Quick Update and comments …

Bonus post!

So, last week I talked about “The Matrix” and talked about how I was going to watch and comment on the entire trilogy. That … didn’t work out. I watched the second movie — although I slept through a lot of it — and was going to make some comments on it (the short version: the quest for “The Architect” to explain the details of “The Matrix” was interesting, but the cliffhanger ending felt like they cut one movie in half instead of planning it as a cliffhanger ending) but then tried to watch the third movie … and couldn’t get through it. I switched to “Pretty Little Liars” instead. I could go back and finish watching it to comment on it, but I don’t feel like it. So I won’t.

I was also reading and re-reading all of my “Babylon 5” books, and intended to comment on all of them. I’m still going to comment on the trilogies — “Passing of the Technomages”, “Legions of Fire” and “Psi Corps” — but I started reading “Clark’s Law” and couldn’t stand it, and was not thrilled by “The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name” either when I started reading it, so I stopped, despite knowing that I liked “To Dream in the City of Sorrows”. I moved on to the “Heroes in Hell” books that I have.

I guess I just have no patience right now for things that I don’t want to read/watch.

Speaking of “Pretty Little Liars”, I think my favourite characters are Hanna and Spencer, despite generally preferring the more ordinary nice girl characters like Aria. This buttresses my claims that good protagonists need flaws. In a show like this, you definitely need the characters to have flaws that their opponent “A” can exploit, but it also allows for deeper characters and characterizations. Often, you can give them reasons for the flaws they have. You can also use those flaws as a contrast with the other aspects of their personalities making them more complex. Hanna, for example, can be pretty inconsiderate at times but also demonstrates that she really does care for others and tries her best to be there for them when they need her (and she’s aware of it and doesn’t consider it trivial and isn’t working through worse things), and Spencer is hypercompetent but also often very vulnerable inside.

The concept of the Mary Sue includes the idea that the character may have flaws, but those flaws aren’t meaningful. What this generally means is that the flaws exist to give them flaws to make them more relatable — or in an attempt to refute the idea that they’re perfect — but they don’t really inconvenience the character in any meaningful way. An example would be a character in an action that has a character trait of being clumsy, but it only arises when the clumsiness would be cute and never at all in combat. It’s only there to give them a cute flaw but not something that adds anything to their character. On the other hand, if the character is clumsy in combat as well it gives them something to overcome and can be used to provide a character arc where they fear that their clumsiness will cost them a battle and/or get some people killed, as well as being used to advance the plot. If you make a flaw meaningful, then it can add depth to the character and the plot itself. It can be argued, then, that failed flaws in a Mary Sue are an attempt to make the character deeper but since the character must be seen as being very impressive the flaws don’t have meaning and so fail to add depth.

Anyway, not going to take more about “The Matrix”, and moving on to other things.

One Response to “Quick Update and comments …”

  1. Thoughts on “The Passing of the Techno-Mages” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] After getting tired of the graphic novels, I decided to re-read my Babylon 5 books in general. As already noted, I got tired of the standalone novels, but of course enjoyed reading the trilogies again. But […]

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