The relationship between a particular character in a television show and the viewer can never be defined. Shows and their characters have managed to keep the viewers glued to their television screens since the longest time known; with both English and Hindi based fiction show characters earning equal adoration from their fans. For a long time now, I have sworn by the English series ‘Gossip Girl’, owing to a character titled ‘Blair Waldorf’ and her ways. Though there other elements to the show, there is no denying the connect that one feels, which draws our attention again and again.
Though there are many factors which contribute to the popularity of a show, the importance of a character or a television celebrity playing a specific role cannot be ignored. The viewer obsession with television characters could be clearly observed in cases when someone is bumped off or in some cases replaced by someone else. In some cases, a character becomes larger than the show itself.
I have recently started with a new feature titled ‘My Favourite Television Character’, which mentions the favourite television character of people from the media industry. The feature gave me an insight regarding how a show becomes synonymous with a particular character and with time becomes a symbiotic relationship, with both interdependent on each other.
Also, an interesting fact that I observed when I asked people about their favourite television character was how they would identify an actor based on their on-screen character’s name. Furthermore, it has been observed that though in some cases a show might not perform as per expectations, there are certain characters who in a matter of time become household names.
Time and again characters such as ‘Gopi Bahu’ from ‘Saath Nibhaana Saathiya’, ‘Barney Stinson’ from ‘How I Met Your Mother’ or ‘Joey’ from ‘Friends’ have proved the fact how their popularity quotient have led to viewers associating their real life with their reel life characters. Though the age old question of whether the popularity of a particular character extends itself to the show or a show shapes up the characters remain debatable, there is no doubt that the audience attraction towards a particular television character cannot be denied.