Remember Jordan sneakers?
There used to be this thing called the defining moments package. It came with 2 pairs of Jordan shoes, the 6’s and the 7’s, I think in special colors. Every pair came with a postcard that details a defining moment made by Michael Jordan in those particular shoes.
I never bought the package because it came out to something like a 1,000.00. Anyways this isn’t about Michael Jordan, or his line of sneakers. This is about defining moments, defining moments I’ve seen made in both television and film.
Originally, I wanted to make a listicle out of this idea of defining moments I’ve seen more recently, but that just goes to show me how rare defining moments are in the media, so I don’t have a lot. I keep going on and on about defining moments like you know what they are, which you probably do. But just in case you don’t, I’m going to do my best to define it.
When I think of defining moments I think of Colin Farrell’s character in that movie Lobster. The way you see him by the end is different from the way you see him at the beginning. He’s no longer the tenant to a hotel that’s about to turn him into a lobster for not being married. But someone who overcame that struggle triumphantly. A hero was created there in that defining moment.
I think that’s really hard for a writer to do every time they sit down to write. Most of the time the writer is just the hero and we either like what they have to say, or we don’t. It’s truly a phenomenon in pop-culture whenever this happens because it rarely ever happens. So when it does everyone feels it. You can tell by how often you see these characters on the internet and in real life. That’s why you’re not the only one that likes Parks and Recreation, or BoJack Horseman.
Maybe not BoJack so much, but Parks was everyone’s shit. No one had seen a cast of characters this good in years and we haven’t since it stopped airing. That profile shot of Leslie Knope sitting on a park bench with the guy that leaves by the end of season 1, makes you feel the same way you felt during that profile shot of BoJack sitting on the roof with Diane by the end of the same season.
It’s in these defining moments where you realize they’re not just characters to you anymore. Characters aren’t taken seriously. Even the serious one’s aren’t taken seriously up until this point, this defining moment. These defining moments are what makes them heroes in our minds. That’s making something human.
As writers we have to make something human