Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi ki Har Khwaish pe Dum Nikle

February 2, 2006

Wonder Years

Filed under: Movies — feelingroovy @ 7:56 pm

I’ve discussed this serial too many times with my friends. So I think there’s no point talking about how excellent the narration is, how great an actor the guy who plays Jack Arnold is, how good Norma Arnold looks as a mother, the detail in every episode and the good choice of music that they’ve made etc etc. Watching a few of the left over episodes and re-watching others over the past few days has made me think about the lead character, Kevin Arnold. Well more than think, agree to something that I read on an IMDB discussion a lot of time ago.

The contention was that Kevin Arnold would perhaps not be really nice as a person. In fact he might be quite an asshole. With every passing episode this impression seems to gain more strength :-(. The way he behaves with his friends, his family at times and his classmates makes one feel so. He looks like too crookedly conceited at times. I was wondering why this always tends to disappoint me. I mean after all he’s just a character and that’s how he’s been made for the story. Anyway, the serial is in every other way quite real life kind of stuff posing real situations that you ar easliy able to connect to, so Kevin again might be a real character. One thing that troubles me is that I very often tend to relate to him inspite of my bad opinion of him.

But then perhaps there’s more to the discomfort than me relating to Kevin at times. One always tends to think that Kevin is portrayed as some kind of a representational character for life at his age. And so he must be an average nice guy. Sadly enough, he often turns out to be just a not-really-nice average guy. Perhaps this goes beyond Wonder Years. People normally keep whining about having more real characters portrayed as heroes in any story form especially movies. But when the lead character is given some shades of grey you inevitable tend to subconsciously hope that he’s good. You actually keep on trying to fit him into the model of a hero. Then perhaps pure romanticism with black and white character does make sense! So is the effort to analyze people and make characters more real not worth it? I do have a feeling that I am exaggerating and generalizing out of proportion but still – just a thought :-).



  1. the last para just gives me the hint of something great that will be coming from this blog soon 🙂

    Comment by pradeep — February 7, 2006 @ 6:10 pm

  2. Hi,
    Well in my opinion, Kevin is definitely an average nice guy. The reason why we are not able to idetify ourselves with him is twofold- one, Kevin just belongs to a slightly different cultural background than us, so sometimes it is very difficult to empathise with his way of looking at things.

    Number two, you don’t see/remember as many details about other people as you can do with “Wonder Years”.For example, how much idea do you have about the opinion held by your friends in their school days about their teachers ? Even if you have such friends you know from their childhood, the number of such people will be so less that there is no way you can estimate “the average nice guy” behaviour from such a small sample.

    In fact, the sample is clearly biased – your close friends have a high probability of having characteristics which you like and most often the behaviour of close friends in a given situation is identical ! So, you are starting of with a sample set which is clearly biased and your estimate of “average nice guy” is an average over this sample. Given this is the case, I would be more surprised if Kevin fits the average of this biased sample than if he doesnot fit !

    Comment by nayagam — February 9, 2006 @ 6:01 am

  3. However I cud not make much sense out of it but still-
    well said Tom !

    Comment by jigyasu — February 9, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

  4. the not so nice kevin in you forgot to tell me that u started blogging :X

    Comment by chetan_blogging_fan — February 18, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  5. man, never knew u lovd wonder yrs..has to be one of the finest series during d school days..
    NARRATION stands out forever, the way the narrator pauses and lets u sink in the scene and the emotion on kevin’s face.. i was so consumed while watching the episodes man..
    but hey the personal emotion thing…well..interesting call..cool blog bdw..

    Comment by amit khanna — July 1, 2006 @ 6:06 am

  6. @ amit
    thanks! well i never saw much of wonder years in school. watched most of it now thanks to internet piracy 🙂 but really true – amazing series!
    and nice to see you around!

    Comment by feelingroovy — July 1, 2006 @ 9:09 am

  7. itni sari batein padne ke bad , i think u r very sensitive ho na…..

    Comment by chhaya — August 8, 2008 @ 10:27 am

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