On the surface, Seth Cohen is not the type of guy a TV fangirl, like me, normally “goes for.” In fact, when I watched the pilot episode for The O.C., I was very ANTI- Seth Cohen! He just seemed so “sweet” and protagonist-y.
This wasn’t a guy who was going to be broody or uncommunicative, like my previous TV boyfriends. He wasn’t going to kick people’s asses for the fun of it . . . or do morally ambigious (read: “sexy”) things on a weekly basis . . . or walk around shirtless, constantly, just because he could. In short, I didn’t think Seth Cohen and I were going to get along, AT ALL . . .
He wasn’t like the shallow, superficial high school characters you typically saw on teen dramas, who only seemed interested in who they were dating at the moment, and whether they’d win prom king and queen. Seth was smart and sarcastic, but not in a pompous or self-righteous sort of way. His unique brand of humor was goofy, charming, and self-deprecating.
Given all that, it should be no surprise to you that Seth Cohen ended up being somewhat of a STUD on The O.C. And though he did have his pick of the ladies, throughout the seasons, there was only ONE woman who truly had his heart . . .
That’s right, boys and girls! Seth Cohen was a firm believer in the ever-evaporating concept of Monogamy. (Granted, he did date two girls simultaneously for a good portion of the first season. But we are going to let that one slide, for the moment . . .) Seth Cohen gave the entire Nerd Population hope, when he managed to overcome his social awkwardness, unpopularity, and love of comic books, to win the heart of pretty, popular alpha female, Summer Roberts.
Seth and Summer. Summer and Seth. It just doesn’t get much more adorable than these two brunette cuties . . .
For all the aforementioned reasons (and some others I will share with you in just a bit), on this Memorial Day 2011, I would like to create an Unofficial Memorial to my favorite TV GOOD BOY Boyfriend. This memorial will feature video clips, screencaps, GIFS, and . . . well . . . not much else, because I’m feeling particularly lazy today. (I’m hungover! SUE ME! 🙂 )
What follows are TEN REASONS (in no particular order) why Good Boy Seth Cohen has what it takes to go head-to-head with even the darkest of Bad Boys in the battle for your heart . . .
(1) He is “stealth.”
(2) He’s kind to ALL animals (even the plastic ones).
(10) He will (quite literally) sweep you off your feet.
There you have it: a video and pictoral representation of 10 reasons why Seth Cohen fully deserves TV Boyfriend status, despite being an unrelentingly GOOD BOY. So, thank you, Seth Cohen, for showing us TV watchers that sometimes the LIGHT can be just as sexy as the DARKNESS. That being said . . . TAKE YOUR DAMN SHIRT OFF, ALREADY!
(For more shots of Shirtless Seth Cohen, feel free to head HERE!)
See ya in The O.C., Seth. And in the words of Phantom Planet, “California, HERE WE COME!”
Have you been chomping at the bit (no pun intended) for The Vampire Diaries to return from its already WAY TOO LONG hiatus? Well, here’s some Season 2 scoopage to tide you over. Apparently, bloodsucking vampires and witches on a rampage won’t be the only “supernatural problems” Mystic Falls will have to deal with next year. Now, the not-so-sleepy Virginia town will also have to contend with . . . WEREWOLVES.
. . . and his father, the Mayor, exhibited some “wolfy” tendencies, when faced with a “witchy” invention, whose intended purpose was to immobilize supernatural creatures. Unfortunately, Mayor Lockwood didn’t survive the episode.
But, apparently, this means that his younger, hotter, brother must come to town and step into his shoes, or, perhaps more accurately, his doggie booties . . .
Mason Lockwood: Described as Tyler’s “cool” uncle, Mason is sexy and athletic and possesses an easygoing charm. Though he has more control than his nephew, he can “flip in an instant” if crossed. Seeking Latin or Caucasian actors in their 30s for this recurring role.
Riiiiight, because that’s EXACTLY what The Vampire Diaries needs . . . MORE HOT MEN THAT LOOK GOOD WITH THEIR SHIRTS OFF (or open) . . .
Blatant male objectification aside, I thought it might be fun for me to try my hand at casting Mason Lockwood. Here are my top five picks, in no particular order . . .
