Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ten Characters in Search of a Psychiatrist

I wasn’t sure what I’d be blogging about next, but I knew I’d have some time to get into it this afternoon, now that all my pages are shipped and I have only to wait for them to come back in proof. And then I discover I’ve been tagged by Ami in the Ten Character meme. Fair enough -- I had a feeling I’d be tagged eventually, and had resisted reading too far into the relevant posts because i wanted to approach my group of characters fresh. But enough dilly-dallying—onward to the (enormous freaking) meme! (Rules are in bold, by the way.)

First, select your ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best. Then answer the questions below.

1. Darryl Zero, The Zero Effect, movie
2. Yossarian, Catch-22, novel
3. Barney Gumble, The Simpsons, TV
4. Kilroy, Styx’s Kilroy Was Here, rock opera
5. Dr. Girlfriend, The Venture Bros., TV
6. Mr. Peanut, Planters mascot, advertising
7. Noah, The Bible
8. Coach Ernie Pantuso, Cheers, TV
9. Amanda Waller, Suicide Squad, comics
10. Samuel L. Jackson, Snakes on a Plane, movie*

*I just looked on IMDB and discovered his character’s name was Neville Flynn. WTF? There’s not a chance I’ll call him that, and not a chance you’d know who I was talking about if I did. (Like more than two of you know who Darryl Zero is—but moving on...)

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Team A:
Darryl Zero, Barney, Dr. Girlfriend, Noah, and Amanda Waller.
Team B:
Yossarian, Kilroy, Mr. Peanut, Coach, and Samuel L. Jackson.

For Team A, Waller is the leader, with Darryl Zero as the smart guy. Noah is the lancer, because he knows how to follow orders and he can Get Things Done. Barney is the big guy, and Dr. Girlfriend is the chick. With a pipefitter’s voice.

On Team B, we’ve got Samuel L. Jackson as the leader, because he knows how to get the snakes off the motherfucking plane. Kilroy is the lancer, and Coach is the big guy (well, he’s obviously not the smart guy -- we’ll leave that to Mr. Peanut). Yossarian is the chick.

Do I really have to say that Team A can whup Team B any day of the week?

2. Gender-swap 2, 8 & 10. Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

Three males to females: Yossarian, Coach, and Samuel L. Jackson. Coach’s story changes the most. If anything, Yossarian would have to face even more bureaucracy than before, and SLJ can kick ass in any gender. But a female major-league baseball coach in the 70’s? There’s a story there. Especially since, of all the wonderful things Coach is, she’s not the brightest bulb in the woodshed. (Yes, I know.) So how’d she get the gig?

3. Compare the matchups of 1 & 8 and 5 & 9. (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal’s home culture?

Darryl Zero & Coach, or Dr. Girlfriend and Amanda Waller? Zero and Coach couldn’t even UNDERSTAND each other, let alone be compatible. Zero is 99% intellect, frustrated by stunted emotion. Coach is exactly the opposite -- all heart, no brains. They both need a trip to Oz.

As for Girlfriend and Waller -- they’d make a fine couple. Girlfriend goes for plotters, and she’d find her dream date in Waller -- she’s actually competent! Waller, on the other hand, likes to be in control of everything, but I bet would like it even more that Dr. G wouldn’t let her be. Yeah, they’d be good together.

4. Your team is 3, 4 & 9. The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Barney, Kilroy and Amanda.

Waller gets the intellectual challenge, and she defeats it with guile and guts. Kilroy can convincingly imitate a robot, so he’s obviously not a social guy. Let’s give him the physical challenge. I’ll give Barney the social challenge, since as a boozehound he’s full of the social lubricant.

5. 7 becomes 1’s boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How’s their working relationship?

Okay, paranoid detective Darryl Zero works for Noah for a week. Zero, his own boss, doesn not take orders well. By week’s end, Noah has either caged him with the rhesus monkeys or has mistaken him for God.

6. 2 finds him/her/itself inserted into 6’s continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they’ve always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6’s story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

Ah, the vast Mr. Peanut mythos. What will Yossarian do? I imagine Yossarian annoys and circumvents mascot after mascot up the food chain, from Mr. Bubble to the Coppertone girl, until he finally comes face to face with the monacled manipulator who has been salting everything in sight.

Seriously, I think my head just exploded.

7. 3 and 5 get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

Barney and Dr. Girfriend get three wishes.

Dr. G. lets Barney wish for an endless supply of Duff beer right off the bat, figuring he’ll be out of the picture and she’ll get two unimpeded wishes out of the deal. Problem is, now that she’s got them, she doesn’t know what to wish for. She doesn’t want to be an arch-villain, because she’s seen enough to know that game is for chumps. Just the same, she wouldn’t throw in with Dr. venture and his crew. And while she’s hemming and hawing, Barney wishes for two more endless supplies of beer. Things never work out for Dr. Girlfriend.

8. 1 and 2 are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4. They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 survive? How?

Darryl Zero and Yossarian team up to kill Kilroy? It takes less than a minute for Zero to find Kilroy in a Roboto unit. (If only he'd stop shouting "I'm Kilroy! Kilroy!") Wherepon, Yossarian brings up a question about how to kill him, leading Zero to a logical impasse. Wherepon Killroy takes the opportunity to escape. Wherepon Zero finds him. And so on, ad infinitum.

9. 6, 7, 9 & 10 must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

Mr. Peanut, Noah, Waller and SLJ, helping an orphanage at Christmas. First off, Jackson burns the place to the ground to torch any snakes in stockings (and roasting Mr. Peanut in the process. I’m getting hungry). Amanda Waller convinces Noah to play Santa, while she checks the orphanages secret files (in a fireproof safe, I guess) for any secret information she can use or withhold at a later date.

10. 3 and 8 are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

Barney and Coach circumnavigate the Earth? They couldn’t successfully circumnavigate a grapefruit.


And that’s it: My long-ass post of the day. I’ll tag Drew or Sharon, Jim the Bastard, Jeri, Greg and KTBuffy. No obligation, guys. Frankly, I’d be surprised if you even got this far.



Ami Angelwings said...

You rly are weird! XD

But then I've seen ppl choose characters from songs, real ppl (Judge Judy) or even themselves.

Neways :D You'd be surprised how interested ppl are to do this meme! :D It's spreading like crazy ^^

Thx to me >.>

Jayananda said...

Ok, didn't make it thru the whole meme, but had to let you know that I'm one of the two people who know who Darryl Zero is. (And love him. Why didn't they make a sequel?)

Rob S. said...

Oh, I'm an odd duck, all right. This stuff barely scratches the surface.

Actually, it was seeing a piece of an ep of Cheers yesterday morning that made me think "I want to see Coach on a team" and made me enthusiastic about this meme. And then I went online and found myself tagged!

JYD said...

"Ah, the vast Mr. Peanut mythos. What will Yossarian do? I imagine Yossarian annoys and circumvents mascot after mascot up the food chain, from Mr. Bubble to the Coppertone girl, until he finally comes face to face with the monacled manipulator who has been salting everything in sight.

Seriously, I think my head just exploded."

I laughed so much that you made cheap lager come out of my nose! This meme thing is brilliant!