What good girl doesn’t secretly want a bad boy by her side to rescue her from the monotony of a life spent being well-behaved? Now, in the real world, dating a guy like this is the quickest way to a broken heart — if you’re lucky — and a black eye, the slammer or the morgue — if you’re not. But in TV land, the girls who win the hearts of the baddest baddies fare quite well, actually (not to mention have the best sex lives)!
For girls like me, who are desperate to experience the thrills of the darkside, without any of the risks or guilt attached, TV Brooding Bad Boys are our salvation. And because I am so grateful to these fictional bad asses, who’s mere existence has managed to keep me on the straight and narrow all these years, I have decided to pay tribute to some of the best ones in this post . . . 10 to be exact. (They are in no particular order. although I may have saved the best for last. After all, playing favorites with bad boys is the surest way to get burned . . . literally.)
1) Don Draper – Executive Bad Boy
TV Show: Man Men
Who plays him? Jon Hamm
What makes him a Bad Boy? Let’s see. He accidentally killed the REAL Don Draper, and then stole his identity. Now, he smokes and drinks like a fish (and usually drives afterward). He also cheats on his (soon-to-be ex) wife . . . ALOT, sometimes with married women, sometimes with coworkers and/or his kids’ teachers, and sometimes with random flight attendants he meets on business trips.
Why he’s broody? On occasion, Don actually feels guilty about all the sleeping around he does (It’s rare, but it happens). He also had a miserable childhood, with a drunken dad who abused him mentally and physically, and a prostitute biological mom who named him after a private part. To top things off, Don’s wife can be a real cold b*tch sometimes. And despite being model gorgeous, she actually strikes me as a kind of snoozy lay.
Why we love him anyway? Don Draper is nothing, if not flawed. But he is also a brilliant ad man, with a keen sense of business acumen. When he wants to be, Don is actually a pretty great dad to his kids. But Don’s “parenting” goes beyond the walls of his home. The advertising executive’s paternal nature extends to his younger colleagues, particularly Peggy Olson, whose ambition and intellect he encourages, and whose career got a jump start, thanks to his willingness to put his own job on the line for her.
2) James “Sawyer” Ford – Castaway Con Artist Bad Boy
TV Show: Lost
Who plays him? Josh Holloway
What makes him a Bad Boy? Sawyer made his living as a con man who bilked little old ladies out of their pension checks, and slightly younger ladies out of their inheritances and hard-earned dough. On the island, he initially kept to himself (aside from the occasional fist fight). Left to his own devices, he survived by hoarding his fellow castaways possessions (including some very pricey drugs, and quite an impressive weapons stash). He also used Shannon’s painful and highly traumatic asthma attack as an excuse to get Kate to kiss him for the first time. It was hot, but kind of heartless too . . .
Why he’s broody? Like Don Draper, Sawyer had a pretty f-ed up childhood. When Sawyer was a little kid, a con man bilked his parents out of their life savings. Sawyer’s father became so depressed as a result, that he killed Sawyer’s mother before turning the gun on himself. To make matters worse, Sawyer is stranded on a deserted island where he is constantly fending off the unwelcome advances of Polar Bears, sadistic birds, black smoke, and those wackadoo Others. Oh, and did I mention the object of his desires keeps ditching him to make out with this lame ass pompous doctor? You’d be pretty pissed off too . . . I bet!
Why we love him anyway? Sawyer may be a con artist, and a thief . . . and he sure likes to beat the sh&t out of people! But he looks GREAT with his shirt off!
As the seasons of Lost progressed, Sawyer also proved himself to be an excellent leader, and a staunch protector of those he loved, most notably, Kate, Juliette, and, yes, even Hurley. He even stopped beating people up so much. (Well, at least he was more selective about it.) Oh, and the nicknames! I loved all those nicknames!
3) Noah “Puck” Puckerman – Mohawk-Wearing Bully Bad Boy
TV Show: Glee
Who plays him? Mark Salling
Why he’s a Bad Boy? At the start of the show, Puck was your basic jock bully (with a mohawk, of course). He LOVED tossing slushees in the faces of the Glee kids, and tossing nerds in the dumpster. He also got it on with a quite a few of his mom’s friends. But Puck’s worst offense, by far was screwing “Celibacy Club President Quinn,” while she was dating his friend. He also kept their rendezvous a secret, even after Quinn became pregnant, and Finn agreed to take responsibility for Puck’s baby . . .