Where you’ ve seen him before: He played Lex Luthor on Smallville.
Why he’d make a good Mason: Let’s face it, no one does “sexy villian on a teen drama” like Michael Rosenbaum (except, maybe, Ian Somerhalder, ;)). Not only is Michael already a familiar face on the CW network, he’s definitely got the acting chops to pull off a “two-natured” (in more ways than one) role like this one. It also might be nice to seem him in a role where he has HAIR, for a change . . .
Age: 33 (just turned on July 8th – Happy belated, Milo! What’s with me picking all these July babies for this role?)
Where you’ve seen him before: He played Peter Petrelli on Heroes and Jesse Mariano on Gilmore Girls.
Why he’d make a good Mason: Like Michael Rosenbaum, Milo is no stranger to the CW network (See Gilmore Girls reference above). Nor would he be out of his element on a show featuring supernatural elements (See Heroes reference above). Milo has already proven himself capable of playing a charming and likeable, yet volatile, persona. He also bears a striking resemblance to Michael Trevino, who would play his nephew on the show. And did you SEE that body? Need I say more?
Where you’ve seen him before: He played Ben Covington on Felicity, and Michael Corvin in all those Underworld movies.
Why he’d make a good Mason: I can’t think of better preparation for playing a werewolf on a show featuring vampires and werewolves, than starring in a movie series as a vampire / werewolf hybrid. Can you? Unlike Michael and Milo, Scott never starred on the CW, but he DID star on its predecessor channel, the WB, during his Felicity years. Through Scott’s previous roles, he has definitely shown that he has enough innate masculinityand barely suppressed rage to fit in with the Lockwood clan. And that uniquely raspy voice of his? Pure sex . . .
Where you’ve seen him before: Those Fast and Furious movies
Why he’d make a good Mason: I’m not gonna lie. I chose Paul almost exclusively for his beauty . . . and his body . . . and because Kerr Smith and Benjamin McKenzie are both already tied up with other television shows. What can I say? I’m only human!
Where you’ve seen him before: He played that hot lawnmower dude, John, who got it on with Eva Langoria on Desperate Housewives. He also played the title role in John Tucker Must Die. (Too bad this character isn’t named “John.” Because Jesse would have had the role in the bag.)
Why he’d make a good Mason: Like Milo, I think Jesse kind of looks like Michael Trevino, which would weigh in his favor, for a part like this. Plus, if these werewolves are anything like the werewolves in the Twilight series, they are going to have to be shirtless A LOT. Clearly, this will be NO problem for Jesse. On a more serious (and slightly selfish) note, Jesse Metcalfe is a very talented actor, and I’d really like to see him on my small screen again.
(Note: When I was researching this post, I learned that Jesse Metcalfe is actually set to star in a new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC pilot this fall, entitled Chase. But everyone knows that most pilots don’t actually get picked up by the networks. So as far as I am concerned, he’s still in the running 😉 . . .)
So, those are my picks. Who would YOU cast as Mason Lockwood?
[ Season 2 of the Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 9th at 8 p.m. on the CW Network. ]
P.S. Apparently, less than 24-hours after I wrote this blog post, the producers over at The Vampire Diaries released their ACTUAL casting choice for Mason Lockwood. (Special thanks to Amy, over at the always entertaining and fabulously fangirly imaginarymen blog, and first commenter Ellen O., for the late-breaking scoop!) And the winner is . . . THIS GUY . . .
Taylor Kinney, who was best known for his role as EMT Glenn Morris on the NBC drama Trauma. (Hey, that rhymes!) And, just in case you were curious, here’s what he looks like without his shirt on . . .
Welcome to Fangirl Land, Mr. Kinney! Prepare to be shamelessly objectified!
A couple of days ago, I came up with a list of the top ten plotline cliches featured in teen-oriented television dramas. In the first installment of this blog entry, I posted the first five of these cliches. That list included: (1) the Pregnancy Plotline; (2) the Death of a Peripheral Character Plotline; (3) the Student / Teacher Relationship Plotline; (4) the Cheating on a Test / Plagiarism Plotline; and, finally, (5) the “Bad Influence” Plotline.
