Diana’s note: This is a repost from my old blog from 2012. Since GoDaddy got rid of my old blog, I am reposting some blog posts I want readers to be able to access. Thank you.
BY GUEST BLOGGER ALICIA DEAN
Those compelling, unforgettable television characters. Is it the writing, the role, or the actor?
I have a confession to make. I’m a TV addict. It’s insane, since I work full-time, I’m an editor, an author, a contest coordinator, a critique partner, etc, etc. But…I watch a lot of television. There are certain shows in particular that I look forward to all week (or for the entire off-season, whichever the case may be), and that I think about long after the show is over.
In each, there is one character (these characters happen to be, purely by coincidence, really, really hot, sexy men) who keeps me coming back to the show time after time, who makes me wish, as a writer, I could capture that certain something they have so that it comes across on the page. But, my theory is that it’s only partially the writing and only partially the role/character the writer created. (As much as I love the written word, each of these television shows are based on books, and while the books are highly successful, the characters DID NOT make me swoon like they do when I watch the shows. Yes, I said ‘swoon’ <g>.
MOSTLY, it’s the casting…fitting the perfect actor into that role and letting them do their thing, as only they can do.
Case in point…
Although the author obviously did a phenomenal job of creating a serial killer we understand, admire, and even root for, I can’t imagine anyone other than Michael C. Hall in the role. He provides the perfect measure of everything that makes the character what he is…what we love: He’s emotionless, yet conflicted. He’s at war with, yet unable to control his Dark Passenger. Once in a while, we get a glimpse of the emotion we crave (although a part of us doesn’t really want to see it—because that’s not who Dexter is), whether it’s in the way he cares about his sister, or the way he reluctantly plunges a knife into the heart of someone who needs killing, even though Dexter kind of hates to do it.
Ah, Raylan Givens. Out of all my examples, he’s the only one who’s through and through truly a ‘good’ guy, even though he makes mistakes, gets his a$$ kicked at times, and once in a while makes bad decisions. He’s a laid back, tough, sexy, U.S. Marshal with a trademark cowboy hat, a squinty, ‘almost’ smile and some unforgettable lines that are delivered in his smooth Kentucky drawl. They’re not cheesy, ‘over the top’ lines…they’re cool and sexy, just like Raylan. Timothy Olyphant seems to have been made for that role. He makes you believe he IS Raylan Givens.
Although it’s rather cliché, Eric Northman moves like a jungle cat. His swagger, his smoldering expression, his smooth yet raspy voice, and those hypnotic eyes that draw you in, mesmerize you, are all rolled into this big hunk of blonde and gorgeous. Alexander Skarsgard gives the role just the right mix of bad boy and sexy. No one could do it quite like he does. Understandably, Fang Bangers, (if you don’t watch the show, they’re basically vampire groupies), throw themselves at him. Somehow, when it’s Eric Northman doing the biting, getting attacked by a vampire doesn’t seem all that unpleasant.
Damon Salvatore. Wow. I mean, just…wow. His crystal blue eyes captivate, compel you so that you can’t turn away. Ian Somerhalder plays the bad boy vampire to perfection. Even when Damon is snapping necks and literally ripping hearts from chests, he’s still sexy. (Or maybe that’s just me <g>. Whether he’s getting the s#*t beat out of him, or he’s delivering pain to someone else, or during one of those tender moments, when his perfectly sculpted face reveals every emotion he feels, (even the ones he reluctantly feels, because allowing yourself to feel is too human and painful), he does it all with an overload of sex appeal. Although the writing for the show is spectacular, no one except Ian could deliver those lines with quite the same panache. He has this combination of danger and charisma that is totally irresistible.
Just as I expected, I didn’t do any of these characters justice in my description. Seeing is believing, and in order to really ‘get’ what I mean, you’ll just have to watch.
So…what do you think? What are your favorite shows and characters and could you see anyone else playing those roles?
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She writes paranormal and romantic suspense and is the author of five published novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories, all through various venues–The Wild Rose Press, Dorchester, and self-publishing. Her next release is a paranormal romance, Soul Seducer, coming out June 4, 2012 as part of Adams Media’s Crimson Romance launch. For more info and to keep up with her releases, please visit her WEBSITE.