This post is as far as it can be from children's literature, but I am so enamored with the BBC show, Doc Martin, that I had to blog about it. I owe my writing friend, Davika, a HUGE thank-you for introducing me to the show. I wouldn't have given it a second glance without her recommendation. If you haven't seen it, and I'm betting you haven't, I'll tell you why you should...
If you like good -- no, great -- characters, you should watch this show. I have hardly ever in my passive-viewer life been so engrossed with a character as I am with Martin Ellingham. He is grumpy, brutally honest, a perfectionist to a fault, and completely rude in almost every social situation. But what keeps me coming back again and again to watch his painful ineptitude in dealing with the residents of the provencial sea-side town to which he has been banished, is the hint of goodness bubbling just below his furrowed brow. And I know of this goodness not because of a huge scene in which I am bombastically told why Doc Martin is inherently good, but because the writers and Martin Clunes (who plays the Doctor) have gently guided me to that conclusion by his actions and unforgettable facial expressions.
Good writers (which I hope to be when I grow up!) know that character is nearly everything in a story. Plot can sizzle and setting can be bedazzle, but without a great character you want to grow old with, a story is not more than words on a page. Martin Ellingham is a character that completely fascinates me. He is good. He is bad. He is kind. He is mean. He is, well, normal.
So pardon me for leaving you. I have another episode to watch.