I wouldn’t be the first to say I’m lazy. I’d have to get out of bed, have a coffee, a nice bit of bacon, brush my teeth, have a shower, check my emails, work out a little. Then I’d probably agree with you. Given absolute freedom, I tend to do nothing. Just to clarify, I don’t mean to say I sit around and let dust settle on me, perhaps watching a clock, when I do nothing, I engage in something completely menial that has no positive impact on anything related to my life or future, that takes little to no brainpower. Something mildly entertaining that passes time.
One of my go-to activities for these times is reading. Specifically, reading books I’ve already read. Usually more than once, often a handful of times. Same with movies, I watch(or put on in the background), a film I’ve seen and enjoyed before. It is, in essence, pure laziness. In order to take in a new book or a new movie or a new sport or anything, I have to have all my mental faculties functioning. Not just switch off like I usually do day to day.
With that in mind, I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier the other day. Quick review; it was pretty good. The action was fun, the plot was…mkay and Scarlett Johansson was hot. For me, it was lacking something. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was an absence. So I did what most everyone would do about it. I went and got some chicken and forgot about it. Until yesterday when I read a book that was new to me and started to think exactly the same thing. It lacked.
Anyway, good new, eureka, bingo etc. I found my little answer.
It probably isn’t an answer for everyone and might not make sense to anyone but me, but it’s the answer I found and it fits.
Good characterisation, to me, is what makes a story. Not action, though action is good to watch. Not deep conversation, though reading heartfelt words can evoke an inspiring amount of emotion. I want someone interesting, fun, clever, witty. Someone who could be doing really mediocre things and make them seem completely out of the ordinary.
Prime example. Right now I’m working my way back through the Discworld books. Those I enjoyed anyway. I could read about Sam Vimes or Moist von Lipwig for hours at a time. Give me a story arc with Nanny Ogg or Granny Weatherwax, however, and I’d be bored after ten pages. Taking this into the movie side, I adore the Iron Man films. They’re awesome. Could not get bored of them if I tried(though critics would pull me up immediately and say the climax of the second film, fighting another, larger Iron Man style suit, was exactly the same as the first film). But then I’d turn round and say that it doesn’t matter, I think the Stark character is what completes the films. By comparison, I find Cpt America/Steve Rogers oddly flat.
I find as well, and this is pretty sad, that I get too disappointed when a series ends(or if you’re reading George R.R. Martin, when a character journey comes to an abrupt and bloody end). I get invested in the characters I really like, to the point that I go back to the book or film I enjoyed them in, and follow them as long as I can, even if there’s nothing remotely new to experience with them.
There’s nothing better than reading a character through to the end. But you can never really be finished with them.
Or maybe it’s just me. I am a bit weird though.