Posts Tagged ‘Hanibal King’

Top 11 Annoying Sidekicks

September 14, 2015

Top 11

So, I came up with this post while thinking about Tom Kenny. To be fair, I hold no ill will for Tom Kenny but he does voice one of the most annoying characters I have encountered in all of the fiction I have consumed. Thinking of him made me remember that he has worked on other projects and isn’t always paid to be annoying. I thought about all the “annoying sidekick” characters and I started to feel disgust. Then I thought of all the ones I liked anyway and I smiled. I had made a promise to myself recently to try and keep this blog positive. If I have a negative review that’s fine. I can’t help but share that with the world. Still, I think when it comes to fiction I tend to make a positive out of a negative so why shouldn’t I try that here?

I decided to limit the list only to the mediums where I could hear the character. In books and comic books, the character’s voice comes partly from my own head. Also, I couldn’t really think of any annoying characters in comics and books that would end up on this list. The list is full of characters who were annoying but somehow redeemed themselves enough or otherwise wormed their way into my heart.

11 Hannibal King (from Blade: Trinity)

I have spoken of Blade: Trinity before in my Blade Retrospective and I mostly hold with what I said about it over 7 months ago. The movie is the third time we follow Wesley Snipes as Blade as he tries to kill off hordes of vampires and stop a vampire plot to take over the world. Blade is a character of few words and therefore the characters around him often have to fill in the dialogue around him. Except, Ryan Reynolds won’t shut up. Seriously, he just keeps talking and talking and telling jokes to absolutely no reaction from the rest of the cast of characters. At some point, it starts feeling hollow and lame. How did it get better? He got no reaction from the rest of the cast because of the laziness of the lead actor. Snipes was often not on set so Ryan Reynolds often improved a lot of these jokes to thin air. I also noticed that beneath the character’s glib delivery, there is a bitter, world weariness to the character. When I learned all of that I respected Reynolds as an actor a bit more.

10 Nate Westen (from Burn Notice)

A friend of mine back in New Jersey introduced me to Burn Notice. When I checked the show out it was a mini-rennaisance for the USA Network where all sorts of great shows were coming out. I was lured into watching the show because of Bruce Campbell and the promise of fairly MacGuyver-esque chicanery going on weekly. The only warning I received was that the main characters brother is annoying but not to worry too much about that. My friend was right. Nate Westen is every deadbeat brother combined with every character who gets into dumb trouble and must ask the hero for help. The character is pretty selfish but also has a chip on his shoulder about Michael and their combined father issues. He does all this while brother is struggling through problems with criminals, black ops intelligence and all sorts of dangerous characters. How does it get better? The character grows up. He struggles and finally admits his faults and tries to improve. He becomes a family man and a stable ally for his family, choosing to set aside the past and look toward the future.

9 Ruby Rhod (from The Fifth Element)

When the Fifth Element came out, I instantly fell in love with it. Everything about it interested me. In my opinion, the movie has a great marriage of many excellent elements. The amazing soundtrack, the quirky characters, the extensive world-building, the beautiful art direction and even the somewhat cheesy dialogue. Chris Tucker bursts into the movie like a wrecking ball swinging from a speeding bullet train. He portrays a futuristic show host/reality radio star. He uses a high pitched, high speed delivery that is full of very strange slang. He instantly annoys the main character and probably every single person who ever saw the movie. How did it get better? Beyond his strange behavior, he’s actually pretty human. He’s terrified in terrifying situations and acts like every spoiled celebrity we’ve ever seen. By the end of the movie it’s strangely endearing because I realize that it’s not an act. He is as excited, anxious and crazy as he acts.

8 Robin the “Boy” Wonder (Batman ’66)

Don’t get me wrong, I watched he hell out of Batman ’66 during afternoons after school where my brothers and I could watch all the Biffs and Bams happen. I hadn’t even read any Batman comics yet but I had seen Batman (1989). I knew that Batman and comedy could work together. I also knew that Batman worked with Robin the Boy Wonder. However, Robin was pretty annoying. He was an insufferable know it all. I particularly hated how Robin reacted in the presence of one of the Riddler’s riddles. Somehow he knew the complicated answers and it made no sense. He also had none of the style, charm or (strangely) intelligence of Robins in the comic books. How did it get better? I realized that those moments I hated were the writer’s fault and the fault of 60’s love affair with camp. I learned to embrace how wrong he was.

7 The Mayor (from Nightmare Before Christmas)

Politicians are hard to portray in television, movies and such. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered from all I’ve seen so far. Politicians seem to be portrayed as either corrupt devils or perfect political beings that please everybody and even sometimes fight off terrorists or alien invasions. The Mayor of Halloweentown has such an annoying voice and is almost constantly whining throughout the movie. He is constantly pestering the main character who has more than enough problems thank you very much! He does nothing, he says nothing of value. How did it get better? I grew up. I realized that the Mayor is just trying to be the best politician he can be. He is a parody of how a lot of us see politicians. He is literally two-faced and spends most of his time in a black and white world. He knowingly hitches his wagon to the hottest celebrity in town and relies on everybody else to do all of the work. Taken that way, it’s actually pretty funny and biting commentary.

