Last year I posted a tremendously important and thought-provoking blog about my Top Ten TV Crushes of All Time. It was silly of me, of course, to assume that that list was exhaustive — unless I planned to never watch television again. Stands to reason there will have to be some updates and additions to the list as time goes by. And the time has come for one such update.
When I made that list I commented on how the TV characters I fall in love with seem to be getting darker and more vicious as the years go by — starting with Jerome, the friendly pink and blue giraffe (with just a touch of sardonic wit) and continuing on to Dr. House, who is all sardonic wit without any friendliness (and not at all pink or blue, except for those blue blue eyes … ahhhh). Where, I wondered, could I go from there?
That’s right — I have found a new love, and unlike Dr. House he doesn’t even have the redeeming quality of snatching people from the jaws of death. In fact he’s far more likely to shove people right into the jaws of death, with a charming smile and a quip as he slashes their throats. He’s a man’s man, ready for a fight and never happier than when wearing full armour (and those sexy leather gauntlets — is that what you call those wrist-thingies? Anyway, they’re hot!) But don’t worry, he’s also most emphatically a ladies’ man, whether he’s casually coupling with a random slave girl or heating up the screen with Atia or Cleopatra. Yes, I told you about my obsession with Rome, but I didn’t reveal that I have fallen hard for Mark Antony.
It’s hard to imagine a less appealing character on the surface. How an educated, pacificist, twenty-first century feminist can find a man sexy while he’s promising to nail Cicero’s soft, pink hands to the Senate door, or making two scantily clad slave girls swordfight for his amusement — is unfathomable. There must be something atavistic, deep inside me, that wants to admire a brutal, forceful, completely macho man. From a safe distance, of course.
Or it could just be the charm, humour, devilment and absolutely melting good looks that James Purefoy brings to the role.
Here’s a clip from the show … I won’t embed it in my blog because the language and the situation are definitely NOT family friendly … but if you don’t mind raunchiness you may catch a hint of Mark Antony’s appeal here. If you prefer something longer, more political and less raunchy, here’s a nice scene with Antony at his manipulative best. Watch his smile and how he blinks — yes, he has a sexy blink (still a bit of a language warning on this one). And of course if Antony’s negotiating skills fail him, he always has other ways of dealing with those who oppose him….
OK, enough with the Mark Antony video clips. Stopping now.
I’ll tell you one thing, this crush has certainly made teaching Julius Caesar to my Level II English class more fun. Because when ever I say “Antony” I think of Purefoy as Antony in Rome and … it just makes me a little bit happier.
However, I also want to say in my own defense that the part of me that fell in love with Jerome and with Gilligan when I were but a wee lass is still with us. I have developed another TV crush lately, this one unusual in that it’s not on an actor playing a character but on an actor/comedian playing himself (though still very much a persona put on for the show, I’m sure). Jason and I recently got hooked on the hilarious British quiz show QI, hosted by Stephen Fry, and I am just swept away and overwhelmed by the utter goofy adorableness of Alan Davies.
If you’ve never seen the show (and you should … lots of episodes on YouTube) the premise is that Stephen asks the panel ridiculously hard questions, and they get points not just for right answers but for coming up with interesting tidbits of trivia. They lose points, big-time, for obvious and wrong answers. The set-up of the show is such that Alan, the regular panelist, is like an adorable little puppy dog nipping at Stephen Fry’s aristocratic heels, always stumbing headlong into the wrong answers, virtually always losing, and just being unbelievably cute while he does it. Watch it, you’ll see.
I really thought I had overcome the bad-boy fascination by developing this crush and was quite pleased with myself for liking someone so obviously and palpably nice. Then, just before Christmas, Alan Davies got busted for biting a homeless man’s ear in a drunken fight outside a pub. So, one more point for the bad boys, I guess. Bring ’em on (as long as they’re safely behind screens!)