Saturday, July 29, 2006

Anthony and Liz and a Brick to the Head

The problem with strip-to-strip reading is that you sometimes do not get the appropriate perspective. For example, Thursday’s strip ends with Liz thinking she said the wrong thing and Anthony thinking she said the right thing. Reading all 3 Anthony strips this week together reveals that the wrong thing was that Liz revealed to Anthony, she still cared for Anthony. It was the right thing for Anthony, because he was basically begging to have a chance with Liz, which she has effectively granted. Ultimately, that was the decision Anthony help Liz to make in today’s strip. Not a decision to have Anthony as a husband, or boyfriend, but the decision to allow him back into her life, even though she already has a boyfriend. This was cemented by the usual, Liz and Anthony holding hands and staring deeply into each other’s eyes, which is the physical sign they are still both interested in each other for the last 4 years running.

The website updates for Elizabeth also confirm this:

Although their friendship never had time to become a serious relationship, Warren helped Liz renew her confidence. She needed it when Constable Paul Wright came into her life - now that Liz is moving home from Mtigwaki, she hopes that the love she shares with Paul will be strong enough to bridge the distance between them, at least until Paul can get a transfer to her area.

And in Elizabeth’s Friends and Influences, this:

Despite Elizabeth's denial, she has to admit - Anthony does remind her of her father - steady, honest and loyal, which is probably the reason she still cares deeply for Anthony, even after all this time.

I think the way the reader was intended to interpret these strips was that Liz was supposed to realize that Anthony is grown up, responsible and mature; and this ignites her old feelings for him again. Unfortunately, the dialogue-writers have still not figured out that it is far more believable to show someone being a good parent than to have him say, “I’m a good parent. You would be proud of me.” A better story-writer would show it, and make us, the reader, fall in love with Anthony too, so we would root for Liz to consider Anthony. As it is, the story-writer has made us think of Anthony as a self-absorbed twit, still obsessed with his high school girlfriend, 6 years after graduation.

Tomorrow’s strip: cookie77 didn’t like it, but I actually did. When grandpa Jim goes scooting away with Elly and John in pursuit, it is one of the funniest things I have seen in the strip in a long time.


Blogger April Patterson said...

Despite Elizabeth's denial, she has to admit - Anthony does remind her of her father - steady, honest and loyal, which is probably the reason she still cares deeply for Anthony, even after all this time.

To me, Anthony comes off as the opposite of this: unbalanced, disingenuous, manipulative, and treacherous. Ask Thérèse if he ever had any loyalty to her! ;)

4:13 AM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

Oh, and one thing I can say about the Anthony stuff--he's certainly increasing traffic at ARB. Typically, I get roughly 50 unique visitors per day. During this Anthony arc, unique visitors have shot up to the mid-to-high 100s range!

6:43 AM  
Blogger howard said...

Thérèse was completely misplayed. Lynn chose to try to get the readers against Thérèse, by trying to make her appear overly suspicious of Anthony's affection for Liz. Of course, her suspicions were right on the mark, so we side with her. The only other thing was the money gifts at the baby shower, and there are too many people who do that, for it to be considered an actual evil thing.

If Lynn had showed Thérèse mistreating or neglecting her child, or berating and abusing Anthony, or even showed Anthony trying to work on his marriage and being rebuffed by Thérèse; then we might have some sympathy for him. Instead, we see him cheating with Liz and telling someone Thérèse is bad. The cheaters I have known, always blame the spouse for their wrongdoings, so it just made it worse.

It is just flat out, very poor storytelling, but it is storytelling that gets people stirred up. 50 people read ARB per day, jumps to mid to high 100s? Impressive. And the best part is, there is going to be a lot of Anthony over the next year.

8:34 AM  

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