Tele-Tuesday: Television Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course – Part 2

Does anyone ever watch a television program and think to themselves, “Someone really needs to slap that character!”?  Wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t still love them, but that they need a reality check.  Also, wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we should slap them – this is all figurative of course, not literal.

Many characters on TV today find themselves worthy of a slap, at least in our opinion here at The Ooo Factor.  Some of these characters portray leading roles on some of our very favorite television programs, but we still find ourselves wishing we could jolt them back to reality at times.

Maybe they’re a bit overzealous; maybe they’re a bit narcissistic; maybe they’re a bit dense; or maybe they’re just a bit clueless — regardless, playing a fun game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

Last week we named our first five television characters worthy of a figurative slap.  So who else does Tele-Tuesday believe is worthy of a figurative slap?

*****

6.  Dr. Gregory House – House

Dr. House is about as narcissistic as they come… He’s always right; always.  Even when he’s wrong, does he admit it?  Never.  He’ll stop at nothing to prove his point and humiliate those around him, those who for whatever reason devote themselves to him.  He’s outright mean, callous, vindictive, and ultimately misanthropic; but he’s the best at what he does — head diagnostician at a fictional and prestigious hospital. He has already chased one Dean of Medicine away, and she literally loved him, and now he’s working on number two.  His best friend and his team of rotating doctors understand him like no other and constantly try to break through the barriers known as House, but due to the impossibility, it’s more like a game now – House versus everyone else.

7.  Serena van der Woodson – Gossip Girl

Talk about Little Miss Entitled.  Many may not like the scheming and evil games played by Serena’s best friend, but we personally don’t mind Blair’s tricks here at Tele-Tuesday.  We do, however, mind the constant whining of Serena.  We actually find ourselves rooting against her when it comes to love.  We love that her supposed one true love is now with Blair; Serena deserves that.  After all, she slept with Blair’s boyfriend before she skipped town to go to boarding school.  While at boarding school, she fell in love with a teacher (which ultimately sent him away to jail for statutory rape or something like that).  Since she’s returned to the Upper East Side, Serena is constantly sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and blowing up carefully laid plans by those who actually know how to play the New York socialite game.  And now she’s literally the infamous “Gossip Girl” — what will she blow up next?

8.  Dickie Bennett – Justified

And if we’re talking about Little Miss Entitled, we should probably talk about her counterpart — Little Mr. Entitled.  But where Serena rules New York’s Upper East Side, Dickie believes he rules Harlan County, Kentucky.  Seriously, we all know Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder run Harlan County — Raylan on the right side of the law, Boyd on the not-so-right-side of the law.  And we love them both, right?  But Dickie?  Dickie’s got nothing, yet thinks because his Mamma knew how to run an evil drug empire that he’s entitled and completely trained and worthy of the same power.  He’s not.  He’s just a weasel that needs the living daylights beat out of him, not just a slap.  Maybe Raylan can take a bat to his other knee to even out his limp?  Or maybe Boyd can shoot him in the chest with a shotgun to even the playing field for Dickie’s shot on Ava?  Either way, someone take this Bennett down…

9.  Shawn Spencer – Psych

Shawn may be the most overzealous character on our list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still love him (unlike Serena and Dickie).  However, it does mean we’d like to slap him around from time to time.  In his role of playing a psychic detective for the Santa Barbara police, Shawn must put on somewhat of a show, a dramatization, when working a case — like putting his fingers to his head, pretending he’s encountering a psychic vision; or his pretending to see psychic visions instead of admitting he is only using his keen sense of observation to point out something the “real” detectives haven’t yet noticed; or his acting out over-the-top actions, pretending his psychic visions have taken a hold of his physical being.  But there are also times when Shawn’s antics take it a bit too far.  Shawn has toned it down a bit over the past few years; but when we catch episodes of the earlier seasons, we find ourselves wishing Gus would reach out and slap the silly right out of Shawn.

10.  Nancy Botwin – Weeds

Nancy does what she needs to do in order to provide for her sons since her husband’s sudden death – she sells weed.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.  Because of Nancy’s choices, her family is constantly running, constantly trying to escape her bad decisions.  But somewhere along the line, Nancy believes that she is the only one in her family capable of making decisions; she always reminds everyone that she’s the “boss” — boss of the family; boss of the weed-selling business; boss of everything.  It’s time to see someone in her family slap some sense into her; the sooner one of the boys stands up to her, the sooner the Botwin family may be able to stop running.

*****

That’s our top ten, again in no particular order other than alphabetized by television show.  Adding to our list, we had some great slap-worthy character suggestions by our Ooo Factor readers last week:

Lori Grimes from The Walking Dead
Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami
Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle
Stefen Salvatore from The Vampire Dairies
Sookie Stackhouse from True  Blood

Who should we add to this list? 

And remember, we’re not condemning these characters — obviously we watch each and every one of these shows, and these characters hold a special place in our hearts for one reason or another.  But don’t we all want to slap even those that we love the most every once in a while, figuratively of course?

That’s what we thought…

Do you agree with our choices?  Which character/s on television do you wish you could slap, figuratively of course?  Does an annoying character stop you from watching a TV series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday #6 – Only on Cable…and Netflix!

 

Over the years, HBO has reigned supreme with some of the best series and mini-series available on television.  Who hasn’t watched, or at least heard buzz about, Oz (1997-2003), Sex and the City (1998-2004, plus two motion pictures in 2008 & 2010), The Sopranos (1999-2007), Six Feet Under (2001-2005), Band of Brothers (2001), and Deadwood (2004-2006)?