Why he’s broody? You know, I could explain it to you. However this video says it better, than I ever could . . .
Why we love him anyway? Ummm . . . did you WATCH that video? Did it not make you fall in love with Puck, and make you want to give birth to all of his mohawk-wearing babies? By the end of Season 1, Puck came a long way toward redeeming himself. Not only did he stop throwing nerds into dumpsters, he also became really close with the Glee kids, most notably Rachel and Mercedes. And when it came down to it, Puck really stood by Quinn, and supported her throughout her pregnancy, even going so far as to stand by her side, as she gave birth. Now if that’s not a Redeemed Brooding Bad Boy, I don’t know what is!
4) Chuck Bass – Upper East Side Bad Boy
TV Show: Gossip Girl
Who plays him? Ed Westwick
What makes him a Bad Boy? Oh, Chuck! How are you a bad boy? Let me count the ways. Before you met Blair Waldorf, you bedded so many random women, that you made Don Draper, Sawyer, and Puck look like priests.
You tried to date rape Jenny Humphrey in the pilot episode (an incident we ALL wanted to forget about, and almost did, until you repeated the feat during the Season 3 finale.) Along with Blair Waldorf and the rest of your Scooby gang, you have schemed (and succeeded) to ruin the lives of MANY of Manhattan’s elite, sometimes even those in your own social circle. And you’ve callously broken Blair’s heart a few more times than us fans would have liked . . .
Why he’s broody? Despite being born into privilege, Chuck hasn’t had the easiest life. His mother died giving birth to him (or so he thought). And Chuck’s father blamed him for his mother’s absence all his life, constantly denigrating the young man’s worth and ability. Then his father died, which always sucks.
On the romantic side of things, particularly in the earlier episodes, Chuck constantly found his love for Blair unrequited or blatantly ignored. And once he FINALLY got her, Chuck had to keep screwing things up. So he lost her, over and over again, due to his own insecurities, hubris, and fragile ego.
Why we love him anyway? He’s Chuck Bass! The only man who can refer to himself in the third person constantly, without it ever becoming annoying. And as cold and callous as he may sometimes seem, Chuck LOVES Blair, possibly more than any television character has ever loved another. He loves her unconditionally, despite her flaws and idiosyncrasies. Chuck is always willing to sacrifice his own happiness for Blair’s, as he does in this adorable scene.
(Click the internal link to watch.)
5) Ryan Atwood – “Bad Boy from the Wrong Side of the Tracks”
TV Show: The O.C.
Who plays him? Benjamin McKenzie
What makes him a Bad Boy? Ryan hails from Chino. Based on what the show’s writers would have you believe, growing up in Chino makes you automatically bad news. During the pilot episode of the show, Ryan got himself involved in a teensy bit of grand theft auto. (It wasn’t really his fault, but still . . . .).
Oh, and believe it or not, Ryan likes to beat the sh&t out of people EVEN MORE than Puck and Sawyer! In fact, I’m pretty sure he did it at least once during every single episode of The O.C! If I recall, toward the end of the show’s run, he even got into cage fighting for a while, so that he could get PAID to beat the sh*t out of people. Smart business move, Ryan!
Why is he broody? NOBODY does broody like Ryan Atwood! Don’t believe me? Check out this clip from the show’s pilot episode . . .
This guy is the epitome of the strong, silent and ANGRY type. And with good reason! Growing up poor with an absentee father, a drunk mother, and a delinquent brother, Ryan didn’t have many opportunities growing up. At least, that is, until saintly public defender, Sandy Cohen, took him into his home and under his wing . . .
Why we love him anyway? Grand theft auto and butt-kicking notwithstanding, let’s face it, for a bad boy Ryan wasn’t . . . all that bad. He was sweet and protective of his friends, particularly Seth and Marissa, the latter of whom he got out of more jams than I can even count. He also had this staunch code of honor and integrity, that he never seemed to waver from, no matter how far he got from his Chino roots.
Sure, Ryan could be a little stiff and quiet at times . . . . OK . . . most of the time. But every once and a while, he would let loose and show his sweet side. And when that happened, no heart was safe . . .
