Apr 13, 2012 - AV Club    1 Comment

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Part III

So, Friday Night Lists is a good intention, and even after this last installment of my Dinner Guests series, I’ll be keeping it up (so suggest topics for lists you’d like to see!), but here’s the thing about Friday night: If I’ve been singlemomming since oh-dark-early Thursday morning, my Friday night “WOO HOO” excitement is sneaking an ice cream bar over the kitchen sink before crashing into bed at 8.30. (More on this subject in another post.)

This list was perhaps the hardest of all three to write, because some of my favorite characters from film or fiction just wouldn’t make good dinner guests or conversationalists. I mean, need I cite passages of Katniss’ table conversation, or post the video of Denethor eating? (Not that I like Denethor, just to be clear.) But that’s why you won’t find Gamera on my list, much as I love him. Other favorite characters are not included because I would prefer to host them in more intimate settings (I’m looking at you, Frank N. Furter).

I’ve included pictures of those characters for which there are photos/clips or official pictures from things like dust jackets. In a couple of cases, though, with book characters, I’ve chosen not to post a picture. I’m a really visual reader, and I prefer to keep my pictures in my head uncontaminated by other people’s faces as long as possible.

As always with my Friday Night Lists, please add your own in comments!


  • Barbara Gordon: daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon; Batgirl; Oracle. Her evolution just takes her from one powerful female rolemodel to another. (Batman)
  • Death: one of The Endless. Her gentle manner is an aspect of the most inescapable of all fates that both frightens and comforts. (The Sandman)
  • Dr. Sheldon Cooper: theoretical physicist; super-genius. Some may find him abrasive, insulting, and annoying. I just find him familiar. Plus, I want to see my next guest make his eye twitch. (The Big Bang Theory
  • Harry Dresden: wizard-for-hire. One of my best friends, Jim Butcher, invented this wry, embattled, deeply human character, and plopped him in a high-wire act of a life. I just want to feed the man one good, homecooked meal without someone shooting at him. (The Dresden Files)
  • Iorek Byrnison: king of the Panserbjorne. I’m sure he’s a lovely conversationalist, especially with the voice of Sir Ian McKellan, but I mostly just want to cuddle with him. (His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman)
  • Jamie & Claire Fraser: Scottish rebel, American colonist; WWII nurse, time-traveller, healer, surgeon. One of my two favorite couples in all literature. It’s hard to explain, but I hunger for news of them like they’re family. (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
  • Jed Bartlet: president of the United States. He’s the president every liberal dreams of; it helps that he gets his lines from Aaron Sorkin and his gravitas from Martin Sheen. (The West Wing)
  • Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes: detectives. My other favorite couple in literature. A man of boggling intellect, the more recent incarnation with a strong, smart wife and partner only makes him more interesting. While my first Holmesian love will always be Doyle’s erratic, exuberant, brilliant misanthrope, I I think I may like Laurie King’s older, steadier, but just as adventurous and insightful version. (Mary Russell novels by Laurie R. King)
  • Phineas & Ferb: brilliant inventor kids. Just because I want to see what they’d come up with for dessert, and how it would disappear before their mom arrived. (Phineas & Ferb)
  • Diana Bishop: historian; witch. She embodies the dichotomy of science and magic, power and restraint, reason and passion. I want to read manuscripts and cast spells with her. (A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness)
  • The 10th Doctor: Time Lord; explorer. My favorite Doctor for so many reasons. I’d have him to dinner just to give the man a rest from all the running. (Doctor Who)

1 Comment

  • Hmm….this is a hard one.

    Vetch of Iffish. Ged’s closest friend and one of excellent and charming manner. (A Wizard of Earthsea)

    Lightray of the New Gods. The most thoughtful (as opposed to wise or intelligent) of the New Gods characters, and one who is willing to correct even mighty Orion on table manners if necessary. (Fourth World Saga, DC Comics)

    Stephanie “Batgirl” “Former Robin” “Spoiler” Brown. Two entries in and there’s some danger this group could get pretentious. Stephanie doesn’t tolerate that sort of thing, and she is hilarious. (DC Comics)

    Niles “The Chief” Caulder. Sure he might be dangerous or even evil, but his brillaince and eccentricity would make him a great dinner guest. (DC and Vertigo Comics)

    Hermione Granger, Witch. My but this group is pretty intellectual, but I think Hermione would be awesome to have dinner with. (Harry Potter Novels)

    Only half done. Hmm….

    Shepard “Book” I debated wether Book or Kaylee should be present to “represent” the Firefly universe as it were, but with the Dinner party that’s shaping up, Book is a much better fit. Maybe Kaylee would be better for a bar crawl environment. (Firefly)

    Jonathon Strange. I fear that I may not have the savour-faire for my own dinner party if I keep inviting handsome, charming, 18th century gentlemen like Mr Strange, however I’d love to hear him in this group. Especially want to hear him and Ms. Granger speak. (Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell)

    Ambassador Diana “Wonder Woman” of Themiscyra. A diplomat! a superhero! a Champion of Athena! Someone who can keep Niles in line if neceesary. Truly she is a Wonder. We will definitely need a vegetarian option though. (DC Comics)

    Headmistress Pryde. To keep with the intellectual theme while also tethering us to a less refined space, who could beat current co-heamsaster of the Jean Gray Institute of Higher Learning, Kitty Pryde. (Wolverine and the X-Men)

    Abed Nadir. Okay so he’s awkward, and doesn’t really relate to people at all,. but he reminds me of myself in many ways, and more importantly. He’ll film this event, which is sure to be amazing. (Community)

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