Author Avatar: There's a lot of Doug in him (a lot that isn't too, to make him his own character, but that's obvious), right down to how similar their names are. Doug's admitted at cons that he gets scared about directing and doesn't particularly enjoy it, has Word of God issues with working too much to try and help his mood, is as everyone knows extremely sweet, he's very cuddly to both genders, his idealism has bitten him in the ass more than once, he's delighted to encourage Slash Fic even with his brother, and Donnie's way of angsting is the one he finds best; trying to deal with it yourself but reaching out to a few people when it gets too hard.
Beard of Sorrow: He manages to be clean-shaven while having nothing in the woods, but suddenly gains a lot more stubble while the family is keeping him. When he's back with his friends though, he's back to his normal face.
Benevolent Boss: Bad director certainly, and does bad things without realizing it, but this is the guy that called Rebecca and Tacoma his best friends within five minutes of knowing them.
Conditioned to Accept Horror: While Tacoma throws up from Carl slaughtering the pig, he makes jokes about it, and his nonchalance about rape and rape scenes gets a frown from Rebecca, so the viewers are forced to assume he got used to both in Horrible Hollywood.
Control Freak: Unless Tacoma hits on a Close To Home issue like in Wreck-It Ralph, he messes up the writer's good ideas to further his own agenda. To his credit, he's probably not even aware he's doing it.
Cowardly Lion: While he had a few breakdowns, he managed surprisingly well for a victim who spent more than three days in the woods with no food or water.
Cuddle Bug: He's a touchy-feely one, especially with other guys.
Dawson Casting: Inverted—the character is 42, and Doug Walker is about ten years younger. As Doug makes no attempt to make himself look older, it's a weird age choice.
Declaration of Protection: Like Tacoma, with Rebecca, but more subtle. Look at his movies and the characters she plays; Catwoman is always kept out of danger and doesn't join the fight, Rachel Dawes comes back to life when she didn't originally, and Severine both survives and beats up James Bond for his sexism.
Despair Event Horizon: " Well, my mother killed herself for one." He's visibly given up by this point, and if it hadn't been for the pills mistake, probably would have stayed at the house without fight.
Desperately Craves Affection: He plays every Wreck-It Ralph character on his own despite it giving him a migraine, gives the best performance he can in the big speech, and finishes the script, all because he wanted to make Tacoma happy.
Disappeared Dad: His dad left when he was little, leaving his mom to try and raise him on her own. Whether he came back after the suicide is unknown.
Distressed Dude: Is separated from Karl at the end of the convention and gets kidnapped by the bad guys.
And again at the end of episode four when he enters a house in the woods and almost immediately gets knocked out. In the following episode, we learn that he is being continuously pumped with narcotics in order to be kept hostage by a family obsessed with watching his terrible movies- and forcing him to watch alongside them whether he likes it or not. He does escape on his own, through simply taking advantage of their stupidity.
Doomed Moral Victor: He gives a big rant about how unfair it is that his terrible life is just punishment for someone else and is nearly crying when he has to let his friends fade away. But he gets no sympathy from the creator and has to change back into Critic.
Early-Bird Cameo: Because Doug had wanted him to exist since 2008, he was visible in the Suburban Knights extra footage (fedora hat while filming, Doug itching to get more Sex Sells and drama in his work, plus his terror at failing as a director) and the Scooby-Doo commentary where Doug foreshadowing his next character would be married.
Establishing Character Moment: His opening spiel about what Demo Reel is. Shows off his adorkableness, his fragile ego, his pride in his friends, his innocence, and his femminess, but also a very visible loathing of Hollywood.
Even the Guys Want Him: Flirts with girls? He strikes out. Makes sad eyes at another man? They're with him or do what he wants instantly.
Expy: His acting career is primarily based off Jake Lloyd's (and Mara Wilson, to a lesser extent), only way more depressing.
Extreme Doormat: He only raises his voice about twice, stands up for himself with no lying down to die right after just once, and keeps apologizing to people who really don't deserve it.
Face Death with Dignity: The circumstances are humiliating and he desperately doesn't want to, but he walks to his death with ironically the most self-possession we've ever seen from him.
Fake Nerd Boy: He parrots everything Uncle Yo taught him about anime and Pokemon to Ego Raptor, pretending it's his own so he'll be liked better.
Fedora Of Asskicking: Inverted. It's only when he's lost the fedora does he start to fight back against the people making his life more miserable than it already is.
Fish out of Water: He's completely out of his element at both the con and in the forest. The first one he manages to deal with by hitting on Uncle Yo and Egoraptor so they'll take him under their wings, but the second goes wrong in all the understandable ways. After going through the Plot Hole, he's also terrified of the review room.
