After her memorable portrayal of the earnest and refreshingly relatable Baby Houseman in the original Dirty Dancing (not to be confused with the atrocious remake that will appear on ABC this week), actress Jennifer Grey seemed destined for a long and glorious Hollywood career. And then she went and got a nose job.
Though her talent agents undoubtedly praised her new appearance as being more in line with the American Beauty Standards of the day, Grey and her new nose no longer resembled the strong-willed teen that nobody was allowed to “put in a corner.” The surgery nearly ended her career. And though the actress does occasionally appear on TV and film (most recently as the real estate agent mother of the main character in the Amazon series Red Oaks), one can’t help but wonder what might have been had she refused Hollywood pressure to go under the knife.
Television series are a bit like Jennifer Grey’s face, I think. Over time, they are naturally going to age, and evolve as seasons pass. But if they change too much, or too quickly, from what made fans like them in the first place, those changes will undoubtedly result in the series’ demise.
This past week, in a two-hour season finale that I wasn’t able to timely recap because I was overseas, Once Upon a Time closed the storybook on its sixth season. It was an episode that could have functioned as a series finale, had the show not been picked up for a seventh season. Emma Swan, the series’ main protagonist, fulfilled the Prophecy of Saviors by sacrificing her own life to protect goodness against evil, only to have her life restored at the last minute by the ever-abused Plot Band-Aid that is “True Love’s Kiss.” Rumple, the series’ on again, off again (but mostly on again) peripheral baddie, took grand steps toward redemption by killing his own mother, the Black Fairy, who also so happened to be the Big Bad of the Season. In doing so, Rumple (1) broke the curse that his Mommy placed on the town, (2) reunited with the love of his life, the much put-upon and criminally underutilized character, Belle, and (3) got a second chance to raise his son Gideon, who was conveniently reverted from troubled 28-year old man with a perma-scowl to baby boy following the final battle.
The show even went as far as to add a series-ending-esque musical montage epilogue to the finale, which depicted each of the main characters experiencing their so-called happy ending, by returning to their respective loved ones and resuming “business as usual” in the much-abused town of Storybrooke.
Had Once Upon a Time ended with its sixth season, it would have been a respectable run for the series, by any stretch of the imagination. At 133 episodes (22 to 23 per season, which is almost unheard of in this current culture of “sexy” 9-to-10 episode truncated season runs), Once boasts 12 more episodes than the uber successful and generally beloved (except for maybe it’s series finale) Lost, another ABC series that coincidentally featured the same writing team as Once.
The series is also well over the “age limit” generally required for syndication (four seasons). This means that, after Once ends, it’s pretty much guaranteed a second life in reruns and re-airings, both in the U.S. and overseas.
Up until a few weeks ago, at least, a sixth season run seemed precisely where Once Upon a Time was headed. This seemed particularly true, in the wake of news that nearly three-quarters of the original cast (most notably, Jennifer Morrison who plays main protagonist Emma, and series stars Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin, who play Prince Charming and Snow White, respectively) would not be returning to the show for future seasons. In addition to a truncated cast, the show was also struggling HARD in the ratings department. Having garnered a respectable average of around 11 million viewers per episode in its first season, by its sixth, the show was averaging less than 3 million. To add insult to injury, ABC had recently announced plans to move the series from its six-year home on Sunday nights to the dreaded Friday night death slot.
That’s right, Emma. Drink away the pain!
And yet, despite all this, the Once Upon a Time was renewed, and its showrunners decided to continue the saga for an unlikely seventh season. With virtually none of its original cast returning, the showrunners decided to pitch the season as a reboot of sorts. The plot would now focus on Emma’s son, Henry Mills (now grown, and played, understandably, by an older, and much more attractive, actor) and his scrappy daughter.
Puberty has been REALLY kind to you, Henry!
Cast veterans Lana Parilla (who plays the Evil Queen), Collin O’Donohue (who plays Captain Hook), and Robert Carlyle (who plays Rumplestiltskin) would reportedly continue on with the series, though their role in this restructured show, at least, at this point, is uncertain.
