Sage has already posted her Top 5 TV Rogues and now it’s my turn! What IS it about these guys that makes us love them so much? Sure, they are all rakishly good looking. Most of them have a rebellious streak and don’t do well with authority figures. They all have daddy issues. They are all a bit emotionally stunted. So why do we love these anti-heroes?
The answer is simple: It’s the whole “my love will heal him” syndrome. All of my rogues are men who are ultimately bettered by the love of a woman (LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU ANDY BOBROW). You’ll understand that comment at the end of this post, if you don’t already. I promise.
“You walk in and my strength walks out the door.
Say my name and I can’t fight it any more…”
5) Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother
Barney, especially in the early seasons of HIMYM, is the guy at the bar who you KNOW you shouldn’t hook up with, but you do anyway. He’s just so damn charming and charismatic (much like Ryan Gosling’s character in Crazy, Stupid, Love) that you can’t help yourself when he looks your way. Barney has suits and confidence to spare. And he loves the ladies. Well, as long as they fall in the right range of the Hot/Crazy scale that is.
What I have loved so much about the Barney/Robin love story is seeing the ladies man to end all ladies men get knocked on his ASS by love. There is ALWAYS an exception to the rule and Robin Scherbatsky proved to be the exception to Barney’s anti-relationship rule. Sure there was Nora and there was Quinn, but I believe Barney was with them to try to prove something to himself. That it WASN’T just Robin he wanted to be with. But nope. It was always ultimately about Robin. Neil Patrick Harris did some of his best work of the series while pining over Robin (I again curse Jon Cryer for stealing his Emmy) and it’s been wonderful to see how Barney has tried to balance his womanizing habits with his love for one woman. Barney will always be a ladies man…except now one lady gets to be the recipient of all those pick-up lines.
That lucky bitch.
Barney is able to get away with saying things that no other guy can say (as evidenced by the recent episode where Ted attempted plays from Barney’s infamous playbook) and yet you find yourself blushing when Barney hits on you. That, my friends, is a gift.
4) Dr. Doug Ross – ER
Along with Fox Mulder, Doug Ross was my introduction into the world of loving bad boys. First of all, he’s George Clooney, you guys. Forever entrenched in my common law top 5. Second, he is a bad boy pediatrician (basically, this guy owes everything about his character to Doug). He takes care of KIDS and breaks the rules to get them better care, no matter what the personal and/or professional consequences may be. He once assaulted some abusive parents of a patient and was simply just told by his shrink not to do it again.
His shrink knew what was up.
Doug and Mark = brOTP for life. While they often clashed at work, especially when Mark was made his supervisor, they always stayed friends at the end of the day. There was nothing between Doug and Mark that couldn’t be resolved by a game of hoops.
Can we discuss how Clooney has perfected the whole half-smile/eye crinkle thing? Drool. No wonder Carol could never quit him, no matter how hard she tried. Doug may have been a womanizer during his time at County General (again, look at him) but Carol was always the woman for him.
Also, he saved a boy from a storm drain after the boy’s brother came up to his car, which was parked on the side of the road because of a flat tire. Did I mention that he did all this saving in a TUXEDO because he was on his way to a benefit. HERO. Moving on.
3) James “Sawyer” Ford – Lost
When it came to Lost, you were either a Jack girl or a Sawyer girl. I was a Sawyer girl from the moment he said the line “I’m a complex guy, sweetheart” and then my love was solidified when he shot a polar bear moments later.
It should be noted though that while his scenes with Kate were nothing short of hot (see also my Top 5 TV Kisses), I never shipped them. In fact, I was very anti-Kate in general. But that’s another post entirely. Sawyer and Juliet though? A million times yes. As I said at the beginning of this post, all Sawyer needed was the love of a good woman. Juliet’s love made him a better man. She helped become the leader he was always meant to be. And THAT is why we play into the “my love will heal him” myth, dear readers. Because of stories like this.
Thanks a LOT, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Can I send you the bill from my therapist?
As the hoarder of most of the luxury items after the crash, Sawyer was always ready with a sarcastic quip or a (often offensive) nickname. All I ever wanted was for Sawyer to give me nickname (Danny Pudi agrees with me). But underneath the wit and snark, Sawyer was incredibly wounded and vulnerable. Josh Holloway was a master of letting flashes of vulnerability show in his eyes for a split-second before putting the wall of snark back up. You always knew that he was lashing out because that’s all he knew how to do. Lindelof even once said “He’s an asshole, but he acts as an asshole because of the horrible things that happened to him as a kid” and THAT’S why we feel sympathy for him, even when he does something like steal all the guns on the Island. Because we all know that underneath the bravado is just a wounded little boy.
Do you think Josh Holloway would pay my therapy bills?
Yeah, so Sawyer was a con man. BUT HE WAS DOING IT TO GET REVENGE AGAINST THE MAN WHO DESTROYED HIS FAMILY. (#rationalization) I mean…he did not go through with a con when he saw that the couple he targeted had a little boy because he didn’t want to do to that boy what had been done to him. He later becomes very protective of the people he cares about, even jumping out of the helicopter that would have taken him away from the Island. Why did he jump? Because the helicopter was too heavy, and rather than make Hurley feel bad for weighing too much, he sacrificed his chance at escaping. Of course Jack later decides to say that Sawyer “chose to stay” on the Island, but we all know that’s just jealous bullshit. He did it so the others could get out.
