Email Roundtable #23 – Q&A

In this edition of the Email Roundtable we each asked a TV related fantasy question. We also got some special guests to weigh in!

Jane asked: Which TV character would you pick to be your real life best friend and why?

Steph: I had a really hard time with this one…but i’m gonna go with Joan Harris from Mad Men. As snappy as she sometimes is with other women, I’ve seen some genuine lady bonding from her. I think she’s a good listener, blunt and fearless with advice giving, and an all around good time. She has a sense of humour and incredible style. Borrowing clothes and swapping juicy stories over Old Fashioned’s–sign me up! Mind you, I don’t think anyone else could ever wear a Joan Harris dress and not disappear into the bossom’s netherworld.

Graeme: I was going to pick someone cool like Raylan Givens from Justified but then I realized 1. he only cares about his job and 2. everyone close to him is targeted by the mob to be murdered. So I’ll go with ALF. Fuzzy, funny, sarcastic aliens are awesome.

Katie: My first thought was Peggy Olson from Mad Men, but then I realized that Peggy and I probably don’t share the same sense of humour. That’s a very important qualification in my Best Friend Criteria. Does Peggy even have a sense of humour? Ok, Peggy is out. My new best friend is… Mr. Dressup. We would draw pictures, eat sandwiches, make crafts, and most importantly DRESS UP IN COSTUMES! Mr. Dressup lived a fairly lonely life when you think about it. He mostly talked to puppets. I think I would be a good best friend for him.

*ring ring*
“Hello, Mr. Dressup speaking.”
“Hi Mr. Dressup. This is Katie.”
“Hi Ms. Man, it’s wonderful to hear your voice this morning.”
“Same to you Mr. Dressup. I’m making some lunch. Want to come over?”
“What are you making?”
“Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.”
“I’ll bring some pickles.”
“Don’t forget your wizard costume.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“See you soon.”

Best friends forever.

Kerri: My criteria for picking a TV character that I’d like as my friend was, basically, who is a good friend on TV. So many TV characters are inherently selfish – it’s what makes them so interesting – but they aren’t great friends to other people. These characters are the opposite of that:

Landry from Friday Night Lights

Landry is loyal and funny and an enjoyable person to be around. He’s also willing and seemingly eager to play second-fiddle even in his own life.

Gary and Joel from Unsupervised

They are such positive forces in each other’s lives how could I not want that for myself? Plus, they are sweet and funny and kind no matter the shit the world throws at them.

Katie asked: If you could live in the body of one character for one episode who would it be and which episode?

Steph: Okay. I hate to have Mad Men be in two of my answers but I really had to honour that it is how I feel! I have to be Don Draper. Just to see what it is really like…I am a die hard Don lover. Infatuated is an understatement. I would love to walk in his beautiful leather oxford shoes for a day or so. I was tempted to be one of his many lady loves, so I can say I’ve really “experienced” Don…but I think this way is better. Well maybe not better

As for favorite Don episode? Gotta go with The Jet Set Season 2, Episode 11. He goes off to L.A. for business, ends up in a mysterious, exotic mansion full of strange and beautiful people. Although the episode is unsettling, I think it’s a good example of how random Don can be…He talks as though he is “Dick” in this episode, and it’s one of the first times we see just how disconnected, enchanting, and dangerously thrilling he can be. Although I do not agree with much of what he does, I feel this would be a good chance to see what it’s like.

Graeme: This question is pretty tough because most shows are entertaining or compelling because the characters are in conflict, some type of physical or emotional drama that doesn’t seem too fun. For example, as great as Homeland is, I don’t think anyone wants to really experience the crazy situations they go through first hand.  Therefore my choice would be to go a bit off the board and select John Carpenter (no, not the famous filmmaker) – the first person to win Who Wants to be a Millionaire (US version). While I was never much of a fan of the repetitive and often tedious show, being the first person to win such a huge amount on a game show would be amazing. Also, since I had control of John for that day, I’d be able to immediately sign over a large portion of the winnings to myself. Sounds like win-win to me.

Katie: Don’t judge me on this one, but I would have to be Raylan Givens from Justified for one episode. And during the course of that episode I, as Raylan, would kill someone and do a lady (preferably Ava Crowder). When else would I get to experience those two things? I had a hard time remembering a specific episode because Raylan does those two things a lot.

