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14 November 2006 @ 08:25 pm
Blame the direction ... not the actor (Save the Dohring!)  
I wrote some of this in response to buffyx's post here and decided to expound upon my thoughts. Although it was about Veronica's characterization, I found my way talking about the perception by the writers (namely Rob Thomas) and how that affected other characters ... which, of course, led to Logan.

I know there are some viewers who can distance themselves from what a creator/writer says they perceive about their show and what the viewer perceives, but I'm not one of them. I admit freely that when there is a complete disconnect between what they see and what I see my view of the show is colored. How can I trust ANY characterization when the creator doesn't seem to get what his audience is seeing onscreen? Because Rob Thomas' perception of his characters doesn't seem to match up with what many viewers are seeing, I don't trust him. He very clearly sacrifices characterization to make characters fit his vision or even worse, his vision of others. There are countless examples I can use, with countless characters, but I'm going to focus on Logan because Jason Dohring has been getting the short end of the stick in the fandom lately and I don't feel it's justified when it's clear he's just doing his job.

I know I'm in the minority in loving his character still. I can understand the progression, the growth of the character and I'm able to put aside WHY Rob decided to allow Logan the growth this season as opposed to last because it works. (Logan finally being affected by all that has happened in his young life makes sense.) However, it doesn't take away my frustration at the why, especially when I see so many lay the blame at JD's door. He's doing what he's directed: Which is tone down the humor and snarky jokes, the vitality, the thereness of the character because that's not how Logan is supposed to acting this season.

Why do I feel this is the case so obviously? Two reasons. First of all, well, Rob told us (and so did KB and JD) in pre-season press. In order to make Piz the fun, charming, (non-snarky) joke-y guy, those qualities had to be leeched out of Logan. Secondly, it's there in the scripts. Go to TWIZTV and read the transcripts -- read the Logan dialogue, recall the set-up of the scenes. If JD isn't given the material, he can't pull it out of his ass, no matter how amazing he is. If his direction is clearly to act a certain way, he's going to be a professional and do his job. He's going to give 100% (as he has the last two seasons) and deliver exactly what he's being told to deliver. And again, based on the scripts, based on all of the pre-press -- the Logan he is being told to deliver is a brooding Logan: One who isn't charming, or fun, or lovable. Because according to pre-press, those are the adjectives given to Piz and Piz is he opposite of Logan, don't you know? So Jason Dohring is just doing his job and doing (per usual) a damn good one. Whether viewers like it or not, Jason *is* giving us subtext that gives reveals and hints as to WHY Logan is acting this way. He's not just brooding or sulking, there are layers every opportunity he gets to show the frame of mind Logan is in -- as he's being written this season.

And we know this, because pre-season-press told us this. Piz is the anti-Logan and if Piz is this fun, lovable, charming guy than therefore Logan is none of those things. This peception made many confused prior to the season because the adjectives used to describe Piz were adjectives that we all used plenty of times to describe Logan. So clearly, Logan is now being written as a subdued, less animated, less fun and charming Logan so as to contrast more highly with Rob's new pure, but *FUN* boy, Piz. And Jason is just doing his job.

So going back to what is the dichotomy of creator vs. viewer perception, how can my perception NOT be colored by RT's point of view? Because of how he writes character separate from their on-screen actions (eg., he loves Ryan Hansen so we're expected to ignore that his character helped to set up Veronica for rape, in addition to all of the horrible things he did and have Logan be BFF with him and Veronica be civil, even jokey and almost humoring of him), I can't trust him. So many actions and attitudes of a character aren't based on the actual character we're seeing on screen, but rather whatever PERCEPTION Rob Thomas has of the character, actor, original concept, nevermind what viewers -- even the majority of them -- think, nevermind what is actually on screen. And, unfortunately, Jason Dohring is paying the price of that this season. Rob Thomas wants the charming, animated guy to be his new golden boy, Piz; therefore the direction of Logan's character is to subdue him, turn him into a brooding Heathcliff and that is what Jason is doing, following his boss' direction and delivering what the script is asking of him.
 
 
 
WeHo M.: VM - Logan bathroomafrocurl on November 15th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
I have to agree with what you're saying about how Logan is supposed to be perceived by everyone this year, but I'm not so sure I can agree with the "I don't trust Rob" portion.
Arabian: Snark + LoVearabian on November 15th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
Cool that you agree about Logan. I just - I can't trust Rob, not when he appears to be completely oblivious about what most see (take his view on Veronica not being written differently in S2) and therefore makes no effort to fix it. It's his way or the highway and unfortunately, when a lot of viewers disagree, that means that we get that disconnect onscreen.
harper47harper47 on November 15th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
Is fandom disliking Jason? I honestly tend to ignore all that and I've felt that Jason has always done a wonderful job with his character. He simply isn't being given the scenes to shine.

And honestly - I don't feel that Piz has been all that charming, joking or fun either.
Arabian: JD_Beautifularabian on November 15th, 2006 09:50 pm (UTC)
I'm seeing a lot of people either comment that Jason isn't bringing it, or when they do like him (this recent ep), they say "oh, he's finally good again," and it just drives me crazy. He's DOING a great job, it's not his fault that Logan is being written/directed this way. Arrgggh.
Ashley Rae: VM_LoVe_Keep Coming Backloves_bitch1301 on November 16th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with you here. If it wasn't for his talents as an actor the character of Logan would be a shell of what it was. I've been feeling the Jason/Logan less-than-loving feeling lately also. I sometimes feel like everybody's not watching the same show. I know everything can be interpreted differently and everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but sometimes I don't know where they coming up with how they see Logan or Jason's acting abilities.

As for Piz, I understand having someone to add conflict even though Veronica already had enough of that in her life, but it's just way too forced. The harder they try, the harder it makes me resent his character. And once upon a time I thought he could make an interesting addition all be it with someone other than Veronica obviously.

Wow, I was just going to write a sentence reply. Sorry for the rant. It was just I was frustrated with the show, but couldn't exactly verbalize why. Then you come along and post this brilliant deduction and it's like 'Yes! Exactly! That what it is!'. So thank you! :D
jeannie_bean137: Epic LoVejeannie_bean137 on November 19th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
Wow you hit the nail on the head. Honestly, Rob's outright disregard for pretty much everything he's set up in prior season and for how we as viewers see thing is angering. Poor Jason. I watched a season 1 music video about him and the nostalga nearly killed me. I miss snarky Logan so much. It's like Rob got a lobotomy after season 1. Just...UGH! Send this to him. I swear. Tell him how upset us Logan lovers are about this 180 in his character and how Piz "replaced" him.