This installment will focus on the following popular Teen Television Cliches: (1) the Love Triangle; (2) the Summer in Europe; (3) the Love / Hate Relationship; (4) the School Ski Trip; and, of course (5) the Prom. So, without further adieu, what do you say we take off our creative thinking caps, embrace conformity, and get started?
1) “Can’t we all just . . . have a threesome, instead?” – The Love Triangle Plotline
The Storyline: Girl meets boy. Boy is attractive.
Boy is also nice and sweet, albeit a tad boring (and, sometimes, a bit of a whiny b*tch).
Or, conversely, Boy is total douche;
but Girl’s parents love him;
He looks “good on paper.”
and Boy is sure to make Girl a very wealthy, but very bored, housewife, some time in the not-so-distant future, if she plays her cards right.
But then . . . Other Boy magically appears.
Unlike the original Boy, Other Boy is a little dangerous . . .
Maybe he’s from the wrong side of the proverbial “tracks” . . .
Or, perhaps he has a reputation for being a bit of male slut . . .
. . . or a criminal.
Or maybe he has a bit of a mean streak, so Girl isn’t sure she can really trust him.
But there is just something about the way Other Boy makes Girl feel . . .
She smiles and laughs more when she’s around him.
(Click the internal link to watch.)
He makes her more fun!
And Other Boy continues to believe in Girl, and support her, long after everyone else has seemingly abandoned her (including the original Boy).
So, what’s a Girl to do, when she wants them both?
Who does she choose? Well, that depends on the season . . . the Television Season, that is . . .
Examples: Joey, Pacey, and Dawson (Dawson’s Creek); Veronica, Logan, and Duncan (Veronica Mars); Marissa, Ryan, and Luke (The O.C.); Elena, Damon, and Stefan (The Vampire Diaries); Rory, Jesse, and Dean (Gilmore Girls); Blair, Chuck, and Nate (Gossip Girl); Peyton, Lucas, and Nate (One Tree Hill); Emma, Sean, and Peter (Degrassi: The Next Generation); Felicity, Ben, and Noel (Felicity); Casey, Cappie, and Evan (Greek); Lyla, Tim, and Jason (Friday Night Lights)
Why it’s a cliche? Three words (One of them is a contraction). Because . . . It’s . . . AWESOME!
When it comes to successful teen drama plotlines, The Love Triangle, is a surefire WIN! After all, what girl wouldn’t want to have two totally hot guys, who are complete opposites of one another fighting over her! Aside from allowing female fans to vicariously fulfill their deepest fantasies, Love Triangles provide the added benefit of making Teen Television watching a TEAM SPORT! Boys have football and basketball. Girls have THIS . . .
Yes, boys and girls, choosing sides in a Love Triangle War is SERIOUS business! (Girls have been shot over WAY less!) Don’t believe me? Check out the sheer intensity of THESE fan-fueled debates . . .
(The above video debate between these two twenty-somethings kind of goes off the rails, after the first five minutes. But I love their obvious enthusiasm for a show that’s been off the air now for nearly a decade! I also love their accents . . . and the very impressive “Portrait of Ben” one of them created. Scott Speedman, himself, would be proud!)
2) “Go to Europe . . . because no one could possibly ‘find themselves’ in the States!” – The Summer in Europe Plotline
“When in France, do as the French do . . . French kiss!”
(Here we go again! Internal link clicking time!)
The Storyline: It’s close to the end of the Season. Our female protagonist’s life is a mess! It’s just jam packed with unresolved love triangles, family issues, and massive blowout fights with former friends. And what better way is there to deal with all of your problems, than to run away from them? So, our female protagonist jaunts off to Europe (usually Paris), leaving pining boys and cliffhangers in her wake . . .
Once there, our female protagonist sees the sights . . .
and miraculously FINDS HERSELF! When she comes back, she’s a COMPLETELY different person, than when she left. Who knows? She might even have a new completely random, doesn’t belong on the show at all boyfriend!