6) Alex Karev – Dr. McBad Boy
TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy
Who plays him? Justin Chambers
What makes him a Bad Boy? OK. I’m not going to lie. A lot of times Alex Karev can be kind of a dick, both literally and figuratively. There was that one time, when he posted all those pictures of Izzie in her undergarments all over the hospital. And that other time when he unwittingly gave George syphilis, by sleeping with the nurse he had a thing for. Giving of STD aside, Alex was kind of mean to George in general. He was always calling him names and denigrating his manhood, whenever he got the chance.
Oh, and Alex cheated on Izzie . . . like A LOT!
Why he’s broody? Alex had an abusive father, who beat the crap out of him regularly. (Anyone else noticing a pattern here?) He also has really bad luck with the ladies. His girlfriend Rebecca went all crazy and bipolar on his ass. The other love of his life, Izzie, cheated on him with a ghost (Oh, I am serious!). She also got cancer . . . and he married her, thinking she was dying. But then she went into remission . . . and then she inexplicably dumped his ass. I think Alex has a right to be a little pissed off at the world? Don’t you?
Why we love him anyway? Alex is a fighter. He speaks his mind, and tells the truth, when no one else has the guts to do it. Plus, he’s an amazing doctor, who has a fabulous way with kids and teens, in particular. Unlike some of the other doctors at the hospital, Alex speaks their language, and doesn’t talk down to them. For that reason, they often trust and respect him. And for a D-bag, he can be surprisingly sweet and romantic, as illustrated here . . .
7) Eric Northman – Immortal Viking Bad Boy
TV Show: True Blood
Who plays him? Alexander Skarsgard
What makes him a Bad Boy? Eric is a very old, and very powerful vampire, who always gets what he wants. To him, humans are food to be consumed, and toys to be used for his amusement. Eric is currently involved in the shady and underground business of selling highly addictive vampire blood to humans and other assorted creatures. He’s betrayed his colleague Bill more times than I can count, in order to get what he wants. He kidnapped Lafayette and beat him into submission, until the latter agreed to become one of his blood pedaling minions. Eric also tricked Sookie into drinking his blood so that she would have hot sex dreams about him all the time. (And that’s a BAD THING?)
Why he’s broody? In truth, Eric’s not all that broody. And if he was, he probably wouldn’t admit it. But he does have a very soft spot for one Sookie Stackhouse, which has heretofore remains unrequited. And Eric is not a man used to not getting his girl. At the end of Season 2, we witnessed a vulnerable side to Eric that we hadn’t seen before. He lost his beloved maker, Godric to the sun, and cried tears of blood to mourn the loss. Thus, proving that even a “cold blooded” vampire like Eric can suffer from a broken heart.
Why we love him anyway? Let’s face it. Eric is just super sexy! His witty banter with Sookie never fails to make me drool. Eric also has a great sense of humor, and can lighten even the darkest of moments with his wit and charm. Plus, Vampire Eric is a really good guy to have on your side, when you are faced with a group of evil supernatural creatures who wish you dead. And you never know when that might come in handy. Did I mention he would be an excellent accessory to any bathtub?
8 ) Logan Echolls – Spoiled Little Rich Bad Boy
TV Show: Veronica Mars
Who plays him? Jason Dohring
What makes him a Bad Boy? Logan Echolls takes the term juvenile delinquent to a whole new level. Like many on this list, Logan enjoys giving a good ass whipping, but that’s not anywhere close to the worst thing on his rap sheet. Let’s see, during the show’s three seasons he (1) bashed the headlights on Veronica’s car; (2) brought GHB to a party; (3) blew up the local community pool; (4) orchestrated and videotaped “bum fights” for profit; (5) screwed his good friend’s mom and his girlfriend’s enemy; and (6) got himself arrested so he could beat up a known criminal who hurt Veronica. (I’m sure there’s more, but I only have so much blog space . . .)
Why he’s broody? Logan’s dad was a famous actor, but also a sadistic psycho killer who slept with and then murdered Logan’s girlfriend, Lily. Then his mother promptly killed herself. Logan soon found himself to be a suspect in Lily’s murder. Once he was cleared of that rap, he became a suspect in some gang member’s murder. Then, later, he was a rape suspect.
