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home : opinions :   May 25, 2016

10/15/2013 10:06:00 AM
Column: Who would you choose?

Shannon Crawley-Serpette
Marshall-Putnam Bureau Chief

A friend recently asked me to name my favorite fictional character of all time. I took the easy way out and said I’d need to do a Top 10 list. So many characters, in literature, television and movies, have been important at me at various points in my life.
I was curious to see who made my list because I once read an article that said a study showed we can take on traits of our favorite fictional characters and that their stories can temporarily impact our daily lives. Here are my top picks:
10. MacGyver: This show was at its peak popularity when I was in high school. Being smart wasn’t a high priority for most people I knew at that time. MacGyver changed that somewhat. Suddenly, being off-the-charts smart wasn’t nerdy anymore — it was actually pretty cool. Even today when I do something extremely clever — it is a very rare occurrence, I can assure you — I try to sneak in a MacGyver reference.
9. Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”: Belle is an independent dreamer who loves books and doesn’t need to be rescued by anybody. I can relate to that.
8. Indiana Jones: Indiana Jones drew me in with his dual life. A college professor who is also a swashbuckling archeologist? Count me in.
7. Jane Eyre: She survived a loveless childhood and grew into a hard-working, smart, opinionated woman. Jane manages to succeed and thrive despite the obstacles.
6. Trixie Belden: During my pre-teen years, I wished with all my heart I could have Trixie Belden’s life. She had everything — a loving family, great friends, a club and one adventurous mystery after another. Through Trixie, I was able to feel like I’d visited places I was certain I’d never see.
5. Veronica Mars: Veronica Mars is hands-down the coolest modern-day character, in my opinion. Although her show lasted just three seasons, the character has been given her own movie, thanks to her cult status. Veronica is everything I admire — she’s smart, sassy, tough and funny.
4. Robin Hood: He was the original bad boy — a thief who followed his own moral compass. Even as a child, I loved how he stole from rich, greedy, corrupt people and gave it to the hard-working poor people.
3. Harry Potter: I loved pretty much all the characters in J.K. Rowling’s wizard universe, but my favorite was Harry. Sure, he was a bit whiny and hard on people at times. But here’s why I admire him: He had every reason to give up on life, but he never did.
Harry had a terrible childhood - his parents were murdered and he was raised by people who treated him horribly. Then he finds out the most powerful wizard in the world — who had long been presumed dead - wants to kill him. Even though the bad wizard repeatedly tries to kill him throughout the series, Harry still does his best not to live every moment in fear. When he is scared, he tries to work through it and strives to live his life as normally as possible. That’s a great lesson for everyone.
2. Velma: Scooby Doo was a staple in my house when I was growing up. I could pretend I stopped watching Scooby Doo at some point and only resumed it when my kids were born, but that would be a lie. I never stopped. How could I? It has everything I like - mysteries, villains, catchy music, friendship, special guest stars (Don Knotts and Davy Jones are always welcome on my television), comedy and a super cool sleuth named Velma Dinkley. For me, Velma is the heart of the cartoon and she’s certainly the brains of the operation. Without her, the Scooby gang wouldn’t be solving anything.
In the original “Scooby Doo,” Velma was best known for always losing her glasses and sporting an orange turtleneck sweater no matter what the weather was. In later versions, her character has evolved. She’s insecure, but still brilliant and fond of orange.
1. Wonder Woman: Buying comic books and reading about the the amazing Amazon after Sunday school was the highlight of the weekend for me when I was growing up. There was no greater superhero universe for me than DC (sorry, Marvel) and Wonder Woman was its indisputable queen.
I wanted to be just like her. I would never have the superpowers, cool outfit and unique backstory, but that didn’t stop me from running around my backyard pretending to be her and defeating all my imaginary enemies.

Shannon Crawley-Serpette may be reached at (309)364-2268 or

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