Okay, its probably no surprise to you lot that I hate Jack O'Neill. Loathe him with the passion of a thousand firey suns or the collective venom of a ship/slash flamewar.
Why? I find him arrogant, needlessly difficult, too blinkered in his approach to those outside his little cliche, and basically unpleasant. But that I could handle. Hey, creates dynamic interactions which help forward plot. To me, JO'N's mortal sin is that he hides his smarts, derides his own intelligence, and distrusts erudition in others. And I watched that show for years, and couldn't figure out why he does it. And it gnawed at me until I became the pit of loathing for a fictional character that you see blogging before you. :)
John Sheppard, I like. A lot. I find his lack of ties to Earth interesting. I find his attitudes to life in general fascinating. What happened to make someone so disconnected from life when they so obviously can connect easily whenever they choose (the "flirt with everyone including the kitchen sink" idea we were discussing when we were applying XMen mutations to Atlantis personnel.) Yes, he's immature in some ways, certainly inexperienced. But I enjoy watching him learn. He's a flawed character in a way that can be fixed. He can overcome his flaws, and as such, I am interested in his story to see how he does that. Also, John is a bit more volitile - he hasn't been worn down smooth by life yet. He swings wider across the spectrum of emotional response.
And Sheppard gets smart. He appreciates smart. Hell, he's a genius himself, and certainly he doesn't advertise the fact. But he doesn't get snide or nasty with people who are openly and proudly intelligent. And that more than anything warmed me up to him faster than I cooled over O'Neill.
Of course, talking about John and Jack, invariably you're gonna have to bring in Rodney and Daniel, respectively. The geeks to their grunts. At first, I did find Jack and Daniel's relationship interesting. As someone says on that thread, Daniel saved Jack from suicide - they formed this friendship quite literally out of the shards of their respective lives, when they had both been beaten down to the bedrock by their lives and their choices.
John and Rodney are almost antithetical to that. grey_bard supplies the quote of the day:
For all that their interactions have a great deal of humorous dispute to them, there isn't a lot of real emotional conflict there between John and Rodney. They could just as easily have become friends at somebody's LAN party while playing Halo. The two of them just sort of "get" each other on a very basic level, and that seems to be something less about how they met and more about who they are. It also seems to be a new and pleasant experience for both of them and filled with the sort of warm rough comfort that comes from two people who don't need to bother with the social niceties and can just be themselves around each other. John and Rodney don't get along in spite of themselves, they get along because they get along.
I think this is why I take more pleasure from watching John and Rodney as opposed to Jack and Daniel. With Jack and Daniel, there is this underlying tension, this sharp edge to their friendship. It's almost a fragility - I can't stop thinking of things like "dynamic tension of opposites." There is a part of me that is uncomfortable that this weeks' crisis will be the knock that brings their house of cards crashing down.
With John and Rodney, their friendship is based on warmth and a true liking of character. That I could easily see them being friends if life had taken them elsewhere (and I'm not the only one - see for example danvers Five Things stories.) Rodney and John seem to work no matter where you put them - they're non-context specific, in a way. Whereas Jack and Daniel are pulling at each other to stay balanced, John and Rodney are spiralling in to each other around a centrepoint of shared commonalities. I find that kind of relationship more interesting and personally satisfying to observe. In fact, I'm counting the days til they start mimicking each others gestures and finishing each others sentences. *g*
Yeah, well, lunch is done, so I guess I have to get back to real work. But I had to say this in response to all the "Jack is cool, John's a whiny little wannabe" posts I've been seeing lately. YMMV - despite being the leads on paired shows, I actually think there is very little grounds for a common comparison between the two. But I'd love to hear your thoughts...