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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: Which fictional character would you adopt into your extended family to make gatherings more interesting?

Which fictional character would you adopt into your extended family to make gatherings more interesting?

For me, this is a no-brainer: I’d invite the Doctor, my favorite Gallifreyan Time Lord, and not just for the selfish reason of having his company for myself. He’d have great stories to tell about his travels and adventures, and those stories would be very likely to rock the homebody sensibilities and conservative attitudes of many members of my extended family. I’m shocking enough, sometimes, just by denying the existence of God and by professing no desire for marriage, mortgage, and children. There are some faces I’d love to see the looks on in the wake of a story from a guy who basically lives in his transdimensional car and bums around the universe getting into trouble.

(This weekend’s question comes from the conversation-starting game Table Topics: Not Your Mom’s Dinner Party Edition [Amazon U.S.].)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Lady Tenar

    But Mary Ann, if he’s in your family you can’t sleep with him…

  • Martin

    For similar reasons, Ford Prefect.

    And he knows how to party too.

  • zepto

    Even though she’s awkward at family gatherings, I would love to be related to Temperance Brennan.

  • Bill

    Lord John Marbury. A smoke, a drink, a little international affairs. Good times.

  • I’m shocking enough, sometimes, just by denying the existence of God and by professing no desire for marriage, mortgage, and children.

    Er, maybe I spend too much time hanging out with the wrong type of people but I wouldn’t consider that to be all that shocking. Then again, my late father and middle brother were former atheists.

    Question of the weekend: Which fictional character would you adopt into your extended family to make gatherings more interesting?

    We only get to choose one?

    For some reason, I keep imagining Hilda Suarez would make an excellent addition to my family but I somehow doubt my sister and female cousins would agree…

  • You adopt the Doctor you also adopt his enemies. You wanna handle a drunk Dalek screaming into the phone at 3 am in the morning that the car’s wrecked and he needs a lift home?

    If I had to adopt a fictional character into the family… Sam Axe. He lives in-state and could be a hoot at parties.

  • Kat

    Dean Winchester – awesome brother, awesome car. I’ll just ignore the apocalyptic issues.

  • Cori Ann

    Rodney McKay. He would definitely make any family gathering interesting and amusing. Plus, if aliens decided to invade, he’d be handy to save the day. :o)

  • Can I adopt more than one?

    Elizabeth Bennet and her father, for scathing wit disguised as social pleasantries.

    And, Henry DeTamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife. What could make a family gathering more interesting than having someone vanish out of their clothes, then show up elsewhere in the house naked and shivering and visibly a decade older?

  • the rook

    gollum. his presence may not be of much benefit, but it would certainly be interesting.

  • Allan Quartermain, for many of the same reasons you’d like to have the Doctor. But he can’t be in ALL of our families can he?

  • LaSargenta

    I already am Tristam Shandy. But, for a fantastic fictional character, you can’t beat Jesus of Nazareth. Good conversationalist, great at summing up what everyone has been beating around the bush about, and can come up with some really good shaggy dog stories.

  • Kaithymos

    Thursday Next. Not only is she witty, literary, kind to animals, and brilliant in a scrap, but she might bring some wonderful guests from the Bookworld home to dinner…

  • JoshDM

    question of the weekend: Which fictional character would you adopt into your extended family to make gatherings more interesting?

    Elijah. I mean, heck we already set the wine out for him.

  • I have to admit, the first thing I thought of too was would their life follow them into my family gatherings? Klingons and Vampires and Demons oh my! I wonder if Samantha Carter’s work ever follows her home. And then there’s the Sam from “Burn Notice,” but he’s the sort of guy who can’t tell his best stories anyway.

    So I thought of Frasier but then remembered that his parties usually end with things on fire.

    And Lord John would be good until my mother slapped him. I think Josh would get along very well with my father’s side of the family and Donna with my mother’s (because she’s a polite Midwestern regardless of politics). Actually, I think Josh had great taste in girlfriends, he just needed to stop dating women that ended up causing work conflicts, except those were the only women he had anything in common with. In the end I might go with Santos, just so I can watch a certain relative of mine force herself to be nice to a Hispanic, but that wouldn’t be fair to him.

    I answered a similar question elsewhere on the Net, about who would I have for a dinner party to watch them talk to each other. I choose Mr. Spock, Odo, Col. Kira Neyrs, Willow, Fred (from Angel), and Dr. Johnny Fever. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch Spock and Fever trying to have a conversation?

  • leontineg

    Dr. House! Interesting stories, amusing hijinks, dreamy blue eyes…

  • I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch Spock and Fever trying to have a conversation?

    I don’t know. A strange part of me would prefer to see Diane Chambers from Cheers have an argument with Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory just to see who would win that argument. Plus, of course, Ms. Chambers is easier on the eyes–okay, easier on my eyes–than either Mr. Spock or Dr. Fever…

  • Boingo

    Alan Arkin’s character in “Slums of Beverly Hills.”
    In that movie, he reminded me of my (now deceased) DAD.
    During those teen dreaming years, my dad would be
    the “crude” wake-up call for me and my siblings. To think I was filled with
    embarrassment for his simple-sometimes funny- hard working honesty.
    Yeah, Arkin ain’t him,obviously,but for an actor
    to have such an original character in his mental
    file, speaks of a master of observation.
    He created a lens in which to see my father clearly,
    after all these years.

  • NorthernStar

    Howlin’ Mad Murdock. The TV version not the movie one but I reserve the right to include him if the film is as good as it ought to be.

  • Sheldon vs. Chambers: I’d watch it on TV, but my apartment isn’t big enough for both their egos to fit at the same time. Besides, Chambers reminded me of everything I hated about the women at my college; it was so weird for me to constantly feel sorry for Sam. I probably would have stopped watching the show if she hadn’t left. Actually, I liked the side women characters (Lilith, Carla, and Kelly) more than either of the two leads. I don’t even like calling Carla a side character, except the writers treated her (plotting wise) the way they treated Norm and Cliff.

    When I watch Big Bang Theory, I feel like I’m hanging out with my friends from college again.

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