I believe I've posted about this before, but I'm fascinated by the need of the (or this) reader's need to identify with at least one character in a novel, play or film.
This came over strongly while I was on holiday. I read quite a few books, from good to ok to awful, and one of the awful ones (in my opinion) was a new one I was reviewing for Amazon (so I had to finish it). It should have been really moving; a woman on death row, with only months to go before her execution, and the battle to gain a reprieve for her. Some may know that I have a Thing about the death penalty, and so I was expecting at the very least an interesting read, but apart from the writing, which was not good, and the plodding storyline, I really thoroughly disliked the prisoner, and in the end, because I didn't care about her, I wasn't really bothered about her fate. Thus, any tension or suspense was eliminated, and the whole novel a waste of my time.
In another novel, a gripping thriller, my sympathies were challenged when the supposed victim turned out not be all the reader had been led to believe. My loyalties switched. But there were still characters to identify with. The main reason why I didn't like The Talented Mr. Ripley was that I hated the central character (although it's a very clever novel),
From Peter Rabbit onwards, we are encouraged to identify with a central character (Peter, of course!). But the character doesn't have to be 'good'. Our family are all riveted by the TV series Dexter, where the central character is a serial killer. And boy, do we want him to succeed!