The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The RedLetterMedia Character Test

"Describe the following Star Wars character WITHOUT saying what they look like, what kind of costume they wore, or what their profession or role in the movie was. Describe this character to your friends like they ain’t ever seen Star Wars."

Well, that’s RedLetterMedia’s test and I think it applies to just about anything. So, without citing “Star Wars” characters, I’ll run some of my all time favorite characters through it.

Demona is bitter, cynical and vengeful. She can’t recognize her own culpability in the tragic events of her past and blames everyone else for them. She is passionate and will do just about anything to achieve her goals, but probably hasn’t thought far enough ahead to figure out what she’ll do once she gets what she wants.

Elisa Maza is curious and impulsive. She is an idealist but highly guarded and private. She doesn’t like to share her secrets, because those secrets make her feel special. But when push comes to shove, she will do the right thing. She is tough, smart, and represents the best of humanity.

Sokka is a guy with something to prove, because he had to grow up fast. He may not be the biggest, or the toughest, but he’s got a mind for strategy. He’s a skeptic, but is capable of having an open mind. Throughout it all, he still has a lot of growing up to do.

Spider-Man is an average guy with above average intelligence. He has a powerful sense of responsibility, and a sharp, sarcastic wit. He made a huge mistake once, and has taken it upon himself to makes sure it never happens again.

David Xanatos is cool, calm, collected. He’s brilliant, and arrogant without letting that arrogance cloud his judgement. He’s suave, sophisticated, and charming while being manipulative and three steps ahead of everyone, he always has contingencies.

G'Kar is deeply spiritual, a natural born but reluctant leader. A man who learns through blood and tears that forgiveness is often better than vengeance. He's well spoken, eloquent, but not above having a good, long laugh even at himself.

That’s just a few. Now, let’s go for "Legend of Korra".

Korra is hotheaded, impulsive, and doesn’t stop to think. She wants to be more spiritual, but finds it difficult because it’s not in her nature. She lacks humility and is extremely arrogant, believing anything can be solved with her fists.

Okay, Korra passes it, just to prove that I am trying. Let’s look at the rest.

Mako is… um… stoic? He’s the brother of… no. He’s the love interest of… no. He’s a detective in… no.

Bolin is retarded. He’s the comic relief… er… he’s an actor… ugh. Well, he’s retarded, that’s his character.

Asami is… god, and I even kind of like her. She’s rich, she’s the daughter of… the ex-girlfriend of… Sorry, Asami. I like you, but you have no character.


  1. I'm trying to characterise Asami, and I can't. She's mostly defined by her relationships with her dad, or Mako, or friendship with Korra in season 3. She doesn't really have any flaws, other than terrible taste in men. I think she was only in season 1 for the love triangle and to connect the cast to her dad. Season 2 she did nothing of note other than provide money/transport and restart the love triangle. From what I've seen of season 3 she's their money/transport and a friend for Korra to talk to (since Mako and Bolin are morons).

    At most she's trusting and forgiving, really forgiving since she's fine being around Mako. but even then that's not much.

    She's in the same boat as the rest of them, the show just doesn't do anything with her character. I can't wait for the show to be over so fans will stop talking about it like it's an amazing series.

  2. Assuming you've seen it, may I ask what you thought of season three of Legend of Korra?

    1. I haven't seen it. I hear it's better than season two, but that's like telling me that drinking Red Bull is better than drinking toilet water. Damning with faint praise...

      ... but everything I've been told about it doesn't fill me with a desire to check it out. The best compliment I've been given out of it from a friend I trust is "it's good as long as you don't stop and think about it for more than a minute."

    2. I'm not sure what they meant, because there aren't plot holes in it. Perhaps they were talking about the return to a lot of Avatar-style fight scenes.

    3. Well, there are SOME plot holes in there I think, just not to the insane bad writing degrees that the last two seasons had.

    4. Everything having to do with the spirits, the vines not getting addressed again, and Zaheer flying. The latter I think might have had a more thorough explanation that got cut.

    5. Technically those aren't plot holes by the definition of "plot hole". I'd have liked to see more about the Spirit Wilds, but they don't get addressed much because they're in Republic City, and the gang leaves Republic City. Zaheer is able to fly because he's let go of all earthly attachments, like he said. A plot hole has no explanation at all.

    6. Technically, it wasn't just letting go of all earthly attachments, since I'm sure past air nomads had done that and they were never able to fly. It was the precise combination of that and intense spiritual meditation with that mystical pendant in hand. The only other airbender to ever get that was, of course, Guru Laghima, since the pendant belonged to him in the first place.

  3. Asami's a better character now then she was since that dumbass love triangle started back in Book 1, but she still fails the test. As for Mako and Bolin, I'm afraid those two are cursed with being the weakest links in the main cast for the entirety of the show.

  4. Funny, I thought you'd add Walter White too.

    Why yes I just finished watching Breaking Bad, why do you ask? ;)

  5. Well, for Asami, off the top of my head: "She does the right thing, even when it's personally painful for her." Let's see, what else...? "She had a privileged upbringing but remains humble" (that one might be riding the line). "She has suffered tragedy but has not let it define her." Um..."resourceful." That's all I can think of for right now. Really, she's pretty much "practically perfect in every way" (just not in the same way as Mary Poppins). The only times she gets angry or depressed are when ANYONE in her shoes would get angry or depressed (and she doesn't wallow in it or lash out). No wonder she's likable; compared to most of the main cast, she's a saint.
    Mako and Bolin...(sigh) I could probably find something if I wanted to devote the time and energy...but I don't.

    1. The only one more likable then her would be Tenzin, naturally.

  6. Asami is kind, intelligent and caring. Despite the shit that gets thrown her way and getting repeatably stabbed in the back by those she trusts, Asami always looks for the best in people. However, she makes it clear to those who have betrayed her that she they have to earn her trust. She is VERY level headed, almost never rushes into a situation without some kind of plan. But when push comes to shove and she is forced to go in with out a plan she is more then ready to kick ass. She is loyal to a fault and never once thinks about hurting those she cares about and when she does, be it directly or indirectly, she Women's up and admits her mistake.

    And that's Asami without describing what she looks like, what kind of costume she wore, or what her profession or role in the series was. Asami, in my opinion, is a Great character.