Story Excerpts

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Great Characters

I have television ADD.  I mean, seriously.  It's hard for me to sit down and watch a TV show or movie for long periods of time.  But every now and then, I come across an actor or actress who knows how to grab my attention and keep it.

1.  Hyacinth Bucket, played by actress Patricia Routledge.  If you haven't ever seen an episode of BBC's "Keeping Up Appearances", you haven't been entertained.  I don't know if this sitcom was meant to be the British equivalent to "I Love Lucy", but in my opinion, it totally supersedes.  What makes Hyacinth a great character?  She's ambitious, quirky, and a gentle-hearted snob!  Hyacinth makes watching a train wreck fun!  I love her facial expressions! 

2. Sir Percival Blakeney, played by actor Anthony Andrews.  I didn't much care for the old black-and-white version of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", but when I saw the movie staring Anthony Andrews, it was all over.  What makes Sir Percy a great character?  Just everything.  He is an English aristocrat who uses the cover of a flaky, shallow-minded dandy to hide his heroic ambitions to save the lives of French aristocrats during the French Revolution.  Plus he's super romantic.  Sink me, he's one of the best male characters ever

3. Susan Vance, played by actress Katherine Hepburn.  "Bringing Up Baby" is my all time favorite movie, and not because the story centers around a leopard (although that certainly helps).  What makes Susan a great character?  She's a both a charming, ditsy heiress, and a schemer capable of crazy impulse.  She's willing to steal clothes and dinosaur bones to keep an awkward paleontologist close to her. 

4. Miracle Max, played by actor Billy Crystal.  "The Princess Bride" is one of the best movies you will ever watch, because its a great romance/comedy packed with memorable, unique characters.  It was hard to pick one character that made the movie for me, but I decided that Miracle Max was the most unique and memorable (plus Billy Crystal is a pretty talented actor).  Miracle Max is a witty and grumpy old man.  He loves MLTs and can't stand the name "Humperdink".

What movie or TV characters left an impression on you?  What did you like about them?


Loree Huebner said...

I love Hyacinth!

I watch something called Larkrise to Candleford on PBS. All of the characters are unique and interesting. Larkrise is the poor village and Candleford is where the well off live in the late 1800's.

The story is told from the point of view from a young woman who was raised in Larkrise, and goes to live with her cousin in Candleford.

I guess the show is taken from semi autobiographical novels published in the 1940's. It's a great show with many interesting characters.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Late 1800's plus unique characters? I'm surfing through my TV guide right now...thanks for the heads up, Loree!

Susan said...

I've seen each and everyone of these - great picks, all characters that I've loved too. But Hyacinth...that woman cracks me up. I begrudgingly watched that show with my brother while on vacation years ago and laughed my fool head off.

Susan said...

oh, and Cary Grant - I have to give him a shout out. One of my favorite actors, he did so well with Katherine in Bringing up Baby.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Susan -- Hyacinth cracks me up too. Out of all of them, she's probably my favorite.

I agree that Cary Grant played a great character in "Bringing Up Baby". It was hard to pick Hepburn's character, because I loved them both! :-)

Brandi said...

Nice to know someone else has the same issue with television. Even if I want to watch a show, I find I can't just sit there until the program ends. I walk around, go into the kitchen, pick up dog toys, etc.

I love Katy Hepburn! Her quick wit and quirkiness have stood the test of time!

Laughing at #4. I agree. Humperdink is an awful name, lol!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Brandi! *gasp* Don't tell me you've never seen "The Princess Bride"!!!! If you haven't, you must -- in fact, you have Christmas break homework: watch this incredible movie. :-)

LOLing at you picking up the dog toys while watching TV...what is it about watching TV that makes writers restless?

Marji Laine - Faith-Driven Suspense said...

Great PICKS! Love all of them, but I have to agree with Susan about Cary Grant. King of the Double-Takes! Merry Christmas!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Okay, now y'all are totally snubbing Katherine, LOL! No, you're right, Marji, Cary Grant is awesome. He totally rocks the screen off a TV,(which makes "Bringing Up Baby" such a great movie -- great actors and great characters :-) Merry Christmas to you and yours! Be blessed my friend!

Shannon Milholland said...

I'm sure it sounds awful but I still laugh when I think of the show Seinfeld. All throughout my regular, everyday life I have Seinfeld moments where I wish someone where filming so I could document the hilarity of the event!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Not at all, Shannon! Great example! Seinfeld is a hilarious show with memorable characters. I also love those moments that bridge real life with sitcom humor! If only we could capture them on video ;-)