Former Child Star: He's eventually revealed to be one. His career bombed after his mother killed herself while he was shooting a movie which caused him to give a bad performance.
Innocent Bigot: Starts off this way, failing to paint himself as a feminist ally with the bullshit he's spewing about his wife, assuming Carl and Quinn are both Cajun and giving Rebecca and Tacoma vaguely sexist and racist roles, plus dubbing over the latter when he plays anyone but the servant in Batman, but after they call him out in Transformers, he grows up, apologizes and starts giving them cooler roles. He owns up a little to his marriage situation too.
Innocently Insensitive: In the first episode, after he changes Tacoma's ending to expositioning what Alfred is seeing instead letting the viewers use their imagination, he's sincerely confused over why Tacoma's so angry.
In Vino Veritas: Like Rebecca, he lets too much slip when he's been drinking.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's pathetic, doesn't think things through, his need to be coddled frustrates the camera-men and doesn't give a good first impression, but he realizes his flaws and tries to work on them, really wants his marriage to be okay, will tell anyone who listens how proud he is of his team, has major self-worth issues and his hero seems to be his Missing Mom.
Longing for Fictionland: He has a good cry in episode four over how you can do everything the exact opposite of a movie, and it can still fail in real life.
Missing Mom: She's killed herself while he was filming a movie, and he misses her terribly.
Mysterious Past: According to what Tacoma has uncovered, Donnie Dupre doesn't exist. Donnie mentioned that his mother was an actor, but refuses to elaborate and changes the subject when someone probes further. It's eventually revealed that Donnie is former child actor Jimmy Boyd, who starred in such films as Galaxy Battle, and who lost his mother while filming Jingle Sells with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Nice Hat: Although it gets dumped in an anvilly shot when Critic takes over.
Non-Action Guy: The others know it (Karl not even attempting to get him to fight the turkey) and so does he ("I know I'm out of my element" in the forest). The only actiony thing he does onscreen is punch out Collins.
Put on a Bus to Hell: In his commentary, Doug said that he and Rob were so pissed off by fans demanding Critic's return, that they made Donnie that character just to passive-aggressively screw their own work over.
Raised Catholic: Very likely, as he's prayed twice, calls rain "God's tears" and it tends to be a thing with Doug's characters (as he was raised that way, but is now agnostic).
Really Gets Around: To the point where Yo immediately assumes his "crusade against Hollywood" issue comes from an abusive ex he surely had out there.
Donnie: Where'd you go? WHERE'D YOU GO?!! WHERE ARE YOU?!! *Pants* I swear Rob Paulsen; I will find you. Yes! You can't run from me! *Whispers* I can smell your talent. I swear Rob Paulsen, where ever you go, where ever you are, I WILL LOCATE Y-oh, there you are.
More seriously, both Tacoma and Uncle Yo get concerned about his repeated phrasing of "they had it coming" in episode three, mostly because he never says who "they" are.
Again in part four when he's lost in the woods.
Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: is the feminine, naive, needs-to-be-protected guy to the down-to-earth Tacoma and the military-like Carl and Quinn.
Stereotype Flip: Due to his fedora. Due to reddit and tumblr, the perception of men who wear them is that they're nasty MRAs who only care about getting laid and wanting women back in the kitchen. Donnie on the other hand wanted to be feminist and eventually managed it, and was Doug's sweetest and most happily slutty character.
Stupid Sacrifice: He was "created" so Critic would become (again, somemore) nicer and wiser, except Critic seems to have gone back to his early nasty characterization and wanted to die again by Son Of The Mask, so that was pointless too.
Sympathetic Adulterer: He flirts with every single person he can and most of the time has to reminded that he's taken, but he still comes off as the victim because of the phone call and pre-nup agreement.
Unkempt Beauty: Episodes four and five have him steadily getting his clothes more rumpled and acquiring more dirt and stubble on his face.
Vanity Is Feminine: Wears eyeliner for the movies, plus a few wigs to cover his bad hairline, lipstick for the hell of it, and you can see in the pocky Lost in Translation scene that he's had a manicure.
They're Called Personal Issues For A Reason: He would rather have everyone believe he just leeches off his wife's income, but the worse his angst becomes and the more they pry into his life, he's forced to admit the nastier details of his life.
Thousand-Yard Stare: Gives a particularly tearful one when Uncle Yo asks if it was his mother that told him to stay away from Hollywood.
He also has one when he wakes up after going through the Plot Hole. With what he's been through and what's to come, again it's hard to blame him.
