Category Archives: Secondary Character

Secondary Character Sunday: Murray Hewitt (Flight of the Concords)

[From Flight of the Concords (HBO)]

[From Flight of the Concords (HBO)]

WHO: Murray

FROM: Flight of the Concords

CREATED BY; James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie

PRODUCED: 2007–2009

PROS: Funny (albeit unintentionally),  dedicated to the band, proud New Zealander.

CONS: Clueless and full of himself, Murray ought to seriously consider the people around him more (especially the boys in the band, Brett and Jermaine, and his co workers). He should also take a class in ethics.

BEST / WORST SHINING MURRAY MOMENTS:

WHY I CHOSE MURRAY: He always cracks me up. Flight of the Concord is a wonderfully odd and silly show, and as daffy as Brett and Jermaine can be, Murray (as played by Rhys Darby) has them beat in the clueless department. If you are in the mood for some very smart/silly comedy you should give this show a chance (it’s available on Netflix.)

Murray-takes-it-to-the-next-level-08-1024

 

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Secondary Character Saturday: Moist (Dr. Horrible)

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (soundtrack)

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have I shared my love of the strange and  wonderful Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog? If you don’t know what I’m talking about you should  Click Here for Act One, Here for Act Two, and Here for Act Three. [And when you want to buy your own DVD click HERE] There are three main characters in this groundbreaking mini musical, web series, The Doctor, Capt’n Hammer and Penny… and then there’s Moist.

If Dr. Horrible is a failed super villan, Moist is a failed side kick. His super power is that he makes things moist. That’s it.

WHO: Moist

FROM: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

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BY: Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen

PRODUCED: 2008

PROS: Down to earth, funny, can seal an envelope for you with out any trouble at all. Member of the Henchman’s League. Loyal friend to Billy/Dr. Evil.

BEST QUOTES: “Do you need anything dampened or made soggy?”

“Look at me man,”(when asked if he could kill some one to get into the Evil League of Evil) “I’m moist. At my most bad ass I make people want to take a shower.”

WHY I CHOSE HIM: Moist is played by  Simon Helberg (aka Howard from Big Bang Theory) to comic perfection. In a strong cast of delightful over the top characters Moist holds his own, and makes me laugh. He’s even got his own Web Comic… Moist: Humidity Rising (available on Amazon)

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, and my favorite secondary character in the whole crazy

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Secondary Character Saturday: Jayne Cobb (Firefly / Serenity)

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WHO: Jayne Cobb

FROM: Firefly / Serenity

BY: Joss Whedon

ORIGINALLY APPEARED: 2002

PROS: If you need a good man in a fight, Jayne’s the man for you — if you’ve lined his pockets with enough money, that is. Other wise… good luck.
Lets see… he’s devoted to his mum, and cherishes the hat she knit him. He also loves his guns especially “Vera”. He’s a survivor, he can read a bad situation and form a quick escape plan (albiet usually for himself, but also for the good of the other crew members.)

Jayne_Cobb_orange_hat

CONS: Obnoxious, selfish, rude, misogynistic, mercenary, oafish, unreliable and just a hairs breath away from mutinous.

BEST SHINING MOMENT: In Jaynetown he is (mistakenly) glorified as the hero of Mudd Town (Canton).  Although it is a mistake (He really got caught robbing the rich robber baron of the town and had to jettison the money — and his partner) Jayne takes on some of the heroic responsibilities.

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LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Betraying Simon and River in the episode “Ariel”, endangering the rest of the crew at the same time. Low Jayne, really low.

But you’ve got to give Jayne, he’s got a way with words. In fact he gets most of  the series’/ movie’s best funny lines. Here are my top five Jayne quotes:

  1. “You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I get to beat you with until you understand who is in ruttin’ command around here.”
  2. “Not as deceiving as a low down dirty deceiver.”
  3. “Ten percent of nothing is — let me do the math here — nothing into nothing, carry the nothing — still nothing”
  4. “I’ll kill a man in a fair fight, or if i think he’ll start a fair fight”
  5. “Dear diary: Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Today we were kidnapped by hill folk, never to be seen again. It was the best day ever!”

