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Life Is Unfair: Nailing Down The Exact Moment James Spader Turned Into Your Lesbian Aunt

By Sarah Carlson and Joanna Robinson | Lists | September 28, 2011 |

By Sarah Carlson and Joanna Robinson | Lists | September 28, 2011 |

For a while there, we thought the has-to-be-Botoxed face of Whitney Cummings would be the worst thing NBC would be beaming into our livings room this fall. But then we saw promos like this one:

WHOA WHOA what the whoa. … Is that you, James? The receding hairline, bulging belly and goofy faces have us confused, and not in the pleasant way we usually find ourselves in when we stumble across White Palace on TV late at night. What happened? The hotness — Where did the hotness go? You’re only 51, but you’ve morphed from a droopy-eyed sex symbol to everyone’s lesbian aunt. You’re not ripping Susan Sarandon’s clothes off, or even simply undressing Molly Ringwald with your eyes. No, you’re loading your reusable canvas totes into the back of your Subaru Outback while your Teva-wearing partner buckles up the family golden retriever. You know who else is 51? George Clooney! Unlike him, you took a wrong turn somewhere, and it’s causing us to die inside.

How did this come to pass? Let’s break it down, focusing on your various categories of hottitude throughout the years.

Pretty in Pink (1986): Prep Hot
You may have peaked too early in John Hughes’ classic with your role as Steff, the privileged richie who couldn’t understand why Ringwald, as the girl-from-the-other-side-of-the-tracks, wouldn’t give you the time of day. You were about 25 playing about 18, but, oh, how you wore those linen suits and loafers. Even the way you leaned was sexy. This is quintessential Spader. Long may you live in our hearts.

Mannequin (1987): Greasy Slimeball Hot
This is, at its heart, a sweet fuzzy romance about a boy who wants to f*ck a mannequin. You were neither the boy nor the mannequin nor, truth be told, very hot, but we would be remiss in cataloging your greatness if we neglected to mention this, the apex of your acting career.

sex lies and videotape (1989): Loner Emo Outsider Hot
This is where many fell in love with you, Spader. Oh, sure, you’re working some Farah hair, and, fine, you might want to reconsider the plunging neckline, but good god damn your hotness was so electric you even made that limp, deflated party balloon Andie MacDowell seem sexy by proxy.

White Palace (1990): Prep Hot 2.0
You’re 30 in this, but somehow you look younger than your Steff days. No matter: the older Nora (Sarandon), a waitress, likes what she sees in your preppy lawyer self. That poofy hair, that delicate skin — you can work what most straight men can’t. Robbing the cradle never looked so good. Nice shot of your backside, BTW.

Stargate (1994): Nerd Hot
In a never ending parade of beefcake military types, and scantily diapered natives, it was you, Spader, who landed all the alternate dimension/alien/vaguely Egyptian tail. Was it your sexy glottal stops? Your more manicured mullet? Your willingness to sample some strange meat? Your sassy man jewelry? Whatever it was, it worked.

2 Days In The Valley ( 1996): Psycho Hot
Oh, sure, James, Charlize Theron got all the attention in this movie with her white clingy lingerie, and her white clingy bodysuits and her red suppurating abdominal wound. But some of us were mesmerized by you. You and your thick framed glasses (which would become a signature look) and your stopwatch. Latex and firearms and yes.

Secretary (2002): Freaky Hot
After a disappointing dry spell in your career, you came back to us for a little S&M with Maggie Gyllenhaal, proving you still had your sex appeal. Even as the two of you were chained to a tree, going it at it, we were reminded all over again why we lusted after you in the ’90s. We wanted to be that tree.

“Boston Legal” (2004-2008): Um, Uh … Oh
This is where things started to go south. Is The Bloat contagious?

And now we reach “The Office.”
NO. This is not where we thought you were headed, Spader. It was the years working with Shatner that did this to you, wasn’t it? If you start shelling online ticket deals, we’re burning Hollywood to the ground. That doesn’t make sense, we know, but then again, your transformation doesn’t either.

Is there any way you can go back? Any deal with the devil to be made for the return of your luscious locks? Actors have sold their souls for less. Think about it. In the meantime, we’ll be reliving your greatest hits.

Joanna and Sarah would have mentioned Crash, but they have associative Haggis Scarring.

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