While I did watch the Vikings/Saints game last weekend, it was against my better judgement. I cried the last tear I was ever gonna cry over that god forsaken team before I turned 17. Since then, I’ve wished the Purple People Eaters well but I refuse to get emotionally involved with them ever again. The previous two posts by Andy and Whubbs validate my decision back in 1977 to cut them out of my heart, forever.
Why waste time and trouble on the NFL when I can have so much more fun watching Friday Night Lights?
This show is as close to seeing Chip Hilton on the screen as we’re ever going to get. Different characters take turns playing Chip but the same dynamics are at work; God, country, family, character and ethics all being expressed on the field of play.
My daughter gave me season 1 on dvd for Christmas and in one month I’ve burned through the first three seasons.
I’ve been around athletics all my life. I know coaches at every level, from peewees to the pros and I’ve seen a lot. (I’ve seen way too much to ever think I’ve seen it all). I’ve known people who’ve lived through nearly every scenario on the show. If we handled our problems with the grace of Coach Taylor or the wisdom of his wife Tami, the world would be a much better place.
In discussing the show with my sister, she happened to say that Coach Taylor was the coolest character, ever. She described him as “Tommy Gavin, if he’d been raised right.”
This reminded me of a conversation last summer when two of my brothers almost came to fisticuffs because one said Captain James T. Kirk was the single coolest tv character of all time and the other disagreed. Bill didn’t say that Kirk wasn’t cool, he just questioned whether or not Kirk was the coolest of all time and Andy was ready to throw down.
Since then, I’ve been watching the original Star Trek series. I have to say, Andy has a point. Forget Denny Crane or the Priceline ads. Forget Shatner and all that the name conjures up.
Captain Kirk was frikkin’ awesome.
He was something you almost never see anymore, especially not on tv; an Alpha Male. A man’s man who knew right from wrong and had the confidence to enforce it, sometimes on whole worlds, unilaterally. Kirk was a grown up with no fear of responsibility. In one episode, while telling an entire culture to sit up and behave, someone asked him “who do you think you are?” and he answered “who do I have to be?”
The Fonz could start a juke box with a thump of his fist but would he threaten to annihilate two planets with his superior fire power unless they agreed to fight each other man to man?
I think not.
But at the risk of incurring Andy’s wrath, I’m going to reserve judgement on “Coolest Character Ever”. I’ll just say that any top five that doesn’t feature Kirk is talking out of it’s ass.
There have been a lot of interesting characters on tv. But Cool? Coolest?
Tony Soprano. Certainly a leader. Very interesting. Not cool. He cried in front of his therapist, fercrisakes. He had others do his killing for him. And I think you lose your alpha male standing if you’re scared of your mom. (There’s another list; worst tv mom’s of all time!*)
Vince Mackey. Again, a leader. But he always leads his crew in the wrong direction. He lost his moral compass very early on and although he believes he’s working for the betterment of society, he’ll do anything to cover his own ass.
Tommy Gavin. Not cool. At all. He’s tough and funny and made of gold under the thick layer of crap he insists on covering himself in. Has the raw material to be a leader but never wants to go anywhere anyone wants to follow.
House. Being cool is not the same as being a jerk.
These four examples are characters I dearly love to watch but here’s the thing; if I knew any of them in real life, I would run whenever I saw them coming. The really, truly cool characters are the ones I’d like to hang out with.
Obviously, everyone has different ideas of who the coolest tv characters are and it all depends on what shows you watch. Without giving it too much thought, here’s my list of the five coolest tv characters ever, in no particular order, along with a quote that I think sums up their character and why I love them so.
1. Captain James T. “Who do I have to be?” Kirk
2. Captain Malcom “If I fight a war, I guarantee you’ll see something new” Reynolds
3. Special Agent Fox “How do I get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?” Mulder
4. Gabriel “because you’re here and I need to express myself” Gray
5. Coach Eric “Clear eyes, full heart; can’t lose!” Taylor.
Hmmm. I seem to have a thing for a man with a title. Not only that, but my only exception is Gabriel Gray, who not only doesn’t have a title but is a sociopathic killer. I still want to hang out with him. He’s too funny and he does actually have a code of honor. Bottom line; I don’t think he’d kill me. Obviously, I like sci-fi. Can I help it if that’s where all the best characters are?
There are very few cool female characters. I could only think of three that I think are cool and two are from the same show.
1. Special Agant Dana “Sure. Fine. Whatever.” Scully
2. First Officer Zoe “Next time I’m just gonna watch” Washburne
3. River “I can kill you with my brain” Tam
*Worst tv moms ever;
5. Judy Gellar
4. Teena Mulder
3. Livia Soprano
2. Lucille Bluth
1. Nancy Botwin
Okay, I’m totally embarrassed that I forgot Jack Bauer. Clearly, obviously he’s top five. In fact, I think he’s probably #1 in being cool, keeping his cool, never shirking his duty, taking responsibility for his actions, belief in God, Country and Honor, knowing right from wrong and inspiring greatness in others… But I don’t want to hang out with him. He’s a little too scary.