  • Amelie Poulain. I don't care that Cameron Crowe picked her (especially after he picked Seth Rogen's Knocked Up sloth) because EW didn't. They are the suck.
There are plenty more that will undoubtedly pop up once I've published this and I could easily make my own list of 100 with personal faves (Hermione Granger! Romy & Michelle!) but ohmigodIhavetostopwritingnow! 

Fer serious? THEY didn't make the cut? Nice. Now they're going to grow up and kill you... After they kill Hancock.


MelTheFruitFly said...

I have much more to say at a later moment in time (and much more that undoubtedly will be spouted in conversation over pancakes tomorrow) -- but I just want to say first that I heart you so very very very very very much just for repeatedly mentioning Hedwig.

Oh, and Jack Skellington.

But mostly Hedwig.

I will be back. :)

James said...

Hafta say the length of this almost scared me off but glad it didn't. The Tracy jordan bit killed me. lol Definitely got a little aggro over some of the, okay a lot of, the magazine choices but it is always subjective, huh? Great additions! I thought about Sidney and Jack too. Look forward to more.

Hapahiro said...

I'm definitely right there with you regarding Carrie and the lack of love for her cohorts on the list. Truth be told, and this is where our opinion differs, Carrie was my LEAST favorite of the group because she never GREW. SATC2 just served to drive home that point.

As for the rest of the list, I didn't think Rachel Greene should have been on that list without the rest of the Friends (similar SATC quandary, I think), much less at the high-ranked number at which she was positioned.

As for Ron Burgundy ... sorry, but I *hearted* that movie SO MUCH.