Jayne_Cobb_Adam_Baldwin

WHY I CHOOSE HIM: I don’t really know. I like every character on the show much more than I like Jayne. I don’t like Jayne at all. But there’s something about the guy that just says “Secondary Character” So, with apologies to Kaylee, Book, Simon, Inara, Zoe, Wash, and especial River… I had to go with Jayne.

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Secondary Character Saturday: R2D2

R2D2

R2D2 (Photo credit: Daniel Y. Go)

I can still remember sitting in a movie theatre in 1976 and seeing the preview for a little movie called Star Wars.  The one thought that went though my mind was “WOW!” This is a movie I want to see.

It was like nothing I had ever seen before. That’s a difficult concept for people who have grown up post New Hope to understand. But they just didn’t make movies like Star Wars before STAR WARS.  Do you remember the first time you saw…

  • Luke and Leah swing across that chasm in the middle of the Death Star?
  • When the Falcon made the first jump to hyperspeed?
  • When Darth Vader first hissed his way onto the set?

I mean before it all became camp and expected and parodied and lego-ized? Do you remember the magic that happened in the cool of the movie houses in the summer of 1977?

Maybe it was me. I was prime movie audience fodder… a young teenager with no job (beyond babysitting) who liked a bit of sci fi and loved a well told story. I was happy to be taken far, far away and to be dazzled by the Luke, Leah, Han and friends. I saw the movie five or six times that summer (mostly at half price matinees — remember: unemployed teen == unstructured afternoons == cheap entertainment) And I had not one but two Star Wars t-shirts:
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So for this weekend’s Secondary Character I thought I’d pull from the original Star War’s cast and present the real hero of the story…. R2D2

R2D2's blueprints [Image courtesy: wookieepdia.com] http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/R2-D2

R2D2’s blueprints [Image courtesy: wookieepdia.com]

WHO: R2D2

FROM: Star Wars

BY: George Lucas

PRODUCED: 1977

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PROS: Loyal, smart, funny, unassuming, brave, multi -talented,  hard-working, friendly, good at problem solving.  And per Wookieepedia he comes with the following equipment:

CONS: R2 needs a translator to communicate with most life forms and has trouble traveling on uneven surfaces.

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Interfacing with the Death Star’s computer system and turning off all the trash compactors.

[Image courtesy: Lucas Films]

[Image courtesy: Lucas Films]

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: I honestly can’t think of a moment when R2 didn’t shine. He’s a bit of a trickster when he needs to be.

WHY I CHOSE HIM: Really, could there have been a movie with out R2?

  • The Princess trusts HIM to deliver the message to Obi Wan. Yes, the old Jedi is her “only hope”, but with out R2’s delivery service there IS NO hope at all. The Empire wins, the movie ends.
  • He brings Luke to Obi Wan. Our clever little hero escapes from Luke’s family’s farm in order to continue his personal hero quest of finding Obi Wan. Luke, who was duped into removing R2 restraining bolt, knows he’ll get into trouble for letting the droid go, and follows him into the desert. After an altercation with some pretty legitimately scary looking Sand People, Luke and Obi Wan meet. Thus R2 is a major factor in  pushing the plot of the story forward. His little trip into the desert has the added macabre benefit of saving Luke’s life. If the teen had stayed home he would have met the same fate as his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen at the hands of the Storm Troopers. So no trip to Obi Wan, Luke dies. Movie ends — or — Luke dies, Obi and R2 set off to save the princess alone (and we have a totally different movie.)
  • As stated above R2 totally saves the human heroes from certain death  in the Death Star’s trash compactors. No R2 in the control room… Luke, Leah, Han and Chewy die a smelly and unpleasant death. Movie ends.
  • But they all make it back to the Falcon. Unfortunately Obi Wan has to give himself up in a light saber battle against Darth Vader and there’s nothing our little pal can do but watch. However, once they get off the Death Star, it is R2 who delivers the ship’s plans to the rebels. (See R2 delivery service note in bullet  1).
  • As Luke’s x-wing fighter drone co-pilot he helps our young human hero navigate the canyons and cannons of the Death Star’s surface and hone in on the behemoth’s exhaust tube  Achille’s heel. It is true that our brave little R2  takes a direct hit that disables him before Luke can let loose the fatal torpedo, but the movie is almost over by that point. R2 has done all he can.
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Secondary Character Sunday: Disney Side Kicks

