Fiction is a wonderful thing. Whether it be in the form of a book, movie, or TV show, fiction has the ability to take us to places and situations we could never experience in reality.
Yet there is something to be said about relating to a story. I personally am a sucker for any sort of fiction that I can relate to my own life. For example, even though there were times when I hated school with a fiery passion (mostly in middle school), I always like TV episodes where the characters were at school, because I could relate to it. Perhaps that’s why I love watching Boy Meets World so much whenever I’m living at home.
Call me vain if you must, but if I can’t relate to fiction, I eventually lose interest. I can maybe enjoy it for a little while, but it will not have the same lasting impact for me as other more relatable fiction. 24, for example, is a show I really got into in the past; however, since I have not recently faked my own death or saved my daughter from a rogue cougar, I cannot really relate to that show on a long-term basis. No offense, Kiefer Sutherland. (Please don’t kill me.)
The point is that when I find fiction that makes it easy to relate to the characters and their experiences, it’s almost like I’ve made new friends in those characters… which is a depressing glimpse into how few real-life friends I have, but I digress.
If I’m being honest, the characters with whom I relate the most are those in half-hour sitcoms. And every once in a while, I find myself relating to a character so much that one of two things happen:
- I genuinely see myself in that character, or
- I’m filled with admiration and wish that I could see myself in that character.
… I will get to the main point of this post. Below I will list some fictional characters, exclusively from half-hour TV sitcoms, who I have deemed to be my “fictional alter-egos.” Some of them might be wishful thinking, but I think I’ve done pretty well in picking characters who I feel genuinely embody one or more of my main characteristics.
This one is a no-brainer for me. Sarcasm? Check. Fear of commitment? Check. Seemingly eternal bachelor status? Double check. Luckily, Chandler eventually left bachelorhood and found himself a wife. I can only hope that someday soon I’ll find my own Monica… though hopefully she won’t be as neurotic and controlling.
Ben Wyatt–Parks and Recreation
- He is extremely awkward in certain social situations. Sound familiar? Don’t answer that.
- Again, there’s the sarcasm. Lots of people are sarcastic, but only Ben’s constant sarcasm can come close to matching mine.
- His nerdy obsession led to him writing a Star Trek fan-fiction. My nerdy obsession led me to write a Harry Potter fan-fiction (or seven). This was back in high school, but the nerd wounds still sting.
- There’s a scene in one episode where Leslie touches his shoulder from behind, and he jumps so much that he hits his head against the wall. Anyone who has caught me off-guard will know that I have similar reactions when people even lay a finger on me unexpectedly.
Jim Halpert–The Office
I’m almost afraid to include a character who is so universally loved, but I can genuinely relate to him. It’s hard to say how because I haven’t watched the show for so long, but if I remember correctly, he is the token nice guy with a knack for jokes, often at the expense of others. I love telling jokes at the expense of others! Nothing brings me greater joy. Plus he has priceless facial expressions… just like me! Actually, I wouldn’t know that, since I never see my own facial expressions, but the way I imagine them is hilarious. But I, like Jim, would be upset if any of my jokes went too far and actually offended another person.
As much as I’d hate to admit it, yes… I see myself in George Michael. A lot. And more people have compared me to him (or even Michael Cera in general) than to any of the above characters. He’s extremely awkward but good-natured, much like yours truly. And though I have never been in love with a cousin, I can’t help but relate to George in many other ways, especially in the scene where he watches his father’s company gets robbed and barely reacts to it. My lack of emotions and slow response time would probably cause me to react the same way in such a situation.
So there you have it. Those are just some of my fictional alter-egos. There are many more, I’m sure–not only from TV shows, but movies and books as well. What fictional characters do you relate to?