Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Primeval: Claudia Brown vs. Jenny Lewis

I find myself these days looking at my list of posts and asking, has it been long enough yet since my last Primeval post to do another one? I realize I may be overdoing these posts a little, but sometimes I wish I had better documentation of my first days with other obsessions. When a book or a show becomes so familiar to you, it can be hard to remember exactly what your thoughts were when it was still new. But I will certainly have many Primeval thoughts (in the form of these posts) to look back at.

Now on with my post. The much thought about Claudia Brown/Jenny Lewis dichotomy, as we know, serves some basic plot purposes. It introduces the idea of how the world can change depending on how the past is affected by people/creatures moving through anomalies. It also adds tension to the CB/JL relationship with Cutter (like how New Dawn strains the Connor and Abby relationship so that they don't just waltz into the sunset boringly). But there are more show dynamics that it changes.

It took me a while to come to the realization, but I have found that I prefer Claudia Brown's character to Jenny Lewis. I think part of this is because CB went with the whole Season 1 feel of characters being thrust into this situation and having to make the best of it. She really starts to crack under the stress, and I think that is a very realistic reaction. Why should we assume that everyone who becomes connected with monitoring the anomalies is quite cut out for that type of work? (Not to say that she necessarily couldn't handle it, just that much of it didn't come naturally for her.)

But Jenny Lewis exists in the more established world, the world where the ARC exists and the team act (a little) more like experts than citizens. She eventually decides she can't take it, either, and leaves--but while she was still with the ARC, she gave off a stronger facade. I suppose Jenny knows the skill of impressions more than Claudia Brown did: she knows how to word things to get the right reaction in people, and she knows how to dress to make people notice her. You could say she's more put together . . . just like Season 2 is versus Season 1.

There are some things to like about the informality of Season 1. But we all know that could only last so long; they have to make progress. And it makes me wonder if Claudia Brown wouldn't have chosen to leave sooner than Jenny Lewis did (though I suppose she would have probably stuck around if Cutter stayed alive). From that perspective, the existence of JL actually makes Lucy Brown (the actress) stick around longer. 

One more thing. I mentioned before that, once the Cutter and Stephen relationship was tarnished and their partnership wasn't quite the same, I didn't so much mind that Stephen died. It's similar with CB/JL. Much of her character's place had to do with Cutter; once he is taken out of the picture, she is missing something, her plot line changes, and she has to adjust or melt away. That's how it works: if you change one character, the dynamics of the whole group change. So many of the differences in the seasons correlate exactly to which characters are in each season. 

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