Examples: Serena and Blair (Gossip Girl); Joey Potter (Dawson’s Creek); Brenda and Donna (90210); Holly (What I Like About You)
Why it’s a Cliche? The main character’s temporary departure from his or her home base is a great way to bring about a Teen Television Drama’s summer hiatus. If us fans are forced to spend an ENTIRE summer away from our beloved gang of characters, at least we can sleep better knowing that they aren’t hanging out with one another EITHER! Plus, filming a scene or two “across the pond” makes for a great excuse for the show’s writers to say to their producer, “I’d like an all expense paid European vacation, please. What! It’s for THE SHOW!”
A summer in another country is also a pretty good excuse to suddenly change the entire personality and demeanor of a character, without any rational explanation whatsoever . . .
“I got my new girlfriend and a frontal lobe lobotomy in Prague. Doesn’t everybody?
3) “He Loves Me . . . He Hates My Guts . . . He Loves Me . . .” – The Love/ Hate Relationship Plotline
The Storyline: He’s a playboy, and a real ladies man. But he comes across as mean, and kind of shallow. She’s a Type A personality, who comes across as cold and a bit uptight.
They butt heads from the moment they first appear on screen together. They fight, and call eachother names. They insult one another, and play nasty tricks on eachother.
But there is a passion boiling beneath the surface, that both he and she are trying desperately to deny.
At the time, he and she are both involved with other people. Their significant others notice the sexual tension laced beneath their supposed hatred, and try in vain to ignore it. But the tension only grows. Jealous and longing looks become prevalent. Lingering touches, and moments of out-of-character “niceness,” between the two make each member of the pair begin to question their feelings.
The guy in this scenario typically recognizes his feelings for her first.
(You know the drill . . .)
But he usually keeps this to himself, out of fear of being ridiculed by the new object of his desires. Then the two are placed in a dramatic situation. Suddenly their mutual passion for one another overtakes them. And they both give in to their desires.
Examples: Joey and Pacey (Dawson’s Creek); Buffy and Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); Veronica and Logan (Veronica Mars); Seth and Summer (The O.C. – sort of . . . well . . . she hated him); Elena and Damon (The Vampire Diaries); Blair and Chuck (Gossip Girl)
Why it’s a Cliche? You know how everyone always talks about how hot Makeup Sex is? A couple fights, and then they make up. All that angst and sexual energy, built up from all that red-faced arguing, is just kindling for the inevitable Orgasmic Fire of “Getting Back Together.” And THAT’S from a fight that might last a day! You can just imagine how hot Makeup Sex would be if the couple fought nonstop for TWO SEASONS!
4) “When the temperatures get COLD, the action gets HOT!” – The Ski Trip Plotline
The Storyline: I’m going to be honest, this one was less of a “storyline” and more of a “plot convention.” (Hey! YOU try to come up with ten of these things . . . It’s not as easy as it looks.) But did you ever notice how virtually EVERY teen drama features at least one ski trip? BIG THINGS always happen on ski trips too! People get drunk, get laid, get raped, or cheat on their significant other! And someone ALWAYS hurts their foot, and conveniently can’t ski!
Jenn hurts her foot, gets wasted, and almost screws Gay Jack.
Pacey and Joey do it for the first time!
Boy Meets World:
Cory hurts his foot too! And makes out with Linda Cardellini!
Other fabulous shows featuring wild and crazy teen ski trips include Degrassi: Next Generation (Darcy gets date raped), and What I Like About You (Holly comes to terms with her feelings for Vince).
Precisely NONE of these characters were ever shown ACTUALLY skiing . . .
Why it’s a Cliche? There’s just something about being away from home and your parents . . . about sleeping in a log cabin, right next to the fire. You relax. You let your guard down. You get a little slutty and make bad choices. (Except in the case of Pacey and Joey . . . that choice was GOOD!) Plus, it’s WAY cheaper to film on location in some fake ski lodge than say . . . taking your entire cast and crew to Europe.
5) “Question: What happened at Prom? Answer: EVERYTHING!” – The Prom Plotline
The Storyline: It’s the event of the WHOLE season! The entire cast will be in attendance! But not everybody is going with the person they WANT to be going with.
A couple will break up. A couple will get back together.
Someone will win prom queen.
Someone’s heart will be broken.
A couple will finally do it.
Another couple will ALMOST do it, but decide to wait . . . Oh, and someone will get wasted and make an ass of herself.
