Jordan Catalano - on the worst boyfriend list
Posted: Feb 5th 2005, 7:13 am
I thought this was already posted somewhere on the site, but a search didn't turn anything up, so here it is! Miss Alli from TWoP write an article last year listing tv's best and worst boyfriends and Jordan made the list, but not in a good way:
She also did a follow-up this year on the best and worst tv girlfriends:
TV’s best and worst boyfriends
From Keaton to Catalano, the keepers and the cads
February sweeps are swinging into action, and this year they offer, among other things, the wedding of Ed and Carol on “Ed,” Phoebe’s wedding on “Friends,” a promised hookup on water-cooler favorite “The Apprentice,” and Meredith’s final series of choices on “The Bachelorette.”
It’s boyfriend season, for sure. Take a moment, then, and drink a toast to the good, the bad, and the nearly forgotten. Ane we play fair: TV's best and worst girlfriends are honored too.
Best Nixon Aficionado:
Alex P. Keaton, played by Michael J. Fox, “Family Ties”
Had Me At: “I wear a jacket and tie everywhere I go. Except train stations at three o’clock in the morning, in which case I wear a tuxedo.”
Alex was a seriously sketchy person, but an uncommonly good boyfriend. After pursuing a series of fools and sycophants, he discovered to his own surprise that all he really wanted was someone who was as smart as he was.
Not only did his initial declaration of love to the liberal and self-reliant Ellen exude charm and a shyness of which he had not seemed capable, but he later attended an interpretive dance audition to try to impress her. A guy who will dance the story of the stock market crash of 1929 to the accompaniment of the William Tell Overture will do almost anything for you.
Peter Hunt, played by Scott Bakula, “Murphy Brown”
Had Me At: “Your Clinton years are lookin’ pretty good to me.”
A dark horse, Peter was the only good match Murphy got in 10 seasons. He was cute, he was funny, and he never resented the fact that she was loud and difficult. In fact, he thought it was charming. Score!
Sadly, it was perhaps the beginning of the end of the show when the character was written out. It just wasn't credible that such an obviously worthwhile relationship would have been frittered away in the lame cold-feet scenario that was offered. Peter, incidentally, was also unabashedly hot for Murphy, despite the fact that she was in her mid-forties, which in television normally makes you too old for anything but mother-in-law roles.
Best International Spy:
Michael Vaughn, played by Michael Vartan, “Alias”
Had Me At: The moment when he introduced himself.
Okay, admittedly, getting married to someone else counts against him. But come on, he waited for the DNA testing to come back before concluding that Sydney had died in a fire. How’s a guy to know that his enemies have kidnapped his girlfriend, pilfered her dental pulp, and injected it into a corpse?
Besides, there’s nothing like watching a guy scatter what he believes to be your ashes into the ocean to cement those feelings of love.
James Falconer, played by George Clooney, “Sisters”
Had Me At: Bringing a teddy bear to a woman named Teddy. Obvious, but a quality maneuver.
I am not embarrassed to say I watched this show. In fact, this role immediately preceded “ER” in the George Clooney oeuvre, so if you want to find the original Clooney wellspring, this — and not Doug Ross — is where you should look.
As the passionate and devoted (but hair-impaired) police detective who cozied up to Sela Ward’s fiery Teddy Reed, Clooney perfected the mix of gravity and goofiness that has served him well ever since. Indeed, the best husbands remain boyfriends forever, and Falconer was a peach until the day he, unfortunately, blew up. And then Teddy went blind, and she sought revenge against the evil Gregory Harrison, and . . . okay, now I’m a little embarrassed.
Worst Washed-Up Athlete:
Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson, “Cheers”
Lost Me At: “I’ve never met an intelligent woman I’d want to date.”
Sam was not meant for monogamy. He hated it. He rebelled against it. It made him bitter and endlessly frustrated, and aside from the ready access to sex, it was never clear why he experimented with it in the first place. Moreover, he was never even particularly good at feigning enthusiasm.