It wouldn’t be the first time that a long running show was forced to shift gears in later seasons, as a result of cast member departures and/or flagging ratings. Medical drama ER (which lasted on air for a whopping 15 seasons), and its contemporary Hot Doc Show, Grey’s Anatomy (still going strong after an impressive 13 seasons) have both made a point of casually introducing new cast members each season by cycling through classes of medical interns. This is a clever way for a show to test out the likability of new cast members on a smaller scale, and, if they pass the ratings test, gradually increasing their roles on the series, so that they can eventually take the place of primary cast members, should they eventually decide to depart from the series. To date, only four of the original Grey’s Anatomy cast members still remain on the show.
Perhaps, no series has been more successful at cycling through cast members than the Canadian high school drama, Degrassi, which has been on air in some form since as early as 1982! Using a similar model to Greys and ER, Degrassi is known for introducing a new class of freshman students each year, and gradually shifting focus toward those students, as older characters graduate from high school, and the cast members who play them depart the show. In fact, Degrassi has been shuffling cast members for so long that some of its original cast members now play the middle-aged parents of characters who recently graduated from college, and subsequently were married to one another. And you know what that means . . . Degrassi Grandparents aren’t out of the realm of possibility in seasons to come.
Other series have been forced to make abrupt changes in their main cast lists, as a result of the sudden departures of series’ protagonists. Pitched as a family drama revolving around a father raising teenage daughters, and based on a book with the same name, 8 Simple Rules, had to switch some pretty serious gears after its first season, following the untimely death of John Ritter, who played the show’s patriarch. David Spade and James Garner were brought on for the show’s final two seasons as family members’ of the main characters.
Spin City a sitcom about the goings on in NYC local government lost its star Michael J. Fox after four seasons, as a result of the increased severity of his Parkinson’s disease. Fox was replaced by Charlie Sheen, who played a different character, naturally, for the series’ final two seasons.
Sheen went on to star alongside John Cryer on Two and a Half Men, which lasted for 12 seasons on air. Coincidentally, this time, it was Sheen’s turn to depart a successful series, as a result of his own misbehavior and issues with substance abuse, around season 8. Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, as a series co-lead. The latter’s tenure on the show lasted for four seasons, and ended only when the series was cancelled in 2015.
The aforementioned series are all shining examples of moderately to majorly successful cast member replacements. And it was these examples the showrunners’ of Once Upon a Time undoubtedly cited in the writers’ room, when they were pitching the idea of continuing their series without most of the original cast.
However, unlike all of these shows, Once has not had the opportunity to gradually introduce or test out its new leading cast members, Andrew J. West of The Walking Dead and Alison Fernandez of Jane the Virgin. (Though both characters were featured in the series finale, they had a combined screen time of less than five minutes.) And while three of the original cast members still plan to continue on with the series, in order to provide some consistency and appease loyal fans, the veterans’ chemistry with the new additions to the cast still remains a question mark, as the two new additions to the cast appeared in scenes only with one another during the finale.
Regina: “Who is the new hot guy with the little girl?” Emma: “I think that’s supposed to be our son and his kid.” Regina: “So, basically, in the last five seconds, I just learned I’m a grandparent at 40. I also inadvertently expressed attraction to my own child. So much to talk about in my next therapy session with Jiminey Cricket.”
Nonetheless, the showrunners of Once remain cautiously optimistic about the new direction in which the show is headed in its seventh season. “It’s like a new book. So, we’re starting with new stories. Although it’s going to have some of the people that we’ve loved for six years at the center of it, we are going to meet new people and new worlds,” Executive producer Adam Horowitz explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
New people. New worlds. New time slot. New cast members. In fact, the series name will be just about the only thing Once Upon a Time will retain this fall from its first six seasons. But new and different doesn’t always mean better, as Jennifer Grey’s nose will most certainly confirm. And so Once Upon a Time has headed to hiatus, leaving fans with the greatest cliffhanger of all. Will this series will be able to survive its forced reconstructive surgery, and obtain it’s long awaited Happily Ever After in Syndication Land? Only time will tell . . .
