All The Guys You Used To Love Are Total Douchebags. Except, Of Course, For Preston Meyers. Prestoone.
But then I found out last night that "My So-Called Life" is streaming on Netflix Instant and while my first instinct was to lace up my Docs, dust off my plaid shirt and watch a few episodes, I started thinking about the problem that is Jordan Catalano. I used to find that kid dreamy but with the benefit of experience and hindsight one thing is plain. That kid is a dick. So I'm too old, maybe, to watch "My So-Called Life." Or I'll end up watching it and identifying with the parents instead. In the meantime, however, let's turn a colder, cautious eye on those guys who used quicken the tiger beat of our hearts.
Jordan Catalano: He wrote a love song about his car, wouldn't acknowledge you in the hallway and boned your best friend. He. Wrote. A. Love. Song. About. His. Car.
John Bender I know, I know, he's misunderstood. He has a rough home life. I still think he's an asshole. Did I stutter?
Petruchio Thankfully, Ten Things I Hate About You leaves out the part where Petruchio starves Kate in order to break her. Not even Heath Ledger could sell us on that.
Billy Hicks He plays the saxophone (blech), cheats on his wife and pretty much abandons his kid. Hey, and he makes fun of nervous virgins! Also he sweats buckets. Barrels. Vats.
Daniel Desario Daniel Desario might be fun to share a joint with and he may roll a mean twelve-sided die, but he manipulates women to get what he wants and both Lindsay and Kim Kelly deserve better.
Heathcliff Maybe you never bought Heathcliff as a romantic hero. I don't think he's written as one in "Wuthering Heights." But my first exposure to Heathcliff was in the Laurence Olivier version which conveniently stops halfway through the story. (You know, before Heathcliff starts with the kidnapping and mental and physical abuse of children.) You can get Ralph Fiennes or ol' Pillow Lips Hardy down there to try to sell me, but I'm not buying.
Dawson Leery Okay, nobody loved Dawson Leery, true. But he's the king of the douchebags and I never get tired of this photo. At least The Beek turned out kind of cool and self-aware.
Dylan McKay Ugch, just, blech. Oh sure, Brenda cheated on Dylan with "Reeeeeeck" when she was in France, but Dylan, cheated with her best friend. Gross.
Blane McDonnagh You can pop your eyes and your collar at me all you want, Andrew McCarthy, but the only reason Blane isn't a completely OBVIOUS douche is because James Spader is there to outsmarm and outcrass anyone within sneering distance. You stand Molly Ringwald up for the prom and STILL get the girl? Gross. I prefer the original ending. Also, the name Blane carries inherent douchenotes.
Joanna Robinson would like to give a shout-out to two other notable non-douchebags: Jake Ryan and Lloyd Dobbler.