Binky Betsy (cookie77) wrote in binky_betsy,
Binky Betsy

I'm starting to appreciate Tom Batiuk

For all that his endless cycle of cancerdoomdeathdespair irritates me, there is one thing Batiuk is way better at than Lynn: showing his characters communicating. And creating characters capable of realizing that the world does not revolve around them. And admitting that his characters are flawed. Yeah, okay, Funky is a workaholic who alienates his family, but the reader is supposed to notice this. And he's not taking the right approach with Cory, but it's acknowledged by the other characters that something is wrong, and it's not just a matter of Cory being born bad and the whole situation a lost cause.

Now take this excerpt from Mike Patterson's June 2007 letter: April spends as little time at home as possible. I worry about her. This move is affecting her more than anyone else. She rarely complains but I know she's crying inside. As much as she loves us and the kids, she hates to give up her room, her space, her home.

And picture that situation in the Batiukverse. Suppose Summer had an older sibling who moved in, bringing their spouse and unruly pre-schoolers and turning the house into chaos. No WAY would Les tolerate that for more than a few weeks. It would be brought out in the open, Summer would get to state her case, the other sibling would get to state theirs, and Les would get the last word by saying that what he wanted more than anything was a harmonious household and a family that got along...and that wasn't happening unless this adult, with a spouse and children of their own, accepted their responsibility.

At least the bad things that happen in Westview are acknowledged as bad. I wish TB didn't pile one on top of the other so relentlessly, but it's still better than Lynn setting up dysfunctional situations and just letting them fester. People in Westview who "worry" about friends or family members TELL them so. Why can't people in Milborough do the same?

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