Friday, July 11, 2008

"why can't you be more like jim halpert?"

I often wonder why real-life men can't be like their superior TV counterparts. How great would it be if every awkward moment had a laugh track? How great would it be if guys actually said eloquent expressions filled with honest feelings? Men should really look to TV to see what women want. We don't need the knight in shining armor that is presented in most romantic comedies (and any woman who needs that is just lazy), and we certainly don't want the swearing-because-they're-manly gun-toting grunting-passes-for-an-answer guy that is displayed in action films (as cool as John McClane may be, no self-respecting woman actually wants that, as expressed by Holly Gennaro's absence). Besides, I think film is evolving into the next stage beyond "is it reflecting reality or is reality reflecting it," so it's not a good source for internalization of the male ego. TV, however, is one of the most accessible art forms; it certainly doesn't take a genius to understand MILF Island. Men should look to TV to find inspiration -- not necessarily to find a woman, but just to become a better person overall.

The following is a list of men I would marry without hesitation.


5. Dave Foley's Dave Nelson from Newsradio
I'm not going to lie. Dave Foley actually kind of creeps me out (and reminds me of Issabella Rossilini). He didn't age well, and I've always found him to be a bit effeminate (while hosting that poker show, I thought he had suddenly embraced his inner homosexual), but Foley still makes me laugh, like when he was a BBQ expert on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. And I imagine the comedian is not entirely unlike Dave Nelson, who I just adore. His character is stabilized by the fact that he's smart (who else could win a battle of wits against Bill McNeal?), but he also understands and can dish out sarcasm. All situations are funny, even when Lisa is mad at him for calling her a bad word (the b-one), and he's addicted to coffee. His little hurried walk around the office is also adorable. Dave Nelson was best during Season 1 and, just for fun, check out Bill McNeal's "hypothetical interviews" sketch.


4. Matthew Fox's Jack Shephard from Lost
To all the people who dislike Jack Shephard: Shut up. You're wrong. Intelligence is the numero uno necessity for me (which explains why I'm so unimpressed with most people I meet), and, unlike other characters on Lost, Shepard's progression has been natural and relatable. He didn't ask to be the leader; he just took charge. And he didn't take charge because he's a doctor; he's a doctor because he has an innate need to help people. He's why the phrase "people are born leaders" exists. Jack is juxtaposed with Sawyer (the outlaw, literally the outcast of their island society) and Locke (who bares little resemblance to the philosopher of the same name and pursues a mystical existence), and it is Jack's logic, however failing or negative it may be, that defines his role. He doesn't just come up with a plan. He has a back up plan and he understands the multiple ways in which his plans could potentially unfold. Forget the island setting; this is a trait that I find sexy in everyday life. I don't want someone like Boone who, although physically beautiful, is completely useless and gets himself killed by making stupid decisions. I don't want someone like Sawyer who makes selfish decisions for the sole purpose of irritating other people (namely Kate, ugh, hate her). I don't even want someone like Bernard -- he does whatever his wife, Rose, wants to do? Jack is strong and independent and logical (except in the future -- err -- present). Nevermind his love for Kate (which is completely illogical, she ruins everything) and nevermind his weird and trusting relationship with Juliet (seriously, why doesn't he question her more?). His intelligence comes in a nicely wrapped package (dirty pun intended).


3. Nathan Fillion's Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly
Malcolm Reynolds is an upgrade on the Han Solo archetype, and he looks damn fine in those goofy-looking pants. Nothing translates on screen quite like sacrifice, and as I've mentioned before, Mal's love for his ship is so beautiful. He's a hard character to read, but he is one of the most loyal people I've ever seen. He doesn't want people to risk their lives for him, but he wouldn't even hesitate to give his life for one of his men (which mechanic Kaylee even points out in one episode). "Why did you come back for me? You don't even like me," Simon asks him. He responds, "You're on my crew." All of the characters have really great lines in the show and, because of the seriousness of the role, some of Fillion's brilliant lines are often overlooked, but he is one oddly moral bad-ass hero. A fan made a top ten countdown of Mr. Tightpants's greatest moments here (#6-10) and here (#1-5). But outside of the 'Verse (the Firefly universe), I think having an argument with Mal would be both infuriating and rewarding. He could hold his own. I mean, he would probably just walk away and refuse to express any feelings... but there would never be a dull moment with him.


