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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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The influence of my favorite TV characters

I saw myself in all types of characters from Lorelai Gilmore to Phoebe Buffet

If you’re anything like me, you have a character from a TV show that makes you feel seen. When you watch it, you feel a sense of comfort, feel included in something much bigger than your own life and most importantly — you see yourself.

The following is a list of the TV characters that I see myself in the most:

Lorelai Gilmore, ‘Gilmore Girls’

I instantly saw myself in the character of Lorelai Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls,” portrayed by actress Lauren Graham. She talks a lot, and fast. She gets excited about little things. She makes jokes at inappropriate times. Oh — and she also requires numerous cups of coffee a day to survive.

When I was 15 and watching “Gilmore Girls” for the first time, I was just beginning high school. I never thought that a character who plays a single mom in her 30s would be someone I relate to, but I instantly became obsessed with her demeanor.

Lorelai Gilmore proves that no matter how old you get, it’s OK to have child-like tendencies. It’s OK to get easily excited about little things. It’s OK to wear flare jeans (maybe). But most importantly, it’s essential to your happiness to put yourself and the people you care about first.

When you care about something deeply, you should express that. You should show off your accomplishments. You should proudly wear your victories on your sleeve along with your downfalls.

Lorelai Gilmore is notorious for stating “I smell snow” throughout the series before the year’s first snowfall. It’s a glimpse into her personality and a reminder that it’s OK to rush to the window for the year’s first snowfall.

Callie Torres, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Callie Torres from “Grey’s Anatomy” is another character I fell in love with the second she popped up on my screen. Her energy electrified and sharpened every scene.

Callie Torres, brought to life by actress Sara Ramirez, is always willing to stand up for what she believes in and will put up a fight for what’s right. Torres was one of the first openlylesbian women on cable TV. Her relationship with Arizona Robbins was one of the first long-term lesbian relationships on television at the time.

To say that this character broke TV boundaries would be an understatement. Callie was tough, smart and independent — all things I look for in a character.

Brooke Davis, ‘One Tree Hill’

Another character I’ve always admired is Brooke Davis, from the early 2000s hit teen drama “One Tree Hill.” Sophia Bush does an excellent job of portraying Brooke as a distressed teenager and as an adult after a mid-series time jump.

I believe whole-heartedly that Brooke Davis had one of the best character arcs of all time on any TV show ever. Watching her go through the trenches of everyday high school life and then become a mom and a business owner later on should inspire many viewers.

Her character arc is a lesson to viewers that it doesn’t matter where you start, because you can end up wherever you want as long as you’re passionate and driven.

Phoebe Buffet, ‘Friends’

Phoebe Buffet has always been my favorite “friend” from the hit 90s to early 2000s sitcom, “Friends.” Although each of the six leads has a special place in my heart, Phoebe Buffet is by far the most humorous, caring and spectacularly weird character in the show.

Fans became enamored with Phoebe’s whimsical nature within the series’ first few episodes. That whimsy, portrayed by actress Lisa Kudrow, grows stronger and stronger with every season. Whether it’s her strong opinions on hunting, chain massage businesses or her wonderfully out-there self-written songs, fans are always sure to smile when she’s on the screen.

But one of the very best things about Phoebe is that she is always willing to stand up for her friends and put them first. Phoebe stated in an episode that you “never cancel on friends.” She explained that lovers can come and go, but “this,” a strong friendship, is forever.

The opinion desk can be reached at opinon@ubspectrum.com


JOSH PAWLIK
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Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor for The Spectrum. His hobbies include playing guitar, working out and reading. He can be found on Instagram @joshpawlik 

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