Timon-KH

Continuing the theme I’ve got going this February on Disney… this time it’s all about the SIDE KICKS! (Thanks to Maggie and Jenny who helped me come up with list.)

Disney Side Kicks come in three general categories…

  • The ones we love deep in our hearts. Those Side Kicks who help our protagonist and share knowledge along the way. They’ll likely risk their life to save the hero or heroine. It’s all part of the job.
  • Side Kick genre number two is the Bad Side Kick. Not quite the villain in the film, but not the good guy either. They always seem to cause trouble. And sometimes revel in getting our heroine in deep do-do (Lucifer, I’m looking at YOU.)
  • The last category of Disney Side Kick is the Comic Relief Side Kick. You know who I mean… the wise crackers, they don’t do much to advance the plot but they sure bring the funny for the kids. These Side Kicks are generally the most annoying, but you still gotta love ’em.

Here’s our top lists. Please write in and let me know who we forgot.

BEST  GOOD DISNEY SIDE KICKS EVER…

  • Meeko (Pocahontas)
  • ZaZu (The Lion King)
  • Cogsworth & Lumeire (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Gus & Jaq (Cinderella)
  • Baloo (Jungle Book)
  • Sebastian (Little Mermaid)
  • Pascal (Tangled)

And drum roll please… Maggie’s best  of the best Good Disney Side Kick’s is… Meeko; Mine is  ZaZu.

Zazu,_The_Lion_King_(2) copy

BEST BAD SIDE KICKS EVER…

  • Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, The Hyenas (the Lion King)
  • Percy, the Pug (Pocahontas)
  • Iago (Aladdin)
  • Hiss, the snake  (Jungle Book)
  • Floatsom and Jetsam (Little Mermaid)
  • Lucifer (Cinderella)

Maggie’s pick is Iago; Mine is also Iago.

Iago (Aladdin)

BEST COMIC RELIEF SIDE KICKS…

  • Abu (Aladdin)
  • Scuttle (Little Mermaid)
  • Muschu (Mulan)
  • Genie (Aladdin)
  • Terk (Tarzan)
  • Dory (Finding Nemo)
  • Olaf (Frozen)

Maggie’s pick … Olaf; Mine is Dori (OMG I couldn’t love Dori more! She’s the best, so just keep swimming every body!)

Finding Nemo (video game)

 

Bonus category: BEST DISNEY EQUINE Side Kicks:

  • Samson ,Prince Phillip’s Horse (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Maximus (Tangled)
  • Sven (Frozen)
  • Major (Cinderella)
  • Angus (Brave)
Maggie’s pick is Sven; Mine is Samson.

Secondary Character: Disney Villlains Click Here!

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Secondary Character Saturday: Flynn Rider (Tangled)

Tangled-flynn-rider-photo3

WHO: Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert)

FROM: Tangled

BY: Dan Fogelman (Story), Alan Menken (Music), Glenn Sather (Lyric)

PRODUCED: 2010

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PROS: Although you don’t see all of Flynn’s good characteristics at first, he’s funny, down to earth, master of the “smolder”, charming, romantic, good-hearted, compassionate, chivalrous, sensitive, kind — and of course he has “superhuman good looks” .

CONS: When we first meet him he’s a conniving thief who is only out to save his own skin … and steal a valuable  crown.

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Toss up: Taking Rapunzel to see the festival of lights, and cutting off her hair to free her from her “mother.”


LEAST SHINING MOMENT: He’s pretty much a rough through the first half of the movie.