Kerri:  Mabel from the Gravity Falls episode “Time Traveler’s Pig”. In this episode Mabel wins a pig (I should really say the pig since that pig turns out to be Waddles) at a county fair but loses it when Dipper turns back time to try to win the love of Wendy. Dipper has to grapple with the issue of getting something good for himself at the cost of the joy of his sister or, alternately, giving that up to give something good to Mabel. Of course, Dipper learns that giving is better than receiving and he decides that Mabel should get the thing that makes her happy. I’d love to be Mabel for this episode because, for one, she’s an insane kid. And also she wins a pet pig that makes her truly, fantastically happy. It’s pure joy. What’s better than that?

Kerri asked: If you had the power to kill off any character or storyline on a show who/which would it be and why? 

Steph: The Joey and Rachel love story in Friends. I love Friends. I don’t care if people SAY they hate it…I think it’s funny, and I like the characters. I stand by it. But that storyline was WAY unnecessary and creepy.

Graeme: There’s plenty of bad to mediocre shows on TV, so I’ll try and stick with the best show with what I consider to be the worst element. That show would have to be Top Chef, specifically the horror known as “Last Chance Kitchen” (LCK). A completely pointless “show within a show” that often destroys the dramatic arch of probably the best reality show on TV, LCK allows a contestant who has been kicked off the show a chance at redemption to re-enter the contest in the final 3. The problem however is all of LCK‘s videos are hosted on Bravo’s spoiler filled site. While perhaps not awful if you’re a die hard who watches every week, anyone that even misses a single episode will need to avoid the site since it inevitability instantly reveals who was kicked off previous episodes. In addition, Top Chef often airs later in other countries therefore rendering LCK even more useless (it’s actually inaccessible outside of the US as well). LCK came to bear even more influence on the show when last season, in a disastrously planned “live” finale (think wanna-be Iron Chef – it was horrible), Kristen Kish won despite having been asked to leave in the 11th of 17th episodes. To say this hurt the shows flow would be an understatement.

Katie: Said it before and will say it again, Landry committing manslaughter on Friday Night Lights. It was totally unnecessary, added nothing interesting to the plot, and in fact derailed much of the second season of a great show.

Kerri: The character that I would choose to kill off is Don Draper. I don’t really wish any ill will on Don Draper. I don’t want to kill him off because I hate him (although right now I am finding him particularly loathsome and actually kind of boring). I want him to die because I think it would be fascinating to see the reactions of other characters to his death. It wasn’t until Sunday night’s episode (“Man With A Plan”) that I started thinking this. When Ted was talking to his dying friend/co-worker, trying to describe Don, I started thinking about how amazing it would be to have all of the characters consider Don in this way. Not necessarily who is Don Draper but what is/was Don Draper? The only way I can really see this happening is if Don is dead.

Mad Men is becoming a little like Breaking Bad in the vilification of its main, sometimes charming, sometimes endearing and sympathetic but morally compromised main character. Don hasn’t killed anyone but I’m not sure that he redeems himself in any satisfying way from his recent escapades. And, if Don isn’t going to change or grow and simply stagnate what’s the point? And so, the most interesting thing to do is kill off one of the most interesting characters on TV and let the characters that surround him, that still have the capacity for growth and change to be changed by his death.

I’ve enjoyed the ride with Don but now I’m finding everything about him tiresome. And yet, this still isn’t the reason I want them to kill him off. Everything in the show this season seems to be setting us up for some kind of inevitable death – more so than even last season. More so than any season.  The creators already seem to be weening Don off of the other characters. He seems so less attached to everyone. He’s set himself up for losing everyone around him so that it won’t even matter when he’s gone. Except it will because even the people you think you hate have had an impact on your life. Does Don have friends that will mourn him? He is, like Ted said, mysterious. Too mysterious to know and not interested enough in other people to get to know them. Don likes to use people and use them up and what happens when that person is no longer in your life? Peggy tried to leave to get away from this but she can’t seem to escape him. Somehow, I think, even in death Don would manage to ruin someone’s day.

Plus, I’m certain that the show would be equally as interesting with Don Draper as without him. It wouldn’t have to be for many episodes. Maybe one right at the end but I think it would be a thrilling end to one of the best shows on TV. I’m always wrong about Mad Men, as I’ve said before. Maybe I’ll break the streak with this one.

My other answer is the Theon getting tortured storyline on Game of Thrones. Just no.

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