holdouttrout: (blue_saturn)
[personal profile] holdouttrout
Yesterday I was convinced I should have studied computer science and today I think I should be a professor of fandom.

My workplace recently had to replace many of our computers, and since we have proprietary software, we needed to re-format the hard drives and re-install Windows on them before sending them to lovely new homes. This task fell to me, as the resident computer guru. I actually really love doing this kind of thing, especially since I *thought* it would be a pretty easy task. Well, to be fair, it WAS easy to reformat and then re-install Windows. I just hadn't realized that each computer would need me to babysit and install a ton of drivers, too. My experience in that regard has been fairly limited. Anyway, I figured that out on Friday, and managed to bumble my way through online documentation, forums, and driver discs to end up with machines that connect to the internet, install updates, and even make noise!

As I was finishing up one of said machines, I thought that I really should have been a CS major, because I love the feeling of fighting my way through ignorance and making a computer work. I actually had a moment when I thought that I probably sold myself short when I was in college--I kept thinking I should take a CS class and never did.

Le sigh.

Anyway, today I was thinking about Sam and Jack and Laira, as one does (if one reads thoughts by Sharon on 100 Days). She made the astute observation that if Jack showed up on *her* planet, she'd totally try to sleep with him, so she really couldn't be mad at Laira. That led me to laugh and then think that she was totally right, and at least one big reason that some of us Sam/Jack diehards don't like Laira is because we have already identified Sam as our proxy*. And then I thought that it would be totally cool to study how the audience identifies with characters based on the longevity of their roles on a show. (My hypothesis is that the longer a character is on a show, the more the audience identifies with them, and that the audience rarely even sympathizes with a guest star.)

That whole train of thought made me think I really should have gone for Fandom Studies. :-)

*I'm not saying we (read: I) don't like Sam in her own right, btw. Or that I don't like Laira, because I think she's actually a pretty good character and it's totally understandable that Jack likes her... but I also kinda hate that she exists.**

**I don't feel at all the same way about Pete. I quite like him. Huh. What in the world does this say about me?***

***Probably that I belong in the Sam/Jack rabid shipper camp after all. Even if I do know where the sekret OT3 passage is.

Date: 2013-08-21 08:37 pm (UTC)
ext_3314: Woman writing (Thinky)
From: [identity profile] pepper-field.livejournal.com
My hypothesis is that the longer a character is on a show, the more the audience identifies with them, and that the audience rarely even sympathizes with a guest star.

Hmm. I can think of a number of examples where this isn't true for me. It tends to be the better actors, the ones who are just in a lot of stuff and know how to come in and be interesting from cold (the ones from the Vancouver Acting Pool, or the 37 British actors you see in everything the UK ever produces). And some characters I warmed to within moments, no matter how long they ultimately were around - and some I never warmed to, even though they were around forever.

I mean, in general, I see the sense there. I discover love for characters when there's good fanfic that gives me a new perspective on them, or when they're around long enough that I have to find some way of rationalising why I'm still having to watch them. :) And I'm probably able to think of the exceptions BECAUSE they were exceptions, i.e. they stuck in my minds as 'that one I really loved who was only in the one ep', whereas there are actually dozens and dozens of other ones-who-were-only-in-one-ep that never pinged for me at all. Hm.

Hm.... *pondering*

You should explain more about your hypothesis!

Date: 2013-08-21 11:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (Default)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Yeah. For me, at least, there's a difference between a Laira-level character and a main character. Some of the people in that kind of role I've warmed to quickly and liked them, or have otherwise made an impression... but I don't (usually!) want them to become main characters, and I don't necessarily feel bad if they die at the end of the episode (or at least, I don't feel TOO bad). I think that's partly because they ARE a one-shot character, or maybe a recurring character. I don't value their happiness above the happiness of a main character--it's not a visceral.

Or maybe it's me who is weird--I don't usually recognize the background characters like a lot of fandom does. It took me a while to even remember who this Siler guy was--and I think I did that partly in self-defense because fandom knew who he was and talked about him a lot. In Merlin I still couldn't tell you the majority of the other knights' names. Guest stars are actually often MORE memorable than these kinds of characters to me.

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