Talk to any member of online BTR fandom and chances are they’ll tell you that the boys of BTR have rooned their life.
Because that’s what they do.
Once you fall in love with this incredible quartet there’s no going back, so I give you fair warning: if you don’t want to sacrifice even more of your free time to online fanning you may want to turn away now. You’ll be missing out on something amazing, but I couldn’t blame you. I’m going to do my best to describe what makes each of these boys so amazing, in real life and as the characters they portray on their show.
James Maslow is probably the best singer in the group. He has a background in choral and operatic training and he can pull off vocal gymnastics that I just did not expect from a pop group. He is very sweet in interviews, though to be honest I don’t find him as dynamic as the other three and he’s the one I know the least about. I can say that he’s very genuine in interviews but doesn’t seem to have the ease and humor that Carlos, Logan, and Kendall do when in front of the camera. In a way, I respect that though because that’s probably how I’d be. I tend to be exuberant when around my friends but in public or with people with whom I’m not close I get very reserved and polite. I think James is similar because when he talks with the other guys (especially when they mistakenly think they aren’t being recorded) he loosens up a lot and cracks jokes.
James’ character on the show is shallow and self-obsessed. It is his dream of becoming a pop star which sets the whole show in motion. Frankly, I don’t much like James Diamond and I’m sure this leads to my disconnect with James Maslow. I know they’re different people but disliking his character, though not making me dislike the performer, has made me less interested in learning more about the actor. James has grown significantly more layered as the show has progressed, however.
We discover in various episodes that he is a fiercely loyal friend who will, quite shockingly, put his own desires aside to avoid hurting a friend. There are two instances which illustrate this: In an episode where he and a secondary character (Camille, who we’ll talk LOADS about in a future post) both audition for a TV show, James is offered a major part and Camille is turned down. Despite only having begun a friendship with Camille in this very episode James turns down the part and pretends he was also rejected by the casting agent. The second example is similar. When James realizes that he cost Carlos (who is arguably his best friend of the group) a chance with his crush when they were both children he goes to extreme lengths to bring the object of Carlos’ affection back in contact with the boy to make up for it. When she develops feelings for James, however, he turns her down so as to spare Carlos’ feelings.
So James Diamond is much more than he appears to be and I want to like him, I’m trying to like him, but first impressions are hard to overcome. Hopefully if you check out the show you can keep a more open mind about this character in light of what you know ahead of time.
Ok, you should already know how much I love Carlos but here’s more. He is a huge Broadway fan who studied musical theatre at the Boston Conservatory and still dreams of making his Broadway debut some day. One of the funniest things to see when the band was just starting to become popular was how the other guys would (lovingly) tease Carlos about his musical love in interviews, especially over Rent, which seemed to be the only show with which the others were familiar.Let me tell you, there is not a force on Earth that will keep me from seeing his first Broadway role.
Even if you’re not a musical theatre fan there’s so much to love about Carlos. His exuberance for life and general love for everyone is so amazing to watch. He really utilizes social media, especially twitter and YouTube, to interact with fans. His twitter is always sharing teasers for upcoming music videos, TV episodes, or events, and he is great at opening up for the fans. He uses YouTube to keep his fans updated on his personal life and behind-the-scenes previews and I can’t overstate how much I love watching his videos. We get to see him with his family, friends, and coworkers and the love he has for all of them is so endearing and the way he opens it all up for the fans is a really nice thing that he doesn’t have to do. He doesn’t have to answer fan e-mails, he doesn’t have to give us previews of upcoming episodes, he doesn’t have to involve us in his professional and personal life but he does and I’m very grateful for it.
Carlos just has this amazing and beautiful love for life. He is joy personified but he’s not overbearing. All I see when I watch him is an honest and good man who loves his life and is truly grateful for all he has. If I were to pick a favorite band member it would be Carlos (though I can’t really pick between him and Kendall)
Carlos’ character on the show is a comic character, very childlike in his innocence and interests, who uses seemingly endless stores of energy to attempt exciting but dangerous stunts with reckless abandon. He is kind of the baby of the group whose charm is undeniable and wins over most people. James is his closest friend in the group and the two share a closeness that is exemplified too often to pick out specific examples. They are likely so close because the two tend to act without thinking and have very similar interests, and Carlos may be the only one whose heart is big enough to love James as much as he loves himself.
Carlos loves very easily and can be hurt easily. He doesn’t often pursue romantic interests but when he does he throws his all into the relationship, as attentive to her needs as he can be, and when they end poorly he is often crushed. Thankfully, however, he can be brought out of his heartbreak by being reminded of the things he loves, usually friends and/or corndogs, or his longest lasting relationship: his hockey helmet. Carlos’ helmet is very dear to him and he is rarely without it.
There’s not yet a solid canon reason for this attachment but I have a few ideas: First, it has been established that Carlos’ father wears a helmet in his police work and also has a strong connection to it so the love of the helmet could be something he picked up from his father, it could also be a tangible link between the two of them which makes Carlos feel closer to his papi (much like Carlos Pena Jr., Carlos Garcia is very much a family man), second I believe it to be a security blanket of sorts, with which he feels he will always be safe no matter where he goes or what insane thing he does, third I think it reminds him of when they were all living in Minnesota and were just four hockey-playing best friends, a simpler time which I think Carlos more than anyone appreciates. Since the first reason is strongly implied in canon it’s probably the most likely one but I like to think that it’s a complicated combination of all these reasons and possibly more. As with any good relationship it can’t be boiled down to just one reason.
…wow, after writing that I feel like there’s probably Carlos/Helmet fic out there. I’d just like to clarify that I don’t ship this pairing, just that it’s something Carlos loves and is possibly more telling of his character than any of his other individual relationships.
That was kinda long so I think I’ll save Kendall and Logan for another post.
I mean what? It’s not time to talk about shipping yet!
But when that time comes…