Why do we love Graham...

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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KrokRos
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Why do we love Graham...

Post by KrokRos » Jan 3rd 2003, 12:16 pm

...when he is having an affair?

I'm watching Father Figures. Graham is a great father. And husband. He has a great family. I mean the story of the affair isn't very "known" in the family scenes. It's completely hidden. (until later ofcourse.) While watching father figures I don't blame Graham for anything. I feel for him. But that's because I chose to ignore the fact that he is being unfaithful.

I think about my boyfriend. He would be a great father. Sweet and kind like Graham. I would be the bad parent. But I think I'd love him for it anyway. That's what I think when I watch Patty talk to Graham about Angela in the end.

So tell me your oppinions about why we love Graham. Or maybe some of you don't?
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Post by Guest » Jan 3rd 2003, 12:26 pm

But Graham never actually has an affair, does he? He contemplates it but can't go through with it. All he has actually done is talk and flirt. And, I think it is obvious that him and Hallie will not act on their attraction. In the last episode they address the whole thing about it being okay to flirt without ever actually intending it to go anywhere or mean anything. And when things get tense when they hug after the dinner for the investors he says he has to go home.

I know I love Graham because he is just a great dad and husband too. He is very supportive and sensitive and just seems to know what to say at the right time. I especially love the scene in dancing in the dark when he has heated up spaghetti for Angela and he says boys don't always know how to be what you want them to be. He is very insightful and understanding.

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Post by maddymay » Jan 3rd 2003, 2:24 pm

Well, I think what KrokRos meant wasn't Hallie Lowenthal, but the girl that Angela sees Graham with in the Pilot. We never get an development on that, but it certainly appears as though he is or was cheating
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Post by fnordboy » Jan 3rd 2003, 2:44 pm

maddymay wrote:Well, I think what KrokRos meant wasn't Hallie Lowenthal, but the girl that Angela sees Graham with in the Pilot. We never get an development on that, but it certainly appears as though he is or was cheating
Doesn't it at one point say that nothing happened with him and that woman? Or am I just making that up?

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Post by fnordboy » Jan 3rd 2003, 2:47 pm

Anonymous wrote:All he has actually done is talk and flirt. And, I think it is obvious that him and Hallie will not act on their attraction.
I don't know if they will ever not act on their attraction. Yes, they didn't kiss that time. That was just the first 'real' actualization of their mutual attraction. It could come up again later on, and since this first border was crossed, it is easier to go further the next time.

We will never really know what will happen with that arc.

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Post by Megs » Jan 3rd 2003, 3:59 pm

Whether or not he cheated is really up to your definition of cheating. He never kissed or slept with either Hallie or the woman in the beginning. He just thought about doing it. To some people, that would be cheating. It doesn't make him a bad person... really... That's all I have to say about that.

I agree with Guest:
I know I love Graham because he is just a great dad and husband too. He is very supportive and sensitive and just seems to know what to say at the right time. I especially love the scene in dancing in the dark when he has heated up spaghetti for Angela and he says boys don't always know how to be what you want them to be. He is very insightful and understanding.
That is why I love Graham. That scene in Dancing in the Dark is wonderful. He really is a great dad. He pays attention, he listens, he holds conversations with you. He just doesn't tell you how/what/where to go or do. He's the type of dad that would lay Dead tickets on you. :wink:

He is also strangely sexy, although, oddly, I found him more attractive when I was younger. Now I still think he is hot, but he needs to get into the gym and define those muscles. :D
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Post by fnordboy » Jan 3rd 2003, 4:12 pm

Megs wrote:I agree with Guest:
That is why I love Graham. That scene in Dancing in the Dark is wonderful. He really is a great dad. He pays attention, he listens, he holds conversations with you. He just doesn't tell you how/what/where to go or do. He's the type of dad that would lay Dead tickets on you. :wink:

He is also strangely sexy, although, oddly, I found him more attractive when I was younger. Now I still think he is hot, but he needs to get into the gym and define those muscles. :D
Agreed, he is a great dad. If he did in fact cheat (which like you said depends on your def. of it) that has no real bearing on his role as a father. It might not make him a good husband, and though intertwined, it is not the same job (or require the same skills) as a father.

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Post by Guest » Jan 3rd 2003, 6:18 pm

well graham's a good dad and husband, that's for sure..but the whole affair thing always baffled me. in 'dancing in the dark' he sees that angela hears him talking on the phone to that girl, and it seems obvious that angela knows, or thinks she knows what's going on. but i'm surprised that graham can't understand why angela is so distant in 'father figures'..if he knows that she saw him talking on the phone, you'd at least think that he'd get the idea...

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Post by GaryEA » Jan 3rd 2003, 7:29 pm

I always got the impression that in the space between the first and last episode, Graham started as a man conflicted with a lot of things and became something closer to what he always saw himself as, but could never achieve.

He is a great dad. He has a wonderful family. But he also has tough times with his wife, along with doubts about his mortality, his convictions about his marraige, and about his place in the whole scheme of things. They never alluded to it, but I got the impression that he may even be fighting depression (but that's my interpretation).

