Breaking your characters and some symbolism

Watching one TV show for hours at a time, at a stretch, back to back, can really only lead to one thing. Well, it leads to all the characters living inside of your head, and also, you get lotds of ideas related to that show. Not necessarily story ideas, just ideas, like this blog post, for example. Today we are going to learn from Parks and Recreations, that one way to get an interesting plot/storyline is to break your characters down so much that they lose who they fundamentally are.


Photo from

Photo from This is not a gif. It is also low quality. I am disappoitned.

Let’s start with Chris because his is literally the easiest. he first sign of his degeneration, is, in my opinion, Chris’s shoulder cyst, or whatever, which was probably in The Flu (third season, second episode) and Chris gets the flu, too. He also gets this. I think the shoulder thing happened in this same episode. But, if it didn’t, and I had to guess, I would imagine that the shoulder thing happened at a later episode than the flu if they didn’t happen at the same time. So, I guess his first sign of degeneration was the flu. Then, bad stuff keeps happening to him. He even gets “self diagnosed depression,” he is so sad. He is so lonely and sad that he had to hang out with Ron Swanson all the time. That sounds like an insult to Ron but it’s not it’s just that Chris is an idiot.

Sorry. Personal feelings.

In case you don’t watch Parks and Rec (I highly recommend it, by the way), Chris is literally the most positive person you will ever meet in yoru entire life. He also says the word literally so much and i’ts funny. Tha’ts his mannerism. Not all characters should have an annoying/funy speech mannersim like saying “literally” literally in every sentence, but one character can. The othe rcharacters need characteristic stuff they do in ertain situations, becuase that’s what makes them humna. For example, when I am sad, I curl up in my bed and wallow until it does away. Does that sound healthy? No.

Photo found on Pinterest

But are any of these  adults actual adults? No. They are all big babies. Tom is literally a baby. And this was encapsulated in the fact that Jerry painted Tom as a baby in his painting. This is actually a prime example of symbolism in writing. It was really overt, since Tom’s face was literally (no overt reference to Chris intended) the face of the baby in the painting. But it’s there. And it stuck. And now we understand Tom’s character better. He is a baby. He is immature. Really immature. And has stupid ideas and dreams and no real way to bring them to life because he wants to do no hard work. Which brings me to Leslie (I almost called her Amy, I am funny) who was depicted as a goddess in the painting. This was foreshadowing to a later episode ( Season 4 Episode 4) when it depicted that Leslie was actual the troop leader of the Pawnee Goddesses, the girl youth park ranger club. Symbolism is beautiful.



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