Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flawed Characters

Why are we drawn to them?  You know the ones I mean.  

Don Draper from AMC’s Mad Men comes to mind.  Super hot, suave, and deeply flawed…but in all the right ways.  It’s hard to find anyone who hates him or isn’t at least captivated by how far down he can go.  Maybe it has something to do with just how good he looks in a suit.

Walter White from AMC’s Breaking Bad is another one.  Not so hot, but seriously screwed up.  It’s exquisite torment to watch his character slide ever further down that slippery slope from good to evil.  Pair him with Jesse, his counterpart and similarly flawed sidekick, and you have a storytelling masterpiece.

Quint from Jaws.  Crazy as a loon, tormented by his past.   Let’s face it:  He needs more than a bigger boat, if you know what I mean.

Iggy from Joe Hill’s novel Horns.  Poor guy woke up one day to find out he was turning, quite literally, into a devil, complete with horns sprouting from his head.  Talk about a bad day! 

I guess I’ve always been a fan of characters with deep personal flaws.  That’s what makes them interesting – on paper, at least.  On paper, they can be fixed, fiddled with, made good or bad with the flick of a pen or a liberally used Delete key.

Just don’t get me started with those flawed individuals we meet (and often date) in real life.  There’s only so much you can do with those characters.  :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Its more than the maternal urge to care for the tortured souls, more than a reflection of our own damaged self worth, its more primal than that. Its our facination with the flame, at once beautiful and mystical (whom hasn't stared deep into the white hot to see sprites and their like dance) and deadly. Like the flame, get too close to the "bad boy" and you will eventually get burned.