Quick Definition: The underlying motivations and narrative details that combine to explain a character’s (or person’s) actions within a given social frame.
Harry Potter, Twilight, Boston Legal, Leverage, Lie To Me, The CSI series, Entourage, 24. Any successful show has a level of depth to its characters. They are relatable, memorable, and amplify our emotional responses to them.
In developing our own personas and understanding our own underlying motivations, artists must constantly grapple (and sometimes struggle) between their core identity, their image, and what they truly believe of themselves—the reasons and ethics behind why they do certain things.
There are many great characters in movies and TV to emulate. Of those that come to mind, Jack Bauer from 24, Vincent Chase from Entourage, Edward from Twilight, and Dr. Lightman from Lie To Me. One particularly fascinating TV character is Allen Shore from The Practice and Boston Legal. In Season 5, Jerry Espinson’s character says, “After watching Allen Shore practice law, I’m quite sure that there will never be another… quite like him.” Great characters in real life are also hard to imitate, having enriched their own experiences and inner workings to the extent that they stand out from the masses as unique individuals with something to contribute to the world. To this extent, PUAs utilize character development too.
“The character of Alan Shore deserves to be a character remembered with the likes of Atticus Finch. He is not a professionally ethical man, but he is a moral man. His personal code of ethics incorporates Machiavelli with a sense of “do the greatest good”. He is highly unethical, but rarely does anything for his own sake. In a way, he sacrifices his own ethical reputation for the sake of aiding people who have no other recourse. Sort of a legal Robin Hood.” – gdkzen
A good story always has strong character development plots