You Raise Me Up

While watching David O. Russell’s American Hustle a few evenings ago, I started thinking about how much harder it can be to portray the “good” guy, the one who walks the straight-and-narrow, compared to the “bad” guy or the character struggling with emotional issues and obstacles. So many of the main players in American Hustle received acclaim for their performances and yet the good guy, Mayor Carmine Polito-portrayed wonderfully by Jeremy Renner- seemed sadly overlooked. If that character wasn’t infused with just the right amount of sincerity and heart, it could have come across as stereotypically cliche and then the whole thing would have just fallen apart.
those hairstyles are characters in their own right
Richard has said that playing characters that are closest to himself is difficult. I can understand that. When I was little, playing “pretend” with my friends, I always preferred to be the disruptive student when playing School; the annoying child when playing House; the rogue cop when playing with the boys.
yeah, the dog ate my homework; wanna make something of it?!
I was able to become someone that I wasn’t in real life but someone that I had inside of me, just the same; it was very freeing. Playing the good kid though, or the quiet student, the obedient soldier, was confusing. The self-consciousness and second guessing quickly crept in, making it all seem too real.
I can’t today, guys, I gotta go feed my dog
So when “good” characters like Harry Kennedy and Alec Track get discounted for being easy, I must respectfully disagree.
when I asked if you wanted dessert, Alec, that’s not what I had in mind
Harry had to have just the right amount of affability, while leaving enough room for self-doubt, in order for it all to culminate in the ending proposal scene. He had to be charming enough to get the unflappable Geraldine nervous but aloof enough to not appear arrogant.
so hows about you & me get hitched?
The proposal wouldn’t have worked nearly as well
without Harry pulling nervously at his collar and giving those confused awkward pauses while Geraldine moved full force ahead, oblivious.
she should not only know Rosie’s name but where she lives and works as well. Geraldine is such a novice at stalking crushing.
Harry wasn’t there just for Geraldine to bounce jokes off of,
the jokes were there because Harry set them up.
we’ll have a movie marathon. it’s much too wet for a walk, too many mud puddles
Similarly, Alec Track was the sun his coworkers orbited around. He could have been the condescending boss, making Paul’s attempts at stealing his girl justifiable. He could have been the neglectful boyfriend, hiding Jane away out of some kind of commitment phobia, instead of the dedicated leader who was trying to do what was best for everyone involved. Richard gave Alec integrity enough that dragging his feet in the romance department didn’t automatically warrant harsh condemnation.
where’s Jane?…don’t know, don’t care
I’m not trying to take anything away from the “bad/struggling” characters that Richard portrays so well, just that the “good” guys may have more depth and purpose than they’re getting credit for. This is often why I respect the Best Supporting accolades even more than the main character praise because
they must possess strong shoulders, to raise those others to greatness.

On The Right Track

I did a post about Alec Track from The Golden Hour as part of the  A-Z challenge series, but I forgot to include a regular post as well.

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What I really like about this series is the hands-on-medical drama

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and the victim back-stories, that we get to see in flashbacks.

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I’m not all that interested in the doctor’s personal stories, to be honest; I like my drama wrapped up by the end of the episode.

tough break, buddy
tough break, buddy

There are four episodes, all available on YouTube…as long as you don’t mind watching them cut up in several different pieces per episode.

poor choice of words
poor choice of words

I like the third episode best, it revolves around a toxic truck crash. A father and daughter are trapped in the truck, while several different people inside a community center are wounded. There’s a lot of drama surrounding a male Yoga instructor and his girlfriend, but the father-daughter truck driver story is the one I really like: neglected husband and daughter, mother who works too much and pushes the girl to excel, while never really listening to her.

