TV Characters: They Play a Larger Role on Youngsters’ Lives than You’d Think
Which TV character(s) have you tried to relate to as a child? Have you dreamed of attending Harvard like Rory Gilmore? Ever been inspired to solve crimes by Hercule Poirot? Longed to wow a court like Harvey Specter? Not only do TV characters serve as companions we never had in real life, but they may also play the role of a guidepost, an idol whom we aspire to become. Here is my story about how a TV character has impacted my conception of the world forever:
How I was Changed by a TV Character
The British crime TV series – Endeavour – had occupied much of my spare time throughout my teenage years. I was on a wild goose hunt for a show that could possibly be half as amazing as Sherlock – another show I was watching at the time – without much luck. When I stumbled across Endeavour, I had pretty much given up hope. I never expected it to meet my expectations, but it did, surprisingly. Even 6 years after, I still distinctly remember how impressed I was with the show when I was barely halfway through the pilot.
Since then, I’d often wondered what drew me to Endeavour. After countless ponders, I concluded that the selling point for me, a twelve-year-old back then, who prided herself for her bilingualism more than anything else, was the fact that the main character in the series, Detective Constable (and later Detective Sargent) Morse, shared my interest in word puzzles and allusions to the Greats.
Furthermore, a cunningly clever underdog who constantly beat senior officers to catch murderers served perhaps the best of idols anyone could hope for.
But I suppose any material would be considered a waste of time if it serves no educational purposes. Thus, I shall stop troubling my readers with the way I took to adore a TV character and instead proceed to how this character has contributed to my maturity throughout the years.
As frequently as I gawked at Morse’s deduction skills, I wondered even more frequently about the source of his quick wits. I first decided that it was his extensive knowledge of literature, for he’d been able to crack multiple cases by drawing inspirations from the classics he had studied at Lonsdale, Oxford University. I was convinced that his ability to recite famous lines, from Ozymandias to The Snow Maiden, from ‘Un bacio ancora’ to ‘Music hath charms’, somehow gave his mind more dimensions than his colleagues, and therefore made him an abler officer.
While the classics indeed broaden the mind, I had come up with a different conclusion as the years had gone by. Morse’s intellect extended beyond literature. His mind was free of judgmental protocols a policeman was expected to abide by because he was open to different possibilities. In life, his openness was reflected in his nurturing multiple passions, including the classics, the opera, and cruciverbalism.
At work, his openness could be seen in his pursuing lines of inquiry without easily disregarding any angles. No clue was too ‘minor’ for him to look into; no approach was too ‘bizarre’ or too ‘far-fetched’ to investigate, so long as he believed it led him closer to the truth. His void of singularity granted him the thoroughness many of his colleagues lacked. As a young girl, I mistook his knowledge of the particular as his asset.
As an adult, I’ve come to learn that it was the spirits with which he took to study the particular that set him apart from his peers.
To deny that I once admired Morse for very frivolous reasons would fool no one. As a young girl, I longed to reach Morse’s level of intelligence, not so that I could utilize it for any altruistic pursuits, I am afraid, but to look sophisticated and sharp in front of my superiors, just like how Morse was able to. Needless to say, such a longing itself is shallow by every measure. As a grownup, I have come to appreciate the character for much more convincing reasons.
Over the years, I’d learned to respect Morse’s mindset when he employed his intellect instead of his intellect itself.
I’d noticed as the years had gone by that Morse never set out to impress anyone. There is not a single instance I can think of when dazzlingly his superiors were his primary goal, as opposed to a mere byproduct obtained by pursuing the culprit of a crime. In every minute of his life, his intellect was used to catch outlaws and protect those who have no power. As an adult, I’ve come to look beyond his achievements and started recognizing the selfless purpose motivating his accomplishments that I once overlooked as a girl.
Of course, I cannot state with absolute certainty how I came to change my views – with all honesty, I believe it’s highly improbable that the character himself contributed solely to my change of mind. However, the character, or rather the way I see the character, serves as a witness to my growth.
From adoring a particular quirk of his to admiring his mindset; from appreciating his intellect to valuing his purpose – Morse is a testament of the route I took to see the broader landscape.