You gotta love a good bad boy. That quintessential television character always seems two-dimensional on the page until they get fleshed out into living, breathing, brooding boys who don’t want your heart but you’re still compelled to yank it from your chest and give it to them anyway. It’s up to the actors who play them to let their softer side show through just enough to make you love/hate them and look forward to the next time they grace your screen.
I shuffled through my long list of favorite shows in my head and realized that almost every single one had one of those leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding, look-me-in-the-eyes-and-swoon kind of guys. So this topic is going to be broken into segments and we’re going to explore it over the next couple PSAs. (Because I said so.)
Jimmy Collins | Smash
Played by Jeremy Jordan
NBC’s “Smash” was a short-lived success, but there’s no denying that Jimmy’s appearance pulled the show from its slump in the sophomore season. The kid from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it in the big city was the breath of fresh air our girl Karen so desperately needed to push her to reach her superstar potential by following her own path, not the one she felt obligated to take. The actors, an American Idol runner-up and a Broadway vet, helped the characters make truly beautiful music when they finally accepted each other for who they were at their core: two people just trying to find a connection.
Nathan Scott | One Tree Hill
Played by James Lafferty
As the archetypal high school jock, Nathan was the chosen one in fictional Tree Hill, NC; literally, the son his father chose to acknowledge as family, while leaving Nathan’s half-brother Lucas to live in the constant shadow of the Scott name. Nathan was irrefutably a jerk—until he met Lucas’ BFF, Haley. And the teenage-bad-boy-meets-good-girl cliché again reared its ugly head, but the end result was such a shining, golden, lasting love that it certainly made falling for the jerk look worth it. By the end of the nine-season series, they were married with two precious kids and all the happiness anyone could want. Their little family scenes were so cute it hurt.
Jesse Katsopolis | Full House
Played by John Stamos
OK, so Uncle Jesse wasn’t really bad. He just liked to tune up his Harley, strut around in his leather jacket, rock out on his guitar, and give pep talks to his hair. He had all the accessories, just not the attitude. Instead, he was caring and funny and always there to lend a helping hand to his best friends or nieces. Underneath all the stereotypes, he was just a loving man who just wanted to find the woman of his dreams and become a great father, which he eventually did—and he looked damn fine doing it. Have mercy!