Examples: Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., 90210, Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl
Why it’s a Cliche? For every high school girl, the Prom is the culminating social event of her entire pre-college academic career. Even the most jaded of high school students (and I, myself, was already pretty jaded by that time) can’t help but dream of having the perfect dress, the perfect limo, the perfect Prom date, and the perfect slow dance. For most of us, with all that build up and preparation, Prom itself ends up being pretty anti-climactic. (The Post Prom Beach Trip, on the other hand . . . now, THAT ROCKED!). But if we CAN’T have the perfect Prom, at least we can get the joy of seeing our television friends experience it for us.
So, there you have it – Ten Trashtastic Teen Television Cliches for your viewing pleasure! Doesn’t it all make you feel OLD?
It is probably no secret to anyone who has ever stopped by this blog before (or even just examined the above “collage”), that I am a sucker for Trash-tastic Teen Television. I have been a fan of these types of shows since the age of eight. That was when I first decided that I desperately wanted to be a teen. And I have no doubt that I will remain a fan, long after I have cruised past “old age,” and am forced to squint through my coke bottle glasses, and smile through my dentures, at the sight of some pipsqueaks (who bear a suspicious resemblance to my grandkids) attending prom on my small screen.
“That is one hot threesome. Oh, when I think back to my first threesome . . . ah memories!”
Having been around the “teenage television” block quite a bit since my eighth birthday, I have come to notice a few patterns among my favorite teen dramas. Over the years, I have watched in wonder, as certain storylines traveled across decades, time zones, and networks, just to reach my lowly television set, over and over (and over and over) again . . . So I’ve decided to investigate these storylines, in hopes of FINALLY figuring out what makes them so “gosh darn special!”
1) “Hit me with a baby, one more time!” – The Pregnancy Scare and/or Actual Pregnancy Plotline
The Storyline: Our teen female protagonist has sex . . . usually for the first time. Her partner is either a long, LONG time boyfriend, with whom she has been discussing doing the deed for the ENTIRE season . . .
Or, conversely, he is a one night-stand, who she (a) barely knows; or (b) seemingly despises. There is never any in between.
In the very next scene, our protagonist learns that she has missed her period. She is FLIPPING THE F&CK OUT!
She keeps her discovery a secret from everyone, except for her best friend. And the best friend is inevitably the one who convinces the protagonist to take the pregnancy test.
Regardless of the pregnancy test’s ultimate result, inevitably there comes a time when our protagonist has to have “The Discussion” with “The Maybe Baby Daddy.”
Sometimes, he takes it well . . . usually, he doesn’t . . . at least, not at first.
Now, if the protagonist ends up not being pregnant . . . well then . . . THAT’S IT! Our protagonist is RELIEVED! She feels brand NEW! She’s CHANGED!
She will pretend this whole little sweeps week episode never happened (or, in the case of Manny Santos, and Degrassi, the U.S. will pretend this whole episode never happened . . . by NOT AIRING IT, until about 3 years after it was actually filmed). However, if our protagonist IS pregnant . . . we get stuck with a baby storyline for ALL ETERNITY (or at least it will seem that way . . .)!
Examples: Brenda on 90210 (not actually pregnant);Andrea on 90210 (actually pregnant / had baby / raised baby); Summer on The O.C. (not actually pregnant); Manny on Degrassi: The Next Generation (actually pregnant / had abortion); Liberty on Degrassi: The Next Generation (pregnant / had baby / gave baby up for adoption); Emma on Degrassi: The Next Generation (not actually pregnant / feeling left out because EVERYONE else on her show actually was); Blair on Gossip Girl (not actually pregnant); Georgina on Gossip Girl (To Be Determined?); Amy on Secret Life of the American Teenager (actually pregnant / had baby / is raising baby); Quinn on Glee (actually pregnant / had baby / gave baby up for adoption).
Why it’s a cliche?
“Hey there, boys and girls! I’ve got a message for you! Premarital sex is BAAAAAAAAD!”
Teen television programs tend to be written by adults. And even the most hip and forward thinking adults, don’t like to think about their 15-year old kids f*c*ing eachother’s brains out like bunny rabbits on acid.
