A Couple of Points -- What a Pleasant Surprise!


Spare Me the Melodramatic Proclamations!

I caught the actor who plays Jonas Carey in "What a Pleasant Surprise!" on TV not too long ago. He was a former porn star suspected of murder on CSI. I just about fell off of the elliptical machine right there in the gym, but he did pretty well.

Jonas Carey, Nosferatu and Arthur Bauer all have something in common. They're caricatures. They can't be "'done right" without being way overdone. Arthur Bauer needs an anvil dropped on him. Nosferatu can kiss my cross. And would someone please fetch Jonas Carey a hankie and a martini? Those were the reactions they were supposed to get as characters. And with the superb casting, those were the reactions they got.

If they were played any other way, they would not be as effective. You would like them more. You would like Lucard less.

Jonas Carey didn't deserve what happened to him in the first place. Bela Lugosi didn't deserve what happened to his career, either, but that's beside the point. Lucard wreaks revenge on Jonas Carey: the face on the screen.

Lucard made the same mistake as real stalkers and people at Sci-Fi conventions. The person on the TV or the movie screen is the last little piece that had to fall into place. They didn't come up with the character, and they have no idea what the character did before or afterwards. And unless they actually are part of the writing or production team, they don't care, either. So ask them about what they're doing now.

I have never been to a Sci-Fi convention, and I admit that freely. I also never stalked anyone who had no influence on my GPA. But I know people who have on both counts. Most of the time, they're not scary—just deluded. They allowed themselves to fixate on a fiction ("she's the one for me") until it totally eclipsed reality ("she's taken out a warrant").

If there was a real Dracula, and I was that person, I'd be upset myself. But I'd be biting screenwriters, not actors. Please, they'll play anybody if you give them enough money to do so. And as long as I'm at it, I would take out some people at General Mills, too: whoever came up with Count Chocula.

"I still say Olivier was right for the part." So Lucard made a rookie mistake. I'll grant you that Jonas Carey's a whiner, but did he actually need to die for it?

Some perfectly lovely fanfiction exists proposing the possibility that Jonas Carey was actually more annoying in person when he met Lucard. If that was the case, I take it all back. Part of what we love about Lucard and Dracula in general, is that if you cross him (pun aside) he will kill you at his earliest convenience.

We all get the urge every now and then—and some of us more than others, to hit back when someone hits us. Most of the time simple pragmatism and laziness keep us from hitting back. That guy's bigger than me. I didn't really want the Maraschino cherry on my sundae anyway.

Someone you love dies. A lover leaves. Your boss cheats you out of a promotion or a raise. Your neighbor blasts his stereo all night. Lucard and his ilk* wouldn't let any of that stuff happen without a fight. And though every civilized aspect of your personality says that's the wrong response, you admire them for it.

Lucard doesn't just do what he does to "survive," as he so often puts it. Survival is for the homeless and third world countries. Lucard refuses to play by the rules so that he can flourish. And Lucard would give to anyone, who gave in to him, the power to have anything they want. "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny" and all that rot.

The conversation between Jonas and Gustav certainly lends itself to the idea that he's not even that much of a whiner. So what if he's an eccentric drama queen? So are most real people if given half the chance. He wanted fame, and look at what it got him.

* His ilk:
For older teens and adults who enjoy(ed) watching this show, and would love to see others in a similar vein (pun intended), there's always Forever Knight. There's also She-Wolf of London and Brimstone for dark undercurrent themes and fantastic stuff.

For more Lucard-esque characters try American Gothic and 2005's surprising addition, Point Pleasant. Apart from Forever Knight, none of these shows lasted for more than one season. All of them have the delicious supernatural flavoring added that we like to expect from TV. If I wanted reality, I wouldn't be watching television!


A Couple of Points / Lucard's Home Page / lpetix@dpcc.com