In honour of today’s release of the Entourage movie, I am going to discuss tv show characters. You know, because Entourage was on tv and had characters plus, in a very meta way, those characters also worked as characters in other inception-style dream-inside-a-dream tv shows. To achieve this I thought I’d take our Character Characteristics series in a different direction. Typically these posts involve an in-depth look at Myers-Briggs personality types and their portrayal in pop culture. But today, instead of dissecting one personality type I want to talk about 4. Specifically the Four Humors.
“What are the four humours?” you ask. Good question reader… although you’re being a tad impatient; I was obviously going to get to that next. How very Choleric of you.
The 4 Humors are the four main aspects to a person’s health… according to old-timey (like majorly old-timey… like middle ages old-timey) “physicians.” If (1) blood, (2) yellow bile, (3) black bile, and (4) phlegm were in balance within your body, you were healthy. If one is in excess you’ll fall ill. We now know that human beings are much more complicated than this, but the 4 Humors remain an accurate, although admittedly gross, way to describe the main characters in any tv cast.
At some point the 4 Humors became the 4 Temperaments, with personality types taking form out of what the imbalance of a Humour would manifest as. “Blood” became a “Sanguine” personality, outgoing & emotional. “Yellow Bile” became “Choleric”, removed & focused. “Black Bile” became the “Melancholic” personality, faithful & practical. And “Phlegm” became “Phlegmatic”, calm & thoughtful. That can be quite confusing so let me put it in a form that we all know: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The four main characters of the best cartoon ever perfectly embody the 4 Temperaments:
Sanguine (Blood) – Michelangelo
Charming, Talkative & Egotistical… a party dude.
Choleric (Yellow Bile) – Raphael
Independent, Strong-Willed & Passionate… leading him to be Hot Tempered and often Rude.
Melancholic (Black Bile) – Leonardo
Detailed & Analytical, yet Deep and Sensitive… makings of your ideal Leader.
Phlegmatic (Phlegm) – Donatello
Sweet and Accommodating… because isn’t Donny always the peace-keeper?
Very convenient that these well-known characters can personify my point, isn’t it? Actually it’s not that convenient at all. As I mentioned earlier, the 4 Temperaments are a blueprint for building your team of main characters. Let me break down a few of my favourite shows for you:
But what is your show has more than 4 main characters? Can they still use the the 4 Temperaments? Of course! The 4 Humors don’t discriminate! If you have more than 4 characters you just double up. A comedy might add an extra Sanguine to make you laugh. Procedurals might want more logically thinking Melancholics. Or a silly show about colorful talking horses may choose to have more Choleric personalities as a way to ground the plots.
There is another alternative however. Sometimes, when you have more than 4 characters one is Leukine. Leukine is a personality that doesn’t fit the stereotypes of the 4 Temperaments. These characters tend to be more balance, making them more stable people… but also usually less entertaining to watch.
But I promised to define the members of Entourage for you. When you go to theatres to watch this debauchery & douchebaggery filled movie, see if you agree with this classification of the main characters:
Love & Luck,
As an added Bonus…here’s the My Fangirl Life team…in case you were curious: