Series Last Man Standing Discussion

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KJMackley
Topic
03:07:07 PM Nov 1st 2015
On the topic of Mike being an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, here are the basic facts:
  • Mike can be rude, meanspirited, opinionated and outright admits he doesn't like a lot of people, including his neighbors. A lot of season one is him being forced by Vanessa to mingle with them and on multiple occasions he relishes the opportunity to burn bridges.
  • Mike is the protagonist, it doesn't matter if there are bigger jackass characters in the show, including Ryan and Kristin.
  • There is no such thing as a "Not a YMMV trope but a YMMV Example'', it either fits or it doesn't. Given the first point, he fits more than he doesn't.

That said, Mike also has his good points, which makes it not as obvious. Whichever side of the political spectrum you land on and what the audience actually thinks of him has absolutely no bearing on this trope.
kquinn0830
06:29:11 AM Nov 3rd 2015
edited by kquinn0830
The Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist trope/page is for a character that is a Jerkass and has horrible things happen to them that the audience is supposed to laugh at because they're a jerk(ie Barney Stinson, Sheldon Cooper, the entire cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, etc). Regardless of how much of a jerk you think Mike is, he does not fit this because he never has anything bad happen to him that the audience is supposed to laugh at. The trope is not "any lead character in a comedy that acts like a jerk".
KJMackley
06:56:52 PM Nov 4th 2015
Retribution against the character is not mandatory, the trope actually is a lot more "lead character in a comedy is a jerk" than the "half the audience doesn't find him sympathetic" that the warped YMMV example is. The core of the trope is finding comedy in how mean spirited the character can be. It's not in seeing them suffer as a result of karma, because Barney and Sheldon are often no more the Butt Monkey than the nicer members of the cast.

I'll admit, Mike as an example does toe the line because he isn't that big of a jerkass and the humor surrounding him is more his reactions dealing with his wife and daughters than him being cruel to someone (the worst he does is tease and mock a few people). I only added it to the main page because the YMMV example is outright not the trope in any form, the closest it would be is Base Breaker.
kquinn0830
12:28:59 PM Nov 5th 2015
I get what you're saying, but the trope page actually says "this page is about characters who are horrible people having bad things happen to them" so I don't think he qualifies as an example.
KJMackley
10:23:34 PM Nov 5th 2015
It certainly has a place in how the trope is used, but there are varying ratios of "jerkass to karmic backlash." They have to be a big jerkass first before something bad comes back around later. Otherwise they are just a Butt Monkey who happens to be a jerk too (meaning the backlash isn't tied in to their behavior).

I think we can both agree the YMMV version simply doesn't belong.
kquinn0830
08:03:58 AM Nov 6th 2015
Agreed. However, the fact remains that for a character to qualify as an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, they must have bad things happen to them that the audience can laugh at. It says so in the Laconic definition and in the page description. The only way I can see this being rectified is to change the entry to say Mike is a borderline example or deleting the entry entirely.
KJMackley
01:47:30 AM Nov 15th 2015
The example as written already explains that he is a mild version of the trope, explaining Mike's attitude but that he doesn't go too far. Really, I'm okay with with whatever you'd like to do, so long as that YMMV example stays dead.

As for the definition of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, discussing that further would really require an actual forum post and getting troper consensus. The way I see it, especially with a long running series that kind of character does not always get karmic retribution for their behavior. In fact they are often rewarded for it. Just because they are often the Butt Monkey and get Laser-Guided Karma doesn't mean that should be lumped in as a mandatory part of the trope. Cause and effect.
DrIvoShandor
Topic
11:26:46 PM Jan 20th 2015
Kristin is brainy? Really?
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/remarks.php?trope=Series.LastManStanding