Wil E. Coyote, genius (wilecoyote) wrote in ichthyocentaurs,
Wil E. Coyote, genius

About Duncan: a speculation and some ramblings

This post is about Duncan.

No, wait. Don't run!! It's interesting. Well, I think so. Or not. The crap I write probably won't be interesting, but the questions that may rise from it could be. Plus, there's another shout-out to Polter-Cow.

I should mention that I almost never venture into speculation threads, because I'm afraid that I'll get spoiled, so maybe this has already been discussed to death and I'm, like, totally behind the curve or something. This said:

After finding out at the end of 2x09 that Meg was pregnant, and after watching the opening scene of 2x10, I thought that it would have been a really interesting arc for the rest of the season if Duncan had decided to take responsability for the baby by proposing to marry Meg, for example... and if his parents had decided to fight tooth and nail against it.

It could have been a great way to explore some of the class issues in Neptune, with the Kanes horrified at the perspective of their golden boy knocking up and marrying a prole (and therefore giving "outsiders" a chance to put their hands on their fortune), and also an interesting arc for Duncan, specially considering the view that Teddy Dunn had of the character: "But I think one of the things that really is an interesting side to Duncan that I haven't got to show yet, necessarily, is that I think he is very uncomfortable with [wealth]. I think he realizes that he comes from extreme privilege and I think he feels a responsibility given with that privilege." That plotline would have allowed us to see Duncan trying to do "the right thing", and how that idealistic impulse conflicts with the more pragmatic/cynical worldview of his family.

Of course, for that storyline to really work, we'd have needed Kyle Secor to be here full time, instead of running around playing First Husband or something [sigh]. And there's still the chance to explore some of those issues with Duncan taking responsability for the baby, but I feel that the "omg the Kane heir is going to bring ruin to our corporate empire because he sticked it where he shouldn't have" angle would have been much more powerful. Or at least it would have given Duncan *something* to do in this season, which leads me to the next part:

I've seen lots of people bashing Duncan, not just for being too boring or vanilla or whatever, but also because they find him "creepy" or "scary". At first I just dismissed it as the ravings of frustrated VeGans who were furious because they weren't getting their way, but lately I'm hearing that even from people that I considered more reasonable, and I honestly find it puzzling. Scary? Personally I'd find the guy who goes around setting public property on fire with a concealed gun much scarier (the revelations of the last 2 episodes re. Meg might qualify, but all this "creepy" talk started much before).

My personal theory is that it's for the most part a problem with the actor: it's sad to say this, but Teddy is so limited that he simply can't transmit enough about what his character is going through for the viewers to emphatize with him. So as a result, Duncan remains a cypher[1], and when people can't "read" the emotions of other people, they end up being creeped out by them (it must be some evolutionary mechanism that I'm sure a science writer could explain much better than me (winkwinknudgenudge)). Not that I think that things would be much better with a more charismatic actor (fandom tends to dislike the characters that the mainstream considers the most appealing [2]), but at least all this RAGING HATE would be more subdued.

([1] Even the people who do sympathize with Duncan complain about this (in fact, it's their main complaint): "what's up with him??? I can't read him!!!")

([2] We all remember Riley Finn, but I find specially interesting the example of "Lost", where the two character that the network obviously considered the protagonists (Jack and Kate) were also the most hated by the fandom in the beginning (I have no idea how things are going now)).

Still, all of this worries me because obviously the writers are trying now to get Duncan into some morally-grey territory, and while usually that would be fine, when it comes to a character so hated already by the fandom (and so protected in a knee-jerk way by people like me who like to be contrarian), the result may end up being so nasty to put me off the fandom (and even the show) for a long time. So I can't help but wonder: do the writers actually *know* how people are really reacting to Duncan? Are they taking that into account when writing the character? Or are they under the same sort of delusion that ABC seemed to have when they decided to put Jack at the forefront of their "Lost" promos? Because I feel that we might be treading dangerous waters here. It's not a good thing when one of the main characters of the show is concentrating SO MUCH HATE.

Sorry, that was long. Tomorrow I'll write about Logan.
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