What’s a TV show without its leading men?
Granted, I’m not usually one who gravitates toward the alpha males but when it comes to TV, I wholeheartedly adore them. And since I’m still severely blocked – despite finding the cause of my writer’s block, I still can’t seem to write even a single sentence – I thought I’d just do the next best thing… make a list.
And here’s a list of my favorite TV leading men:
One/ Michael Westen in Burn Notice.
Played by Jeffrey Donovan, this one spy managed to steal my heart unlike that other famous British spy because he is the perfect antithesis of everything that makes me not like James Bond. First, he doesn’t drive a flashy car. Second, he’s not some lothario who has a knack for picking up bimbos who turn out to be villains. And third, he knows how to make his own spy gadget, DIY MacGyver style, which means, he’s not only handy when it comes to unraveling global conspiracies – he can fix the dishwasher too. And we all love that in a man. Sure, his relationship with his mom tend to interfere with his spy-business but what man doesn’t have mother issues?
Two/ Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl.
Played by British import Ed Westwick, I don’t think he was meant to be a “leading man” when the show first started but now that the show is in its third season, this charming little devil has turned out to be more than just a teenage lothario and an unfaithful sidekick. Not only has he managed to make us fall completely and madly in love with him when he finally told Blair Waldorf that he loved her, he has also made the transformation from troubled bad boy to confident businessman so seamlessly and effortlessly in only a few episodes, proving that Chuck Bass never does things half-assed. That’s more Nate’s job.
Three/ Chuck Bartowski in Chuck.
Played by the always funny Zachary Levi, this one reluctant geeky spy has stolen my heart from the pilot episode and he continues to make me fall for him. He may not be the typical leading man with ruggedly handsome looks and an ability to kill a man with his bare hands (but now he may just be, since the second season finale ends with him suddenly knowing kung fu) but that doesn’t stop him from being the man of our dreams. He’s sweet, endearing and a little awkward – but that’s just part of his charm. Besides, don’t we all want our spies to be a little more down-to-earth and kooky? And the good news is, he’ll be back on our screens sooner than expected! Yippee!
Four/ Demetri Noh in FlashForward.
Okay, so he’s not exactly the leading man in this show but he might as well be thanks to Joseph Fiennes’ underwhelming performance as agent Mark Banford. Demetri Noh, played by Harold and Kumar’s John Cho, is the most interesting character by far – and not only because he knows he’s going to die. He’s complex and interesting and most importantly, human and believable. If you knew you were going to die in five months, wouldn’t you react the way he had reacted so far? And let’s face it, when he came out guns blazing at the end of episode 7, it was HOT! Now who’s praying that he actually manages to prevent the future from happening? (ME!).
Five/ Shawn Spencer in Psych.
There’s a reason why this character, played by James Roday, is torn between two very attractive women (one of which is played by his real-life girlfriend Maggie Lawson) right now. He’s brilliant. He may be a fake psychic but we all know he’s a great detective. And despite his knack for silly humor and obscure 80s references, he has proven to be a true leading man when he not only took a bullet but managed to play the hero in the fall finale of the fourth season. And he has great hair. Really, what more could you ask for in a leading man?
Six/ Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory.
He may be arrogant and is borderline Asperger’s, but you have to admit he’s truly a genius. Played by Jim Parsons, Sheldon Cooper is the anti-leading man but the one you’ll most likely fall in love with not because he’s such a sweetheart – exactly the opposite, you’ll love him because he’s eccentric, annoying, anal and incredibly funny. He prefers comic books than girls, he is a suspected android, he’s devoid of empathy and he really doesn’t like it when you sit on his part of the sofa – but let’s face it, we’d totally sit at his feet and listen to him ramble on about string theory any day.
Seven/ Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries.
True, technically he’s not the leading man but let’s face it, without this character, played by the impossibly sexy Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries would be a total snoozefest. Damon Salvatore, the evil, heartless, and violent bloodsucking resident of Mystic Falls, is what makes this show so good. He’s devoid of conscience, he’s rotten to the core but he does have a soft side that he only shows in rare moments. And when his younger brother is all tortured and Heathcliff-like over the state of his vampire-ism, Damon shows what being a vampire is all about: soulless fun. And let’s face it, evil vampires are always so much sexier!
Eight/ Don Draper in Mad Men.
Yes, he frequently cheats on his wife. And yes, he stole someone else’s identity and is basically living a lie. But who cares? He’s hot! Played by charismatic actor Jon Hamm, Don Draper is the ultimate “mad man” – he’s suave, well-dressed and has a commanding presence despite his underlying insecurity. He is the true leading man because despite his many, many faults, we find ourselves forgiving him over and over again. He’s Don Draper, damn it. He’s the reason why Mad Men is the show that everyone talks about these days. And if those eyes can’t win you over, I don’t know what will.
Nine/ Jonathan Ames in Bored To Death.
Yes, I do love a big-nosed Jew, get over it. But that’s not why I love this character that’s played to perfection by Jason Schwartzman. Jonathan Ames is a quirky oddball, and he knows it. He’s soft-spoken and slightly delusional, but that’s what makes him so hilarious. He’s also going through a writer’s block, like me, so I can totally relate. He always somehow finds himself in crazy situations without meaning to, and he’s still pining over his ex-girlfriend despite not having the balls to actually make a change and win her over. He’s the leading man that most leading men despise, but that’s exactly makes him a great leading man.
Now that you know my list, who do you think should be No. 10?