6 Claptrap (Borderlands series)

I’ve spoken about the Borderlands series of video games on a couple of occasions. The video games tell the story of a post-apocalyptic future of a planet named Pandora. The characters meet a lot of weird characters who either help or harm them. In the first game, they are confronted by a model of robot called Claptraps who are mostly there to access door panels and other electronics. They speak with a high-pitched robot voice and are highly excitable. They were universally hated. In fact, they were so universally hated that when people found out that they were almost exterminated between games, they were happy. When they made the Claptrap into a character class in the third game, there are a series of four prompts when you try to select it that ask if you are really, really sure. How did it get better? It’s supposed to be annoying. What finally made me accept that completely is seeing how annoyed Handsome Jack is when he encounters Claptraps. If the horrible villain hates it, how can I?

5 Scrappy Doo (from Scooby Doo)

Scrappy is one of the most universally hated characters that I have ever experienced. In fact, he has a trope named after him. Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. travelled around the country and exposed all sorts of fake ghost and monster sightings. They revealed the “hauntings” as pretty contrived and pathetic felonies. Scooby was the token talking dog whose cowardice somehow always saved the day against all odds. At some point, the gang was joined by Scooby’s pint-size nephew Scrappy and we learned that Doo is apparently a surname. Scrappy was brave to a fault. He was constantly touting his “puppy power” and had to be stopped from charging after dangerous monsters. Of course, being a youngster he was given a confident and somewhat annoying voice. How did it get better? He charged at dangerous criminals while everyone else cowered. That takes bravery. Also, the character was basically a kid and can’t we allow him to be a little stupid? It’s admirable that he thought he could take on the world at his size even if it was a little unrealistic. If the grownups had been as brave as Scrappy then maybe they could have rushed the unarmed criminals and saved us a half hour.

4 Wesley Crusher (from Star Trek TNG)

My first exposure to the Star Trek universe was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I will always hold a place in my heart for the crew of the USS Enterprise-D and its journeys of exploration. The Enterprise-D was primarily a vessel for exploration and was built large enough to bring the families of crewmembers to ease the long tours of duty. So it was that we were introduced to the young son of the resident Chief Medical Officer, Wesley Crusher. Wesley was brilliant and knew it. He always found himself underfoot when it came to the crew, usually in the engineering section. In a crisis, he pushed his way into the conversation and solved the problem in the place of grown up individuals who were being paid to solve these problems. I hate to borrow a term from online jerks but he was definitely a tryhard. How did it get better? Several different things happened. Wesley started to grow up and distinguished himself as an exceptionally intelligent young man. He also proved how loyal he was to the staff of engineering and the ships captain. He proved himself to be serious and more mature than other kids his age or at least far more mature than I was.  The writers actually tried harder too.

3 Dawn Summers (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

I watched Buffy a lot later than most fans of the show but I had somehow insulated myself from a lot of the more terrible spoilers. When I arrived at the fourth season, I was especially surprised and startled by the spoiler that I will relate next. In the first episode of season 5, Buffy is annoyed by her younger sister Dawn. Unfortunately, this also confused all of the fans at home. See, for four seasons Buffy was explicitly an only child and now she had a younger sister to contend with. The show refused to explain it for a while until we found out that Dawn was created by a spell in order to protect the world and everyone’s memories were changed. In the meantime, we experienced Dawn being a little bratty sister. She got in the way, she got in danger and was mostly a device for Buffy and her friends to protect. How did it get better? Dawn grew up. She formed relationships beyond her sister. Through those relationships she discovered a personality of her own. She reconciled with her sister and accepted how screwed up their life was. At times she even became a voice of reason when Buffy and her friends got turned around.

2 Olaf (from Frozen)

The first trailer for Frozen did not inspire confidence. You can actually see it above. It features a living snowman wrestling with a moose over a carrot which is supposed to be the snowman’s nose. There is little dialogue in the trailer and very few cues on what the movie is actually about. There’s no hint of of the brilliant performances from Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell just a dorky snowman and a confused moose. At the time I had become fed up with pointless sidekicks, especially in animated movies. I had just experienced the stupid slugs in Epic and I had shut that movie off. I was disappointed as the animal sidekicks in Tangled had been tolerable and here was a whole teaser devoted to the dumb sidekicks. I had only heard Olaf say one word but I knew he had a dorky voice and he would be in almost every shot and the whole thing would be ruined. How did it get better? He wasn’t actually all that different from what I expected when I saw the movie. However, he wasn’t as dumb and omnipresent as I thought he would be. He was naive but optimistic and actually a character I wouldn’t mind hanging out with. He also had several, pardon the pun, heart-warming moments that made him more than just the comic relief.

1 Mr. Meeseeks (from Rick and Morty)

This is probably the most obscure name on the list. It’s also the first character I thought of for this list because I mistakenly remembered that he was voiced by Tom Kenny. In the episode he appeared, copies of Mr. Meeseeks are summoned to help various characters accomplish tasks. They yearn to complete their task so that they can return to oblivion as every moment is agony for them. However, because of their horrible voices, every moment they are on screen is agony for the audience. Every single word is spoken in the same slightly raspy, high pitched squeal without exception and without mercy. They also all constantly spout the same catchphrase “I’m Mr. Meeseeks! Look at me!” How did it get better? The voice never gets better. However, the instant one of the Meeseeks starts speaking intelligently and eloquently in that annoying voice I couldn’t help but laugh. They each have so much insight into psychology, sociology and any other school of thought. From there the concept of the Meeseeks as a species became more interesting and their existential crisis became far more compelling than their horrible voice. They were the anti-Spongebobs and I couldn’t be more pleased.


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