[ Gossip Girl’s “G.G.” and PLL’s “A Kiss Before Lying” recaps are both on their way! I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it’s 100th episode, after all. (That just doesn’t happen every day!) Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]
Greetings TV fans! One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip. More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.
The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself. From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.
From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .
“Beating the system . . . one YouTube video at a time . . .”
This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch! And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either! Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.
From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen . . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .
So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .
Once Upon a Time
“I see youuuuu!”
Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree
Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC
Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.
How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness? Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love? These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.
In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve. And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .
What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious. On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together. This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids. No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .
And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale. They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . . both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws. And this raises a difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?
I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .
Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode. We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.
But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror. And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .
Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor). Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion. In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series. And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.
Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series. Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .
Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history. It’s SO obvious!
Episode 100, “GG”
Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW
As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television. The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford. The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .
The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous. And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase . . . fill a book . . .
It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza. If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.
In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again. And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”
Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .
Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it. And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.
Don’t worry, Chuck. Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . . It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .
That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat! Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .
Pretty Little Liars
Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”
Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family
When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”
Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police. But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .
Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing. After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.
That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away. And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .
Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”
Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox
After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.
I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .
Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received. Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics. And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history. Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .
Well . . . almost . . .
All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” has the opportunity to become a Glee classic. For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.
Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness. (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences? Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .
And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .
How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . . For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?
I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked. (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but I digress.) So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode). In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.
And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain. After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times. And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.
Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana. They say “Greed is Good.” But I say “Mean is Better.”
And these two have that down, in spades. Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me? Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .
(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)
And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .
(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video. Am I wrong?)
The Vampire Diaries
Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”
Airs: Thursday, February 2nd, 8 p.m. EST on the CW
TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .
I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe. But with good reason! After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.
This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .
. . . and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .
. . . doing what they do best, bickering and scheming . . .
Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they? Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .
One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.
Stefan dutifully went along with her plan. While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .
Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . . (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)
. . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance. And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .
But, of course, the parallels don’t end there. There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.
And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .
That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it? You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .
And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips. I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?
As the New Year approaches, I suspect that many of you are taking this time to reflect on the year past. Perhaps, you are even wondering how you might be able to improve your life in the upcoming year.
Meh! Self-reflection is overrated, I say. As for me? I prefer to use this time to think back on all the hot new fictional TV characters I’ve met this past year, and decide which ones are worthy of being added to my ever-growing TV Boyfriend List . . .
Now, I’m the first to admit that, when it comes to TV Boyfriends, I tend to be a bit on the slutty side (sometimes “dating” as many as twenty television characters at once) . . .
Nevertheless, making it onto my List is still a rather competitive process for prospective faux-beaus. After all, I’ve watched A LOT of television, during my time on this planet. As a result, there are characters on my List that have been getting into my increasingly crowded panties, since the late 90’s. (I’m looking at you, Pacey Witter.)
So, if a TV character wants to date me, he better be pretty damn special. Because, when it comes to fictional men, I’ve literally seen it all!
Nonetheless, 2011 ended up being a pretty great year for TV Boyfriends. New additions to my List run the gamut from fairytale characters, to warlocks, to bartenders. I even managed to squeeze a little person in there!
So, without further adieu, I proudly present to you (in no particular order) my Ten New TV Boyfriends of 2011 . . .
1. Wade Kinsella – Hart of Dixie
Who plays him: Wilson Bethel
Why we’re “dating”:
Just like Hart of Dixie’s own Zoe Hart, I’m both a city girl, and a native East Coaster. And whether or not we like to admit it, us East Coast girls can be a bit high strung. We could really use a laidback, small town, southern guy to keep us grounded, and prevent us from “sweating the small stuff.” Whether he’s playing video games, jamming on his guitar, or cooking up a prize-winning pot of gumbo, Wade is a guy who knows how to have a good time.