To me, when Patty fired him from the job they shared, that's when Graham started to come around. He steered himself in a new direction and really started to enjoy himself some more.

He never stopped being a great father or an infallable figure, but by the end of the series, he was a better man.

Great thread. Thanks for starting it. :)

Gary

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jan 4th 2003, 1:35 am

I think the reason that I still liked Graham was because it's easy to understand his ennui and frustration with Life as a Dad. So many individual dreams fall by the wayside for the good of the family, yet Graham is not outwardly bitter - he still loves his wife and children, even if working for his wife's family's company was not what he pictured his life would be. It is not a terrible thing to be attracted to other people - that is just biology ("Chemistry?" "Yeah, chemistry!" - Name That Tune!). The fact that Graham chooses not to act upon these feelings is what makes him a good person and a loyal husband. I think he realizes that at that particular point in his life, he wouldn't just be cheating on Patty - he would be unfaithful to his entire family. He was determined to do right by his family, even if it meant giving up his dream of becoming a chef in exchange for selling printing.
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Post by SanDeE* » Jan 4th 2003, 7:36 pm

candygirl wrote:I think he realizes that at that particular point in his life, he wouldn't just be cheating on Patty - he would be unfaithful to his entire family.
I saw that Graham felt this way during "The Substitute" when he an Patty are waiting with Angela outside the principal's office. Graham says to Angela (refering to Mr. Racine leaving his family), "You know that's never going to happen to our family." (or something close.) He obviously knows that cheating would lead to the destruction of his relationships with his girls as well as Patty. I'm glad he never ended up cheating on Patty with Hallie. Never really saw why he was attracted.

Also, Graham and Patty seem to have a fine sex life. It looks like he wouldn't want to stray for lack of action in the bedroom. And maybe if the both of them (Graham and Patty) could listen to each other and communicate better, there wouldn't be any problem. They should have taken a class on communication rather than ballroom dancing. Patty constantly interrupts Graham throughout the show and misinterprets what he says, because he's always so vague about everything.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jan 5th 2003, 6:31 pm

Kristin wrote:Patty constantly interrupts Graham throughout the show and misinterprets what he says, because he's always so vague about everything.
I think that Patty doesn't mean to be rude, but the fact that Graham is often reluctant to speak (and vague when he does) is why Patty becomes impatient and ends up putting words in his mouth.

This is actually similar to Angela's relationship with Jordan - he rarely speaks so when he does "it comes out sounding really meaningful." In other words, his lack of verbalized opinions and concrete personality traits allow Angela to project her ideals onto Jordan and create the perfect fantasy guy. Kinda like watching Victoria's Secret commercials - it's all an image that you enjoy looking at, but what would happen if they started letting all the girls talk? It would ruin the fantasy.

I know that now it sounds like I'm contradicing myself, but I thought I should clarify that I don't mean that Patty is projecting her fantasies upon Graham - they know each other very well, as evidenced by Patty's suspicions about Graham and Hallie (after Camille points out the obvious). The difference is that Angela imagines all sorts of things about Jordan but does very little to confirm or deny what she has created in her mind. Patty, on the other hand, interrupts or puts words in Graham's mouth to get confirmation.

I think I'm talking in circles now!

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well..

Post by Keith » Jan 5th 2003, 7:07 pm

i've always thought when Patty fired Graham, he fell in love with her all over again.. she cared enough..

and the episodes that followed showed a Graham who was more confident (accepting the cooking teacher job), still insecure (when wishing someone wasn't so surprised that he was suggested to teach the class), but still in love with his wife (enough to watch "the sex tape" and envision which couple he and Patty were.."

isn't it great reliving this series on DVD.. I'm having a time on this snowy D.C. evening..

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Re: Why do we love Graham...

Post by NIGHTJESSI » Jan 7th 2003, 5:01 am

Other than Sharon's father who's in the hospital and Brian's father who's floating around but never really around, we never really get a glimpse at a father other than Graham in the series. He definitely seems like a cool dad and someone who can relate to teens quite well. While he is fallible, flirting with a possible affair early on in the series and later flirting with Hallie, he ultimately stays with his family and that's what there is to admire. Even when he's going through a change in life, he's still able to be there for his family and that's something that we don't see from some of the other males in MSCL, namely Rickie's absentee father and Jordan's apparently physically abusive father.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 3rd 2003, 4:42 am

One of the reasons why we do love Graham is his ability to be honest and realistic. In Father Figures, he tells Patty, "You order people around all day - people like me." Although this does point to the unraveling of their personal relationship as a result of their professional relationship (which we delve into further in Strangers in the House), it underscores what Graham told Patty earlier: "You are ten times smarter than your dad is about business." Graham recognizes Patty's abilities at work - he doesn't resent her for that, but it IS hard on his ego to have his wife as his boss.

A marriage is a partnership, which implies equality, but for eight hours a day she is his superior. Then they go home and transition to partners again. Granted it is difficult for Patty as well, but I think it is harder for Graham to deal with in terms of gender roles - he is the man, so no matter how much is in touch with his feelings, etc., it's still hard for him to accept that his wife is his boss. I think if she was simply more successful than he was, it would be easier for him because it would be a case of separate careers.
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