Wednesday, July 28, 2010

0048. Gerald Johannsen

Gerald was the best friend to the titular character of Craig Bartlett's cartoon Hey Arnold!, which ran on Nickelodeon in the late nineties. A "token black" character, if ever there was one, Gerald was inarguably cool, composed, fun, and was the keeper of school legends.

Hey Arnold! was one of those odd shows that I loved despite loathing the main character.  I thought Arnold himself was boring, too much of "the nice guy," and too dense- besides being wrapped up in a love triangle that obviously was never going to be resolved.  No, I was much more interested in Gerald.  He had two layers of character, the "cool guy" part of him that, as a middle school, he exuded for survival, and the personal layer that showed he was more complex than his performed persona.  Also, he had a vague ongoing crush with Phoebe, (the only Asian as far as the eye could see in this show) that seemed sweet, mutual and resolvable.

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