Wade is a man’s man, through and through. He doesn’t put on airs, or stand on ceremony. You can always count on him to be straight and honest with you, whether or not you necessarily want him to be. He’s also quite the ladies’ man, not that this should be any surprise . . .
And yet, Wade has a soft side too. He cares about his family and his friends. And he can always be counted on to lend a helping hand, when they really need him. And as much as he might mess around with the local floozies, deep down, I think Wade is a one-woman man, as evidenced by his adorable, suffer-in-silence pining over one, Zoe Hart.
Moments when he won my heart:
*When he kissed Zoe to “calm her down” . . .
*When he sang Moon River with his drunken dad to get him down from a roof ledge . . .
*When he cooked a prize-winning gumbo pot for Zoe, but let her take all the credit for it . . .
*When he offered to drive Zoe to the airport, in a tacit admission that he had feelings for her . . .
*When he called out George for leading Zoe on, when the two spent the night in jail . . .
*When he told Zoe that she taught others how to be “amazing” . . . For your consideration:
There’s just something super endearing about a grumpy guy . . . especially when you are one of the few people that can make him smile. Like many of us, Nick is still figuring some things out about his life. He’s a smart guy, and a law school graduate, but he isn’t quite sure what career path he wants to take. He’s a “relationship guy,” but he just got out of a devastating relationship, and might not be quite ready to fall in love again . . .
However, Nick doesn’t let these shortcomings detract from who he is as a person. If anything, his self-deprecating sense of humor, and good-humored, if slightly sarcastic, take on life makes him more relatable and approachable. This is likely why most of the roommates in the house go to Nick first for advice. And yet, as wise and grounded as Nick can be, he’s not afraid to let his adorkable flag fly, when it’s warranted, or when his friends need a good laugh.
As a friend, Nick’s a pretty considerate guy . . . one who almost always puts his friends needs before his own. And even though he can tend to be a bit jealous sometimes, he never lets that get in the way of his friendships. Oh, and I almost forgot, like Wade, Nick is a bit of a “piner.” And the way he looks at Jess, when he thinks nobody is watching will most definitely turn you to mush. . .
Moments when he won my heart:
* When he convinced his roommates to leave a hot party, so that they could all serenade a recently stood up Jess . . .
*The way he looked at Jess, the first time he saw her in a dress . . .
*When he “fixed” the house soap dispenser, by attaching a wooden spoon to it . . .
*When he got super jealous of Jess and Paul, but still followed them to the back of the shopping line on Black Friday, so they wouldn’t be left out . . .
*When his feet pointed at Jess, wherever she went (a sure sign of attraction, if ever there was one) 😉 . . .
*When he missed Christmas with his parents to bring Jess to Candy Cane Lane, so that she could see the “pretty lights” . . .
For your consideration:
3. Derek Hale – Teen Wolf
Who plays him: Tyler Hoechlin
Why we’re “dating”:
Derek Hale really is the best of both worlds. He’s dark and dangerous . . . yet highly moral, loyal, and fiercely protective of those he cares about. He’s masculine and tough, yet sensitive and vulnerable. He’s got a bit of a temper, but he’s also surprisingly funny, and an exceptionally patient teacher. He’s kind of a loner. And yet he’s no stranger to “pack mentality.” He can be cold and aloof sometimes, yet warm and caring other times.
Though Derek’s been hurt and betrayed in the past by those he loved, this hasn’t stopped him from caring about others, and looking out for their best interest. Derek is the kind of boyfriend, who would always make you feel safe and protected, but would never be too clingy or overbearing. He’d always be there for you, when you needed him, but would be willing to give you space when you didn’t. I mean, so what if he sometimes gets hairy, and howls at the moon? We all have our idiosyncrasies!
And have you SEEN this guy’s body? It’s genuinely mesmerizing . . .