In fact, every time something bad happened in Logan’s general georgraphic vicinity, he became an automatic suspect. After just a couple of episodes spent hating her guts, Logan fell in love with Veronica. The problem was, there almost always seemed to be another guy (Duncan, Piz), another girl (Hannah, Kendall, Parker), another dead body, or another one of Logan’s bullheaded actions, standing in the way of the couple’s happiness.
Why we love him anyway? Logan and Veronica were made for eachother! Their witty banter was timeless. Logan alone had enough one-liners to fill a Joke Bible . . .
The sexual tension that emerged from Veronica’s and Logan’s once mutual hatred of one another could power cities. No matter what the current state of their relationship was, Logan was always willing to risk everything to save Veronica, be it his happiness, his future, his life, or his freedom from legal prosecution.
And what girl wouldn’t want that dedication in a guy?
9) Pacey Witter – Bad Boy from the Creek
TV Show: Dawson’s Creek
Who plays him? Joshua Jackson
What makes him a Bad Boy? Pacey was pretty much the worst student ever! It was a wonder he even graduated! He was also in many ways the ringleader of the Creek crew. For the most part, they were pretty straight laced to the point of being kind of boring (I excuse Slutty Jen Lindley from this list of course). But Pacey was always the one trying to lure them over to the darkside, with parties (gasp), and drinking (double gasp), and ditching school! (OMG!)
OK . . . so maybe he isn’t that much of a bad boy. But I couldn’t imagine doing a “boy list” without including the boy that officially started my TV fangirl career. And, of course, there was that time he banged his English teacher in the bushes and ended up inadvertently making a sex tape from it . . .
Why is he broody? Like many of the boys on this list, Pacey is a product of a dysfunctional family — a drunken dad who abuses him, a brother who verbally berates him, and a mother and sisters who ignore him completely. Due to his poor grades and upbringing, Pacey believes himself to be destined to a life on the Creek, doing menial labor for minimal wage. To make matters worse, he spends a good portion of Season 3 head over heels in love with Joey Potter, a woman who he believes to be completely out of his league, and who also seems to be very hung up on his best friend, Dippy Dawson.
Why we love him anyway? Pacey is by far, the kindest hearted, most romantic, sweetest, and most loyal boy on this entire list. Not only did he beat up boys for his lover, Joey ( most of these guys did that at one time or another), he also took care of her when she needed a friend, taught her to drive, saved her family’s business, bought her a wall, picked her up from a bad date in the middle of the night, and took her on a three month voyage without ever pressuring her into sex. In short, this man is MY HERO!
10) Damon Salvatore – The “I Like to Bite” Bad Boy
TV Show: The Vampire Diaries
Who plays him? Ian Somerhalder
What makes him a Bad Boy? What doesn’t make this guy a bad boy? He’s a VAMPIRE! He controls humans’ minds and drinks from them regularly. He breaks peoples necks for no apparent reason at all. He made Caroline his feeding vessel and sex slave for a couple of episodes.
(Click the internal link to watch.)
He tortured Vicki and made her think his brother, Stefan, was doing it. Then he killed her.
(No embedding on this clip either. You know the drill.)
After that, he turned her into a vampire and she went nuts. So he had to dispose of the body. He also continually tries to steal his brother’s girlfriends. (But we actually really like him for that . . .)
What makes him broody? Damon has been pining over the same girl for a century and a half! (How’s that for dedication!)
So, he risks his undeath to find his dream girl, only to learn that she doesn’t want to be found. His own brother basically tricked him into becoming a vampire. And now that same brother is dating a woman who looks exactly like the girl he fell in love with all those years ago. Did I mention that Damon is in love with this new girl too?
(Here we go again, click away . . .)
Why we love him anyway? Damon is beautiful and sexy. He is also strong, intensely masculine, and hilariously funny. The elder Salvatore Brother really does try to protect Elena in every way he knows how. Damon knows that Elena can redeem him. And deep down, he truly wants to be redeemed. Oh, and he looks really hot with his shirt unbuttoned. . .
So, there you have it, Ten Brooding Bad Boys viewed from the perspective of the blogger that loves them all. In every life a little darkness must fall. And if you have to have darkness, at least let it come in the form of a hot sexy man who loves you, like no one else will . . .
Sweet Dreams, fellow Good Girls!