So they ever so subtly try to scare the crap out of their kids, by showing them how having sex once can RUIN THEIR LIVES FOREVER! It doesn’t really work . . .
This storyline is SO overdone that precisely NO ONE is shocked or dismayed by the prospect of a female protagonist . . . missing her period. Hey writers, want to REALLY scare your kids celibate? Give your television characters crabs.
That will permanently glue your teen’s legs shut for sure!
2) “OH NO! You killed . . . what’s his name again?” – The Death of the Peripheral Character Plotline
The Storyline: There is this recurring character on your favorite show that has becoming increasingly annoying, of late.
You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you just think the character really sucks.
And you can’t wait for him or her to leave your television screen ALONE!
You spend WAY too much time bashing this minor character on online message boards, and in snarky recaps of the show. In those messages, you may or may not beg the show’s writers for said character’s untimely demise.
Then the character actually DIES.
And you’re secretly happy that you got what you wanted.
But NOW you’re convinced you are very sh*tty person. Because, REALLY, what kind of nice, normal person is HAPPY when someone dies, real or fake? Even though very few of the characters on your show seemed to like this character any more than you did, while he was alive, they all make a big show of mourning and /or having a funeral for him or her.
Your favorite character will inevitably give the eulogy for this character. And it will be all warm, and fuzzy, and heartfelt . . . and, of course, totally depressing.
And YOU will surprise yourself by crying like a baby when you watch it (probably out of guilt for openly hating the character so much . . . or . . . maybe the scene just reminds you of a dead relative). After the episode airs, the show’s entire cast will COMPLETELY forget that this dead character ever existed . . .
Examples: Scott on 90210, Abby on Dawson’s Creek; Rick on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Johnny on The O.C., that dude Serena supposedly “killed” on Gossip Girl, Percy and Reed on Grey’s Anatomy (not technically a teen show, but still . . .), Vicki on The Vampire Diaries
Why it’s a cliche? The “Very Special” Dead Person episode of any teen show is sure to be a ratings grabber, no matter how unlikeable the soon-to-be dead character was before he met his demise. Plus, killing any character on their show (even if it’s just a one-episode guest star) allows producers to run that oh-so-original . . . “SOMEBODY WILL DIE!” promo the week before their episode airs, and you know how ALL producers LOVE that promo!
3) “Hot for Teacher!” – The Inappropriate Student / Teacher Relationship Plotline
The Storyline: The protagonist has a crush on his or her very attractive (yet obviously lonely, and very desperate), teacher.
The teacher makes a lame ass attempt to rebuff the protagonists affections, but fails miserably.
Soon the student and the teacher are doing the horizontal mambo together in secret.
Someone always finds out. Someone always exposes them for the sluts they both are.
It always ends badly . . .
Examples: Pacey and Miss Jacobs on Dawson’s Creek, Paige and Mr. O on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dan and Miss Carr on Gossip Girl, Aria and Mr. Fitz on Pretty Little Liars
Why it’s a cliche? Forbidden love is HOT! And cougars are all the rage! Plus, who HASN’T had a crush on one of their teachers and indulged in a naughty fantasy, or two (or twenty) involving same?
Mine was my freshman history teacher in high school. He was pretty young, compared to most of my teachers at that time . . . probably in his mid-to-late twenties . . . and single. Actually, he kind of looked like this . . .
. . . only he was a wee bit older . . . and he generally wore shirts (unfortunately). Coincidentally, Mr. Devlin, if your reading this . . . 😉
4) “Cheaters never win, and winners never . . . whatever.” – The Cheating on a Test / Plagiarism Plotline
Storyline: The protagonist REALLY needs to pass a particular test or ace a certain paper. He or she is under a lot of external pressure to do so.
But something happens, so that he or she doesn’t have time to do the appropriate amount of studying and /or research. He or she is tempted, upon receiving answers to the test or a pre-written paper, to . . . CHEAT!
The protagonist struggles with whether or not to enter into the dark evil world of “school crime,” but ultimately does.
Because the character cheated, he or she does so well on the test or paper that his teacher inevitably wants to enter him or her in some national competition of some sort related to the aforementioned paper or test. Smothered by guilt, the character eventually comes clean. He or she then gets in trouble . . .
