Monday, September 26, 2011

Team Mike

Continuing my occasional Twilight-driven Team Theme series, I've been thinking a lot about Mike lately. In the books and the films, Mike is the fella who is on the sidelines. He likes Bella too (of course) but he is a joke figure, a sidelined character. After all, if you have a huge werewolf who never wears a shirt:

Whew! Smokin!

and a cold, sexy vampire who worships the ground you walk on:

Cold as ice, but still smokin!

why pay attention to the guy who has to work in his parent's hardware store?

Nice guy, but - not so much.

Let's face it, most guys in the world are like Mike though. There just aren't that many Edwards out there. Nor Jacobs. Most guys get sick, make fools of themselves, and they don't enjoy sitting there with their girlfriends watching Romeo and Juliet, nor old fashioned musicals. After a few minutes of that, most guys would let go a belch, grab the remote, and put on Sports Center.

I don't fault Stephenie Meyer in this. She created a compelling world with vivid characters, and I admire her for it. Furthermore, she is creating impossible male characters, and women have had to compete for years with impossible females in literature. Who is really as lovely as Scarlett O'Hara? (Although I might be just as annoying.) Who can wear shoes like the ones in Carrie Bradshaw's closet? And who is as exciting as Daisy in The Great Gatsby - so exciting, in fact, that a millionnaire would throw huge, expensive parties every weekend in order to get one glimpse of her?

Daisy, in my mind, always had black hair, not blond Mia Farrow waves. Was any actress ever more miscast?

But I do wonder if paranormal romance novels can go one step further than the Twilight series. Is there a paranormal character who struggles not only with his or her capabilities but also his (or her) humanity? Could the reading audience out there be interested in Mike, as much as they were interested in Edward or Jacob? 

If you know of a book like that, and especially if you are the author of one, please let me know in the comments section. I'm always looking for a great fantasy to read - as long as it includes a little humanity.



Johanna said...

Team Mike! I think I need that t-shirt. Great post Allie and, if written correctly, I definitely think there would be a lot of 'Team Mike' fans.

Hart Johnson said...

I read a book recently (did an interview even--Lynn Rush) where my paranormal character struggles to KEEP that humanity, but he was a demon--Wasteland it the name. I thought it was pretty good.

As for me, those larger than life boys annoy the hell out of me. It's probably why romance isn't my first choice genre. I by far prefer a bad boy or a geeky guy.--take the vampire lovers from Buffy--one forbidden, or he will turn into the big nasty, the other just ALL WRONG, but so needed.

Krista McLaughlin said...

You know what, I agree. And I kinda like Mike; he is that average guy and though he doesn't have amazing abs, he's normal. That can be good in a book with mythical characters. Need someone to ground the reader.

Great post!

karastewart said...

You are right. It is always the 'alpha male' types that get the press. But I think most of us (men or women) can actually relate better to the Mike's of the world (although we may strive to BE the Jacobs or Bellas of the world). So that ability to relate would be a big selling point for a team Mike type book. And thanks for the Jacob picture. :)