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View Full Version : Straightlaced/valiant/law inforcement type



Giant Baby
12-05-2010, 03:53 AM
I've got a character (who I love). He's a peripheral, totally stoic, just the facts ma'am kind of security guy. It doesn't matter what kind of agency- he's private. Works for a guy so rich, he's almost got his own Secret Service (kind of better, actually).

So, my MC makes a flip comment, and refers to him as Eliot Ness, but that actually seems too small and controlled (or, un-controlled, as the case may be).

Joe Friday, too law abiding.

My guy's agenda is: Protect the protectee. Procect the protectee's family. Kill anyone who threatens aforementioned. That is all.

I'm not sure it even has to be a law enforcement ref. Any thoughts on a better comp reference for an Eliot Ness/Joe Friday type, but who isnt? THis guy's got heart, but the character speaking wouldn't know/care about that.

Just someone famously stringent with (hopefully) a rule following bend?

Plot Device
12-05-2010, 04:06 AM
Maybe Kato from The Green Hornet??


The thing about Kato is he's a "sidekick" (see the Disney movie Sky High to get a brilliantly funny take on the unjust treatment of sidekicks), and a very subservient one -- to the point of being self-demeaning. But that was actually due to the racism of the 1960's when the TV show came out and Kato (played by little know actor Bruce Lee) became famous. The network didn't like the idea of a white hero with an Asian sidekick (it seemed to them to be akin to a whte Batman with a black Robin), so they ordered the producers to keep Kato as a menial servant, very few lines, always just obeying his (gulp!) "master." (As added backstory, Kato and the Green Hornet legacy go back to the 1930's, long before the TV era. But the thing is that TV rarely had non-white actors playing side-by-side with whites--even if the character was suppsoed to be non-white. They preferred to have a Euro-descended woman play an Apache and just gave her brown contact lenses. And they preferred to have WASP-looking actors play Christopher Columbus. Heck! Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra! Having a non-Euro play a non-Euro was .... unheard of in TV! When Sesame Street came out in 1969, there were a few public TV stations in te America Deep South that refusd to air it because of Gordon and Susan, a black couple, playing side-by-side with whites, and even living in the same apartment building with them. And especially because of the mixed races of kids playing side by side with each other. Ditto for Star Trek with Lt. Uhura and Lt. Sulu. And then when Hill Stret Blues came out in te 1980's, the Italian American communty was openly delighted to see that the lead character on the show -- the police captain named Frank Furillo -- was played by an Italian American actor named Daniel J. Travanti instead of a WASP actor with a WASP name. )

To call someone Kato would almost be insulting because IN THE TV SHOW Kato was kind of a boot-licker. So there's great potential for conflict there if this guy in your story gets referred to as Kato.

Drachen Jager
12-05-2010, 08:01 AM
More of a "Punisher" law and order type then. What about Judge Dredd?

Wayne K
12-05-2010, 08:08 AM
Spenser: For Hire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spenser:_For_Hire)

Giant Baby
12-05-2010, 08:34 PM
Thanks, guys! All interesting ideas!

lbender
12-06-2010, 02:34 AM
The way you're describing this guy sounds like who 'Dirty Harry' Callaghan would have been if he wasn't a cop. If you want to go a little lighter, Axel Foley could also have been that kind of guy.

Giant Baby
12-06-2010, 02:47 AM
Mmm. MUCH more square than either if those (though a Dirty Harry/Axel Foley hybrid would be a LOT of fun to play with some time!). Glad you pointed that out, because I'm probably not describing him well.

The voice I kept hearing in my head while writing him was the character of the head of the Secret Service on the West Wing (for anyone who watched the show), totally straight laced and unflappable. Except I get to have a lot more fun with character, because there aren't any rules except to keep his employer safe.

I'm looking for a totally badassed square. Or a totally geeky thug. Something like that. Eliot Ness works, I think, but I'm looking for something a little more over the top, if possible. Totally drawing a blank.

I love the diversity of the answers here, though. This is so my favorite section on AW.

backslashbaby
12-06-2010, 02:57 AM
I can't read your posts with that silly elf moving too fast, lol! I get migraines from stuff like that. Just sayin' :) I now banish you from my screen :D

Rowan
12-06-2010, 03:52 AM
Are the characters making these comments military--or is your character former military? If so, you could go with a military "hero".

Personally, I like Chesty Puller. :)
But there's also Patton and many more to choose from!

ETA: Or John Wayne ;)

STKlingaman
12-06-2010, 03:55 AM
fiction for fiction

John McClain - die hard

Giant Baby
12-06-2010, 04:56 AM
I can't read your posts with that silly elf moving too fast, lol! I get migraines from stuff like that. Just sayin' :) I now banish you from my screen :D

Nope. Not cool. I'm a migraineur as well and I've got a long host of triggers of my own. Will just festive up for the holidays another way. (Wayne, you can come out now, too! Yer eyes is safe now, baby!)

Please suffer my bare gnome ass instead. Per usual. I'll prolly slap a bow on his cheek or something. :evil

Rowan
12-06-2010, 09:33 PM
What about that Dragnet guy? Sergeant Joe Friday? You could refer to him as "Joe Friday" or "Jack Webb" (actor) even! :)

Giant Baby
12-06-2010, 11:58 PM
What about that Dragnet guy? Sergeant Joe Friday? You could refer to him as "Joe Friday" or "Jack Webb" (actor) even! :)

I think I'm leaning this way, Rowan. Thanks!

lbender
12-07-2010, 09:23 PM
Of the two, Jack Webb (the original) and Dan Aykroyd (the movie), I much prefer the movie version.

Stanmiller
12-08-2010, 12:30 AM
Nope. Not cool. I'm a migraineur as well and I've got a long host of triggers of my own. Will just festive up for the holidays another way. (Wayne, you can come out now, too! Yer eyes is safe now, baby!)

Please suffer my bare gnome ass instead. Per usual. I'll prolly slap a bow on his cheek or something. :evil

Thank You!!!!

WCP
12-08-2010, 04:21 AM
Dick Tracy?

Giant Baby
12-08-2010, 06:02 AM
Dick Tracy?

That's pretty awesome. The cartoonish element doesn't necessarily lend itself to the character being described (although it does *a bit*), but the character speaking would certainly view him that way. Thanks! :D

ETA: Ran it past the husband (who's my expert in these things). He got geekishly excited. Joe Friday might have to get into a stoic slap down with Joe Friday for the honor...

Collectonian
12-08-2010, 10:44 AM
Judge Dredd was the first that came to mind for me as well. The law is the law is the law. When he judges you, if your crime is great, you die, no matter who who are.