Mary Hartman & The Pink Panther – characters I like – and some correlations

So, … interesting bit that occurred to me relatively recently.

Two characters I quite like, each from their own rather different show, it happened to occur to me that there are some particularly strong correlations between the characters. The characters – Mary Hartman, in the TV series _Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman_, and The Pink Panther – specifically from _The Pink Panther_ animated cartoon series.

Now certainly, at least ostensibly, those shows and characters are quite a bit different. But struck me in some ways they’re surprisingly very similar.

So … key similarities. Both quite nice, likable characters, but also a quite naive innocence to them. And they very much try to do the right thing, and quite consistently try to do so. But the circumstances and situations are often rather to highly difficult and challenging, and often very much almost or effectively even “conspire” against them. Rather like put the very real possible and quite likable person in the relatively unreal yet highly plausible and often problematic situation, and, well, despite best intents and efforts, things often go quite badly – often to very comedic effect, but too, often poignant, sad, perplexing, and/or preposterous effect – and often also managing to point out absurdities very present in reality. It’s like you see these wonderful characters. And they have these quite unwonderful circumstances and situations and events happen to them and unfold before them. And – can quite identify and sympathize with the characters … imagining being in quite same or similar situation as them – and also not knowing that which they don’t know, every step along the way seems a highly plausible reaction to and handling of what comes along – and all with best intentions. Yet they often end up in situations much more like one couldn’t even imagine, even not knowing what they didn’t/don’t know, it seems impossibly absurd that they could end up in such situation or predicament … yet there they are, and every step along they way highly plausible and believable for the often unfortunate situations and series of events, complications, etc., that gets thrown at them. It’s like can’t at all (or hardly/rarely) fault them for what they did, how they tried, what they intended, etc., yet they get to predicaments and having done things, which when looking at where and how they end up, looks like they very much should not have gotten to those points – yet there they are – with no better nor more logical alternatives effectively available to them to choose along the way. Seems often they try, and it doesn’t go well, they try and do better or fix or correct that – and it goes yet worse, and often ends up with rather to quite the predicament or absurdity. Perhaps part of it is the seeming paradox – can’t conceive how they could’ve ended up as and how they did – knowing the characters and decisions they’d make – yet what was thrown at them, step by step, decision by decision – it’s as if they could not possibly have chosen differently anywhere along the way and ended up anywhere other than as and where they did.

I also find similarity in often the juxtaposition of who the “civilized”, “sane”, “right”, or “reasonable” one is – often quite contrary to general societal presumptions, biases, or misjudgements by peers and others that often really just don’t have the full picture of what happened, but rather quickly draw their conclusions from one, even significant, bit they see – which they often totally misinterpret for lack of the more complete context that explains the observations – the more limited observations often implying things very different than what has actually transpired or even the basic fundamental facts of what actually happened and didn’t happen.

A few slight partial examples that come to mind. Pink Panther – an animal. “Vs.” human. Often, the Pink Panther, as “animal”, is far more civil, civilized, and effectively “human” than the human(s). Mary Hartman, often perceived or judged as “wrong”, “crazy”, “nuts”, irrational, uncaring, hurtful, when that’s anything but the case, while at same time the more real “villains” – or at least those doing the more hurtful, harmful things, etc., are often viewed and judged by many as being the “good” folks, when the reality is more like anything but. In many cases they’re often revered. I also like and note similarities where both are seen and viewed as imperfect and “flawed” – despite all their best efforts, they’re, well, “human” – even for a Pink Panther – and they make mistakes – “oops” – not really all that unlike any of us may make – at least under similar circumstances, and also not knowing that which they don’t know. Also both, to large extent, relatively strong characters – when they’re really pushed and challenged hard, they generally quite hold it together and well and strongly do the right thing (though how “doing the right thing” plays out, well, often varies anyway, due to circumstances and happenings).

Anyway, … it had just happened to occur to me – two characters I very much like – on the surface, they, and the series they’re in, seem very different … yet analyzing a wee bit closer, some very strong striking similarities between the two characters.

I wonder too, if somehow, they quite remind me, at least in some ways, of myself? Quite naive in some ways (e.g. at least socially – whole helluva lot of stuff I just don’t get (and perhaps never will)), try very hard to “do the right thing”, and yet, too often, things seem to turn out rather preposterously flawed, failed, or “bad” (or certainly not as expected by me, and I’d intended). Perhaps even absurdly or comedicly so? Well, maybe if I was able to laugh at more or most of it.

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