(whenever i think of bad boys, i think of this video. CLASSIC STUDIO C!)
My sister and I have recently gotten into Gilmore Girls. Mild obsession there, totally justified because it’s just SO. GOOD. The dialogue is witty and quick, there isn’t a flimsy, undeveloped character in sight, and the story is amazing. Not to mention the ships. *clutches heart* Luke&Lorelai forevahhhh.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the story follows Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory and the ups and downs that go with growing up in a small town and trying to make their way in the world. With that comes a series of boyfriends for both women, starting with Max for Lorelai and Dean
my precious, angry ray of sunshine for Rory. Everything goes fine for Dean and Rory – they love each other, they’re adorable, they help each other…
Then Jess Mariano comes in town.
He’s super smart and loves to read, but hates going to school. In the first episode he’s in, he steals Rory’s book, writes notes in the margins, and gives it back. He’s dashingly handsome and knows it, rebellious, hates living in Stars Hollow, and basically wants to be anywhere else but where he is – and grouchily lets everybody know it.
My sister – and the entire female population of the show’s viewers, apparently – immediately fell in love. Understandably, too. He’s had a super hard life, a rough childhood, and nobody seems to see past his “bad boy” facade and try to figure out who he really is underneath that. (And my sister didn’t fall in love with him because he was hot, although it was a contributing factor. She loved him because nobody else seemed to, because she wanted to see him succeed, and because she thought he had potential. Completely understandable.)
I, on the other hand, didn’t like him. I liked Dean. Dean was precious and sweet and may have had some anger problems and was a little controlling, but there was so much LOVE between him and Rory!
If you’ve seen the show, you know what happens. (And if you haven’t, here be spoilers.) For some reason, Rory becomes infatuated with this kid. Dean notices and gets ticked. Rory tries to keep their relationship going, but she’s too distracted by the new kid. Eventually, Dean gives up and breaks up with Rory, culminating in one of the most intense throw-downs of all TV history, second only to their massive fight at the end of the third season. Rory and Jess immediately get together. Because he doesn’t know how to communicate, they work together, but not as well as they could have.
To be completely honest, I still don’t really like Jess. (WHY DOES HE HAVE TO BE SO CUTE, THOUGH?!) I want him to be redeemed, but I can’t stand how rude he is to Rory. My sister and I are at the end of the third season, and while I still don’t love him, he’s grown on me a little. But STILL. He’s gruff, rude, selfish, and does a lot of irresponsible things to get Rory’s attention. My sister and I have had a lot of conversations about him and other bad boys.
There are so many of these “bad boy” characters on the screen today. Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World, Dean Winchester from Supernatural*, Moriarty from Sherlock, Jack Harkness from Doctor Who*, Jayne Cobb (and, to an extent, Malcolm Reynolds) from Firefly, Han Solo and Kylo Ren from the Star Wars franchise, Loki from the Marvel movies, half the guys from The Outsiders, and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. (Starred are characters/shows that I’m aware of and know enough about, but don’t watch. Just fyi.)
These bad boy characters are suave, always have problems with authority, have a devil-may-care attitude about everything, are kind of cocky or disrespectful, usually don’t treat ladies well, get into fights easily, are played by super hot actors, and typically wear leather. (Does Draco wear leather? I need to look into this.)
Girls typically swoon over them faster than the “good guys” on the show, or – like me – find themselves inexplicably drawn to this character, regardless of their initial hatred. I’ve become deeply interested with the bad boy characters because they’re so interesting. A few of my favorites are Shawn, Mal, and the boys from The Outsiders. (If you’ve never liked a bad boy character, congratulations. You’re a special snowflake.)
So why are bad boys so entrancing? All of the above characteristics should be immediate turn-offs… shouldn’t they? Why do girls fall in love with them so quickly?
Well, let’s look at Rory’s situation. Jess was mysterious. He had a troubled past. (They all do, don’t they…) More than that, he needed her help. At least, she thought he did.
My theory is that Rory and other female heroines who fall in love with these types of guys have some kind of Superman complex. If only they could save this guy, he’d be such a catch! And sometimes they don’t even go that far – he’s just so hot they can’t help but want to save him, regardless of what he does in return. They pity him because of his troubled past or because “he’s just misunderstood” or because he’s just so smooth and hot and looks good lounging against a street sign when he should be in school. A friend also suggested that they promise adventure.
Most of all, women were born with an innate desire to nurture, and sometimes we pick the worst off. This leads me to always fall in love with and cheer on the underdog. Show me a slightly pathetic, deserves-everything-yet-has-nothing character and I’ll keep him for forever. Neville Longbottom, Shawn Hunter, Johnny Cade – those are the kinds of guys my mothering nature leads me to. For others, that may mean the bad boy character. If you can heal or help him, you will.
I personally think that the bad boys often have the most potential. If they can get out of that bad situation, they’ll stop at nothing to keep themselves from going back. I’ll take a redeemed bad boy over an unchanging good guy any day.
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Do you fall for bad boys or do you prefer good guys?