Moments when he won my heart:
*Every time he rescued damsel-in-distress Scott from certain doom . . .
*His sexy homoerotic “locker press” with Jackson . . .
*His surprising show of vulnerability with Kate, and when he found his sister’s corpse . . .
*His hilarious exchanges with Stiles, most notably, that one time Stiles tried to “pimp” him out to his gay friend . . .
*When he did pull ups half-naked, in his ramshackle house . . . (THANK YOU MTV!)
For your consideration:
4. Sheriff Graham / The Huntsman – Once Upon a Time
Who plays him: Jaime Dornan
Why we’re “dating”:
Having literally had his heart crushed by an evil queen, Sheriff Graham may not have been long for TV land, but he will most certainly live happily ever after in our hearts. An animal lover, with expert aim (which can come in VERY handy, if you catch my drift), plenty of energy in the sack, and a high tolerance for liquor, this hard working public servant will most certainly be keeping you warm and happy during those long cold nights in Storybrooke. Did I mention he has an adorable accent, and a sexy voice that will make you go weak at the knees every time he opens his mouth?
But lest you think my relationship with the Sheriff is just superficial, I can also tell you that, despite what he might tell you to the contrary, Sheriff Graham has a good heart. He’s a hero, a protector, and a savior of those in need. Plus, despite his murky past, and dubious history, he’s managed to stay surprisingly innocent. There’s an almost childlike quality about him that’s quite refreshing. Perhaps, that comes from spending so many years inside a children’s book . . .
Moments when he won my heart:
*When he drunkenly kissed Emma for the first time . . .
*When he (as the Huntsman) beat up some barmen for talking smack about wolves . . .
*When he (as the Huntsman) was brought to tears by Snow White’s letter, and ultimately spared her life . . .
*When he sat with young Henry and learned about his history in Fairytale World . . .
*When he finally got up the courage to dump the Mayor’s ass . . .
*When he lovingly kissed Emma for the second time, just moments before his heart . . . turned to dust.
*Anytime he wore those super tight pants . . .
For your consideration:
5. Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones
Who plays him: Peter Dinklage
Why we’re dating:
This may seem like an odd choice to some. But hey, I’m only 5’3”. So, height has never really been an issue for me. (Also, I hate wearing high heels . . .) Though I despise most of his family members (which means we could probably never marry), Tyrion himself is a terrific catch, in my eyes. He’s exceptionally smart, amazingly resourceful, exceedingly wealthy, uproariously funny, honest almost to a fault, and surprisingly honorable.
Though he comes from a very powerful family, Tyrion is most certainly not a snob. In fact, he often acts as a champion for the weak and less fortunate. Though not necessarily the most able-bodied of the bunch, Tyrion can use his intelligence and wit to get himself out of even the stickiest of situations. And he knows how to get what he wants.
On top of that, Tyrion is a blast to hang out with. He drinks like a fish, curses like a sailor, screws like an Adonis, and always has a joke or hilarious story handy, when the party is getting too stale. In a world that is dark, bleak, and filled with war, Tyrion never takes himself or the situations in which he finds himself too seriously. Optimistic, fun-loving, and good-natured, this is exactly the kind of guy, you want on your side, especially when “winter is coming” . . .
* When he helped the newly crippled Bran come to terms with his paralysis . . .
*When he told the story of his first love . . .
*When he confessed to ALL of his sins, in front of the Moon Door . . .
*When he won a fierce deadly battle, despite being unconscious for most of it . . .
*When he proved that at least one Lannister, does, in fact, always pay his debts . . .
