Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If it had been Moaning Morty in the bath with Hermione...

(I'm spoiling Harry Potter so if you don't want to know don't tread. I've only read the first four books but I'm all caught up on the movies so I'll be talking more movie than book.)

If you didn't know I'm putting the Xena Project on hold so that I can marathon the first seven Harry Potter movies in preparation for the 8th this weekend. At first I was not going to post about the movies but then a few things hit me. One of them is about Ron Weasely but that's for another post. First I want to talk about the scene where Moaning Myrtle "joins" Harry for a bath (you can see the part I'm talking about here.)

I'm going straight to the point if that had been Moaning Morty "joining" Hermione in the bath would it have been played off as so funny? I get the feeling that it would not. In fact I'll bet that if we had Morty and not Myrtle the character would have been portrayed quite differently.

Myrtle was written up (at least in the movies, I've only read the first four books and that was several years ago) to draw sympathy from readers/viewers. You find out that our wandering ghost was the victim of the Basilisk 50 years prior to the events of The Chamber of Secrets. Considering that she was teased while attending Hogwarts its pretty understandable why she moans and mopes most of the time. I get the feeling that a Moaning Morty would be more like Screech from Saved By The Bell. Picked on but that wouldn't get as much attention and he'd probably be more annoying loser than eternal sad sack.

Throughout the books its pretty clear that Myrtle interested in Potter. Most of the time her flirting with him is portrayed as funny. Really not seeing my hypothetical Morty getting the same treatment. Referencing Screech you might think that Morty flirting with Hermione would be funny too but I don't think it would be quite the same funny. Let me explain. With Harry when Myrtle got close Harry was usually left feeling awkward or trying to play off her affections, thus the funny is "haha look at how Myrtle is making Harry feel this time". On the other hand (referencing Screech) Lisa Turtle out and out rejected Screech in every way from verbal cutdowns to physical actions and in the end the funny was "haha look at how Lisa shut him down this time." I think our dear Morty would more than likely get the Screech treatment than the Myrtle if he tried to flirt with Granger and him trying to get in the bath with her would be met with some sort of spell that would only be used by her to get rid of him (and would probably become a running gag).

But why do I think that would happen?

I simply think its a result of the gendered way things are portrayed when a "low class" person tries to flirt with a "high class" person (by that I mean in terms of popularity for example Zach Morris was high class while is buddy Screech was low class). Mind you this is not a universal truth. I'm sure there plenty of examples of "low" girls getting treated like Screech.

Do you think the same? Have other examples? Think otherwise perhaps? (Like what's the likelyhood of there being a Morbid Morty trying to get into bath with Harry Potter, and bearing in mind this is a movie aimed at youth audiences and how homophobic people are about adult gay content much less teen gay content)? Then let's talk.

(PS - I get the feeling that if it were Morty his name would not be Moaning Morty but something a bit weirder like Morbid Morty, because boys are weird and gross like that right?)

(PSS - I may be wrong but I swear she said "long and hard" at :51 of that clip.)