See? At his heart, Sawyer was a good person. He just takes awhile to get there.
No really, Lost. Who do I send the therapist bill to?
And he delivered the line “Son of a Bitch” better than anyone in television history. FACT.
And he said Watership Down “was about bunnies”.
2) Mr. Big – Sex and the City
Big is one of the ultimate TV men who make you CRAZY. He’s very set in his ways. He has trouble communicating and trouble committing. He won’t take you to church with his mother. He’ll hog the bed and literally shove you out of it one night. He may up and decide to move to Paris without discussing it with his girlfriend. And then he may come BACK from Paris married to a 20-something knockout. And THEN he will come to you WHILE STILL MARRIED saying he made a mistake. You know. Just typical relationship stuff.
And then he would turn up for happy hour with your friends when you least expected him to. He would show up in his town car after you’ve had a terrible birthday with red balloons and champagne saying “Happy Birthday, Baby”. Or he would threaten to beat down the Russian who accidentally slapped you. Moments like that are what made Big SO MADDENING.
Big: Listen. I know what you’re really pissed off about. But it’s just something I’ve gotta do in my own time! Okay? Well, I fucking love you! All right? You know I do…. It’s just a tough thing for me to say, because it always seems to get me in trouble … when I say it. Okay?
I’m not sure when it became cool to hate on Sex and the City. Was it the dreadful second movie (that we would all like to pretend doesn’t exist)? Maybe it’s a generational thing? A good deal disdain for Sex and the City (at least what I have read) is directed at the character of Carrie Bradshaw. Look. Carrie did not do much to help her case with Big. She was neurotic and demanding and insecure in her relationship with him. She’s incredibly flawed, but so is he. They were terrible to each other and FOR each other for a long time. But that’s what made their push and pull relationship so real. They couldn’t get their timing right for SO LONG. From Big opening up to her (“What are we doing, kid?”) during a health crisis and then shutting completely down the next morning to him showing up the night before she moved to Paris with another man, he DID have an unnerving knack of popping back into her life just when she had gotten over him.
Carrie: Because, dear friend, you and I are like that red wall. It’s a good idea in theory, but somehow it doesn’t quite work.
Much like Carol and Doug there was an undeniable force that kept drawing Big and Carrie back together. I actually loved them as friends (but oh so close to being maybe more than friends) in the post-Natasha and Aidan era of seasons 4 and 5. Even though something always simmered underneath the surface between them, they became confidantes and were able to discuss their current relationships with each other. And don’t even get me started on the “Moon River” scene in the season 4 finale. Gentlemen, there is a reason so many ladies have fantasies about slow dancing in the living room.
Big: Look, I need your advice. You three know her better than anyone, you’re the loves of her life. And a guy’s just lucky to come in fourth. But I do love her. And if you think I have the slightest chance, I’ll be on the next plane to Paris, I’ll roam the streets till I find her, I’ll do anything. But if you think she really is… happy… well, then I wouldn’t want to wreck that for her, and I’ll be history.
Miranda: Go get our girl.
But when Big finally DOES realize that Carrie is the one for him, he mans up and goes for her. As it should be. Abso-fucking-lutely.
1) Jeff Winger – Community
Oh, Jeff Winger. He’s shallow. He’s manipulative. He’s narcissistic. He can talk his way out of any situation with a well timed speech. He will likely ditch your date with him so he can do a bottle episode (Tell your disappointment to suck it). He will deny he’s been flirting with you all year when confronted about it in front of the rest of the group. He keeps track of his ab mentions with notches on the study room table. He has an ego so big that it will literally turn him into the Hulk.
And he’s wonderful.
Jeff: I discovered at a very early age that if I talk long enough, I can make anything right or wrong. So either I’m God or truth is relative. In either case, booyah!
Here’s the thing with Jeff…he’s not as bad of a person as he makes himself out to be (AGAIN with the rationalization, Kim!). He doesn’t like himself very much. He clearly has relationship issues because of how his father abandoned him (I cannot WAIT for tonight’s episode where we finally meet William Winger). He covers up his insecurity with snark, but really all Jeff wants is outright acceptance. Community writer Andy Bobrow recently got into a (understatement) MINOR argument with Jeff and Annie shippers on Twitter and said this: “Jeff Winger sabotages his relationships, and that Jeff Winger, deep down, doesn’t think he deserves happiness?”
I would agree with that statement if we were talking about the Jeff of season one. But the Jeff of season three and four? He’s someone who will do anything for his friends, even if it means fetching invisible friendship hats. He’s someone who wants to leave Greendale a little bit better than what it was before because it’s the place where he found his family. He’s someone who will refuse to take History of Ice Cream without his study group, even if it means he won’t graduate early (“Not my ball. YOUR BALL.”). Jeff will always be vain and self centered. But he’s also forever changed by his time with the study group (and in my belief by falling in love with Annie Edison, but that’s where Bobrow and I will agree to disagree).
As Pierce so eloquently put it in the season three finale: “Booyah. Good person!”
Also, Jeff Winger is prone to take his shirt off at any given moment. You’re welcome ladies.
So there you have it. Between this post and Sage’s, you have our top 10. Are there any TV rogues/bad boys that you are outraged we left out? Do you have strong feelings about any of these 5 guys? Let us know in the comments!