World on Fire Character Review: Harry Chase

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series World on Fire.  Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

War has a way of making those who live through it grow up quickly. Youth and inexperience, simply due one’s experience, gives way to maturity brought on extraordinary circumstances. On World on Fire, Harry Chase (Jonah Hauer-King) is a young man at the beginning of World War II. He is idealistic, romantic, and eager to see the world. He is also dating Lois Bennett (Julia Brown). Their relationship ends when he is offered a job in Poland.

A talented translator, he takes a job in Warsaw and gets involved with Kasia Tomaszeski (Zofia Wichlacz). All seems well until the Germans invade. Harry knows that the only way to save Kasia’s life is to marry her and get her to England. The question is, how will he explain all of this not just to Lois, but to his mother, Robina (Lesley Manville)?

At the train station, Kasia does not get on the train with Harry. Instead, she shoves her baby brother into the train car and watches as the train leaves the station. Back home, Harry has to faces a brokenhearted Lois and his mother, who is shocked by the presence of the boy he is traveling with. After a one night stand with Lois, she gets pregnant. But she does not tell him that they are to become parents.

Returning Europe, he joins the battle at Dunkirk and then goes back to Poland to find his wife. Their joy at being united is all too brief when they are surrounded by German soldiers.

Starts at 3:04

To sum it up: Harry’s character arc is an interesting one. He is not completely naïve, but his perspective comes from the relatively comfortable left he has led up to this point. The war changes all of that. He still retains some of that idealism. However, he learns to fight for what he believes in and who he loves, and what it takes to lead.

Which is why he is a memorable character.


This is How Presidential Transitions are Supposed to be

One of the cornerstones of our democracy is the peaceful transition from one administration to another. It signals that there is a respect for the country and for the end result of a Presidential election.

As we all are too keenly aware of, you know who has far too many people believing that his loss was due to voter fraud. In denying the Biden/Harris transition team access to the necessary materials needed to do their job, the message from the current administration is loud and clear. They are concerned with soothing their boss’s fragile ego than following the will of the people.

Over the last few days, former First Daughter and granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager has been reflecting on how her late grandfather, George H.W. Bush and father, George W. Bush graciously welcomed the next President into the White House.

The letter from her grandfather to then President elect Bill Clinton states the following:

“Dear Bill, when I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. I wish you great happiness here,”

She also fondly recalls how she, her sister, and her mother were tour guides for Michelle Obama and her girls when President Obama won the election twelve years ago.

This is how Presidential transitions are supposed to be. But it cannot happen if you know who refuses to concede the election.

Flashback Friday: The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)

Of the hundreds of television pilots that are filmed every year, only a few are given a season to develop. Even fewer last well beyond the first thirteen episodes they are granted by the network.

The Big Bang Theory aired from 2007-2019. The narrative of the show followed the relationships between pretty girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and her nerdy neighbors, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons).

I’ve seen enough of this show to know that I didn’t get it. There was obviously enough people watching for it to last as long as it did. But it was not one of those television shows that I would say that I watched with any amount of regularity.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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