Times have changed. So has Television. Get on the bandwagon.
Written by Parichehr Esmaeilpour
We all want characters we can relate to, that’s why the idea of the empty shell is so pervasive in entertainment. This term refers to a main character who is a blank canvas of personality, with no traits being too strong to distinguish them too much from any given viewer so the audience can attribute their own traits to the character and enjoy the relatability. This is why franchises like Harry Potter work so well. Harry’s two best friends, Ron and Hermione, are endlessly interesting, so we put ourself in Harry’s shoes to imagine spending time with these fascinating characters.
Neutrality has its limits, though. In order for a character to be relatable they have to at least share motivations with the audience. Take a look at one of the most famous teen films for example. In Mean Girls (2004), the main character is an underdog who is motivated to bring down the mean girl. Throughout the chaos that ensues, however, it becomes clear that the underlying motivation may all along have been popularity. Cady may have only enlisted in the hero’s journey for the love of a boy the mean girl in charge, Regina George, was dating.
— To be continued in our January 2020 issue of Cut Frame Magazine. —
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