Here’s Flynn trying to get out of a sticky situation by giving Rapunzel the “smoulder”…

Flynn-Riders-Smolder-GIF

WHY I CHOSE HIM: Well… when I did my Disney Princes profile last week I had several people tell me I simply HAD to see Tangled because they just loved Flynn. So I did, and I do. He’s a charmer, I admit.

Flynn-Rider-flynn-rider-33691405-500-600

Flynn/Eugene and Rapunzel get married at the end. She’s been restored to her place as Princess, so technically he becomes a Prince. The cute couple even make a cameo in the latest Disney blockbuster, Frozen.

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All images on this post are courtesy: Disney.


Secondary Character Saturday: Disney Princes

No doubt you’ve been wondering WHEN I was going to get to this weighty issue… Who is the best Disney Prince?

For this completely bias blog post I’ll only being considering Disney Princess’s from movies I’ve actually seen.  (So sorry Naveen, Flynn, and Kristoff, I neither have a little one of the appropriate age to act as multiplex chaperone, nor am I cool enough to have seen Frog Prince, Rapunzel or Frozen on my own.) Likewise excluded will be Disney heroes of the non prince variety (Li Shang and John Smith) and non human princes (Simba, etc.) They will be weighed on the merits presented in the Disney movie alone (not in the source material or in any of the insipid direct to video sequels.)

That leaves (in chronological order):

prince-charming-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-18702621-479-362

  • Prince Florian (Snow White and the Sven Dwarfs) LOVE INTEREST: Snow White. PROS: Good singing voice, handsome, excellent swordsman, kind, charming, polite, ability to bring back the dead with a kiss, looks like an actual human 17 year old, good with animals, friendly with dwarves. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 9 (1 being the best out of 10) poor Florian ranks only 9 because of his blandness. They also claim he’s too pretty with his pretty, pretty puffed sleeves. Personally I don’t think it is fair to judge the 1930 movie by our 2014 drawing standards. I like that he looks like an innocent 17-year-old. Personality wise, thought? Not much shows up on-screen.

princecharming

  • Prince Charming (Cinderella) LOVE INTEREST: Cinderella. PROS: Excellent Dancer, handsome, good singer, discriminating in his choice of life partners, persistent, determined. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 8  (out of 10) Buzz feed basically gives him the bump on Florian because Charming has more clothing style. I think Charming has more going for him than his epaulets and tan. He has a real connection for Cindy, and he’s determined to find HIS girl, and not be shuffled off with what ever princess fits the royal shoe bill. 

Phillip

  • Prince Phillip (Sleeping Beauty) LOVE INTEREST: Princess Aurora. PROS: BRAVE, handsome, excellent sword skills, good singer, good with animals, good shot,  has the ability to wake some one from a 100 years sleep spell with a kiss. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 7 (out of 10) this seems a little low to me.  Prince Phillip gets big, big, big marks from me. He really goes out and saves his princess — and goes through a heck of lot to do it.

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  • Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid) LOVE INTEREST: Ariel. PROS:  Handsome, responsible, kind, loyal, dog lover, good ruler, funny, good sailor. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 2 (out of 10) Now you’re talking.

Hunk alert! Prince Eric — with his big blue eyes, jet-black hair, and incredibly expressive eyebrows — is arguably the most attractive prince on the list. If you’re a straight woman or gay man, and you didn’t have a crush on Prince Eric at some point, you’re either lying or in denial. He’s sweet. He’s romantic. He loves dogs. I’d give up my fins to be with him. [buzzfeed.com]

Prince Eric also saves the day (and the princess) with a big of heap of bravery at the end of the movie. Come on… kiss this girl. He’s a big fave.

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  • Prince Adam (Beauty and the Beast) LOVE INTEREST: Belle. PROS: kind, generous, protective, becomes self-aware, feels bad for what he did in the past and tries to make up for it.  CONS: temper, temper, temper, self loathing. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 5 The folks at the Buzz like the Beast in all his heart warming hairy-ness. B&tB is my fave Disney movie, hands down, but more because of feisty, smart, brave Belle than anything else. However, the Beast — and his journey to self awareness — and the amazing music in the film are other wonderful reasons to love this movie.  You had me at Chapter Three.

