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February 26, 2024, 12:05:57 PM

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Comedy Characters You Dislike irrationally

Started by Tony Tony Tony, January 27, 2024, 10:55:28 AM

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Russ L

Quote from: Utter Shit on January 28, 2024, 08:21:00 PMI think the difference is the tone of the show makes you feel you're supposed to like these characters despite their flaws.

I think this is the important thing - it's the problem with trying to make a character a bit annoying but ultimately loveable.  There's a risk of them simply being annoying.  "Parks And Recreation" has been mentioned a lot in this thread but I found that with both Tom and Craig.

I hate Jerry Mouse too.

Everyone in Fountain Friends was annoying to me, they just all seemed incredibly pleased with themselves even when performing insecurity.

Twilkes

Quote from: Russ L on January 29, 2024, 06:29:18 AMI think this is the important thing - it's the problem with trying to make a character a bit annoying but ultimately loveable.  There's a risk of them simply being annoying.  "Parks And Recreation" has been mentioned a lot in this thread but I found that with both Tom and Craig.

I hate Jerry Mouse too.

Everyone in Fountain Friends was annoying to me, they just all seemed incredibly pleased with themselves even when performing insecurity.

More pleased with themselves than Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond? Bologna-faced punchmonkey.

Gulftastic

Quote from: Twilkes on January 29, 2024, 07:20:29 AMMore pleased with themselves than Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond? Bologna-faced punchmonkey.

With you on that. I enjoy King Of Queens but if it's an episode where Ray is guest starring, off it goes.

BritishHobo

April in Parks and Rec is a great shout. It works when she's a teenager, the intern who's trying too hard to seem tough and cynical. In the later seasons when she's still like that as an adult, you just think "this is pathetic mate, grow up". I like Gina in Brooklyn 99, but my partner can't stand her, and I do find it baffling the way that the very nice, uplifting, life-affirming US sitcoms always need to have one character who goes around being genuinely horrible to the rest of them, but is still treated like a key part of the gang. It's a weird nod towards Seinfeld/Always Sunny cruelty that undermines the type of show they're actually doing.

I have found my view of the friends from Friends has flipped. I rewatched it last year and Chandler, who used to be my favourite, is fucking unbearable. If you're so knowing and self-aware about your emotional issues then why don't you have a stab at working on them, you glib cunt? It struck me that Janice was actually a really lovely person who was completely perfect for him and would have made him a better person - and the show has it arse-backwards treating her like she's the obnoxious one just 'cos of her laugh.

Monica is also horrible. She goes from being the cool grownup of the group to being a horrible obsessive monster who just treats the rest of the group like shit on her shoe, including Chandler (although he deserves it). Flanderisation ruins lives. Funnily enough I still enjoy Ross, because he's so mad and heightened, and Schwimmer does such a great performance, that he remains funny. It's just that, like April and Gina, he belongs on a different show. It's mental, the idea that it's a very romantic ending to have him and Rachel reunite. I give that thirty seconds, until a man in the airport glances at Rachel, so Ross burns the airport down.

dissolute ocelot

Gina in Brooklyn 99 is pretty much the canonical example of a character who's awful but the writers seem to love and are determined that we should all love. Things like the episode where she left and we're supposed to be sad were near-unendurable. The show does have various creepy/horrible characters who're more or less intentionally that way (Scully, Boyle, even Rosa is not very nice although for understandable reasons; hell if you tell me you hate Andy Samberg, I 100% understand) that it's extra weird that the most horrible character is accidental.

Speaking of Brooklyn 99 kinda, I have a weird repulsive reaction to Jason Mantzoukas, although more in The Good Place where he's unimaginably horrible.

I've a lot of tolerance for Friends, but there were definitely so many problems in later series (not sure where the idea that Monica was much too good for Chandler came from). More weirdly/controversially, I really never liked Paul Rudd's character as the love-interest for Phoebe. I like Rudd in a lot of things but he just seemed off, like the asshole hunky student in a teen movie playing a trick on the weird girl; maybe he was just too straight for her. Hank Azaria's character was cringy too, but that seems to be his thing.

And all kids in everything.

Duffy and Joe from Early Doors. I had to abandon a recent rewatch because I just couldn't stand them. The coppers are cunts, they're meant to be, fucking arsehole plod, but I found Duffy in particular a cheating, vile piece of shit. And Joe is complicit by being his mate. But we're meant to be all "oh what are they like those cheeky wee boys". Also, Craig Cash as a performer is fucking nails on a blackboard to me. It's a shame because there are some lovely characters in ED (most of the rest of the cast basically).

Edit to add: it's possible Duffy may have got his comeuppance later, I didn't stick around to find out. But it did seem to me we were supposed to give him a little knuckle on the head and pinch his chubby little face before sending him off on another wife-cheating coke blizzard cunt rodeo.

dead-ced-dead

For those who want an antidote to Coffee Friends, Happy Endings may do the trick. Cut way too short, but unlike Friends, which wants you to like its cast of characters, Happy Endings is aware that they're narcissists.

On topic, I'll throw another vote for Gina in Brooklyn 99. She is very irritating.

