For example, “King of the Hill” is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, but once they introduced Lucky it damaged my enjoyment because I didn’t like watching him. In “Curb Your Enthusiasm” I started disliking it once they brought the Leon character in.
In the U.S. version of The Office, Robert California was cringeworthy. Obviously Michael was a ridiculous exaggeration of reality, but we all know people with elements of Michael. With California, I never saw a remotely plausible person, I just saw Spader hamming up… something. Weird in a way that just doesn’t correspond to anything real. I didn’t get what they were aiming for at all.
Rather late in the series but Sam the nurse (Linda Cardellini) on ER and her rotten kid always acting out and gobbling up screen time. Same a bit later with Tony Gates (John Stamos) and HIS obnoxious pushy …step-kid?..who may have had the hots for him. Kids in general are introduced out of desperation, ‘the ratings are down, hey, let’s throw in a troublesome little sister/long-lost cousin/pathetic orphan.’ It’s always the kiss of death.
I got it. Unfortunately. A marketing firm I did a lot with (so spent a lot of time there) was run by a Robert California.
A ‘coastie’ stuck in the midwest, so he tried to remake his business into a San Francisco ashram/yoga studio/free-weed love-in… as a charity for his poor, under-enlightened employees.
(He tried to make it mandatory for everyone to attend his lunch hour “Enlightenment Sessions”, where he’d claim he was levitating. And he’d try to teach his minions how they could too…)
And if you ever asked him a question like “So where are you from?”, he’d raise an eyebrow, “Where are any of us from, really? Now, the real question is… what is it about your fundamental nature that makes you ask me something like that?”
Superior, “evolved”, and SO full of himself. James Spader could’ve chewed even more scenery to play him.