by Jerry Spinelli
Kevin is Leo's best friend, although at times, we can't help but wonder why.
They both arrived in Arizona four years ago during the very same week, and since then, they have been buddies. Leo states that they "usually agreed on everything" (3.13), and they share a ton of interests, likes, and dislikes. Leo seems to think that agreeing on everything is a recipe for a good friendship. Hmm. Shmoop is not so sure.
Kevin's first priority is without a doubt his television show, "Hot Seat." He lives and breathes for it. Kevin and Leo created the show together, but Kevin is the on-air personality. He does all the interviewing. He likes being in the spotlight, and he has no problem speaking in front of a crowd. In this way, he is different from Leo, who prefers the behind-the-scenes work of producing and working with the equipment in the sound room.
Despite the fact that it's a collaborative project, it's the drama surrounding this television show that allows us to see the first clouds on the horizon for Kevin and Leo's friendship. When Leo isn't sure about asking Stargirl to appear on the show, Kevin disagrees—gasp!—and argues about it with Leo. Their (somewhat) light-hearted battles about this continue until Leo finally relents.
When Kevin interviews Stargirl and things start to get out of control with some of the nasty things the jury says to her, he tries to rein everyone in. He even scolds the jury at one point and reminds them that their role is only to ask questions. But this is only after he lets several other nasty things go by without a comment. Remember, his first priority is good TV.
The Ambassador for "Them"
Leo's best friend stands by him when he is being shunned, but just barely. To Kevin's credit, he still sits with Leo at lunch and talks to Leo when everyone else stopped. And he gives Leo the scoop on what everyone's saying about him. Without Kevin, Leo never would have known why no one is talking to him and Stargirl. But hey, that might have been better in the end.
When Leo asks, Kevin explains that the shunning wasn't a planned movement among the students, but it picked up steam especially "after the basketball stuff, I guess. That really ticked people off" (18.42). According to Kevin, even though only one person threw a tomato at Stargirl at the game, tons of people cheered when it happened. The way in which he is telling Leo about this makes Leo pretty certain that Kevin may be one of the cheerers, one of "them."
Even though he does not participate actively in the shunning of Leo and Stargirl, he also does not support Leo's relationship with Stargirl. He does hang out with them a bit when she is attempting to be normal, but ultimately he shuns her just as much as everyone else.