Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fictional Throwdown: The Matchup; Sam Winchester vs Peter Petrelli

In a fight who would win: Sam Winchester or Peter Petrelli? To answer this important question, and to prove why it is an important question, I need to retrace the steps I took to form it.

The starting point of all my intellectual speculation is Gilmore Girls. I watched this show on and off when it aired. I went through periods where I didn’t miss a single episode, and then I went through periods where I didn’t watch at all, and didn’t really care. Years passed but Lorelai and Rory didn’t really change, so it was fairly easy to pick-up and leave off at will. But I have a pretty good grasp of the show as a whole.

The second part is my attachment to three shows: Supernatural, Heroes, and Friday Night Lights. What these three shows have in common is that they star, or guest feature, one of Rory’s ex-boyfrineds. Jared Padalecki plays Sam Winchester on Supernatural, but before that he was Dean (I know, confusing because his bro on Supernatural is named Dean, but bear with me), Rory’s first boyfriend, whom she left for Jess (sort of a matter of debate). Dean got married, but he still loved Rory and they eventually slept together while he was still married. Milo Ventimiglia played Jess, who eventually left the show to star in a spin-off that never happened, and then made occasional appearances later on (kind of as Rory’s moral compass, which I found strange). Little Milo moved on (first to a show that was quickly cancelled called the Bedford Diaries, which also starred Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl) to become Peter Petrelli, the power absorbing murse on Heroes. Rory’s final major boyfriend was Logan (Matt Czuchry), the rich kid whose proposal she (stupidly) rejected in the second to last episode of the series. As I’ve already mentioned he has been doing a guest spot on Friday Night Lights. Logan is not really a part of my current thought process, but I felt unfair leaving him out. Obviously, it’s good to be Rory Gilmore’s ex; you don’t end up with a crazy mother-in-law, and you get to move on to badass shows.

The third step is actually tiny threads of thought that combined in the fourth step. When you see an actor you know from one show on a different show, it is only natural to compare the two characters, which in bits and pieces I did with both Jared Padalecki and Milo Ventimiglia.
I was initially reluctant to watch Supernatural, one because I don’t actually like scary things (I don’t watch horror movies anymore), and two because Jared was so entrenched in my mind as Rory’s Dean. Dean was the perfect high school boyfriend, sweet, attentive, considerate. He was hardworking, and just a decent guy. I wasn’t too pleased with the extramarital affair, and think that was a mistake on the writer’s part, but I digress. I just wasn’t prepared to see him fighting the forces of evil and all that, but one episode was enough to prevent me from sleeping for three nights, and to completely suck me into this show. And as time has gone on this show has become a larger and larger part of my viewing-life. I think about it more than any normal healthy person should, but I make no apologies for my obsession. And though Sam Winchester is a far cry from his previous character, I adore him. Sometimes you meet a character who gets a raw deal, but reacts so badly it makes you just want to punch them. On the rare occasion though you meet a character who gets an unbelievably raw deal, but reacts with such courage and determination that it makes you want to give them a hug. Sam deserves a hug. Can I be in mortal peril, please? Okay, not really.
Despite my previous criticism of Heroes, I am a big fan. My friend Luke’s endorsement, and boredom over the summer, convinced me to watch Season One, and I fell in love. Not with everything about the show (Ali Larter must die), but Peter, among others, stole my heart. Peter (and I really am talking about Season One, since Season Two is another issue) is so much different than Jess; selfless, loving, and stable, whereas Jess damaged, caustic, and indifferent (okay I really can’t forgive him for leaving Rory without saying anything, not even good-bye). Peter’s heart drives, and grounds, the show; he saves the world by making those around him better people, convincing them to sacrifice for what is right. Peter, in Season Two, seems a bit more like Jess; limited in his scope of comprehension and making moral pronouncements without authority. I still love Peter, and genuinely hope that the (possible) mistakes in Season Two will be rectified in Season Three.

The last step happened this morning. I switched on the TV this morning while I was eating my breakfast, and what popped up but a rerun of Gilmore Girls from the time of both Dean and Jess (it was the post-Dean breakup episode, he was returning things to her house). Looking at the screen I wondered why Sam was letting this little girl push him around, and if he had known then what he knows now Rory wouldn’t have dared to do what she did. (Can you tell I hadn’t had my coffee yet?) And as the opening credits played and as I blended characters past with characters present (this is where step three and step four collided) the question sprang into my head.

So, in a fight who would win: Sam Winchester or Peter Petrelli?

I intend to find an answer, but there are quite a few variables. You may think there is an obvious victor, but the more I think about it, the more complicated it gets. So I am going to break down the competitors over multiple entries. A winner can’t be decided without looking at all the facts. The categories are: personal attributes (including upbringing), character/moral understanding, and back-up. Let the games begin.

Note:
Please notice that acting talent is not a competitive category. This is an entirely speculative enterprise, so lets have fun with it.

The TV Girl

7 comments:

Luke said...

I guess the fact the Peter might be the most powerful being on the planet doesn't tip the scales too far in his favor ;-).

I also think you hit the nail on the head for the biggest of many problems with Heroes Season 2. Peter really drove the action of Season 1, and he was extremely sympathetic to the audience. Season 2, not so much....

The TV Girl said...

Yeah, I wonder if they really knew what they had with Peter (Season 1). It seemed like they did, but then they messed it up. I am hoping they can fix it.
You might think Peter is the most powerful being on the planet, and I admit he has the advantage, but let me weigh the evidence. We don't assume Brutus is right just because Caesar is wrong, do we?

Luke said...

Yeah, I agree, I really don't think they knew what they had with Peter. Essentially, in Season 1, he was the center of the show, Season 1 was largely his journey. While he was not always the most interesting character (I think that title goes to Claire's father), he was still the audience's entry point, and we progressed with him from a nobody to essentially the only Hero who could go toe to toe with Sylar. Sigh...

Looking forward to the weighing of the evidence...

The TV Girl said...

Sigh is right. (I don't know if I whole-heartedly agree that HRG was the most interesting character in Season 1. I don't deny, I would just have to think about it more.) You have it in a sentence, Peter was the gateway for viewer. Old Peter where have you gone?

Asiankp said...

Well, do friends count because I'd say that Sam Winchester's brother, the adorable Dean (?) is played by the gorgeous Jensen Ackles. but then again, Peter Petrelli has that Indian guy, claire and others. I'd have to go with Peter Petrelli, fidelity goes a LONG way and infidelity delivers a seriously low blow to a person's character and messes up their psyche whether they know it or not. but then again, I may not know what the hell I'm talking about seeing as I've never seen either one of the shows. Ooops.

The TV Girl said...

Friends count, and will be addressed under "Back-up." Just wait...

Asiankp said...

OOhhh WOW...your blog looks SO fancy now.