Name: Matthew Weiss
School: Davison Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Football, jogging, piano, opera/theatre, singing, board/logic games
Appearance: Matthew stands at five foot eleven, and weighs one hundred and seventy three pounds, his body toned and muscular from upkeep. His eyes are a light brown colour, that look gold in low lighting. He has dirty blonde hair that he keeps in a front-spike style, perfected so that it sits the exact same way every day.
Matthew’s face is very angular, his jaw and cheekbones standing out prominently. He keeps a perpetual five o’clock shadow that adorns his jawline, and a faint scar slices through the middle of his left eyebrow. His fingers are long, and his palms are very wide for his size.
On Casting Day, Matthew was wearing a green and white striped sweater over a white T-shirt, forest green cargo jeans with many pockets, and red and white patterned hi-top sneakers, alongside his nearly ever-present sunglasses.
Biography: Born to Derek and Shannon Weiss, Matthew was an only child. Shannon worked at the District Attorney’s office as a general secretary, after an ill-advised career in dance that ended with a severe foot injury. Derek was an independently wealthy software engineer that worked for an alarm company, building systems for corporate clients. At the time of Matthew’s birth, Shannon and Derek had not yet wed, but had been living together for four years, comfortable in their Albuquerque home. Both parents took the first year of Matthew’s life off to be with their newborn - barring Derek’s occasional stint of work from home - before considering a nanny service or a babysitter. When it was time for Shannon to return to work, they decided on a live-in Nanny named Maria.
When Matthew was three years old, his parents decided to get a real Christmas tree, rather than bring out the fake one they had used the previous two years. While setting it up, however, Derek and Shannon missed a piece in the construction of the stand the tree would sit in. As a result, when Matthew went to hang an ornament on one of the middle branches, the tree wobbled forwards and fell, driving a ceramic snowman to the floor, shattering it, and embedding the glass shards in Matthew’s face, including a large gash that ran from his forehead, down his left eyebrow, and ending near his eyelid. After rushing their child to the emergency room, Matthew got eleven stitches and a scar that would remain for the rest of his life, and Derek and Shannon received a resolve to never again rely on stands made in China.
Upon Matthew’s fifth birthday, Shannon and Derek surprised him with a baby grand piano. Due to Shannon’s love of opera, musical theatre, and dance, she was fiercely adamant that her child would receive skill musically come hell or high water. Derek agreed, figuring that a hobby couldn’t hurt the child. Matthew took to piano like a duck to water, becoming very attuned and appreciative of the instrument. Emboldened by her son’s enthusiasm, Shannon began to introduce Matthew to musical theatre, singing lessons, the opera, and dance, while Derek preferred to teach Matthew logic games and puzzles. A tradition around the Weiss household emerged; board games on Saturday mornings with Dad, piano in the afternoons, and singing or dance with Mom in the evenings.
At school, Matthew impressed his teachers with the eloquence of his speech and the politeness in his tone, and called him incredibly well behaved, unassuming, and smart - not to mention voracious when it came to learning. He asked questions after class, worked hard on homework, and was a straight A student. The other kids, however, would tell a different story of Matthew. He was described as snotty and a gossip, always looking for a new piece of information on a classmate to spread around. Matthew quickly earned a reputation for being two faced and manipulative, a reputation that he found hard to shake throughout his primary education. This resulted in a very sheltered social life.
By the time Matthew hit the eighth grade, he was very skilled at playing piano by ear or sheet music, he was a strong Tenor with a strengthening vibrato, and he had found that he enjoyed physical activities. Excited for the prospect of starting anew on the social scene, Matthew began to watch his calorie intake over the year, researching how to build muscle and nutrition in order to be able to compete on school teams. After much family debate, the Weiss’ decided that Matthew’s best shot for his future - at that time, Matthew had wanted to be a lawyer - was Davison Secondary.
When Matthew reached grade 9, the first thing he did was sign up for football tryouts. The coaches recognized that he had heart and a good arm, but didn’t have the experience they needed to be a starting quarterback. As a result, Matthew found a spot on the special teams as a second string quarterback, a position he found humiliating, and endured quietly. Having learned from his mistakes in primary school, Matthew was much more careful about the sharing of information, preferring to store it rather than give it away. He was labelled as a ‘good listener’ for his efforts. Due to the perceived social stigma of band and drama, however, Matthew strayed away from mentioning his singing or piano playing talents, performing in forced mediocrity during music courses. This was met with disapproval from his mother, but Shannon opted not to interfere with his choices.
