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Old 2010-04-12, 15:28   Link #1
Hallowed Redeemer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Stanford, CA
Indecisive main character - good or bad?

Often times I read comments about a show which features a love triangle (or any sort of polyhedron) involving one guy and two or more girls, I find that the guy is labeled as indecisive. As far as I understand the reason for that label is that the guy does not clearly choose one girl to be his love interest until late into the show or sometimes not even at all. This label is almost always used with a negative connotation and is a frequent reason for the audience to hate the character.

The question, though, is whether being "indecisive" is really a bad thing about the show and about the character. Let's face it, not choosing a clear favorite from the very beginning keeps the tension in the show and makes it interesting to watch. For some romance shows where the primary plot point is who the protagonist will end up with, the tension will be completely ruined if he chooses one girl in the beginning and sticks to her in the end. I know that there are exceptions where the choice is clear from the very beginning and yet, the show is still tense and interesting, but that does not apply to every romance show.

Another point I wanted to make is that often the main character has a reason to be indecisive and I don't see why he should be forced to choose. I'm not saying he should date several girls at the same time, but he can certainly interact with all of them without committing to one. Why should he be blamed for that? Also, in action shows, where the romance is not the primary driving force of the plot, I don't see at all why the protagonist should be hated for not making a choice.

In any case, it just bothers me when an otherwise cool and/or nice character who is obviously made to be a good guy (i.e. not a villain) is hated by most of the fans for this reason.

So, what are your thoughts on the issue. Can you think of examples where having an "indecisive" main character (indecisive only in terms of choosing a girl, not indecisive in general) is well-done and the character is still likable? Can you think of examples where being indecisive is totally a negative character trait of the protagonist?
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