For your consideration:
6. Schmidt – New Girl
Who plays him: Max Greenfield
Why we’re “dating”:
Sure, he owns a Douchebag Jar, sometimes wears women’s kimonos, and gets a bit persnickety about his cooking, but, rest assured, if you are hanging out with Schmidt, you’re going to be having a great time. You will also be laughing a lot . . . sometimes with him . . . sometimes at him. A notorious ladies man, who’s clearly very comfortable with his sexuality, Schmidt feels just as comfortable being “one of the girls,” as he does being “one of the guys.” Whether he’s at a baby shower, a wedding, or playing Sexy Santa at the office Christmas function, Schmidt is always sure to be the life of the party. He’s also an impeccable dresser, with great hair. So, if you are ever in need of fashion tips, he’s your guy. (Just don’t let him choose your perfume . . .)
As if all that wasn’t enough, Schmidt is also super sweet and an unabashed romantic . . . when he’s not being douchey, that is!
Every girl wants a bad boy. And Owen Sleater’s as bad as they come. A hit man, and professional “enforcer,” Owen has no qualms about stealing, committing murder, or sleeping with another man’s betroved. Don’t let his sweet smile, boyish good looks, and adorable accent fool you. Owen is a very dangerous man. He’s strong, smart, incredibly resourceful, and can be very manipulative when he wants to be.
But Owen Sleater can also be a true gentleman, one who sweeps ladies off of their feet, with his incredible acts of kindness, declarations of adoration, shameless flirtation, and calm, self-assured nature. Owen might have a criminal’s brain, and a killer’s body, but he has a lover’s heart, and deep down, I think, a good soul. Like many of the men on this list, Owen is a caretaker, and a protector. And he’s going to make one lucky lady very happy some day . . . if he doesn’t get himself killed first . . .
Moments when he won my heart:
*His surprisingly awkward, and adorably cute, early flirtations with Margaret . . .
*His surprisingly friendly standoff at gunpoint with Richard Harrow . . .
*The sexy, and brilliant way he explained the inner workings of the explosives he was making to blow up Mickey’s liquor distillery . . .
*How he told Margaret that he was hers to “command” . . .
*The way he always looks at Margaret . . .
*The fierce growl he let out, when he finally had his way with Margaret . . .
*The look on his face, when he found out Emily was diagnosed with polio . . .
*The way he helped Margaret fix Emily’s leg braces . . .
*The solemn, and slightly sad, look on his face, as he acted as a witness to Margaret’s and Nucky’s wedding . . .
If Owen Sleater is a “bad boy,” Charles Meade is arguably an “evil man.” When he ignited the fire that killed his supposed long-time friend Amelia Blake, in the pilot episode of The Secret Circle, I got chills. When he used a crystal to turn Jane Blake into a Stepford Wife / zombie in more recent episodes, I gasped. Charles is an incredibly powerful warlock, one that will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The fact that his motives for doing the things he does are, as of yet, not entirely clear, make him even more frightening . . . and intriguing.
That said, people are not all good, or all bad. Most tend to reside within the shades of grey, and Charles Meade is no exception. We’ve seen this man experience extreme guilt, and even have an emotional breakdown, as a result of his part in the accidental death of Nick Armstrong. We’ve also seen him show love and concern for his daughter Diana, and affection for his longtime friend and fellow coven-mate Dawn.
Aside from all that, there’s just something about Charles Meade that makes me think that he lives by a rather rigid moral code. He seems to truly believe that the things he’s doing are in service of the greater good. Many times he’s even expressed disapproval toward Dawn, when she behaved particularly rashly, or hurt someone he felt didn’t need to be hurt. This evidence leads me to believe that Charles Meade’s motives might be more benevolent than many viewers assume them to be . . .
Besides, there are plenty of perks to dating a sexy, strong, mysterious warlock. I mean, when you think about it, the possibilities are absolutely endless . . .
Moments when he won my heart:
*When he broke down, following Nick’s death . . .
*Anytime he uses his sexy, eargasmic, spell-casting voice . . .
*During his flirtations with Dawn . . .
*During his father/daughter moments with Diana . . .