Aladdin and Jasmine

  • Prince Ali, aka Aladdin (Aladdin) LOVE INTEREST: Jasmine. PROS: resourceful, smart, charming, romantic, big-hearted, warm. He’s one of the first guys who are allowed to be a hero for their own sake, not as a foil for the Princess. BUZZ FEED HOTNESS RATING: 1 (out of 10) Buzz Feed edges out Aladdin over Eric because of Aladdin’s added personality. I loved the first Aladdin. Not so much the sequels that taint my appreciation of the original.

So who makes the final cut? I’m knocking out Charming and Florian right off the bat. Sorry fellas. Aladdin and Adam you’re gone too.

That leaves Prince Phillip and Prince Eric… Both handsome, brave, funny, charming, kind, thoughtful…

PrincePhilip

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I can’t decided. I think I’ll need you all to weigh in here.


Secondary Character Saturday: Walt Disney (Saving Mr. Banks)

(Image Courtesy: Disney, Inc)

(Image Courtesy: Disney, Inc)

WHO: Walt Disney

FROM: Saving Mr. Banks

BY: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith

PRODUCED: 2013

PROS: Friendly, Motivational, Charming

CONS: Manipulative

(Image courtesy: Disney, Inc.)

(Image courtesy: Disney, Inc.)

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Revealing the story of his difficult youth when he takes P.L. Travers to Disney Land

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Trying to sneak in the cartoons when she clearly is against it.

WHY I CHOSE HIM: Admittedly I’m giving this nod more to Tom Hanks than Mr. Disney — and that might have something to do with the fact that I just saw Captain Phillips. Hanks was wonderful in both films, but he was definitely the lead (and title) character in the latter, so I can only honor him on Secondary Character Saturday for his work as Uncle Walt in Saving Mr. Banks.


Secondary Character Saturday : Sue (from Veep)

Image courtesy HBO

Image courtesy HBO

WHO: Sue Wilson

FROM: Veep

BY: Rupert Gregson-Williams & Christopher Willis, created byArmando Iannucci

PRODUCED: Premiered 2012

PROS: As the third most important person in the world (personal assistant to the Vice President of the United States) Sue is organized and  in charge. She keeps V.P. Selena Meyer’s office running as smoothly as possible  (considering the incompetence that surrounds her.) She keeps her  icy cool when others melt into hysterics. She absolutely dominates every one who walks into the office (except maybe Selena, and even with the VP you get the feeling that Sue has her number.)

CONS: She’s not the nicest person in the world… but if you want nice you can just slowly back over to the desk to the right and talk to Gary. Sue is busy.

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Pretty much anytime she’s on screen your eyes gravitate to her desk.

Here’s a little taste of the Sue attitude that makes her such a joy to watch:

WHY I CHOSE SUE:

While Selena is star of the show (and the office) Sue is the one with the real power. Things HAPPEN to Selena, Sue makes things happen. She organizes and orchestrates the maelstrom of incoming chaos.

I’m loving that this show has three strong female characters, btw (the third is the VP’s Chief of Staff Amy).

In an interview with Ebony Magazine Sufe Bradshaw (who plays Sue so brilliantly in the show) explained her character’s importance to the chemistry of the show…

I think in all great comedies there has got to be these different prototypes. There’s always like the straight man. And then the ingénue and then the one that it centers around. That’s the genius of the writers, they wrote all of our characters like that. So they wrote Sue to be the straighter, more grounded one, who, looking at the rest of her office mates freaking out and losing their mind [doesn’t really fret]. In order for our comedy to be grounded it needed to have a character like Sue who can sort of observe the absurdities. So I think that’s why the character is written the way she is. She brings a little grounding to their otherwise normally chaotic lives.

Sue on Veep

I don’t have a sense of humor, and neither should you.


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