HBO’s programs have launched powerful and everlasting characters such as Carrie Bradshaw, Tony Soprano, and Al Swearengen.  These successful shows have also helped popular actors land hot new roles such as Christopher Meloni in Law & Order: SVU, Timothy Olyphant in Justified, and Michael Imperioli in Detroit 187.

In 2008, HBO aired its own take on the ever-growing, ever-popular supernatural drama, True Blood.

True Blood – Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, True Blood focuses on the lives of the supernatural and the regular people in fictional Bon Temps, LA.

The series follows the love story between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and all of the consequences of such a love.  The show oozes sexuality with characters like Vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), and holds nothing back with the sultry sex scenes.  True Blood isn’t for the faint of heart; the show doesn’t hide behind the sensors, ensuring blood and gore in most of the episodes.

Season 1 followed the upturned lives of Bon Temps while a serial killer murdered many, including Sookie’s beloved grandmother.  The audience also meets the local folk of Bon Temps, who tend to be just a bit odd: Sookie’s confidant, and boss, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) shape shifts into a friendly dog; Sookie’s brother, Jason, becomes addicted to V (drinking vamp blood), and is the main suspect in the murders around town; and Sookie’s best friend, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), while human, is all sorts of a mess.

Season 2 introduced a maenad, who manipulates Sookie’s closest friends hoping to gain control of the small town, and sacrifices many along the way.  Season 2 also builds more in the storyline for Vampire Eric, including his maker’s demise.  The second season also follows Jason as he learns to battle vamps at the Fellowship of the Sun church, and introduces the vampire queen of Louisiana: Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Cook).

Season 3 added the werewolf, more specifically Alcide (Joe Manganiello), another of Sookie’s protectors.  What a lucky girl! First Shape-Shifter Sam, then Vampire Bill, and Vampire Eric, now Werewolf Alcide: four hot men protecting little ol’ Sookie.  We also meet the evil vampire king of Mississippi: Russell Edgington.  Oh yea, and Sookie is revealed as a fairy, in addition to her telepathic abilities.  What will happen in Season 4?

 

Showtime joined the party launching successful programming of its own in 2000 with Queer as Folk (2000-2005), and has held its own in the series & miniseries world since with The L Word (2004-2009), Weeds (2005-present), Dexter (2006-present), The Tudors (2007-2010), Californication (2007-present), and new hits such as Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, and Shameless.

Let’s start with two of the best 30-minute dramadies on television: Weeds and Californication.

Weeds – Over the past six seasons, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) has done what she needed to do in order to provide for her young sons (Silas, played by Hunter Parish; and Shane, played by Alexander Gould) after her husband, Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), passes away suddenly – she sells weed.

The surprise visit of Judah’s brother, Andy (Justin Kirk), rocks Nancy’s world even more and her life spirals even further out of control.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men along the way:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.

In Season 5, Nancy’s life is saved by the birth of her third son, Stevie Reyes; but, the lives of her family will never be the same.  So, what does the Botwin family do?  They flee, assume false identities, and return to the world of selling hash only to come face to face with Esteban, who has been diligently searching for his son, and his goons in the season finale.  Season 7 returns June 27th – what crazy antics are in store for Nancy, Andy, Silas, Shane, and Stevie?

Californication – Hank Moody (David Duchovny) has never met a drug or a woman that he doesn’t love.  Pair that with his recurring writer’s block, and Hank’s life is a disaster just waiting to happen.

The show starts after Hank, and his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone) move with their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin) from New York to Los Angeles.  Joining the Moody clan, is Hanks’ agent/BFF, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), a waxing professional to the stars.

Hank’s successful novel was adapted into a screenplay much to his dismay, and feeling down-n-out, he picks up a hot Mia (Madeline Zima) in a local LA bookstore and beds her.  That is, after all, what Hank Moody does – he beds beautiful women with his alluring charm.  During sex, Mia punches Hank; not long after “the punch”, Hank discovers that Mia is the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new fiancé. And, there you have the setting for all five seasons thus far.

Californication is pure brilliance, but raunchy.  In Season 2, Hank is hired to write the biography of a rock star – just want Hank needs, an invitation to party like a rock star! In Season 3, Hank is hired as a college professor – that’s definitely a disaster waiting to happen! One of my favorite laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-face, scenes aired in Season 4 with the entire cast of characters sitting around Stu’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) dinner table.  Another unforgettable scene was early in Season 1…let’s just say it involved Hank and Charlie in bed, with a “shooter”.  Watch with caution….but be prepared to laugh and cry!

Dexter – Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) = member of the Miami Police Department by day (specializing in blood spatter), and vigilante/serial killer by night.  Dexter only murders other killers; that’s ok, right?

Dexter’s ties to his family (foster-sister, Debra; wife, Rita; stepchildren, Astor and Cody; and son, Harrison) force him to doubt his secret life, but he continues to kill, wrap the bodies tightly, and dispose of them at sea from his boat, “Slice of Life”.   Each season, Dexter faces a nemesis: “The Ice Truck Killer” (S1); “The Bay Harbor Butcher” (S2) — Oh wait, that’s Dexter! – so, let’s say his rival in Season 2 is Sergeant James Doakes; “The Skinner” (S3); “Trinity Killer” played by the fabulous John Lithgow (S4); and the “Santa Muerte Killer” (S5).

What demon will Dexter battle next? And what horrific murderer will Dexter permanently remove from Miami?  Will anyone catch Dexter?  Rumor mills report that Season 6 will be air sometime in 2011…

What’s your favorite movie-channel series of all time? Least favorite?  Which is better: HBO of old, or Showtime of new? Who’s your favorite HBO/Showtime series character?  Least favorite? I’d love to hear from you!

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