In another forum, a reader reminded me of a Cameron line from the first episode of season 4:
John: I’ll be fine. Mom. (beat) It’s a joke.
Cameron: I’m not making you pancakes.
I’ve long contended that Cameron’s humor isn’t unintentional. My belief is that Cameron has a sense of humor, a little dry sometimes, but a sense of humor nonetheless. It stands to reason: many contend that a sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. Thus a cyborg like Cameron has one, a T-888 like Cromartie, not so much.
As Cameron matures, her self-consciousness about her humor will likely evolve. The trick, and Josh Friedman was understandably cautious about this, is that you don’t want to make Cameron a joke. It’s easy to give her humor, but if you do it too much and in the wrong way, then you risk cheapening the character.
Here’s the thing: Cameron has consciously, and with consent, been acquiring Allison’s traits. Allison has long used humor and playfulness as a defense mechanism against the pain she’s suffered (also…genetic). Cameron can’t help but pick up on that and see that humor can be a bonding mechanism.
From a more craft-oriented perspective, brief bits of humor offers up a break from the drama and fighting in the milieu we are mired in. It makes the characters more human. As a writer, you don’t want to over-do it and it has to be appropriate for the characters. Over-used humor becomes more of an annoyance. Sometimes it’s a fine line. If you’re going to toe the line, try hard not to step over it too often.
I have a lot of favorite Cameron humor. One that sticks with me is the exchange with Sarah and Cameron in S0103…
Sarah: Nobody dies ’til I say so. (to John) Tell her.
Cameron: People die all the time. They won’t wait for her. (beat) I fooled you again.
OK. I showed you mine, now show me yours. What bits of Cameron humor in TSCC and TCW have been your favorites?