Monday, February 04, 2008

Chemistry and Characters

This entry isn’t about anything earth shattering. I need help with the two presentations I’m putting together.

One is titled “Looking For Love” and I’m presenting it at EPICon. It is basically what an editor looks for in a romance manuscript. For this presentation I’m looking for couples that have chemistry in books, movies, TV shows. You know the ones that never quite get together or when they do you are so drained from their denial that their coming together is almost a relief. LOL

The ones I can think of are TV shows:
The Scarecrow and Mrs. King- Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson. Every time I watched that show the sparks flew between them and the show progressed in the way of the 12 stages of Intimacy. Making the show satisfying.
Remington Steele – Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan. Again the sizzle between them made up the show for me. That and his wit.
Can you give me a couple of movies and books to add to my list?

And for my Characterization presentation- I need names of characters from TV, Movies, and books who you rooted for or fell for because of the great characterization. And tell me one or two of the character traits that drew you in. - some I can think of are TV:
Magnum PI- I love Tom Selleck's mischievious grin and the twinkle in his eye and the fact he was like an overgrown teenager in that show. Which made him likable.
Movie: Captain Jack Sparrow- his bumbling ways and though he wanted to be a tough pirate he still had a conscience.
Book: Stephanie Plum- she bumbles (I'm seeing a pattern here, hmm...) around trying to catch bad people, be a good daughter and granddaughter, and decide which hunk's bones to jump.

I know this is cheating, but I watch few movies and don’t read as much as I should so if you can help me out, I’ll rent the movies so I can talk about them with some sort of intelligence and try to borrow the books to get a feel for the characters in the books you suggest.

Are you noticing a pattern with the TV shows! Yes, it was while I had small children that I watched the most TV. All the TV shows I picked are from the 80's!!

Thank you in advance for help and you know you can discuss your reasons why you picked who you did. ;) great way to disuss chemistry and characters.


Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- This is not cheating, it's gathering information!

I watched TV about the same time you did and the two shows you mentioned were two I watched. How about Moonlighting, too. Movies that reveal; long term chemistry between characters might be harder to come up with because they encapsulate a story arc over two hours instead of seven years. An old Spencer Tracy / Katherine Hepburn movie like Adam's Rib might be an example. And GOne With Wind, maybe. Romancing the Stone? Oh, and the one with Cher and Nick Cage, the title of which just flew out of my head. You know the one. I love that movie. If I go to look for the title, I'll navigate away from this page and lose everything, but I know someone will recall the name.

Books? How about Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli? Gone With the Wind again.

Characterization? TV -- I loved the tortured vampire who longs to be human, Angel, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then for him to fall in love with the human sworn to destroy him -- good stuff before it was done over and over again.

Also, think ensemble casts -- familiar to everyone thanks to reruns. M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers, Designing Women, Golden Girls, Seinfield etc... all created vivid characters to play off of one another.

Movie -- Dustin Hoffman in just about anything. The Graduate, Tootsie, Raniman -- he always created memorable characters. Or how about (if you're looking for fun/romance) the Legally Blonde character?

African Queen, with two memorable characters who also shared an unlikely love story. Casablanca.

Books: Gone With the Wind again, who will ever forget Scarlet or Rhett?


I think you're smart to keep your examples within most people's experience. Good luck!

Alice Sharpe said...

The Cher movie is Moonstruck.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Alice!

You not only gave me some things to check out, but jogged my memory! LOL

Karen Duvall said...

I loved Moonstruck, Alice. And I also loved Kate and Leopold, Somewhere in Time, Ladyhawk (I wore out the video tape), Ghost, and Everafter.

For more recommendations, go here:

Moonlighting was a great TV series. I never missed a one. Now Sybil Shepherd is in a lesbian television series on Showtime called The L Word. How times -- and people -- do change.

I thought David Boreanus was terrific in Angel, and he's just as wonderful in my fave tv series I watch now, "Bones." The star of Quantum Leap always made my heart beat a little faster when I watched him. And the captain in the SF series "Firefly."

Oh, the best, best, best characters EVER in the history of television are every single one in "Northern Exposure." My husband taped all the episodes and we still watch them from time to time. It's set in the fictional small town of Sicily, Alaska. It's the best show ever.

Alice Sharpe said...

Karen -- I left out Northern Exposure because I didn't think anyone else watched it. That was my favorite show of all. I adored that show.

I also love Bones and the chemistry between Boreanus and the lead female is good. It's a more current reference, too.

Oh, and Ladyhawk and Ghost and Everafter...

Karen, we could watch a lot of stuff together!

Paty Jager said...

I was going to mention Bones but I've only watched it a couple of times and didn't know if the chemistry between the two main characters was an ongoing thing. I can use that one! ;)

I definitely will watch MoonStruck. And I love Everafter. I think I saw Lady Hawk and Ghost a long time ago..... Again, I'll have to check into those two.

Thanks Karen!

Lori Barber said...

Paty, for some real oldies and some good laughs I love The Andy Griffith Show. Andy's romance with Helen Crump is a nice contrast to Barney's (played by Don Knotts) romance with Thelma Lou. And what about I Love Lucy. Tough they represent a married couple they have some fine and funny examples of love and romance.

Lori Barber said...

That last line should read: 'though they represent a married couple...'

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Lori! I'm getting all kinds of good ideas.

Danita Cahill said...

I haven't read through the comments yet, so hope I'm not repeating myself, but what about Men in Trees? That's a current TV show with definite sizzle between Jack and Marin, and between Marin and what's-his-name -- the free spirit guy.

As for movies -- what about When Harry Met Sally, While You Were Sleeping, How to Break up with a Guy in 10 Days. That's a start anyway.

Danita Cahill said...

I also loved Northern Exposure Alice and Karen, and was so happy when the DJ guy from that show played lead in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Ooooh, there's another one for you to check out, Paty.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I LOVED NORTHERN EXPOSURE!!! Was so sad when it ended. DH and I used to watch it all the time.

Karen, I, too, loved the guy in Quantum Leap. Yummy. That was a great show.

(No wonder we all get along so well!).

Let's see...I'm late responding because I was out of town, but...

Ross & Rachel had a great run in Friends. I rooted for them, even when I didn't like where their relationship went. Was glad the writers worked it out in the end.

Mulder & Scully had a strong romantic undercurrent in X-Files. I was always rooting for them, even though their romantic tension was minor compared to the series plots. (Hopeless romantic here.)

Loved Moonlighting. Again, great romantic tension UNTIL they actually got together, then it got weird (that tends to happen with those TV shows - it's all about the build up, but you can't give a TV couple a happily ever after and keep the same tension in the series. Go figure.)

And memorable characters??? House. OMG. Say no more.

Great post, Paty!

Genene said...

I agree with Alice -- this is gathering information!

However, I'm not going to be any help as I haven't watched TV in years and rarely sit through a movie.

You've had lots of good suggestions, though, and I'm looking forward to your presentation at EPICon!