Monday, September 21, 2009

The many faces of a hero

My favourite heroes are not the easy kind. They aren't golden boys who get everything handed to them. My tastes in heroes run a bit dark. I'll admit that. I love a story with a tortured hero (I don't mean physically but there should be something that hardens him). Something unique that draws my attention. The most unique hero on tv right now is Dexter, a serial killer. Movies- I'll consider Severus Snape from Harry Potter here because I've always liked his character and although he's not the hero hero per say, he's still in my opinion one because of everything he's gone through. X-men: Wolverine. Supernatural: both Sam and Dean play a good tortured hero- one who has been to Hell and dealt with the horrors there, and the other who has to deal with being addicted to demon blood. Being addicted...brings me to House. How could one forget him?

They aren't neccessarily classical heroes... that knight in shining armor but they are more interesting because of all that they've gone through. And I really would not say no to being saved by Dean or Sam... just sayin'.

I was watching Dexter the other day and wondering why exactly he's so compelling. I mean, he kills people. Granted, bad people but still. It's bloody and cold and... some of his lines are just chilling. If I met someone like him on the street you bet that I'd turn tail and run. But on screen it doesn't take away from my liking him. Yes he kills. Yes, he doesn't feel. But he grows and changes and those transformations are fun to watch.

This doesn't mean I don't like the classical hero. I'd rank Ramses from the Anita Peabody here. Same with Roarke in the JD Robb, In Death series. Yes, they've gone through so much to get to where they are, but they are still a classical hero. This doesn't take anything from their appeal however and they are examples of those who don't need that twist to be compelling.

I don't necessarily think it's the Bad Boy Syndrome either. I could do without that kind of attitude. So what about you? What kind of hero do you like? And what does it take to chase you away from a "hero"? When does a character cross the line from hero into villain or jerk?

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