For your consideration:
9. Prince Charming / James – Once Upon a Time
Who plays him: Joshua Dallas
Why we are “dating”:
There’s a reason the phrase “Prince Charming” has come to embody the Ideal Man. He’s strong, heroic, debonair, dashing, incredibly handsome, and, let’s not forget, how his KISSES SAVE LIVES! And yet, admittedly, in children’s books, I always found the character of Prince Charming to be kind of wooden, and woefully personality-free. Fortunately, in Once Upon a Time, the writers have managed to come up with a character who actually lives up to his name . . .
Unlike the traditional, born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth fairytale prince, our Prince Charming lived most of his life as a poor, sheep herder, in a remote town. He worked hard, took care of his mother, who he loved dearly, and expected very little out of life. In this new world post-recession world of 99%ers, where most of us “have-nots” deeply resent the “haves,” the fact that Prince Charming came from humble beginnings, and can, therefore appreciate the riches bestowed on him in later life is deeply refreshing.
And if that didn’t make him loveable enough, Prince Charming is also a dragon slayer, who put his life at risk to save an entire kingdom, and gave up his happiness to save his own mother’s life, when he agreed to marry a woman he did not love. But what really makes Prince Charming an excellent TV Boyfriend is the way he behaves around Snow White. With a disarming smile, sharp wit, and adorable banter, both Prince Charming and his Storybrooke counterpart James managed to bust through this slightly jaded woman’s firm walls and found his way deep into her heart.
Prince Charming literally lights up whenever he sees or speaks to Snow White. And yet, there relationship isn’t cliched or cheesy. They are both very strong willed, head strong, and slightly snarky individuals, who have fought hard for everything they have, and are inherently skeptical of those for whom things come easy. There’s is the kind of love for which everybody secretly wishes . . . the kind of love that makes you believe in fairytales . . .
And who doesn’t want a little fairytale in their lives, every now and then?
Moments when he won my heart:
*When he rescued his knights, and singlehandedly slayed a dragon, without any battle training whatsoever . . .
*During his heartfelt goodbye to his mother . . .
*When he “captured” Snow White . . .
*When he flirted with Snow White . . .
*When he helped Snow White battle the trolls . . .
*When (in Storybrooke), he came to Snow White / Mary Margaret’s school to declare his love for her . . .
*When he lost his own life (in fairytale land) to save his wife, and baby Emma . . .
*Everytime he said “I’ll always find you,” to Snow White . . .
Sometimes in our lives, we are looking to find our Prince Charming, and have our fairytale. Other times, we’d much rather date someone normal, with flaws, insecurities, and imperfections . . . someone like us. What’s so great about Matty McKibben is that he’s so incredibly real. Way too often television shows make teenagers act and look like people in their late twenties. But Matty McKibben is a genuine high school guy . . . a guy who most likely reminds you of someone you went to high school with, crushed on, and maybe even were lucky enough to date . . .
In the pilot episode of Awkward, Matty is depicted as your typical popular high school jock. He’s good looking. He’s athletic. He goes to the best parties, and dates the prettiest girls. He has sex with Jenna Hamilton that first time, more on impulse than, as a result of any sort of strong feeling he has for her. And he keeps their relationship a secret, because it’s easier that way, considering the fact that they come from different social circles.
And in a typical high school drama, that would pretty much be the end of the story. The “Jenna” character would inevitably find out that the “Matty” character is shallow, and using her for sex, so she would leave him for a “nicer” guy. But real life isn’t that simple, and, fortunately, neither is this show. As the series progresses, we get to know more about Matty McKibben. What we learn is that he’s actually pretty good guy . . . someone who’s loyal to his friends, to the point of being willing to give up love for their sake . . . someone who truly cares about Jenna, and tries to do right by her, in the best way that he knows how.
Throughout the series, we watch Matty learn from his relationship with Jenna, and grow from a seemingly dimwitted and shallow jock, to a surprisingly smart and thoughtful boyfriend. And in the end, when Jenna chooses the “nice guy,” our heart can’t help but break a bit for Matty, who, as it turns out, is actually pretty “nice,” himself . . . not to mention, smokin’ hot.