Thursday, November 11

Bad Boy or Misunderstood?

Okay, so when I wrote the adult romantic comedy Freudian Slip, it had the requisite bad boy in Jules/Julian Shaw. Except he really WAS a bad boy, complete with drug and sex addiction, and a mean streak. The novel is as much about redemption as it is about heaven and hell. I didn't set out to make Jules a nice guy hidden underneath a bad guy. I set out to write a very bad boy who had to fundamentally change.

But in most of our romantic comedies and TV shows, our bad boys aren't really all that BAD, are they? I'm MAJORLY dating myself, but who remembers the guy here, Mallory's boyfriend on Family Ties?

Nick, play by Scott Valentine, wore an earring (OOOOH, so bad, right?). He wore a leather jacket. He may even have had a motorcycle. Well, heck, add a switchblade and replace with actor Andy Garcia, and he's a dead ringer for my ex-husband (I kid you not!). But really? Nick wasn't bad. He was MISUNDERSTOOD.

All he needed was the love of a good woman to bring out that heart of gold, right?

Somehow, that's the romantic comedy model, the YA model, it's the stuff of our romantic fantasies. Bad, but not TOO bad, right?

So tell me, who is your favorite pop culture "misunderstood" bad boy? Favorite book bad boy?

21 comments:

LM Preston said...

Gosh, so many come and go...I love them, but in real life - I stick with ones that don't end up in jail, don't treat me like meat and that yep... look hot (can't give up on the looks) All bad boys that are worth keeping around look hot.

Erica Orloff said...

LOL! Yes . . . that seems to be a requirement. :-)

Alyson Noel said...

Oh, where to begin? Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, and Eric on True Blood make for a good start!! Oh, and I recently sat near Andy Garcia on a flight--be still my heart! :)

Travis Erwin said...

I'm waiting for the trend of women who love Fat Boys. Then I'll be in like Flynn.

Josh Berk said...

Just chiming in to say that Nick from Family Ties was kinda my hero for a while back then. I was a weird kid.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I, too, remember Nick. The bad boy I'm currently loving is Luther from the British TV show of the same name.

Gingersnap said...

In junior high I was madly in love with Dallas in the book The Outsiders :)There's your misunderstood bad boy with a heart of gold *sigh* :)

Erica Orloff said...

Alyson:
If it wouldn't invade his privacy, I'd show you my ex-husband's picture. TWIN.

Erica Orloff said...

Travis:
LOL! Aww, but I think you're adorable!

Erica Orloff said...

Josh:
LOL! I liked him too. :-) Of course, now I realize how DUMB his character was.

Another good one was Becky's boyfriend on Roseanne. He actually WAS more bad than misunderstood--and really? I applauded the show for having a character like that. Sadly, the real-life actor died of a heroin overdose.

Erica Orloff said...

Lauren:
Don't know him. I'm currently into the Sherlock Holmes reinvention. WEIRD! Leave it to the Brits!

Erica Orloff said...

Gingersnap:
Good one!

Hay said...

I've always fallen for the lovable goofball, but I will admit to having a thing for Damon in the Vampire Diaries (books and series) he gets the best lines!

Erica Orloff said...

Hay:
There's always Spike in Buffy, too.

beck nicholas said...

Spike, Spike.... sigh....
=)

Alyson Noel said...

Erica- wow, I can see why you married him! And SPIKE--how could I forget SPIKE! He's my one and only. Other than Heathcliff & Eric, that is!

Merry Monteleone said...

Will from Good Will Hunting... yummy... and not just because of Matt Damon, but that didn't hurt either...

And whoever said, Dally from Outsiders, yeah, totally...

But Andy Garcia? Really? Well, alright, E!!!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Oh Eric on True Blood is my current favorite bad boy for sure. But yeah, I dated a lot of bad boys as a teen and in my early twenties. Some were just plain old evil and some may have truly been misunderstood, but they were all bad for me and the one I married has plenty of tattoos and looks like trouble, but is the sweetest guy on earth. That is the way to go!

Oh and I totally remember Becky's boyfriend on Roseanne. That show did push boundaries. It was good.

Erica Orloff said...

Merry:
Will is a good one!!!! A definitely different bad boy.

Erica Orloff said...

Stephanie:
To me, it's refreshing when shows push a boundary like that.

Melissa Walker said...

Eek, I liked Steph from Pretty in Pink. He may have been less "bad" and more "a-hole" though!