2. Zachary Levi's Chuck Bartowski from Chuck
Zachary Levi is honestly one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen. His face is symmetrical (which equals beauty, apparently), and his smile and Adam's apple are desirable. But beyond looks -- and this list is definitely not about looks -- Chuck Bartowski is everything I look for in a guy. He's smart and cute (the term is "nerdy hot"), and I would enjoy playing video games with him and Hellboy just as much as I would like sitting awkwardly on a romantic date, too nervous to say anything in fear that everything would come out wrong. He appeals to my inner geek, and he's absolutely goofy. He makes out with mirrors (for practice, of course!) and hits on deli girl Rachel Bilson by erotically describing sandwiches. He would be completely loyal as a boyfriend, and his self-deprivation humor is actually cute and not at all tiring. Sigh. He's close to perfect for me...


1. John Krasinski's Jim Halpert from The Office
Jim Halpert is the awesomest awesome that ever awesomed. His pranks on Dwight are the highlights of any episode, and nothing will ever beat the Gaydar from "Gay Witch Hunt" (my favorite episode). Truth be told, my favorite stand-alone scene is Dwight testing the Ben Franklin, but regardless, Jim Halpert is the heart of this show. He's the smartest one in the office (did I mention I value intelligence?), and he's the only character that doesn't really have a gimmick. Stanley is the grouchy one. Meredith is the sex-obsessed alcoholic. Creed is the weird old guy that says weird things and wears weird clothes. Andy is the brown-noser. Dwight is the "how did he make it this far in life" guy. Pam is the introverted love interest. Phyllis is the person who gets kicked around. Angela is the tight-ass Republican. Mindy is the most obnoxious person in the world (every office has one). Toby is the quiet and insecure guy. And Oscar is the guy that's too good for the office. But Jim? Jim is real. He's an actual person with goals and ambitions, and his best moments are not when he's pining over Pam or when he's making faces at the camera. His best moments are when he smiles because he finds genuine joy in something. When Michael wants to make a mix CD of m3ps and Jim corrects him, it's funny, but when Jim loses out on a deal with a client, he still calls it "a pretty good day" because Pam fell asleep on his shoulder during a conference. My favorite Jim and Pam moment is when Jim is annexed to the back and he keeps wanting to talk to Pam, who keeps getting visits from Roy, and he checks his messages at the end of the day and smiles when he hears Pam's voice, "Hey, this is Pam again." Out of all of the TV shows I watch and obsess over, Jim and Pam are the only couple I actually truly, sincerely care about. (When Pam cries in front of Dwight over missing Jim, I cried too. Broke my heart.) He's a simple guy who isn't very complicated and knows how to fun with such a trying world. And he can put up with Michael Scott. Jim Halpert is... perfect.

4 comments:

Margo said...

Yes!! Chuck and Jim are the absolute most amazing men ever.

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Jessica Martiele said...

Good, 'cuz I HATE Kate, too. Jack is my man of choice by far, and after this season's finale...sigh. All the more.

keyser soze said...

Man, it's amazing how much can change in a year... I no longer respect Jack as a man of science -- and certainly not as a man of love, which the writers are pushing him to be now.

Desmond is really the only male character that I care about, but I don't know if he belongs on the list of men I'd "marry without hesitation." In fact, I don't think I actually LIKE any of the characters on Lost, except Hurley and Miles. (And Juliet, but I think the writers are beginning to ruin her in the same way they're altering Jack's core personality.)