In discussing films, there might be spoilers. Sorry!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tom Selleck and Nathan Fillion from Guest Cassidy McKay ...

Why do we love those flawed characters in movies and books so much?

Consider Jesse Stone in the popular made-for-TV movies of the same name. Tom Selleck plays a tough, burned-out cop who moves to a small town to start over after a divorce. He is still in love with his ex-wife, but hates that she continues to have so much pull over him. He has a drinking problem and doesn't want to allow himself to care for anyone again... yet he has a job to do and he does it well, regardless of the pain it may cause him.

Or we have the hard-ass female character on the TV series

Castle. Stana Katic plays Kate Beckett, a homicide detective who is all business, until the famous writer Rick Castle

(played by Nathan Fillion) is thrust into her life and job in order to research a new book series. We find out through the series that Beckett's mother was murdered when she was young, and she is determined to both find the killer(s), and to harden her heart against being hurt. Yet the rich, humorous writer wants to be the one to help her see the beauty, the love, and the fun in life again.

From oral stories passed down through the ages all the way into modern times, we love our flawed characters, sometimes in spite of ourselves. Odysseus struggled with pride and infidelity. Jane Austen's characters all had issues they were dealing with. Even the popular Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer has both an angst-ridden, lonely teenage girl, and a reluctant vampire who hates what he has become. We are biologically programmed to care for those who are hurt or need help in some way or another.

Current authors and screenwriters still use the flawed hero or heroine to make us care and draw us into their lives--so much so that we are desperate to either fix their problems, or cheer for them when the plucky hero or heroine steps up to the plate and heals those who seem almost beyond redemption, except to those who were meant to love them.

So what about it? Which fictional flawed hero or heroine flips your switch? If you could go back or forward in time into any book or movie, who would you want to rescue from themselves, or their situation?

Cassidy McKay lives in Northern California, nestled among the pines of the Sierra Nevada foothills. After a rather unique childhood where learned to deal with emergency veterinary surgery, firefighting, dog training and washing clothes in creeks, she worked her way through a career in law enforcement, four children and two marriages. She entertains herself studying the local history and spends her nights writing spicy, erotic romances after the kids go to bed. She amuses herself bantering and brainstorming with her husband, fantasy writer H.E. Curtis, while traveling for research, family entertainment, and her never-ending search for sanity. When she is not writing romances or harassing her husband, Cassidy enjoys reading almost anything she can get her hands on.

Visit Cassidy’s website at http://www.cassidymckay.com, or for sweet romance visit her alter-ego Ashlyn BarrĂ© at http://www.ashlynbarre.com.


  1. I'm not familiar with Kate Beckett of Castle, but I love Tom Selleck. I've watched him through the years and he gives real life to his characters. You almost believe he has the drinking problem and other traits he portrays as Jesse Stone.

    I also love him in Blue Bloods. He's the head of the Reagan family of cops, but there are times when he lets his guard down and brings another side to his personality.

    A great blog, Cassidy. I enjoyed your take on the different stars and their roles.

    Mary Suzanne

  2. Thanks Mary Suzanne!

    I've loved Tom Selleck for years. I have all of the Blue Bloods shows sitting on my DVR waiting for a spare second to watch them--which I haven't found yet. But I am looking forward to it. He definitely gets into every role he plays.

    If you haven't watched Castle yet, I'd very highly recommend it. LOVE this show.