My increasingly heavy TV-watching schedule almost has me wishing for cancellation. In recent months I’ve became enamoured of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, White Collar and Modern Family, and been compelled to rewatch Quantum Leap and My So-Called Life. I’m beginning to dabble with Cougar Town, Fringe and Carnivale. Add that to Gossip Girl, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother (which is better, thank god), The Vampire Diaries and Glee… no wonder I seem to never have any time to do the things I can’t do while watching those programs!
Anyway, usually hand-in-hand with my love for a show is a crush on one of the characters. And due to my steadfast dedication to watching every episode (and alternately dramatic and pathetic love-life), I often feel like so-and-so character is my boyfriend. I don’t just wish he was, he is, as we spend some quality time together on my sofa, or in my bed, and I look lovingly into his eyes, magnanimously tolerating the latest hussy who imagines she’s won his interest.
Here are my top 10 TV boyfriends, past and present – as in life, one at a time isn’t always enough…
Scott Bakula/Dr. Sam Beckett – Quantum Leap
My first TV love, and maybe my last. With a huge heart, puppy dog eyes, a rather buff bod, six (or seven?) doctorates and complete ease with his inner (and sometimes outer) femininity, this quantum leaper is everything I could ever hope for in a beau. He sets right what once when wrong… and with style. It doesn’t get better than that
Henry Winkler/Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli – Happy Days
As a little kid, Happy Days was my very favourite show and the Fonz was a big part of why (it certainly wasn’t whiney Richie Cunningham). Seeing Henry Winkler grey (and crucified) in Scream cured the crush… but for a time, the leather-jacketed, smooth-talking greaser was cool and cute personified in my books. I dreamed of bringing such a guy home one day. I also fancied Fonzie’s movie counterpart Danny Zuko – funnily enough Winkler was the first choice for that role.
Jared Leto/Jordan Catalano – My So-Called Life
“Why are you are like that? Like, the way you are?” How I once hoped that the object of my affection would stare into my eyes and ask just that, implying my innate depth with inarticulate, puppyish awe. Or simply be as beautiful. Jordan Catalano is a classic case of still waters run shallow… but really, does it matter with a face like that? At 16, I could have forgiven him anything… probably even sleeping with my best friend in the backseat of his car. Or writing a song about said car instead of me. But not these days, now I’d want someone a little more sensitive, someone like…
Adam Brody/Seth Cohen – The OC
Oh Seth, how I miss thee. I loved him from the moment I saw him meekly sitting in his bedroom, looking up at Ryan Atwood like he was a knight in shining armour, and I loved him even more when he opened his mouth, and self-deprecating, witty geekery flowed out. I keep hoping he will pop up on one of my current favourite shows. And really, why couldn’t he? After all, The OC honcho Josh Schwartz created and produces Gossip Girl and Chuck. On GG, Seth could be Dan’s bromantic interest (to Nate’s chagrin) or a nice boyfriend for Blair, playing with ponies in her bedroom and infuriating Chuck Bass (Seth would NEVER tell Blair she’d been ridden hard and put away wet). He could be Chuck Bartowski’s superspy cousin or a Buy More employee, putting his comic book retail experience to good use while pondering the next dream. Seth Cohen is the ultimate gorgeous geek, and I’ll never tire of him.
Mike Bailey/Sid Jenkins – Skins
In a way, Sid is bizarro Seth. Or simply the British version. Both are dorky, in the shadow of their best friend and have (initially) unrequited crushes on girls that are apparently out of their league. But where Seth is actually just out-and-out cute (IRL he’d never have problems with girls), Sid’s an acquired taste… and sometimes downright terrible. He repeatedly breaks the heart of the one girl who loves him just the way he is, betrays his incapable BFF, and despite his nerdiness, he’s not even doing well in school. But beneath it all, he has a good heart, and will go out of his way for those he loves… from stealing coffins to flying to New York. He’s just himself, and you’ve got to love that. And his silly beanie!
David Boreanaz/Angel – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel
I got into the whole Buffy thing backwards. I avoided watching much of it during the peak of its popularity, but last summer, I finally gave into Miss Thropist’s constant referencing… well the world’s constant referencing really… and consumed the Whedonverse en masse. But even before, I thought Mr. Boreanaz was “oddly” attractive. He was just perfect in Dido’s “White Flag”, I had no idea what was going in that video, but whatever, he was just the kind of guy you’d quietly pine over and wonder how to reach out to. Then I saw his debut in Buffy… wow! So James Deanish, so achingly beautiful… he aged out of that pretty quickly (especially when you’re watching back to back), but Angel just grew in my estimation. He’s the ultimate tortured soul, he can kick just about anyone’s butt, and when he loves, he loves hard, whether it’s his soulmate or his son. And his awful dancing and singing is irresistibly endearing…
Josh Radnor/Ted Mosby – How I Met Your Mother
The main reason I got so into How I Met Your Mother was because I really related to Ted… so much so that I considered becoming an actress and campaigning for the part of the Mother. I thought his quest was so romantic… it’s so often the single woman in a sitcom that’s on the hunt for a husband… and I loved the storytelling framing devices. I even like Ted’s chronic douchiness – I find his obsession with architecture and appreciation of literature appealing. Everyone should be passionate and peculiar! Like Ted, I want a massive story with whoever I end up with… the kind of story it would take years to explain to my (unfortunate) children. None of this “we met in a bar… ba-boom” crap. So don’t disappoint me, show (or love gods).
Robert Sheehan/Nathan Young – Misfits
I really shouldn’t like Nathan… he’s foulmouthed, crude and sex-obsessed. Just the qualities that would usually have me running a mile. But he’s also rather beautiful, Irish-accented… and beneath the thick layers of jerkitude… a good egg. He’s oddly faithful to the chavvy but kind Kelly, and quickly accepting and protective of his confused little brother. For all his flaws, this immortal Misfit does the right thing… eventually.
Johnny Galecki/Dr. Leonard Hofstader – The Big Bang Theory
Physically, Leonard’s not quite my type. While I like his face, he seems too short. But I’m willing to overlook that because I’m a total sucker for scientific minds. Particularly scientific minds with a penchant for pop culture. I’d love to curl up on this doctor’s couch (in Sheldon’s spot, preferably) snarfing Chinese takeout, listening to his theories on the origins of the universe in between instalments of Indiana Jones (bar the most recent one, of course). I quite like the people he hangs out with too… even the blonde waitress whose likely to prove quite a rival for his affections.
Zachary Levi/Charles “Chuck” Bartowski – Chuck
If they couldn’t simply export Seth Cohen to Chuck, then they should have Adam Brody play Chuck’s half-brother via his father Stephen, who was played by Scott Bakula. Then I could properly enjoy an incestuous multi-crush on the hottest, geekiest family on TV. Chuck Bartowski has much in common with both Seth and Sam. Like Seth, he’s unsure of himself, deeply romantic and really into comic books. Like Sam, he’s constantly thrown into the deep end and forced to inhabit different roles to save the day… and he’s a genius with hidden skills. Most importantly, like my other gorgeous geeks, Chuck has strong family values. The only thing I’d change about him is his emotional verbal diarrhoea, especially during high-risk situations… because it’s the kind of thing that’s liable to get him killed one day. Possibly by me.