Warning! Spoilers for the series mentioned ahead, if you haven’t seen them!
So a lot of times, sensitive dudes get crap for showing their “feminine” sides. And I think that’s sad. Because as a woman who likes guys, I think that sensitive men are awesome! Kindness and compassion are very sexy traits for anyone to possess, but sometimes straight guys in particular get a lot of flack for being sweet. So rather than rant and rave about the injustice of it all, I’d like to highlight 6 rock-star dudes from television, who were not afraid to show their sensitive sides, and IMO, are all the cooler for it!
~ Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
This one’s a gimme. Xander is the epitome of nice guy next door, who uses his self esteem issues to save the world. He didn’t get his dream girl Buffy (though I am a B/X ‘shipper), but he got freaking FAITH, and Cordelia, and Willow, and Anya – wait, remind me why I’m supposed to see Xander as the dude who never gets a break? All the action aside, Xander’s the one who got DarkWillow to come back to Earth after saving the world in “The Zeppo,” but before giving one of “Buffy’s” best speeches to Dawn in Season Seven, about how sometimes being a regular human is one of life’s greatest challenges.
~ Ted (Six Feet Under)
I like Chris Messina so much. He was great as the beleaguered blogger’s husband in “Julie and Julia,” and in “Six Feet Under,” he plays the eternally loyal awesome dude to yet another luminous redhead. Claire is one of my favorite characters of all time, and Ted brought out even more dynamic acting and character development from the incredible Lauren Ambrose. That his face is the last thing we see as Claire crosses to the other side at 105 years old? IMO, no coincidence. Ted is great.
~ McSteamy (Grey’s Anatomy)
While I crushed hard on Patrick Dempsey as a youth, Derrick Shepard was never my thing. His frenemy Mark Sloan though? Right up my alley. 100% wiseass, yet/and vulnerable at every turn. If there was ever a character to have a real-time redemption song, it is McSteamy. I love him with Lexie (‘shipper alert!), but I love him most with Callie – a bisexual that he not only admitted was more in love with women than him, but who had his child that he is helping raise. His angst in the musical episode, towards the idea of losing his best friend that gave birth to his daughter, is mesmerizing.
Talk about a dynamic character, and an actor who rose to the occasion. More on this to come, but I didn’t really care for Ben, when I started watching “Felicity.” It seemed obvious that Noel was the right one for her, and Ben was just a roadblock. Throughout the four seasons of J.J. Abrams’s first baby, Scott Speedman helped bring total life to the character of Ben, that in the hands of lesser people, could have been fairly one-note. Instead, Ben Covington came to life as a sensitive soul who despite all his flaws, cared very much about women, and would do anything to keep them from suffering. Also, any guy who rises to being a good dad, no matter the circumstances, is pretty special in my book.
~ JT (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
From the jump, JT was my fave on DTNG. Well okay, Emma is always going to be my favorite favorite, because she’s a vegetarian with a loud and obnoxious mouth. But aside from Emma, JT was the best. He would have been the kid I liked when I was in junior high myself, because he was smart and funny, and while he was scrawny and unpopular, he never stopped believing in his own star quality. Then he accidentally got Liberty pregnant, and while he was scared out of his mind and made a few bad decisions along the way, he totally rose to the occasion and tried to be an awesome dad. Along the way, he hosted a kid show and got to date Nina Dobrev! Because he was all sensitive and stuff (paraphrase Krysi). Eventually, he got stabbed to death, because “Degrassi” “goes there.” JT is kind of one of the television saints.
~ Tie: Andy and Silas Botwin (“Weeds”)
I’ve been a fan of Justin Kirk since “Jack and Jill.” That dude is a solid actor, who can rock the serious scenes, but always brings the funny. When I rewatched “Weeds” last year, I was taken aback by how much I missed Andy in the first few eps without him. But he shows up like a firework, and though he can be a shallow, unapologetic womanizer, he’s…really not. He loves Nancy 4eva. And within the love, weirdly, just wants to be close to being as great as his brother Judah. Mary Louise Parker as Nancy is a goddess that anyone should fall in love with, out of principle, but Andy loves her for reasons that go almost deeper than the show itself – and it’s one reason I keep watching.
But I couldn’t do this list without mentioning Silas. With regard to Andy, Silas is growing up into quite the force. AKA, dude’s pretty hot. I’m not even into pretty boys per se, but Hunter Parrish is a special casting find. Thing is, that’s a plot point on “Weeds.” It led to a gorgeous scene where MLP goes toe to toe with the fabulous Julie Bowen, and now as “Weeds” goes on, we get to see Andy in the role that is usually relegated to females – a younger, fresher, even prettier person (Silas) is garnering the power, and as he can’t just become younger, Andy has to choose between acceptance of his own aging, or being one of the bitter people who makes the world more problematic. Justin Kirk and Hunter Parrish’s chemistry is wonderful. Andy gets that Silas is the “new meat” (TM “Mean Girls”) and quietly, begrudgingly, sometimes enthusiastically, accepts it. Meanwhile, Parrish is acting all over the place, showing that sometimes, even when you’re poised to be the BMOC, family comes first. His return to the minivan in Season Six is one of the saddest, most beautiful television moments that I’ve ever witnessed.
~ Angel Batista (“Dexter”)
Not sure if I’ve ever encountered a more bad-ass mushball. I just finished rewatching “Dexter” Seasons 1-4 and oh man. My brothers mock me all the time for being a LaGuerta apologist, and more on THAT another time, but frankly, I love anyone who makes Angel happy. He is SO GREAT. He is everything that inspired my crush on James Gandolfini back in 2002, but so much better, because Tony Soprano was cool, but Angel Batista is a rock star. Well okay, so is Tony, but Angel cares without trying. About life, women, kids, connections, love. His Latino roots. The roots of others who are not Latino. Trying at every turn to make people happier, to make everyone’s life better, even if it costs him.
I love Angel Batista most of all because he loves my girl Deb. Even before he was getting his rocks off with Maria, before he was “looking for a connection” with prostitutes, he treated Deb like a princess that he was decidedly not looking to screw. And the Debs of the world need that. I need that, to see that, to know that. That sometimes guys simply care, sex or no sex. It’s not weak. To paraphrase aforementioned Deb? It’s pretty fucking awesome.