After a full year of watching the coaches, training, and hoping on the football team, Matthew got his shot at starter when the first string quarterback was the victim of an ankle injury that took him off of the team until he graduated. Matthew found the nerves and pressure exhilarating, the tactics of the position appealing, and the physicality of the game to be more than he imagined. He punished himself for his mistakes harder than the coaches could, and proved very adept at the position. He remained the starting quarterback through school.
At school, Matthew excels in math, history, english, and PhysEd - finding that his work ethic, memory, and logical mindset was well adapted to the subjects at hand. However, he found himself eternally frustrated with visual art and creative writing, finding them worthless as skillsets and subjective to the point of being impossible to grade.
Matthew’s reaction to SOTF TV is one of curiosity. He often studies strategies and weighs the pros and cons of a person’s actions and decisions from episode to episode, finding the pure strategy of the show fascinating while the character focus and emotions behind it tend to fall below his interest.
When Matthew graduates, he intends to go to Harvard to study Law. His goal is to be a prosecutor.
Advantages: Matthew is in excellent shape, having taken meticulous care of his body over the years due to his jogging and sports involvement. He’s very methodical and calculating, and knows how to play a set of circumstances to his advantage.
Disadvantages: Due to his nature, Matthew is very reserved, often not moving forwards with anything until he’s weighed the pros and cons of the outcome, which makes snap decisions and thinking on his feet difficult. Matthew’s also used to getting his way, making him very easy to annoy or frustrate when he’s not agreed with. Finally, Matthew finds it difficult to mask his emotions.
Designated Number: Bronze Bears 3 (BB3).
Designated Weapon: Ruger Police Carbine 4
Mentor Comment: "Now this kid is an athlete, good thinker too and with his weapon he should have a very good chance of going far. We could build the whole team around him and use him to co-ordinate everyone else. His lack of quick thinking skills is a detriment but it shouldn't be too difficult to work around. In short he has a very good chance of going very far and taking the rest of the team with him. Shame he ended up on this show, he could have been a good player some day."
Handled By: The Homeless Beard
Killed By: Pia Malone
Collected Weapons: Ruger Police Carbine 4 (designated weapon, to Paisley Hopkins)
- Two of Matt's posts were heavily inspired by two posts written by handler Ruggahissy in SOTF V4 over on the main site. While the colouring and the layout were copied, the content is very very different.
- Matt's death thread - #Weiss is Schiess - is a reference to handler Kalopsia using the phrase when criticizing the character. The thread itself has references to several handlers who were vocal in their dislike of him - Empress Plush, Un-Persona, MurderWeasel, Namira, and others.
Below is a list of threads that contain Matthew, in chronological order
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Matthew. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- I enjoyed Matt. I know his characterization and stylistic choices were a point of contention among some, but he was a fun read and I know his handler had a good time writing him. Naft was also fun to work with as always, so Matt gets a checkmark in my book. - backslash
- Matt's a fun character, though I can see why he's not for everyone. One of the biggest interesting things about Matt is that his narrative style is a pretty clear parody of a lot of the quirks and foibles of SOTF writing, but his actual story isn't that outrageous or even necessarily silly. I think this might be part of what gives some readers trouble with Matt; the silliness in everything but his story ramps up constantly even as his actual situation gets darker and more dire. I actually like that quite a bit, in that while Matt may be really over the top in some respects, his actual role in and impact on the story isn't even particularly out there by TV2 standards which means he can be his own weird parody deal while still playing nice with continuity and innocent bystanders just trying to tell realistic stories. Yeah, Matt's plan kinda sucks, but a lot of characters have kinda sucky plans. Yeah, Matt doesn't take things all that seriously, but he actually puts more thought and focus on the brutal fact of the almost-certainly-impending-death that faces him and his allies than a good chunk of TV2's cast.
That said, I certainly wouldn't want to see a version populated by Matts, or even a Matt in every version, for a number of reasons. I think one of the most pertinent is the nature of parody. It's pretty easy to point at something and laugh. Doing so, however, often can come across as mean-spirited, and rarely offers that much in the way of insight. Matt goes a step further and actually raises questions and awareness about what he's commenting on without stooping to ivory tower mockery, and to do that well requires serious analysis. When handlers say they want to do something "experimental," I like to ask, "Okay, what's the thesis?" Matt's a character where you can piece together a pretty solid answer to that question.
But you know what? It still doesn't always come off perfectly. Sometimes Matt's narrative quirks really are annoying--perhaps more annoying than they're intended to be. Matt alienated a good chunk of his readership and I certainly won't say they were in the wrong. In commenting upon various cliches and missteps of SOTF, Matt embodies quite a number of them, and in doing so with relatively little mean-spirited judgement he does so wholeheartedly. That can really grate for some. I guess this is just a long and roundabout way of saying: SOTF, Matt died for your sins. - MurderWeasel