Hi you, it’s me!
Let’s talk about something I recently encountered again and finally want to further discuss with you.
What is the Gaston-Effect?
Simply put it’s the effect of having (especially fictional) characters that are not very likeable but suddenly they start to sneak into your heart and the only thing left is to hate yourself for loving them. The first time it hit me really hard was in the 2017 adaption of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast where Luke Evans portrayed the villain Gaston. I watched the movie and I just couldn’t hate Gaston. It was impossible for me. Despite his chauvinistic behaviour or his archaic thinking (how he treated books!), I couldn’t. And it was all because of Luke Evans (probably). Already knowing him in other movies I just couldn’t erase all my fangirl feelings for him even though he did a pretty good job in portraying the narcissistic tendencies and stupidity of Gaston.
So here are some other honourable mentions of characters I love despite the opinion of every other person.
- Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel (2018)
A little spoiler alert at this point but he’s the main reason I wrote this article today so if you haven’t seen the movie just skip this part for a second.
Yon-Rogg played by Jude Law is one of those men that are just not good for women. And with that, I don’t mean the usual douche you can recognize five seconds after meeting them. He’s the sneaky type of bastard where you don’t even realize how bad he is until it’s already too late and you’ve been emotionally manipulated so much you’re not even sure who you are anymore. Oh, and he’s the type of guy who follows orders of some AI without thinking and is a bit racist when it comes to other species because of course, the Kree are superior and blah blah blah.
And yet I love him. You can’t blame me for not reflecting properly but I can’t help myself. All my stupid fan brain sees another misunderstood baby I need to adopt.
- Albus Dumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Again Jude Law. Coincidence? I don’t think so. But first I probably have to explain why Dumbledore is a character you shouldn’t like in the first place. Let’s be honest. I don’t like him. Really. I mean in the Harry Potter franchise I get all the mentor-role and so on but I still don’t like him. Why? First thing is just like Snape said (Just to be clear I don’t like Snape either. For similar reasons actually): He raised Harry just to die at the right moment. And of course he had no other choice but all this manipulating, „pulling the strings behind everybody’s back“ behaviour wasn’t the right thing to deal with it. And one of the most memorable reasons I learned via Tumblr (sorry, I can’t recall the specific source at the moment) but someone said there is absolutely no excuse to leave a child in an abusive environment. And he knew all the years what’s going on in the Dursley household. Chosen one or not. So long story short, even though Crimes of Grindelwald was long before the Harry Potter story Dumbledore already has this kind of manipulative behaviour and the tendency to send his faithful pupils in some sort of war they’re not even part of. And this is something I despise in most persons. But is it enough to make me hate him? Of course not! And this is really frustrating because I feel all my principles slowly leaving me and all I can do is say goodbye to them. (At this point I probably should’ve just called it the Jude Law Effect because he’s the main reason for my suffering at the moment …)
- Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
This is actually one of the best examples and I probably should’ve started with it but whatever. We all know Joffrey and we all hate Joffrey. But most of all we all love to hate Joffrey. I don’t really have to explain why, do I? He is a bastard (No pun intended). But from my point of view, he was mostly funny. I really enjoyed seeing him on screen because he was so ridiculous at some point with his bloodlust and not very kinglike attitude. Everyone cheered when he died but I have to admit even though it was predictable (Noone survives the Game of Thrones very long. Especially the dear ones) I was a bit sad. No more Joffrey? I almost cried.
So after all this, I am still left with this one question in particular. Why?
I know we all don’t want to be that superficial but the main reason is probably attraction. You just can’t give me a Jude Law or Luke Evans and expect me to hate them. Sorry but that’s just not possible. Maybe I can appreciate their talent as an actor but that’s it. I saw David Tennant as Kilgrave and Barty Crouch Jr. and it was impossible to hate him both times. I saw Sebastian Stan in some very ridiculous roles but all I could see was one of my favourite actors.
But I also want to add another excuse (cough) reason. I meant reason. Which is less superficial. I mean the love to a person despite their flaws. If you analyze certain characters long enough you may find some explanation for their behaviour or at least some good in all the bad. And if enough people realize it and start to see the victim in the villain and the lost princess in the evil queen we suddenly have the Draco Malfoys, the Jokers and the Thanos‘ of our time.
Forget the last one. Thanos will never be part of the Gaston-Effect. I will always hate him.