Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lavender Ranger Editioral: Pretty Boy Leaders

UPDATED 12/22/13
Warning: The following you might not agree with. I say this because I get lots of comments and e-mails sometimes when I am just expressing an OPINION.
I think one of the reasons that there is such a disconnect with Andrew Gray playing Troy in Megaforce is the same reason movies like John Carter (with lead Taylor Kitsch), Abduction (Taylor Lautner), Beastly (Alex Pettyfer), and I am Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) were not big hits. I think that The Legend of Hercules (Kellan Lutz) will not be a hit as well. This is because I think Andrew Gray looks too 'perfect' or model like. He was indeed a male model, but so was Alex Heartman (Jayden), Michael Copon (Lucas), Chris Violette (Sky), James Mclauren (Mac) and various other Power Rangers. But Andrew looks more 'perfect' or 'flawless.' Fans have been complaining about his personality than his looks, that there seems to be no personality.

Lack of characterization has always been an issue in various Power Rangers series regardless if Saban or Disney. Troy has been accused of the less characterization, we just don't know anything about him. All we know is that he doesn't give up, laughs at fart jokes, was the new kid and practiced martial arts before being a Ranger. Andrew Gray has admitted that fans are not happy that Troy doesn't talk much. I think it had to do with Jason the first Red Ranger, didn't talk much but Jason did passionately take a stand against Goldar and anything Tommy related. Jason was a man of few words but he had a personality. He could get agitated and could show his anger. The above chart I did based on another chart with just the same picture for a bunch of emotions.

Going back to looks, the reason I think those movies failed or will fail is because the main character is plain in the personality department and 'pretty' in the face department. While a lead character in an action film can be young (Star Wars, Back to the Future or Prince of Persia), the actor can be physically fit but when they look 'too perfect' it causes a disconnect with fanboys. Most fanboys want a lead character that is funny, brave and badass. Audiences want a hero that they can relate to, girls (and gay guys) want to be with the guy and guys want to be the guy. People love Han Solo because he wasn't a pretty boy and he was badass. And speaking of Power Rangers, people like Jason, he did look like a typical jock and muscle head but he was endearing and a good person. The actor was young and that showed off in the character.

Oh! I forgot there is an exception to this. Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movies. When he was hired, everyone was complaining he was a 'pretty boy.' But he later proved a worthy successor to the Kirk throne.


ThatChick said...

I find Michael J Fox in Back To the Future very cute. I don't like generic pretty boys (or girls) myself. I prefer it if the character is beautifully written. If they are handsome, it's a bonus, but I don't find a lot of today's younger leading men to be handsome. I prefer Jon Hamm, Cillian Murphey, Noel Fielding, Bruce Lee, George Clooney, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Stamos. All different types of handsome.

And a lot of models can act. Some actors will resort to modeling if they want to start out.

I have the same problem with Troy, and most of the Megaforce characters. The writing is horrific. The writers' room must be really bad. And it's a lot of telling, but not showing. "Troy, you're a natural leader, so you're the red ranger." We don't see him lead. It's called character shilling. I notice that with Tzachor it's common. Although he worked on In Space, his work started to devolve. He tends to either water down the sentai series (Time Force was a fan-favorite, however, Timeranger utilizes all the members of the team instead of just focusing on three, and had a unique message about changing your own future). In Wild Force, we see Taylor pretty confidently leading the team, and then Cole comes in and they are all like "Cole is the leader now cuz he can hear animals." Cole I think was the first major pretty boy casting. I know in Gaoranger, Gaored was chosen because of the same prophecy (whoever the lion chooses is the leader) even though GaoYellow was a great leader, but Gaored had redeemable traits unlike Cole. He questioned his abilities, sometimes would make mistakes as a leader, wasn't a perfect Mary Sue, lived in the real world, wasn't too powerful, although he could communicate with animals. He was more compassionate and open, which made him a better leader than GaoYellow who was cold and rigid.

Where was I? I totally rambled. I blame the casting. If you look pretty, that's good. If you can act amazingly, that's better. It's like they bypass the acting for the auditions. And take challenges with the writing. I think the main problem everyone has with Troy was that he was hired for his looks, not his talent. And Troy isn't hot, at least to me. Get Jon Hamm in spandex, and now we're talking.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Andrew Gray is in great shape, but I think he lacks that element of charisma that Alex Hartman had in spades. Thats not to draw unfair comparison between the two. I'm just saying that even with a bowl haircuit Alex Hartman is someone you'd feel comfortable just hanging out.

Unknown said...

I think Andrew Gray has to be without question THE hottest male ranger Power Rangers has ever seen.

I can TOTALLY understand the disconnect some straight male fans have towards him. Alex Hartman is a very attractive with muscles galore, but wardrobe really didn't do him justice.

Here we have Andrew Grey in a tight leather jacket, jeans that hug his ass and lips that say "come and f**k me" and BAM. Hottest Power Ranger ever.

As far as lack of characterization, I don't mind it. He's not in our face and I find that alluring about him. He's mysterious and hot. I don't mind much. Plus the real STARS of the show are Jake and Gia.

Battra said...

Considering Andrew's only other acting credit is a David DeCoteau 1313 movie, it's pretty obvious that he was only hired to bring in a the female demographic and give mother's something to look at.