Romance has its ups and downs, but it is a rare young girl who lolls about her bedroom, listening to music and dreaming of the day that someone will come along who will grudgingly tolerate her.
Worst Teenage Drama Queen:
Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, “Dawson’s Creek”
Lost Me At: One of the many times he snorted contemptuously.
Dawson was the most irritating kind of bad boyfriend, in that he was the kind of bad boyfriend who was preoccupied with what a good boyfriend he was. His Attitude-O-Meter only had two settings, labeled “obsessively sycophantic” and “patronizingly dismissive.”
Most disturbingly, Dawson was always convinced that if only his darling Joey would accept that destiny had made reservations for them on the great Carnival Cruise of Life, all would be solved. He was only controlling and judgmental, he reasoned, because she refused to accept the inevitability of it all and the depth of his love. There’s a word for that, and the word is “stalker.”
Worst Insufferable Gasbag:
Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, “Cheers”/”Frasier”
Lost Me At: Let’s see, it was that one time he tried to act young and hip to catch the attention of a woman, only to be grotesquely humiliated. No, the other time. No, the other time.
Frasier is just about the longest-running character in prime-time history, and never has he had a decent relationship. And honestly, why would he?
Who could cozy up to that air of superiority and submit herself to a lifetime of lectures about wine and opera and allegedly meaningful “art”? Who would submit to a relationship premised on the declaration, “My darling, you will always be my soul mate, closer to me than anyone . . . except, of course, my brother, who will be sitting around our living room twitching 18 hours a day for the duration of our lives together”?
Jordan Catalano, played by Jared Leto, “My So-Called Life”
Lost Me At: “Just a girl.” (said with a shrug)
A controversial choice, obviously, considering the legions of young women who still sigh over this one. And no one could have faulted young Angela Chase for pining for the emotionally unavailable Jordan, nor could she be blamed for dreaming that something lurked behind the blank expressions. It probably did.
In the long run, though, as the show’s final episode proved by revisiting one of Angela’s mother’s old loves, what is romantic at 15 or 16 has as much to do with what you are trying to prove as it does with what’s going to make you happy. Jordan’s claustrophobic reaction to his own feelings quickly wore thin. His heart never seemed to be in his periodic experiments with hand-holding and other good boyfriend rituals. And — well, he was in a band, and being in a band, like falling down during your double-axel, results in a mandatory deduction.
She also did a follow-up this year on the best and worst tv girlfriends:
TV’s best and worst girlfriends
From Ally to Rory, the honeys and the homewreckers
It's that time again, when Valentine's Day approaches and television turns its thoughts to romance. And, of course, sweeps.
Last year at this time, we took a look at TV's best and worst boyfriends, and now, it's only fair to turn the tables. Who does the sisterhood proud? Who makes us all want to say, "Uh, sorry"? Take a peek at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Best Semi-Religious Icon:
Joan Girardi, "Joan of Arcadia"
Had Us At: One of the times she screwed up, but really wanted to make it right.
Sure, Joan isn't your conventional romantic heroine, with her penchant for following instructions from various incarnations of God to join the swim team or try out for the zombie musical. And we worried a little when it looked like her head might be turned by an unctuous college student who wanted to help her discover great literature. But ultimately, Joan is hopelessly devoted to Adam, her smart, moody, talented boyfriend. A high-school girl who's smart enough to love the weird artist in the hoodie? Pretty impressive.
Kirsten Bennett, "Party of 5"
Had Us At: "I want to bury you."
Okay, Kirsten had a head cold when she asked to bury Charlie; she wanted to marry him, of course. And that was the first time she wanted to marry him, and it took a long time after that before she actually did. And admittedly, she married another guy in the middle there, and almost married another guy, too. But the point is that even though Scott Wolf and Jennifer Love Hewitt were more famous, this show was about Charlie, always, and Kirsten's ability to love him without overindulging his stupider behaviors was always one of the show's best qualities.
