Day Eight: Least Favourite Character
This was always going to controversial because disliking a character others love is not easy. I've picked two - but I hope to give sound reasons for choosing them.
For those who know me well, these choices will come as no surprise - I've often voiced my opinions on them. I've taken this opportunity to clarify a few things (mostly for myself).
Disclaimer: We can still be friends if we disagree on this!!!
I have always
struggled with Crowley as a character. I think a lot has to do with the way he was introduced and the way he played Dean (and, my reading of it, the way he made Dean look incompetent - which always gets my back up). I like Crowley best when he's being sneaky and clever, but more and more he's been played as a thug. I get that that could be exactly why
he's the King of Hell (and why some demons go behind his back), but the characterisation annoys me much of the time. Mark Sheppard is essentially Mark Sheppard (having seen other performances of his) and it's a little disappointing that he hasn't been really stretched.
Having said that though, I think his performance in Sacrifice was excellent and I might actually start liking this character in Season 9. It depends how it pans out, but a little more light and shade and a lot less thuggery could be interesting to see (and Mark can . The biggest problem I have is - why the hell doesn't he just kill Sam and Dean?! They are a constant thorn in his side and I get incredibly frustrated when, with a flick of his wrist, he could just kill them off. Of course he can't, but I want reasons
(from the show!) why he doesn't. Personally I think he likes the Winchesters and, underneath it all, has respect for them. I'd love to see more of that played out in the future (I think they've touched on that and I suppose that will have to be enough for me).
And as much as I know this will upset some I do have to admit to Castiel being one of my least favourite characters.
I have two reasons. One (rather big) reason, is that the character represents a rather nasty divide that has appeared in fandom since his arrival. He has become so divisive that I find him hard to enjoy any more. This is no ones fault of course - it's just the way it is. I don't want to get into that
discussion as it's absolutely fraught we controversy - but the fact that there is so much nastiness and fans being pitted against each other in polls etc it makes me sometimes wish that a) he never arrived and b) they'd kill him off once and for all. (Which of course would cause even MORE division so I don't actually want that to happen). I would rather fans just accept that it's ok to love Cas or love Dean/Cas or Sam/Dean and get over themselves. Instead it's become a battlefield, which sometimes takes the shine off of fandom.
The second reason is more character based. I loved Castiel's arrival. I thought it was powerful and it was great television. I really enjoyed BAMF!Cas and even didn't mind him becoming an angel who questioned his father (lovely mirroring of Sam and John and also Dean and John). I love the notion of Team Free Will and I even don't mind the occasional moment when Cas was there to lighten things up a bit (drinking a whole bottle shop and the comment when he was on the cell phone for example).
But then it got decidedly messy. He became a character that was hard to pin down - he was either weak willed, crazy, loopy, stupid or a a megalomanic. I get that all those variations were part of his character and necessary for the story telling but because of that I've never been able to connect with him. I essentially don't understand
this character. I also feel very little sympathy toward him. I suppose that's very personal but I also suspect it's part of his character development - he, like Sam and Dean, have flaws and they are being worked through during the series.
I think I just want to see Cas actually be a good friend
to Dean (much the way Benny was). We are always told
about this epic friendship but rarely see it in action. And staring at each other doesn't count as friendship to me. I think there might still be some wariness between them, as Cas has been hard to trust, so that might count for that distance between them. I don't know. I admit to finding it really hard these days to watch any scenes with Dean and Cas in it without thinking about fan service. I know that's not fair!! I know it's not - but that's the truth of the matter. I don't want it to be like that and I actively work hard to get passed it because as much as I think the writers do have fans in mind, I think they also write stories without shipping issues in their heads.
I also get annoyed when they use Cas as comic relief when it's not necessary. At times it fits - but when it just makes him look stupid (hello ancient angel here - with some world knowledge!) it makes me cross. He would know what a god damn egg is for example. (ouch...still a sore topic it seems....)
Having said ALL THAT..I am actually looking forward to S9 Cas as I think there might be an opportunity to really develop his character and shape it into something really interesting. I love Cas best when he's clear minded, has a purpose and shows some spine. If they have him bumbling around the world because he's suddenly human I will just have to take a deep breath and tolerate him. I hope they give him some credit for being on the earth for a while now.
And I know I keep saying it, but I'd love to see them explore the connections between Cas and Sam more. They are definitely there and I see no reason why they can't broaden his friendships to include Sam - not taking away his "profound bond" with Dean, but rather solidifying the friendship by acknowledging the similarities they share.
I will never hate on a character though. Crowley and Cas being my least favourite characters does not mean they completely take away my enjoyment of the show. They are there in a huge way so in order for me to keep enjoying my show to the level I do I will constantly look for things I can love about them. I desperately want
to like them so I will be working hard to remain positive about them throughout S9 (and in my episode reactions/reviews).
Hmmm...seems like I had some things to get off my chest. Hope I haven't lost any friends over it. TV characters are great to chat and debate about. But not to fight over. <333