Two Headed Sex Beast

Quote from: Icehaven on January 28, 2024, 04:20:02 PMUnearned confidence and extreme selfishness, which I suppose can work if you like or are indifferent to her but if you don't just amplifies her annoyingness.

It kind of worked for me when she was low status, but then she is rewarded for it and becomes high status, ruining the joke and making her completely annoying.

Jumblegraws

I honestly don't think I've ever met someone who rooted for Jerry over Tom, but I like it that way. Made it all the more satisfying the few times Tom got the better of Jerry.

dead-ced-dead

Same for the roadrunner. Wile Coyote just wants something to eat.

Icehaven

Quote from: Two Headed Sex Beast on January 29, 2024, 10:28:33 AMIt kind of worked for me when she was low status, but then she is rewarded for it and becomes high status, ruining the joke and making her completely annoying.

Yep even if they were trying to make a point about successful influencers being vacuous  and famous for nothing it gets a bit confused and lost when all the others treat her as if she actually is A Big Deal.

Mr Vegetables

I've read that the core difference between "lovable characters with flaws" and "complete shits you can't stand" is that you have to feel like you're on their side first— you will give a real or fictional person an enormous amount of leeway if you think they're on your team, but once you stop thinking that then the problems begin.

A lot of discourse about flawed characters marches past this point, I think, which is a shame as I think it is absolutely fundamental. It is possible to create flawed characters no one likes, and the alternative isn't creating a character with no flaws at all.

Shaxberd

Comedy is full of unlikeable twats whose side you wouldn't want to be on, but it doesn't matter if watching them try and fail is enjoyable. British comedy in particular has historically excelled at this, but there's some good US examples too (eg. It's Always Sunny, Arrested Development)

I'd say the important part is a touch of pathos. The best comedy bastards are ultimately always somewhat pathetic. Maybe that counts as 'on their side', if you find yourself seeing a touch of familiarity or sympathy in their failures.

However, a comedy bastard who isn't pathetic - who is successful and loved within the world of the show, or who never faces any comeuppance - that's unsatisfying.

Tony Tony Tony

Quote from: dead-ced-dead on January 29, 2024, 11:24:46 AMSame for the roadrunner. Wile Coyote just wants something to eat.

Then maybe he should order a KFC on Deliveroo?

He spends enough money with Acme to send the owner into space.

The Mollusk

That fuckin Bernie Sanders cunt in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Russ L

I think there might be a divergence emerging in this between "characters who act like a tosser" and "characters who get on your nerves".  A doesn't necessarily lead to B.

dissolute ocelot

I feel guilty about hating Emma Chambers' character in the Vicar of Dibley now she's dead, but she wasn't even a tosser or at all nasty, she was just really annoying in her voice and mannerisms.

Lapsedcat


Poobum

The son from Mum. Despised him. Selfish, self centered, and dim in a way I never found charming or funny. Total X-Pac heat.

Glebe

Nothing against Patricia Routledge but I find Hyacinth annoying. There. I said it.

neveragain

Quote from: Poobum on January 29, 2024, 09:23:50 PMThe son from Mum. Despised him. Selfish, self centered, and dim in a way I never found charming or funny. Total X-Pac heat.

Got to be intentional. His dimness is never in doubt and he's horrible to Peter Mullan.

LordMorgan

Look, I just cannot stand Daphne's mother in frasier
Gertrude. Genuinely awful and ruins. Yes that's right RUINS episodes
Cunt

beanheadmcginty


ros vulgaris

Quote from: Glebe on January 30, 2024, 10:44:00 AMNothing against Patricia Routledge but I find Hyacinth annoying. There. I said it.

It's a problem with the writing rather than with Routledge, it's difficult to progress her when everyone around her is so docile.

Her 'Kitty' character in Victoria Wood's sketches is far funnier.


oggyraiding

Is Angus in The Thick Of It meant to be such a shit character? The former Daily Mail guy turned Lib Dem advisor is meant to be a cunt, I know that. Even total pricks like Peter and Stewart have some level of likeability. Angus could have been an interesting character, a man who sacrificed his convictions for a sniff of power, but it's handled so poorly.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: oggyraiding on February 01, 2024, 08:48:29 PMIs Angus in The Thick Of It meant to be such a shit character? The former Daily Mail guy turned Lib Dem advisor is meant to be a cunt, I know that. Even total pricks like Peter and Stewart have some level of likeability. Angus could have been an interesting character, a man who sacrificed his convictions for a sniff of power, but it's handled so poorly.

Don't mean to be a dick but I can't remember an Angus or find mention of them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Thick_of_It_characters

And they've got unseen characters like 'Mr Tickle' and 'Fat Pat'.

oggyraiding

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on February 01, 2024, 08:55:50 PMDon't mean to be a dick but I can't remember an Angus or find mention of them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Thick_of_It_characters

And they've got unseen characters like 'Mr Tickle' and 'Fat Pat'.

I meant Fergus. Such a bad character I can't even get the name right.

Sebastian Cobb

Oh yeah he's shit and nothingy. Will Smith did the Tory version better.

evilcommiedictator

Anything Kristen Schaal is in, sure, she's kooky, but all her characters are shite