I love fiction — I always have, be it written or on a screen. Or even, role-played. When I was a kid, I’d stay up late at night when my parents thought I was asleep to read my books. As far as screens go, I particularly like serials or TV shows where you get to see the same characters over and over again.
In fiction, there is meaning. The lives of our characters make sense, because the person who wrote them wanted them to mean something. They have a purpose. I only just realised how much I tend to become attached to fictitious characters I meet in books or movies. I remember that the end of the Chronicles of Narnia had me crying my heart out, not really because it was sad, but because I had to part with those characters I had grown to love. Same thing with the Lort of the Rings, Harry Potter (which is luckily not quite over yet), Tales of the Otori, the Foundation novels, and countless others. The longer the series the harder it is, but parting at the end of a single book can be quite painful too.
Films and TV make it worse, because you get to follow characters over the course of years before they disappear. When I was a teenager, I’d watch Rick Hunter each evening after coming home from school. The way I get hooked on TV shows (Alias, 24, Lost, and now Babylon5) is reminiscent of those times. I guess there is a certain security in loving screen characters who don’t have the freedom of real human beings.
Another theme that appeals to me in these shows is that these characters are placed in situations where every decision they make is a question of life and death. They live dangerously. As I said above, their lives have purpose, we know it, otherwise they wouldn’t be the heroes or main characters of the show. And very often, they need to bottle up their emotions in order to do their job.
That’s why I get hooked on The Matrix, X-Men, the Jason Bourne books, Star Wars, Farscape or 24, and not so much on Friends or the like. Six Feet Under is a bit of an exception, but on the other hand, the characters are all pretty weird emotionally and they live in a funeral home.
Tags: lost, starwars, books, otori, harrypotter, lotr, narnia, purpose, life, meaning, danger, fiction, lifeanddeath, emotions, xmen, thematrix, sixfeetunder, rickhunter, 24, b5, babylon5, alias, farscape, tvshows