Thursday, September 28, 2017

In Defense of Dobby - Peep Show Theory

This was originally written in response to the hate lobbed at the Dobb. Like cilantro, with a very specific, small part of the Peep Show population she leaves an unpleasant taste. It's within understanding. Her part was basically designed to be malleable and fit any arc to keep the show going.

Mark: (I need thermal imaging of her brain cortex.)
Dobby's a great character with a good character arc. She has wanderlust and is struggling with self-identity: She's Debbie but everyone calls her Dobby. She's "The (Wo)Man With No Name. In and out, Kettering, Croydon, Aberdeen." Seeking is at the core of her person, which is why she's constantly changing. This is outlined clear at our first introduction to her.

Because she's also awkward she immediately sees through Mark's facade, "You're not trying to get away with pretending you're a normal human being are you?" And she is attracted to that, which justifies her actions in the stationery cupboard. Although she doesn't yet know the extent of Mark's pathology, so she's understandably confused when Mark doesn't want to stay for a snog and didn't mention having a wife, and when he rejects her after she basically asks him out to his birthday party.

Mark continues to ruin things for himself and reject Dobby and cause her to change when he gets Sophie pregnant and lies about it. Despite this she's surprisingly tolerant and tries to get him his dream job. She starts her spiral into hipsterdom temping with the young people, that's when she starts dating Simon and the Dobby Club is formed. Still, she sees the good in him with his son and gives him another "pop." Things go smoothly here despite Mark's determination towards self-doom. Mark's actions at Christmas would be the nail in the coffin for any reasonable woman but she forgives him and decides to give settling down a try.

This all changes with the death of Gerard. She becomes more unsure about moving in and settling down, and wants to go interrailing instead of eating lamb pasanda and watching TV like a pair of zombies. Then she's granted the opportunity of a lifetime to go to New York and again Mark ruins things with his inability to be honest. The detonation of his mad paranoid bomb vest is complete. He didn't watch himself like a hawk.

The last time we see her she's in a leather jacket because of course, she moved to New York and found a bearded blogger and became a full-on hipster. They wanted each other to be different and that was their essential problem. Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong actually commented that there are several different types of nerds, seldom portrayed correctly in media, and their relationship encapsulates that.

If you're going to hate Dobby, fine. I don't get it. She's a great and essential character. And any meanness or reservation she displayed toward Mark was completely deserved.

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