Best Non-Mild-Mannered Reporter:
Lois Lane, "Lois & Clark"
Had Us At: "I love him so much, and he is so dumb."
Sure, sure, "Smallville" is hipper and everything, but in the mid-1990s, Superman lore was all about Dean Cain and the pre-"Desperate Housewives" Teri Hatcher. They did the charged-banter routine surprisingly well for people whose previous credits included, respectively, playing football and appearing as a "Love Boat" dancer. While Lois was neurotic, difficult, and prone to being kidnapped and cloned, she also was awfully patient when her boyfriend had to stop an avalanche or prevent a world leader from being assassinated.
Worst Self-Righteous Hag:
Brenda Walsh, "Beverly Hills, 90210"
Lost Us At: Well, the part with everything she ever did, pretty much.
Oh, Brenda. You big jerk.
One summer, our Brenda Walsh went off to France and tried to romance a pre-Clark-Kent Dean Cain, calling him "Reeeeek" in an atrocious French accent, all while her boyfriend Dylan was supposedly at home waiting for her. Granted, Dylan was actually making hay while the sun shone on himself and Brenda's best friend Kelly, but it's always seemed like Brenda karmically deserved it, what with her smoking and her bad French and the way she didn't support Donna when Donna wanted to be exploited by a modeling agent. Brenda was rigid, judgmental, and mean, and she could even make us feel sorry for Luke Perry, which is saying a lot.
Worst Childlike Home-Wrecker:
Rory Gilmore, "Gilmore Girls"
Lost Us At: The married guy.
We always sort of want to love Rory, because she's so plucky, and she's so smart, and she's the girl everyone always wished got more action in high school instead of spending so much time on volunteer work. But after Rory's romance with Dean went bust (a couple of times), she first entered into an ill-advised dalliance with Jess, best-known as the guy everyone always wished got a little less action in high school. And after that went up in smoke, Rory went back to Dean — even though he was married. Ew. Ugly scenes of eviction and heartbreak followed. No matter how you spin adultery, it's never going to be romantic, and we thought less of Rory for thinking so little of herself.
Worst Freaking Nutcase:
Ally McBeal, "Ally McBeal"
Lost Us At: One of those insufferable dream sequences.
Even putting aside her fixation on her old boyfriend who was now married (see: Gilmore, Rory), this woman has to have been one of the poorest excuses for a girlfriend in the history of television. Everything made her insecure. Everything made her nervous. Nothing could be straightforward. Nothing could be easy. Ally McBeal was an annoying girlfriend for the same reasons she was an annoying person: nothing she ever did, said, or thought made a lick of sense to anyone not taking direction from her own hallucinations. It's surprising she dated as much as she did, considering her fundamental inability to connect with reality for more than six minutes at a time.
Worst Spineless Jellyfish:
Joey Potter, "Dawson's Creek"
Lost Us At: One of the many junctures at which she stood motionless, paralyzed by indecision.
Yes, last year brought Dawson Leery onto the list of crummy boyfriends, and his erstwhile "soulmate" fares no better. Let's see. She pursued Dawson in her passive-aggressive way, even though he really didn't want her, and then when she got him, she didn't want him, so then she dated Jack, who was gay, and then she went back to Dawson, whom she dumped for interfering with her father's drug business. (Deep breath.)
And then she dated this rodent-like college guy, but she ultimately pushed him off on some blonde chick, and then she came home and kissed Pacey, whom she dated for about five minutes until Dawson got mad and flared his nostrils and that was the end of that. (Another deep breath.)
Then she went off sailing with Pacey, and she stayed with him for a while, but then they broke up at the prom and she went off to college . . . and she slept with Dawson somewhere along the line, which was very upsetting, and then there was this relationship with Goldie Hawn's son, and she sang Carpenters songs with a dying mugger, but ultimately, she wound up with Pacey and everything was okay. And not once, during that entire sequence, did she appear capable of making a decision for herself. And that is the ultimate Bad Girlfriend maneuver.