But not in nearly as much trouble as the character would, if caught, in . . . say . . . the REAL WORLD . . .
“It can’t possibly be worse than when I got that awful haircut . . .”
Examples: Felicity on Felicity, Andie on Dawson’s Creek, Rusty on Greek, Lindsay and Daniel on Freaks and Geeks, Spencer on Pretty Little Liars
Why it’s a cliche? One word: schadenfreude. You see, here’s the thing . . . every teen show has that one uptight overachieving character, who always gets A’s, is super judgmental of all of her “less brilliant” friends, and never seems to do anything wrong. Admit it! It’s kind of fun to see tight asses like that crack under the pressure . . .
Make that VERY fun!
5) “I’m gonna do real bad things to you . . . and make you DO real bad things!” – The “Bad Influence” Plotline
The Storyline: Our protagonist is going through kind of a “rough patch” in his or her life. He or she is therefore looking to let loose, and have some sort of emotional and/or physical release. In walks a character who is fun, adventurous, and more than a little dangerous.
Our protagonist starts hanging out with the “dangerous” character a lot.
(Click the internal link to watch!)
Before you know it, he or she is behaving just like the “dangerous” character, and getting into all sorts of trouble as a result.
The protagonists other friends are jealous of all the fun their typically boring protagonist is now having. But they are also worried. Inevitably, the moment comes when protagonist is about to get into a cr*p load of trouble with the “dangerous” character.
The friends stage an intervention of sorts.
The dangerous character rides away on the evil broomstick by which it came. All is, once again, right (and boring) with the world . . .
Examples: Abby influencing Jen on Dawson’s Creek, Georgina influencing Serena on Gossip Girl, Damon influencing Caroline on The Vampire Diaries, “The Freaks” influencing Lindsay on Freaks and Geeks, that character Paul Wesley played on Everwood influencing Hannah on Everwood, that character Paul Wesley played on The O.C. influencing Ryan and Seth on The O.C.
Why it’s a cliche? Everybody’s got a dark side. Secretly, we all want to be a little “bad” sometimes. The good news is that we can do it safely and vicariously, by watching our favorite “good” television characters “go bad,” albeit temporarily. They have fun while doing it . . . and so do we, at least until their lame friends bring them back to earth.
Well, that’s all the teen television cliches I have for tonight. But please tune in tomorrow, when I tackle love triangles, love-hate relationships, prom, the ever enlightening “trip to Europe,” and, of course, the dreaded ski trip . . .
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 . . .
Remember back in the olden days, when television shows had catchy theme songs, and opening sequences, typically featuring pictures of cast members and scenes from the show? Whatever happened to those? When was it exactly that television programmers decided that theme songs were “dorky” — that cast pictures and opening credits were just plain unnecessary? Perhaps, it happened around the same time that producers made this . . .
Call me out of touch, but I, for one, miss my TV Theme Songs. After all, “jingles” were the soundtrack to my childhood and adolescence. The opening sequences that accompanied them allowed me the few precious moments I needed to get revved up for my favorite shows. (Not to mention, they allowed me to drool over adorable close-ups of whatever actor I happened to be crushing on at the time.)
This is why today, I would like to pay homage to the theme songs and opening sequences that made me the TV Recapper I am today. These opening sequences that I am about to show you will probably be as close as I will ever come to writing an autobiography. My list begins with the first two television programs that I recall watching, back when I was still in diapers, and runs all the way through to present day. (Don’t worry, I only chose ten shows . . .)
So, without further adieu: My Life as a Series of Television Theme Songs . . .
For most of us, this was probably the first television show (and theme song) to which we were exposed. I’m pretty sure my mom was already making me watch Sesame Street, when I was still in her womb. And even though I haven’t watched the show in . . . well . . . a LONG time, its theme song still gets my toes tapping, and its colorful opening sequence still brings a smile to my face.
(Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an opening sequence on YouTube that corresponded to a time when I was actually watching this show. All the available examples either aired too early, or too late for Baby Me. Plus, apparently, Sesame Street changes their opener ALL THE TIME! Fortunately, the song always stays pretty much the same. And the above opener came closest to how I remembered the sequence, i.e. MORE pictures of puppets and LESS of random kids that I don’t know, or care, about . . . So you can get the basic idea.)
