All The Beautiful People

I would, just once, like to see a character on TV respond to another character in a realistic way.  Because, let’s face it, these people are all attractive outside the normal range.

Imagine you are the victim of a crime in the Bay area and the team from CBI shows up.  Simon Baker rests his hand on your shoulder and asks you to look into his eyes and tell him everything.  Um yeah.  You’d be offering to bear his children in a heartbeat.

Let’s say you’re new in town and you need to see a doctor, so you make an appointment with any old doctor in the practice.  Then Patrick Freakin’ Dempsey walks into the exam room.  Or Kevin McKidd.  Or Hugh Laurie, for that matter.  Even without his British accent.

Maybe you happen to dig up a dead body whilst planting a tree in your yard and the team from “Bones” shows up.  C’mon.  Even Sweets is adorable. 

Or you live in New York and you’re witness to crime and — be still my heart — Rick Castle shows up at your door.

How about we make an appointment to see one of the lawyers on “The Good Wife,” shall we?  I’ve had a thing for Josh Charles since he was Dan Rydell on “Sports Night.”  Oh hell, I’d probably go weak in the knees for Julianna Margulies, she’s so beautiful.

Are you with me here?  No one ever seems the slightest bit phased by all of this perfection standing before them.  There’s never a second glance, a blush, a stammer, a surreptitious wiping of the hand on the pants before shaking because you’re so flustered you’re sweating profusely…  None of this.  There’s no collapsing into your best friend’s arms after he walks away, no immediate phone call after walking out the door:  “You will never BELIEVE what my new doctor/lawyer/detective-looking-for-my-dead-husband’s-killer looks like!”

Now, partly this is because in American TV Land, everyone is beautiful, unless he or she is homeless or a criminal.  (Or the funny best friend, let’s not forget that rom-com staple.)  So the supporting players are nearly as delectable as the stars, and therefore, such a reaction – which would imply inferiority – simply isn’t appropriate.  And partly this must be because it’s not in the script, and I imagine you would have a very short career as an actor if you started to swoon in the middle of your scene.  “But, boss, it’s improv!  What do you mean, I’m fired?”

But wouldn’t it be great if just once, we could experience the meta moment of a person walking into a room – say, Hawaii 5-O headquarters – and saying, “Wow.  A room full of gorgeous cops.  I thought that only happened on TV.”


P.S.  We can talk another time about what all this TV beauty does to our sense of what we think we should look like…

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8 Responses to All The Beautiful People

  1. And what it does to our sense of what our literary characters should look like! I have to restrain myself from making my main characters as pretty as the actors I’d secretly love them to be played by. I’m so irritated when other writers make their main characters gorgeous, yet it’s hard for me to control my own impulse.

    Aw, Sweets is adorable! He’s such a puppy, lol.

    • It’s true! Although I recently read a “guilty pleasure” regency romance and the author seemed to go out of her way to point out how ordinary her hero and heroine were. She kept comparing them to other characters and finding them wanting. The heroine’s mother was a famed beauty and the daughter didn’t measure up (her source of endearing self-doubt); the unassuming hero fell far short of the cad in height and looks, but naturally had it all over him in character. It was such an interesting experience, as a reader.

  2. mabelgygi says:

    Yes, yes, YES! I agree with you on so many levels. Yes, Sports Night! Yes, Julianna Margulies… or Marg Helgenberger… or Melina Kanakaredes. Sheesh, they are so gorgeous.

    But before the “You’ll never BELIEVE” comes out of my mouth, I’d have to pick my jaw up off the floor. My friends would say, “What? You, speechless?” and then I’d have to say… “You’ll never BELIEVE”.

    What a riot.

  3. mabelgygi says:

    And Simon Baker? Don’t get me started!

  4. Nisha says:

    It’s so weird, I was watching a CSI dvd last night and thinking the same thing about Marg Helgenberger. A beautiful stripper turned uber-smart criminalist? Does this EVER happen in real life? LOL 😀

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