dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Of Standardized Leaders.....

As I said yesterday, the human members of Mystery Incorporated started out as, well, slightly parodic versions of the characters of the sitcom Dobie Gillis. This, of course, meant that original main character Fred Jones was more or less Dobie. Just as the guy on the sitcom wasn't as extreme a personality as the people around him, Freddy was sort of a well-intentioned cipher; his function was to drive the Mystery Machine, build the traps, exhort Shaggy and Scooby to not malinger and tell the inept police officer why Kindly Old Man Jenkins was wandering around dressed as The Baleful Beast of Brouhaha. The movie they made ten years ago started him on the ruinous path to catastrophic character derailment that's turning the latest version of the franchise into a train wreck; as you might have seen, the writers turned him into a brash, neurotic blowhard who was landed with the egotistical need to take credit for Velma's hard work; he can thus be understood as being Mike Patterson in an ascot. As bad as having the Delicate Genius saying "Let's split up, gang" might have been, it's a lot better than turning him into an oblivious man-child who's more or less both Venture Brothers rolled together into one crazy guy. The reason the show runner did so was to give him a personality; it seems to me that the guy from the original version had one. I, for one, can readily see Freddy asking Tagi and Pagong if they want to know what they're playing for. That's because he reminds me of Jeff Probst; in both instances, we've got a soft-spoken and plausible looking fellow who's hiding a rather forceful personality behind a bland smile trying to keep a group of eccentrics focused on a goal. The problem with Probst is that he doesn't have back-up; the real Freddy can at least count on the most functional of the oddballs he drives around to keep the rest from going madly off in all directions.
Tags: mysteries five

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