I have very vivid memories of this HBO show. (Can you believe HBO used to air children’s programming at night? Things SURE have changed . . . ) The extent to which I remember this show is strange considering that, based on the time frame during which it aired, I had to have been more or less a toddler when I was watching it. I distinctly remember, however, that its characters were awesome! Let’s see . . . there was Red, the sporty tomboy Fraggle,
Mokey, the artsy-fartsy, hippie-dippy Fraggle,
oh . . . and that other Fraggle that talked, acted, and sort of looked like Woody Allen.
Then there were the DOOZERS, blue collar workaholics that were ACTUALLY BLUE!
And, let’s not forget Fraggle Rock had one of the most kickass opening sequences of ALL TIME!
This is one of those shows that, back when I was a kid, I thought was AWESOME. However, now, sometimes, I watch it in reruns, and wonder what I was smoking back then . . . Yet, back in the day, Full House was part of TGIF, ABC’s kid-friendly Friday night lineup. And everyone who was anyone (and who didn’t have a sleepover party to attend that weekend) was watching.
D.J. Tanner was the big sister I never had, but wish I did. Little Me wanted to be just like her when I grew up, (or, rather, merely aged a few years). I even had my room decorated the way her character did on the show (same bed sheets)! Apparently, I would have been one stalkerish little sister . . . It’s probably a good thing that I was an only child.
Honestly, I shouldn’t even be including this one, because the theme song had NO WORDS, and, actually, was kind of lame. However, Home Improvement was a very important show for me, because it marked my ascent into womanhood. After all, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the middle child on the show, was my FIRST EVER television crush!
In fact, this very picture, which was probably cut out of some Teen Bop magazine from the early 90s, hung on my childhood bedroom closet door for an embarrassingly long time. Just in case, you were curious, my first movie crush was Macauley Culkin from Home Alone.
It seems kind of creepy for me to be saying these things now. But, rest assured, these were both age appropriate crushes for me at the time . . .
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
A rapping, super cheesily dressed, teenage Will Smith? How could I NOT include this opening sequence in my list?
After listening to this theme song EVERY Thursday night for TEN YEARS, I can’t even hear the first few bars of “I’ll Be There for You” anymore, without wanting to slit my wrists. But there was a time, not too long ago, when I LOVED the song, and LOVED the show! Honestly, who DIDN’T want to be one of the Friends? They were all just SO COOL! (Well . . . except for, maybe, Ross.)
Ahhhh . . . Dawson’s Creek. My lifelong obsession with Pacey Witter and his gal pal, Joey Potter began with just a few simple words, belted out by Paula Cole, “I don’t wanna wait!” (Sadly, I own, and still, on occasion, watch, the DVD’s for the ENTIRE series.) Oh, and by the way, just a note for The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity: here’s living proof that you DID NOT invent “shaky cam.”
The O.C. has been off the air for a few years now, but I am still going through a bit of withdrawal. Benjamin McKenzie’s Ryan Atwood was the ULTIMATE brooding bad boy (and pretty easy on the eyes too, I might add).
Oh, and Seth and Summer? They gave hope to EVERY nerd out there who ever had dreams of dating the prom queen.
Plus, the show’s opening sequence, put a modern spin on a musical classic . . . What could be better?
Well, folks, we have traveled long and far (20 some odd years, to be exact), but we have finally made it back to present day. And, like I said, for the most part, theme songs and opening sequences have, sadly, become a thing of the past. But fear not, because all hope is not lost . . .
While it does not technically fit the opening sequence mold (no pictures of the cast are shown here), True Blood’s “Bad Things” title sequence is everything a slightly raunchy, often funny, and fangtastic show about vampires, and other assorted supernatural creatures from the South, should be . . .
So, there you have it — my life summed up in ten television theme songs . . . Something tells me the next generation won’t be able to write a blog entry like this one . . .
[P.S. Did I forget to include YOUR favorite TV Theme Song in this list? If so, maybe I caught it in the sequel to this post, which features 10 more awesome TV Theme Songs. You can find that post here.]