Grantchester Character Review: Will Davenport

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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

When one beloved character is replaced by a new character, there is often a transition period for both the audience and the existing characters. On Grantchester, when Sidney Chambers (James Norton) left for America, he was replaced by Will Davenport (Tom Brittany). If Sidney rocked the boat only slightly, Will rocks the boat without question.

Will rides a motorcycle, listens to rock and roll and does not have the same demons from the war that Sidney does. He is modern in his sensibilities, which does not sit well with some of his superiors and the more traditional members of his parish.

Though he seems carefree, Will is not without problems of his own. Born into a wealthy family, his father Thomas (Nathaniel Parker) does not agree with his son’s choice of profession. Caught between his opinionated father and loving mother Amelia (Jemma Redgrave), Will must navigate complicated family politics.

To sum it up: It has been said that first impressions are lasting, but they don’t always reveal the truth about the person. Though Will appears to be the typical 1950’s rebel, he is eventually revealed to be much more than that. When his past and his issues are revealed, Will becomes a more complex and human character.

Which is why he is memorable to watch.


The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- Eddie Murphy Double Feature- The Haunted Mansion (2003) & Norbit (2007)

Eddie Murphy was once one of the most respected  and successful comics and actors in Hollywood. Unfortunately, that reputation has gone down the tubes in recent years.

In 2003, he starred in the Haunted Mansion. Based on the Disney ride of the same name, Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) and his wife Sara (Marsha Thomason) run a successful real estate company. But the business is successful because his family comes second to work.  When they receive a call about a new property, Jim cannot resist the offer. But the property’s owner, Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker) and his butler, Ramsley (Terence Stamp) are an odd pair. Jim will discover that the house is haunted and Master Gracey has specific reasons for his invitation.

 Were the critics wrong?No. This movie tries to bridge the gap of action/comedy/family movie genre with a message of what is really important in life. But in reality, this movie is just plain bad.

Four years later, in 2007, Murphy jumped from plain bad to awful/atrocious/offensive in Norbit. Norbit is an orphan raised by Mr. Wong (also Murphy). He is engaged to Rasputia (again played by Murphy). Then he meets Kate (Thandie Newton), who is the woman of his dreams. Can he find a way to end his engagement or will be spend the rest of his days with Rasputia?

This movie is so bad it’s good. Rasputia is offensive as a character. Loud, extremely overweight, domineering and manipulative, she controls Norbit, who is without a backbone, with an iron fist. On the other side is Kate, who is sweet, caring and thin. Were the critics wrong? Absolutely not.

I do not recommend either movie.

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