Here I want to emphasize that I don't want to make hay on the post; it's a fair overview of the Daredevil series from a character perspective and it is worth reading. I stayed far away from it when I first saw it, as I hadn't started the show until this week, but I read it all through just after writing my own post on Daredevil.
JB's comments helped cement my epiphany . . . particularly in reference to fan experiences with things like Star Wars or Indiana Jones. And just for fun, I want to throw in Mr. Plinkett's reviews, since they're relevant to my thinking of late (stumbled across them about two weeks ago).
I've realized why my perspective on these things is not, and never can be, the perspective of most readers.
I am not Luke. I was never Luke. When I saw the film in the theatre at 12, at no time and in no way did I remotely identify with the character. I was not excited at the idea of owning or swinging a light saber, I did not fantasize about owning the Millenium Falcon, I did not fall in love with Princess Leia and absolutely nothing about fighting for the rebel forces against the bad guys appealed to me.
Oh, at 12 I thought the film was pretty cool. I remember getting furious with the Oscars that year (yes, at 12) because those elite morons were too buttfuck stupid to realize that Star Wars was obviously the best movie released that year! My older sister and I got into a huge fight about it.
I have since changed my mind.
See, while everyone else - apparently - went on dreaming about the day that they would someday be Luke, I never did. So as I aged, I didn't retain any of that fantasy. When I saw the movie again years later, it was as an older, more experienced person, watching the film without ANY personal investment. I saw it as a film, nothing more. And since that time (when I was around 17), the film has been awful.
I would rather watch Annie Hall, the film that won that year. A film I also hate. The Goodbye Girl should have won.
But see, I don't identify with any of the characters in those films, either. I don't identify with characters. That is perhaps because I am hopelessly, psychotically different from everybody. Not in a good way. While I may be able to grasp the reader's point of view, it is practically a guarantee it won't be my point of view . . . for a wide variety of reasons. One being, I get nothing out of pretending to be someone else.
Perhaps that is part of the reason why players who 'pretend' to be specific characters annoy me so much. Up until recently, my first thought would be that they pretend so fucking badly. I mean, they are Mark Hamill acting, get it? Just imagine how bad Star Wars is for me, without being able to identify with Luke's dreams . . . all I have to enjoy is Hamill's acting ability. Cringe worthy in the extreme.
So, onto JB's post. Which I don't mean to disparage. It is fairly clear that JB is the sort who can identify with the characters. His descriptions of Daredevil and Wilson Fisk are infused with that relationship. This is not, not I repeat, a bad thing.
But it is extraordinarily telling where it comes to his description of the women in the show:
Rosario Dawson (as Claire Temple) and Deborah Ann Woll (as Karen Page) are good, though I wouldn't call them especial standouts. I mean, Dawson is talented and beautiful and does her "normal" level of work; I find it hard to distinguish Woll terribly from her very memorable role in HBO's True Blood. Both suffer a bit of the O-I'm-A-Damsel-In-Distress-But-Still-Show-Signs-Of-Being-A-Capable-Human-Being syndrome that we see a lot of in the Old Comics Rebooted category of television.
Whereas much of the description of the male characters is affected, above JB writes in cold, flat descriptive terms. The women do not arouse his receptivity . . . for a simple reason. Like virtually every appreciator of fictional content (both sexes included!!!!), he's not a member of the opposite gender. He does not want to be - and therefore he does not identify with their needs, their causes or their trials.
Here is where 99% of the film reviewing content on the web crashes and burns. It is virtually ALL based on a) what does the reviewer like; and b) what does the reviewer relate to.
We trash Hollywood for producing the same crappy four characters in every film (templates can be found in Gone with the Wind), but then the public goes limp when a character doesn't tag them emotionally. Filmmakers have no choice. The characters have to be liked. Otherwise the viewer will go elsewhere.
I am forever going elsewhere, however, since I don't want to be any of these people. Daredevil is a whiny infantile brat with a schizophrenic condition that lets him hospitalize people (often in ways that would leave them cripples for life) while chirping about his virtue (I don't kill people), immediately turning into a self-righteous prig the moment his friends act without his approval. Wilson Fisk is a pandering, weak-minded bully who turns into an infantile tantrum-having freak when he has to kowtow to people he has chosen to co-exist with, while somehow possessing all this ridiculous loyalty and respect from murderers and habitual criminals who are used to defying both reason and justice. Karen Page is a sprightly, cheerful collection of human sticks that would break in a stiff wind, who nevertheless rushes around the city in a sort of blind fearlessness mixed with SJW outrage that makes me wonder how she managed to get through high school in New York without acquiring a single facial scar. The only character I think I could have a beer with would be Foggy . . . but then I'd be so annoyed by his repeated joke of not saying what he actually believes that I would eventually be driven to giving him a facial scar. So yeah, maybe a beer once every other season.
I certainly don't identify with any of these characters. I don't fantasize about having incredible combat prowess that would let me bitchsmack 18 guys and yet walk away. My enjoyment is found in how the scene plays out effectively, in how the combat is staged, in how long someone has to hold the stupid ball in order to prevent the good guys from winning or how many scripts containing the next four future scenes are hidden by the actors under desks or behind conveniently placed lap-top screens.
On that level, the show is choking pretty bad. I got to Ep 9 and that ludicrous fight in the warehouse, followed by the ludicrous dive out the window and the ludicrous travelled distance between the warehouse and the Daredevil's roof and I'm taking a break before learning how much more ludicrously bad the show is going to get.
Yeah, I know. Not a D&D post. At least, not mostly. I'll just reiterate this point:
It takes a really, really good writer to impress me. It is incredibly hard for that writer to impress me for more than a few hours, especially if that writer is being forced to produce new material in a very short time.
I am not surrounded by players who are really, really good writers. And given the fortnightly presentation of my game, even a really, really good writer is going to choke on character development really, really quickly.
So don't. Just don't. People have to learn to recognize their limitations.