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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weasley Twin Syndrome: How Making Me Laugh = Making Me Love




I'm not a very serious person. That's not to say I don't have my moments, but I'm definitely the girl who makes awkward jokes in bad situations and starts to pun when she's nervous (I'm a smooth date, let me tell you). This is why I always seem to love the books and characters that make me laugh the most.

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Dontcha know everyone wants to lauuuugh

I don't mean I only love fluffy, bantery comedies (though I do). That doesn't mean I only read books that set out to be funny (I don't). But even the sad-making and most heartwrenching reads on my favorites shelf either contain characters with senses of humor or were written by an author who does. In Tor's otherwise excellent review of Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, third book in the Lynburn Legacy (may contain some spoilers), the reviewer makes this comment:

While the levity strikes down a bit of Unmade’s impact and memorability, it also makes it a much more enjoyable read overall. 

I both very much agree with this quote and totally disagree. It's the second half of that sentence that strikes a chord with me. Laughing is fun. Even in totally heartbreaking series enders guaranteed to rip my heart and soul to smithereens, I want to enjoy the ride. But the first part of that sentence... well, truth be told, I actually feel the exact opposite. It's the lightness that makes the darkness so impactful. It's the fact that Kami Glass, Unmade's heroine, is a resilient, briliant, joking girl, and horrible things happen to her, and it sucks.

Obviously, not all readers are me (shocking). But where my tastes are concerned, creating a funny character is kind of like an author cheat. My brain goes, Hey, that character made me laugh! When the author inevitably kills them, I will burn this world to the ground! INSTA-INVESTMENT.

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If everything is doom and gloom not one single character makes one single joke the entire time, and it's all suffer city all the time, it's harder for me to connect. Even in The Hunger Games there's humor. I mean, there is certainly no levity, and Katniss is far from fluffy herself, but she has a sense of humor. E.g:

With all that alcohol in (Haymitch), it's probably not advisable to have him around an open flame. 

Katniss is not a slapstick kind of girl. She's not going to make puns or joke reflexively like sparkly unicorn princess, Kami Glass. But when a character thinks or says a line like that, my little laughing heart grows three sizes. I care more. Even shows like Game of Thrones, where loving a character essentially dooms them to a brutal death, there's a sense of humor. it's usually crude or gallows-y, but that's just another form. People in Westeros know they're lives are shit, and to me, it makes sense they'd joke about it because that's what people do. Then, when those characters get beheaded or stabbed or heartbroken or betrayed, I feeeeel it right in my marshmallow feels-spot.

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/2031609/make-em-laugh-o.gif

Every aspect of the Wizarding World is infused with J.K. Rowling's sublime sense of humor, from characters to narration to whimsical world-building. That's what makes it so crushing when characters fall, or once-shining castles are invaded and turned to rubble. EVIL DEATH EATERS SNUFFED OUT THE LAUGHTER AND MY ONCE LAUGHING HEART IS VERY SAD. I mean, there's a reason everybody loves the Weasley twins, right?

Apparently it is really, really easy to earn my heart. Tell me a joke (and maybe present me with a baked good of some sort), and I am yours for life.

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And I'd probs react as smoothly as Cosmo does here

What about you? Does making you laugh = making you love?

11 comments:

  1. Yes! Absolutely! Funny is definitely the way into my heart. I even found out that when looking for a partner one of the most important traits I need in them is that they make me laugh. So yeah, witty and funny characters are definitely my thing. I need them to have a sense of humour more than I need them to be tough or badass.

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  2. Yes!!! This so true. Characters with no sense of humor tend to bore me so that I no longer care about them at all. It sucks but it's like I can't do anything about it! So I do prefer books with humor :)
    Olgia @ Orange Owls & Books

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  3. YES SO MUCH THIS

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  4. This, this, this! I agree a million times over with everything you said. And the fact that you have lovely Cosmo Brown Gifs, well, that makes me love and appreciate (and laugh!!!) this post all the more.

    I really don't have anything else to add, because everything you wrote is exactly how I feel. Oh wait, I do have one thing to add. I think sometimes people feel like comedy is easier to write than drama, when I actually really disagree. It's not easy to think of a funny thought/joke/line and then figure out how to deliver it perfect. But when it is delivered well, man, it goes straight to my hear.

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  5. lol these gifs are perfect and YES I know what you mean!

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  6. SO THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW WHO TO THREATEN ME WITH! You meanie.

    And yes, as you clearly know, I agree. Make me laugh, and I'm yours.

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  7. Absolutely! This is why I say that I'm attracted to the broody bad boys at first, but in the end it's the goofy, dorky boy that I'll fall in love with for eternity. Of course, there are the moments where I get the best of both and a character like Nikolai happens, but that's not so often as I'd like it. But if a boy makes a pun? Better get the marriage license because you're stuck with me buddy.

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  8. In books, movies, and life, the ones who make me laugh gets my heart for life. I'm absolutely, 100% in agreement with you there. Whether it's awkward goofy humor, sophisticated wit, silly banter, sly wryness, or slapstick- humor is the ultimate shared experience between two people, even when one is fictional.
    And Joss Whedon is my usual go-to example of how you can make a tragic scene TEN TIMES MORE PAINFUL by throwing some levity in right before. See: Wash.

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  9. I feel the exact same way. I'll immediately like a book more if there's a good sense of humour and it can make me laugh. I just prefer funny books. And, like you said, everyone loves the Weasley twins. How can you not? They're by far my favourite.
    But just life in general, you need to be able to laugh at things, otherwise you're gonna go mad.

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  10. YISSSSS, I may talk about this in a certain upcoming review. *coughs* Also, we've totally talked about this in the past and Donald O'Connor is the unsung hero of that film. Ironically, since he does actually sing but whatever.

    Good point about THG. I mean, it's hard for me to take books seriously if it is all gloom and doom all the time. Like even in LOTR there are jokes before the battle scenes, because people need to let off some steam. And having highs makes the lows feel lower. JUXTAPOSITION IS IMPORTANT.

    This is also, I think, the secret to TFIOS. It's not just weepy because the telling is so darkly comedic. Tragedy needs to be balanced by some sort of comedy.

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  11. Definitely! I love characters who are able to turn all things dark into something funny. It's an admirable quality. That's why I loved Harry Potter and Person Jackson and The Olympians and Angelfall even.

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