Why Do We Like Different Characters on Television than People in Real Life?



I was watching Hart of Dixie yesterday and found myself asking this question. I haven’t finished the second season yet, so if you have and something has changed, forgive me. If you have never seen the show, the guy on the right’s name is Wade Kinsella and the guy on the left’s name is George Tucker and they are night and day. Wade is a bartender, usually has his shirt off and is very good around women. George is a lawyer, golden boy of the entire town, and engaged to his girlfriend of 15 years. SPOILER ALERT Both of these men begin to have feelings for the main character of the show, Zoe Hart. Through her, we are able to see into the psyche of both of these men. Wade’s dad is the town drunk and his brother is a war hero. He had to stay in town to take care of his dad.  He fakes apathy but he really does care about people. George’s dad is a big time lawyer who wants him to move and his brother is running for Senate. George and Lemon’s relationship is much more strained than it would seem on the surface. He was in New York for 2 years and Lemon turned to another man, mayor Lavon Hays, for comfort. END OF SPOILER ALERT I like Wade’s character on the show but in real life, I would probably be in love with George.  Why the shift?

It all has to do with character development. Wade starts out as an immature womanizer. George starts out as a perfect golden boy lawyer with a perfect relationship. Wade’s character has more room to grow and so some people find his character more interesting and are invested more in his story line. On the other hand, George is already perfect and so he doesn’t really have anywhere to go but down. Some people find his character boring or just simply “too much.”

Pretty much every love triangle ever created contains this. The person that we want the main character to end up is not necessarily the one we would date in real life. Sometimes it is, but a lot of the time it is not. So what do y’all think? Am I completely nuts or have you noticed this too? Let me know what you think and if you agree, tell me your favorite example of this.


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