Tragic Dream: He's wanted to remake movies better ever since he was a kid. You can guess how that's turning out.
Tragic Hero: One of the worst. Every slightest ray of hope he can find just gets taken away from him, and he doesn't even get the happy ending he deserved.
Tranquil Fury: After the Creator feeds him the "explanation" of why he had to have such a terrible life, he's openly and justifiably seething.
Twitchy Eye: There's a noticeable jolt in his face when he vaguely mentions the family ("like a certain group of people that I came across") to his friends.
Weight Woe: The rare "too skinny" version. He knows full well what manipulatively pretty qualities he has, but thinks he looks like a shaved cat when shirtless.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: The only reason he acted in the first place was to follow in mom's footsteps, and when he's starving in the woods he bashes himself unnecessarily for not being able to have to the hope she once had.
What Beautiful Eyes: Like Tacoma's eyes, the camera had a ridiculous amount of close-ups of Doug's gorgeous greens per episode.
White Male Lead: Deconstructed. He has a ton of issues and is truly a good guy, but it's still made clear in The Dark Knight Begins Rising and Transformers that his white maleness gives him an advantage over the black guy and the woman, and he apologizes to both for giving them racist and sexist roles in his early movies all because he wanted to pander to the internet demographic.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: He holds out hope for things much longer than he should, and takes it hard when they don't work out.
Workaholic: It's heavily implied that he throws himself into his work because it distracts from the pain of whatever's going on. When that can't happen, he breaks.
Rachel: I love that Doug made me a badass in Demo Reel. I appreciated that so much, because I never get to play the badass, I want to beat people up and kill turkeys and wear t-shirts, so I'm really glad that I got to do that, and Malcolm, which he was so happy about, got to wear all the dresses!
Berserk Button: An insane turkey found out it's not a good idea to get Tacoma sick.
Not just the turkey. Let's just say, if you harm any of her friends you are going to be in for a world of hurt.
It doesn't end in homicidal rage, but sexism makes her drop the "ditzy-so-approachable-actress" shtick and brings the Tranquil Fury out.
The Berserker: For Mama Bear reasons. She goes absolutely insane in beating the shit out of a psycho turkey and Tom Collins.
Big Eater: She eats the huge, mutated turkey and seven hundred pounds of eggs, and the only bad effect that comes is a sugar crash from her previous high.
Innocently Insensitive: Manages to hurt both Donnie and Tacoma in the space of five minutes by telling the former that Demo Reel wasn't a waste of time because it was padding for her resume, and offending the latter by saying he sucked at his journalist job.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's deluded, ditzy and may have accidentally killed a cat, but she's well-intentioned, works successfully on her tact and loves her friends to the point of violence.
Lack of Empathy: In episode one, she doesn't seem to care that she probably killed an animal. She's better in episode two when she and Tacoma bond over their families, and even better in episode three when she's trying to let Donnie down gently.
The Lad-ette: Still has the girly appearance with long hair and red nails, but drinks a lot, despises the fact that most actresses are taken on because they're attractive, and bristles harshly at her parents apparently wanting her to be a housewife.
Lady Drunk: "I told you I can't do caffeine, but liquor? You will be my bitch."
This was referenced in Rachel's goodbye-from-TGWTG party, they gave her one of the bottles from the show with real booze and she was very happy. note To have a reminder of Demo Reel, not just to have alcohol.
Laughing Mad: Her cackle when beating the shit out of the turkey is something to behold.
Letting Her Hair Down: For the first couple of episodes, her hair would be either in a bun or plaited at points, but when she's more comfortable with herself and the guys, it stays loose.
Mama Bear: While probably the youngest cast member at 23, do anything bad to her boys and she will try and beat you to death.
Pintsized Powerhouse: Tacoma is pretty built, and yet she throws him off her ragefest like he's nothing.
Plucky Girl: While more damaged and world-weary than she first let on, for the most part she likes to ovary up and take life with a smile. Instead of going Broken Bird with her past and experiences, she wants her friends to be happy and tries to help as much as she can.
Replacement Goldfish: As her characters in Donnie's movies always live when they didn't in the originals, it's implied he's using her in that way to get over how his mom was treated. Also supported by her worry that she's a young woman and already feels over the hill in terms of her career, and that she looks a lot like the mother's picture in the newspaper.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: A rare sympathetic example with no Male Gaze on her. She complains in episode four that she hates people thinking she's just a dumb prop who's there to look pretty and have no thoughts of her own.
The Stoner: When the boys complain about their demographic being druggies, she tells them not to judge because they've all must have eaten Cinnamon Toast Crunch and asked their feet for financial advice at least once.
