I'm feeling significantly better today, although perhaps not 100%
One of the things I need to write more about is my emotional response to the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy
, and to the character of Five -- a 50+ year-old man in a 13 year-old body. (Time travel can be a real pain.) I haven't been emotionally engaged in many tv shows or movies over the past several years. I watch Agents of SHIELD
, am a huge fan of the limited series Black Sails
(a prequel of sorts to Treasure Island, but with a complicated, sophisticated plot involving economics, justice, sexuality, family relationships, diplomacy, and etc.), but even they didn't inspire deeply personal reactions. I feel strongly about the characters and stories, but they are still at a distance.The Umbrella Academy
, and especially its first season ending, has me wanting to write fan fiction.
And I haven't felt like that in at least 25 years.
And, to borrow a fandom term, I feel emotionally compromised by Five. He's making me feel things I haven't felt in a very long time.
To be very clear: it's not sexual.
But there is something incredibly potent about the character and his situation.
Part of it is, I think, that his dilemma of being a fully mature (and very capable and dangerous) person in a pre-teen's body is one of my favorite tropes. It's one of the things which fascinates me about the Narnia stories (and bugs me that CS Lewis never gave sufficient weight to), as well as the epic self-insertion fantasies I wrote from age 12 to 30-something. Other characters like this -- which use the trope and do
explore its multifaceted implications -- may exist in sci-fi and fantasy, but this is the first one I've run across, and it's powerful enough to be distracting.
Which I'm taking as a good thing, because one of the things I've missed in the depression years is the lack of ability to feel passion about stories and characters. That part of me has been as good as dead. I'm very happy -- albeit a bit off balance -- to experience these emotions again.
Looking at this poster I realize that one of the primary appeals is his intensity -- which has always been a primary element of attraction for me. Of course Black Sails
was full of intense characters (especially Flint and Vane), but none of them touched me like Five does.
ETA: Also -- Five is by far the smartest of the bunch.