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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

13 Faceless Characters

Monday, November 13, 2006

I have been meaning to post this entry for some time now but I couldn't complete the list as soon as I wanted to. Faceless characters. Sometimes heard but not seen, sometimes seen but not heard. Sometimes partially seen and sometimes never seen or heard at all. I like these characters, they introduce the whole face imagination thing we only do now when we read books. The shape of their eyes, the orientation of their mouths and the flaring of their nostrils revealed to us only by the other characters they interact with...

Here are my favorites:

Mammy Two-Shoes
I am not sure who baptized her, but I love the name. She is Tom's owner. Not that Tom, dummy... Tom the cat, Jerry's nemesis. She has a Southern accent and always walks into the scene with bedroom slippers and most times an apron. The thing is, she is only shown from the neck down. I think the idea was to put emphasis on the show's toon fauna, but I'd like to believe the "cameraman" either had poor framing skills or he's got issued with Mammy Two-Shoes.

The Grown-ups
Parents, teachers and every other adult in the Charlie Brown movies talk in the same ambiguous way, "Wuohwuohwuohwuoh... Wuoh?... Wuohwuoh" (I nearly had a migraine translating that sound into text) It's like saying "wah" in slo-mo. Aside from the grown-ups being unintelligible, they are never seen in the movies or in the comic strips. They are conveniently located off camera, and their presence is only shown by the sideways glance of characters and their "wuoh"s. I am guessing the whole idea is to show that kids (that are older than me but never age) hear white noise when grown-ups talk.

Mom And Dad
Cow and Chicken puts the truncated adults into a whole new level. In a normal below the belt shot, Mom and Dad appear Mammy Two-Shoes-ish. However, In some scenes where it is impossible not to show the upper part of their bodies, you see that the lower half of their bodies is all they have. They are anatomically faceless... make that torsoless. How they can speak, I have no idea... and furthermore, how a cow and a chicken can be siblings and how half a woman and half a man can have them as children is beyond me. But I enjoy this show, especially the obnoxious Red Guy.

Charles Townsend
"Hello, Charlie". He is the secretive, probably agoraphobic, boss of The Angels. He is extremely wealthy, I am not thoroughly sure how, but I guess pimping may not be too ludicrous a reason. Anonimity comes hand in hand with espionage. I can't help but picture Charlie resembling Stephen Hawking. Why can't I google an image of his speaker box thingamajig? Hence the logo with a silhoutte of the classic Angels' pose.

Miss Sara Bellum
She is the secretary of the Mayor of Townsville. She is the one that inspired this whole blog entry. She is tall, has curly orange hair and eternally wears that red two-piece suit and the staple black belt with a golden buckle. Most times her face is just cut off from the screen. Sometimes you see her from the back, that towering coif covering her head and sometimes a foreign object just happens to block the view of her face. The Mayor is a dimwit, and Miss Bellum is a shining beacon of feminism. "Once again, the day is saved. Thanks to the Powerpuff Girls".

Ugly Naked Guy
He is the voyeuristic obsession of the cast of FRIENDS. He owns an apartment whose interiors are comfortably seen from Monica and Chandler's (formerly Monica and Rachel, and for a brief period, Chandler and Joey's) apartment. He is a nudist. The FRIENDS often see him doing mundane things in his birthday suit, often accompanied with disgust but with optical magnetism similar to car crashes. The audience never sees Ugly Naked Guy's face... You could be dating him without your knowledge.

Who remembers Mighty Man? This was one of those awful formulaic Action Hero cartoon shows of my generation. Mighty Man is minute and his trusty sidekick is Yukk. I think he is a dog. His head is almost always covered with a dog house. He is supposedly very ugly and scary, that he only removes the dog house on his head to scare off enemies. If you ain't got it, don't flaunt it. I had a hard time looking for his name that I even thought that I might have imagined the whole show altogether.

Maggie Simpson
Ok, so the youngest Simpson isn't faceless. She is however voiceless. Yes, I am aware she is a baby and is only capable of cooing. But Maggie's voice is one of the Simpson enigmas. In an episode where Lisa "flashforwards" to the future where she is about to get married. Every chance a grown-up punk-rock Maggie has to talk, someone interrupts her. Her voice was finally heard when Maggie uttered her first word, "Daddy". The lovely but oft member of the worst-dressed list, Elizabeth Taylor, lent her voice to Maggie.

Kenny McCormick
He has died a gory death in every episode of South Park, but always gets resurrected to mumble in the next episode. Kenny is half faceless, half voiceless. He wears that hooded orange windbreaker so tight around his face, his covered mouth muffles every word he says. Matt Stone and Trey Parker did this on purpose so that Kenny can say the most perverted or politically incorrect statement and get away with it, cause no one understands what he says. His face and voice are revealed in the South Park movie.

Stan Walker
He is Karen Walker aka Anastasia Beaverhausen's husband in Will and Grace. Little is known about Stan... he is extremely rich and obese. Karen's scenes with Stan often involve a back, darkness, steam from a sauna, etc. to hide most of Stan. You never hear his voice. He has been imprisoned for tax evasion and faked his death. I really don't know why Stan was left faceless in the show, but I'm guessing as long as Stan is an enigma, Karen can remain the lovable shrieky, apathetic, frank, flamboyant, alcoholic woman that we love.

Maris Crane
She is Stan's female counterpart in Frasier. Like Stan, Maris is a spouse of a supporting actor in the show who is never seen by the audience. Sheis married to Niles Crane, Frasier's brother. She too is rich. Why do rich people hide in their houses? The writers of the show painted themselves into a corner. They had intentions of revealing Maris in the later seasons, but alluding to her as domineering, trivial, manipulative and appearing "reptile-like", they couldn't find an actress to play her justifiably.

The Banker
Deal or no Deal. He is the looming figure shrouded in darkness in a loft above the stage whose voice is only heard by the host. Unlike the other characters in this list, my curiousity never reared its ugly head when it came to the Banker. He just seems to be a relatively useless person on that show, whose purpose is to add drama and rack up phone bills. There are many franchises of this show so I'm not only thinking about the chauvinistic, seemingly psychotic banker in our TV sets that Kris Aquino mildly flirts with. Charmel?

Faceless Faceless Character Number 13
I ran out of faceless characters... Can you think of one to complete my list?

Happy Thirteenth SV2G!

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posted by Alternati, 11:41 PM

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