Will Not Be A Victim: She only thinks of tears in rare cases, like when being high is driving her crazy or a when a film present she did great in gets destroyed, and even for the latter she decides trying to beat someone to death is the better option.
Woman Child: Except when it comes to suicide, she has a pretty childlike "it doesn't matter" view about death. She nonchalantly asks Fabrizio if he's ever killed anyone, she doesn't care what her mafia bosses do, and she would have kidnapped an old lady for the Blue Patches sequel if it weren't too risky. By contrast, she constantly refers a movie that was meant to make a friend feel better being destroyed as it getting "killed" instead.
Yaoi Fangirl: If she looked any more excited at Donnie/Tacoma making up in the pilot or Donnie/Carl becoming friends in the finale, she would have probably let out squee noises.
Yank the Dog's Chain: As soon as she says the “Blue Patches” sequel is the best thing they've ever done and that they have to save it, the SWAG leader yanks it out of her hand and destroys the evidence.
Played by Malcolm Ray
A Nice Guy writer who at first feels ashamed of the company and people he's working with, but then grows to consider them a much better family than his own.
Abusive Parents: His dad was a criminal and he was the only one that had a problem with this, so the other family members hate him now.
By The Book Journalist: When he discovers that Donnie's been missing for three days, he puts his foot down and decides that they're going to analyze the computer footage to find out what's going on.
Celeb Crush: Judy Dench. Just listen to the rapture in his voice when he says her name.
Character Development: He goes from condescending, passive-aggressive and just wanting to use Demo Reel as a way to break into the industry, to more open and respectful, enjoying himself with friends and wouldn't even think of giving the place up.
The Chick: If he wasn't around, Donnie and Rebecca probably wouldn't resemble functional, sane-ish human beings.
Condescending Compassion: Starts out like this, as he's too nice to say anything but mostly thinks himself above Donnie and Rebecca while just wanting to use the experience to get into the industry, but grows to deeply care for them both and defend his job from SWAG.
Dragged into Drag: to an extent, Rebecca makes him play Fabrizio's "lovely assistant" to make up for a line he said that upset her.
The Dulcinea Effect: He doesn't seem to understand that Rebecca is perfectly able to look after herself. Admittedly this flaw only starts when he hears about her Creepy Uncle.
Establishing Character Moment: Talking with Rebecca over the white-face make-up. He trusts her more than anyone even though he doesn't totally like her yet, he's kind but has anger building, cynically knows what the racist internet will say to him, and he can be shy and insecure whenever he wants, found out later to be the result of his family abuse.
Even the Guys Want Him: There is of course Donnie, and from the butter-melting way he plays the role, he pretty obviously has a thing for Billy Dee Williams.
Extreme Doormat: With his family, because of guilt over what he did to his dad. He puts up with his mom's emotional abuse, and sends apology letters to his brothers that don't get read.
Granola Boy: He's very aware of being the only black guy in a sea of pale people, so is a little more concerned about political correctness than they are.
Living Emotional Crutch: Until they argue in episode three, Donnie always gets really upset when he's annoyed or sick.
Lovable Coward: He sells out Karl in an instant when the turkey descends upon them. In his defense though, he was ill, the turkey was not normal and it was Karl's fault. And that's after he tries to hold the door shut in vain to keep it out.
Nice Guy: Though not without his limits on the amount of patience he has.
Not so Above It All: Donnie and Rebecca are usually the ones who hurt people by being Innocently Insensitive, but he suffers an epic foot in mouth problem by telling Rebecca her career's not going anywhere when she's already miserable.
He disapproves of all the booze at first, but he has great fun betting on the Drinking Game between Fabrizio and Rebecca.
As smart as he is on other cultures, he assumes Scarletti (really "a stunad who couldn't keep his mouth shut") is a kind of pork.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: A variation. In The Dark Knight Begins Rising, he is cast as Alfred, and dons a British accent throughout the whole thing, but when DuPre (as Bruce Wayne) tries on various costumes, he pronounces Mario's name the same way an American would, not a Europeannote He pronounces it as Mah-ree-oh, and not Maa-ree-oh. Then, when DuPre tries his next costume, Narrows makes the same mistakenote He calls the character "Waldo" instead of "Wally".
Papa Wolf: After learning what happened, he stews in anger and upset over what happened to Donnie as a kid, and has to be convinced by Rebecca to actually help the guy now.
Pretty Boy: Rebecca certainly thinks he looks hot in a princess dress (he's also quite pleased about this), and he's in a tight, arm-complimenting, black t-shirt before she makes him wear it.