I also find the sound-effects in this series oddly addictive. The crinkling of their flight clothes, and the sound of plastic being ripped open during medical procedures.

will they be able to hear the crinkle of our flight suits over the wind?...oddly, yes
will they be able to hear the crinkle of our flight suits over the wind?…oddly, yes

All four episodes are worth watching, though the medical side of things can get a bit bloody.

just remember, it's only corn syrup
just remember, it’s only corn syrup

Each of the stories touch on relevant topics: like hard-to-spot child abuse, insurance fraud, cutting corners in the trucking industry and seat-belt safety, mixed in with real life drama

(the girl in episode two with the scarred face, is a storyline I really like too)

Richard Armitage doesn’t have a lot of face-time in the series as a whole, but his character is still very likable

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Talented, respected, dedicated to his job. hmm, that seems familiar somehow…

“B” is for Blood

Not gruesome, not gory, and certainly not painful because this post is all about the delectable Alec Track.

*tell me where it hurts*
tell me where it hurts

He is a doctor who deals with that red stuff on a daily basis, but that’s not the kind of Blood that brought him to my mind. Alec Track is the lead doctor of an air-ambulance helicopter team, in the short-lived 4 part series The Golden Hour.

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Alec loves his job, being a doctor is in his Blood. Sadly not everyone can understand his dedication, most notably his love interest and fellow team member Jane.

she doesn't seem to be minding it much here
she doesn’t seem to be minding it much here

She wants more than he can give; this is clearly illustrated by her mistaking his cute gesture of gifting her a toothbrush as mocking a desire to move in together, rather than the acknowledgement that the relationship is moving forward to a place where he would welcome her spending the night more.

*just looking out for your dental health*
just looking out for your dental health

They’ve kept the relationship secret up until this point because Alec fears that it might negatively impact the functioning of the team.

because love-triangles never end badly...
because love-triangles never end badly…

Jane playfully taunts Alec for not having feelings. I think that maybe he feels that focusing on a personal life for himself might be too distracting, or selfish in some way. Instead he chooses to be a workaholic of sorts, thus eliminating the option to brood over personal strife like his coworkers so often seem to do.

the Tongue of Concentration in action
the Tongue of Concentration in action

Jane seems to be disappointed with the very things that attracted her to him in the first place. I think she realizes this when she sees Alec’s comforting manner with the newly awakened coma patient, who often took priority over those few moments during the working day when they could have spent quiet time together.

*how's that toothbrush been working out for you?*
how’s that toothbrush been working out for you?

It might be easier for Alec to show special protectiveness towards a stranger who becomes his responsibility for a short while, than to nurture a romantic relationship for his own benefit.

looks easy enough to me!
looks easy enough to me!

Giving of yourself for something bigger than yourself can feel noble, while taking for yourself may feel selfish. Having a clear purpose drives you forward, while trying to navigate a romantic relationship often leaves you floundering.

*lets ponder dying fish later, I have lives to save!*
lets ponder dying fish later, I have lives to save!

I don’t feel sorry for Alec, he doesn’t appear unhappy with his situation. Not everyone needs a romantic partner to be happy. I dislike when others place regrets and desires onto those who have chosen a different path than them. If the situation is of one’s own choosing, the Happy Police need to just move along!

Happy Police are rarely happy themselves *winks*
Happy Police are rarely happy themselves

Choosing to embrace that special song that sings in your veins instead of wasting time wallowing in regret, should not be seen as a negative thing. We all have our own dreams and desires, there are just those whose blood may sing a little bit louder, the force of their passion may run a little bit stronger, so that not living that life would feel like not breathing to them. I respect and admire those people greatly.

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Choosing to live the life that you want instead of letting others overly influence what or who should be important to you, is something to be celebrated.

Some parallels could possibly be drawn between Alec and Richard himself. Quite a few of our favorite characters have the “pursuit of passion to the detriment of romantic relations” syndrome in common: Alec, Lucas, Porter, Thorin.

speculation is risky business
that sounds like speculating…

But before anyone starts crying a river over the absence of a publicly recognizable romance in Richard’s personal life, nowhere does it say that it’s impossible to balance both. Keep in mind that none of us are qualified to be Richard’s Happy Police. But he being our Happy Place on the other hand; perfectly acceptable.

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