There are bookshops' worth of overblown romantic fiction all dedicated to the tenet that we ladies love a bad boy.
And yes, there is a lot of truth to that particular cliché, but tonight I’d like to dedicate this post to the best fictional boyfriends/husbands I’ve come across in many years of pop culture worship. These are the ones that any sane woman would choose over the brooding and furrowed browed romantic hero, who’s so busy pondering how tortured his love is that he wouldn’t notice you struggling with bags of groceries or make you a cup of tea when you’ve had a hard day at work.
So for a little while let’s forget those complicated, drama magnets and celebrate the nice guys. Yes nice. It’s not a bad thing to be. And it’s not a bad thing to be with someone who is nice, you might even be surprised at how passionate they can be.
So here goes.
- Rory Williams, Dr Who (Arthur Darvill)
Also known as The Last Centurion, Rory is the byword for steadfast, loyal and loving. And my god he is HOT in the uniform of any armed services, be they from ancient empires or alternate universes.
A nurse by profession, he realised there were things about the universe well beyond his ken, and set about reading science theories to make up the deficit. To date he’s been the ONLY one to ever enter the TARDIS and not say “But it’s bigger on the inside than the outside.”
Best moment: It’s hard to narrow down. I do love the scene in The Wedding of River Song when the Doctor takes a moment as time collapses around him to make sure Rory and Amy find each other in this alternate world. As Rory stands before him in his sleek, black army garb, the Doctor stammers, “She said you were a Mr Hottie…ness and that she’d like to go out for...texting and scones.” “You’ve really never done before this have you?”
But in all honestly his best moments are any time he’s in his Roman Centurion garb. Like the moment he breaks into the Cybermen’s ship, sonic screwdriver in hand, red Roman cloak billowing out behind him and demands in a voice so menacing for someone so gentle, “I have a message from the Doctor, and a question from me. WHERE IS MY WIFE?”
Where he can take me on our date: Having spent 2000 years guarding Amy in the Pandorica, he’s got a pretty good grasp on history. A day at the British Museum with the Last Centurion as my own personal tour guide would be a dream come true!
- Oz, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seth Green)
Now your basic Buffy fan falls into one of two categories. Those who think Angel is Buffy’s first and true love, and those that think Spike’s path to redemption makes him worthy of her (personally I just want Spike to be as naked as possible, as often as possible. Oh wait we're not supposed to be talking about bad boys).
But there’s one thing most of us agree on, that every teenage girl deserves Oz as a first love. Sure Willow went on to change teams, but regardless of that, it was Oz who showed her how amazing she was and helped her emerge from her shell.
Who can forget the first time he sees her? Playing on stage in Dingoes Ate My Baby for a Sunnydale High multicultural fancy dress party, he spies a forlorn little Eskimo, sadly huddling in her fur hood. “Who IS that girl?” he wonders aloud, his heart already pierced by her culturally accurate harpoon. She continues to cross his path, never knowing she’s won an admirer, until he literally takes a bullet for her. This leads to one of the cutest Buffy scenes in its seven-year run, as Oz offers Willow her choice of animal cracker:
Oz: Oh, look, monkey. And he has a little hat, and little pants.
Willow: Yeah, I-I see.
Oz: The monkey's the only cookie animal that gets to wear clothes, you know that?
Oz: You have the sweetest smile I've ever seen. So I'm wonderin', do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like is the hippo goin', "Hey man, where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity." And, you know, the monkey's just, "I mock you with my monkey pants!" And then there's a big coup in the zoo.
Willow: The monkey is French?
Oz: All monkeys are French. You didn't know that?
Best moment: As with Rory, there are so many, but the best has to be in Graduation Day Part 1. As Willow starts to panic in earnest at the pending apocalypse and demands Oz stop being so sensible, he suddenly gathers her in his arms, kissing her deeply. “What are you doing?” she asks breathlessly. “Panicking,” he whispers, and effectively sweeps away her fears.
Where he can take me on our date: Despite playing in a band and being effortlessly cool (he even manages to rock short sleeved, button down shirts, no mean feat), Oz is also very au fait with geek culture, seriously debating the types of kryptonite with Xander. Obviously Oz being a werewolf means there’ll be no romantic full moon picnics, but I’d be more than happy for a date that starts at the local comic shop and moves on to a cosy underground bar playing live music.
- Wash, Firefly & Serenity (Alan Tudyk)
Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne. Like Rory, another steadfast and loyal husband, with eyes only for his wife. Of course it helps that his wife is the drop dead gorgeous second in command of Serenity, and would shoot you sooner than look at you if you crossed her. But I get the impression that who ever Wash was in love with, would be the only woman in the room for him.
Rarely lost for a wisecrack and always attired from an extensive array of Hawaiian shirts, Wash’s sweetly goofy demeanour belies the skill with which he pilots the ship. He always gets his crew out of trouble, even when it cost him his life. That moment in the film as he is impaled by a Reever’s ship was truly shocking. I remember shouting out in the cinema “No!!!!”, and cursing Joss Whedon for finding yet another way to rip my heart from my chest.
Thankfully I have an entire season of Firefly episodes to watch Wash adore and worship his wife, always appreciative that this glorious creature chose him.
Best moment: He had my interest from his first scene, where he’s playing with plastic dinosaurs in the helm of Serenity, waiting for Mal and Zoë to load illegal booty into the hull.
Wash: Yes... Yes... This is a fertile land and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land and we will call it... This Land.
Wash: [imitating Dino 2] I think we should call it your grave!
Wash: [imitating Dino 1] Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Wash: [imitating Dino 2] Ha ha ha, mine is an evil laugh, now die!
Wash: [imitating Dino 1] Ahh, no God. Oh, dear god in heaven.
[sirens start blaring as Wash stares to a radar console]
Wash: Oh, motherless, son of a b...
Okay that scene doesn't make me swoon, but it sure makes me laugh!
Where he can take me on our date: Personally I have an insatiable curiosity to see the world he mentions in Our Mrs Reynolds, the one where people juggle geese for fun. Of course there’s also the way he and Zoe choose to spend their time during one of the crew’s infrequent rest stops. Snuggled naked in rumpled sheets, the pair are oblivious to the chaos going on in the rest of the ship. And that speaks volumes for Wash’s other skills!
So thanks boys, together you give me hope that out there is someone nice, funny, loyal and loving waiting for me too!