Rage Breaking Point: At the end of the Dark Knight episode finally snaps after he gets his desired ending of the audience not seeing Bruce and Selina together but with Donnie Comically Missing the Point and having Alfred exposit their presence there anyway.
Covert Pervert: In "Lost In Translation", he focuses the camera on a miserable Donnie's ass and gets distracted by a con-girl's cleavage a couple of minutes after. Donnie also discovers him having a foursome later.
A Father to His Men: In a seriouslyTough Love way. Respects Rebecca enough to call her their only hope against an evil turkey, gets pissed when Tacoma sells him out, and even though he thinks Donnie is pathetically frustrating, he practically tears down the woods trying to look for him after the kidnapping.
Sugar and Ice Personality: He starts out fondly calling Quinn a a good friend before remembering his reputation and saying he just meant that he's a good camera-man. Does the same with Donnie in the season one finale, where he act like his protectiveness of him was just because of a paycheck.
The director of the Swede Actor's Guild (SWAG), a group of filmmakers dedicated to remaking movies in the style of Be Kind Rewind. He insists that the makers of Demo Reel join their organization... or else.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He does genuinely treat the members of his guild like a family, and people leaving him out of disgust for what he did to Donnie is the breaking point that leads him to outright stalking Rebecca and Tacoma.
The Faceless: He appears only in white silhouette against a black background until the final episode.
Humiliation Conga: Suffers well deserved beatings from almost all of Team Demo Reel for destroying a video tribute to Donnie's late mother
Not-So-Harmless Villain: He likes Christmas parties and gets upset when his minions call him out on anything, but he's all about inflicting slow and painful punishment instead of going in for a quick kill.
Psycho Ex Boyfriend: Really acts like one to Donnie; wanting to destroy him for no reason that even Tacoma or Rebecca can see, getting turned on by setting that destroying plan into motion, leaving stalkerish phone messages on his machine, and screaming that he won't be getting ignored.
Psychopathic Manchild: Demo Reel treading on his territory and being sucky in the process is the only reason why he wants Donnie destroyed and the others scared.
Straw Misogynist: While nicer than the other mafia members, still calls Rebecca a bimbo right to her face, is only there in the actress speech to complain about Kathy Bates being Hollywood Homely, and contrasts Quinn's anger over Tacoma hurting Rebecca by not giving a damn.
Fanatic Fan Family
The family that kidnap Donnie and hold him hostage while forcing him to watch the bad films he did as a child
Abusive Parents: When they're backed into the corner, the father tells the daughter to say she's sorry and gives a smug smile like that'll fix everything. Donnie calls him out on it.
Bait the Dog: They start out kinda creepy but helpful, and there's signs of just not being mentally well, but when the drugging reveal comes, you're left with "no, they really are terrible people".
Creepy Child: The daughter, Liz, has no problem with terrifying Donnie just because she wants to see him scared. She's also in on the medical relaxant plan and even reminds her parents that they haven't drugged him recently.
No Sense of Personal Space: Towards Donnie. They even watch him while he's sleeping and their closeness scares him when he wakes up. That they've made him helpless from muscle relaxants adds an extra dosage of creepy.
While the camera cuts away before Donnie falls on the floor, at one point Adam deliberately makes Jill push him off the bed so they can "help" get him up again.
Pet the Dog: It's not enough to set him free, but Jill lets out a sob after they've laughed at Donnie telling them what happened to his mom.
Precocious Crush: Liz appears to have a squicky one for Donnie, as she gets right in his face while watching him sleep (when he wakes up she jumps back), holds his hand while they're watching "Galaxy Battle" and takes great delight at seeing him in pain.
The Sociopath: All of them, but Liz really seemed to find Donnie nearly freezing to death, realizing that he's not going to get saved in time, or giving up and looking for a place to die fantastically hilarious.
Sugary Malice: They seem to be of the mind that you can say or do any cruel thing you want if you hide it under a stepford sweet voice.
Villain Ball: The medicine that Donnie was kept being sedated by needs constant doses otherwise.
Ungrateful Bastard: They keep Donnie in their home under the explanation that they are trying to treat him from injuries he sustained the night before, and show their fandom toward him. They are actually giving him muscle relaxants. They rewatch his old movies not because they mistake them for being good, but so they can laugh at how bad an actor he was. When Donnie explains that the reason he gave a bad performance was because he just got word that his mother killed herself while he was shooting that scene and sarcastically apologizes to them, the family just thinks he's acting again! No wonder Donnie held a knife at all three the minute he got wise!