Slow Burn Crushes. They creep up on you. Here you’re just minding your own business, watching a silly sitcom, diving into some TV drama, or GIF searching for funsies or another Seriously Random List…and all the while that crush grows. At first it might just be a small smile at a well-delivered line. But soon your heart quickens when this quirky star comes on screen. Next you feel that tingle downtown. And by then, it’s too late. Consider yourself scorched.
Below we share the Slow Burn Crushes that have been burning up our panties. In comments, we invite you to share yours.
As Jimmy’s sidekick on You’re The Worst, Borges isn’t obvious lusting material. His Edgar is well-meaning and a nacho-making master, but the PTSD-addled veteran also screams in his sleep, wakes up holding knives and is often on the verge of being a homeless junkie again. But there’s just something about Borges, with his swarthy looks, his wide-eyed openness, and the meek mumbling that seems like maybe he’s suckling on a candy as he speaks. Oh to be that bit of candy…
Somewhere in that first season, I went from being weirded out by Edgar to touched by his undying devotion to doing right by his friends to turned on by his shy smiles. Pretty soon I was experiencing a tickle of pleasure when Borges did his little boogie in the opening credits. Then came “Sunday Funday,” and this sidekick got the chance to shine, out-hipping hipsters reveling in the glory of day-drinking, brunch and of course…
And just like that, I was hooked. And I learned in the comments of a recent You’re The Worst post, I’m not alone. But gang, if you peruse the show’s social media accounts, you’ll find a disheartening lack of Borges goodies. So if you’re with me on this, shout out about your slow-crush so season two will bring more GIFs and excuses to ogle. —Kristy Puchko
Elisabeth Moss has been in our lives a long time. Depending on your age and tastes, you may have first taken notice of her as that kid from Picket Fences, the kid from that Harvey Keitel movie, or— hello ’90s children— that kid from Escape From Witch Mountain. Maybe your first introduction to Moss was as President Bartlet’s whip-smart daughter on The West Wing. Or maybe you managed to miss her existence until Peggy Olson showed up at Sterling Cooper. No matter what, your first thought probably wasn’t ‘YOWZA, lemme at her.’
Maybe it was those unfortunate first season Peggy bangs, or maybe it was the fact that anyone sharing an office with Christina Hendricks would be likely overlooked. But sometime during Peggy’s eight-year run, we fell head over heels for Elisabeth Moss. It could have been Peggy’s turn towards unbridled confidence; Or maybe it was when she broke out of the Peggy mold and reminded us she was a real person, like with the ultra-unsettling, weirdly sexual and sexually weird The One I Love. Oh, or maybe it was her proclivity for the mischievous. Or heck, maybe it was just her realizing she was too good for Fred Armisen.
No matter what caused it, it happened. We fell. I don’t know if it was slowly or overnight, but here we are. In admiration, in lust, in everything with Elisabeth Moss. —Vivian Kane
PAUL F. TOMPKINS
Some crushes are based on instant physical attraction. Some crushes are based on an emotional connection. But my crush is based entirely in the medium of audio-only content. I am referring to podcasts, of course, but this crush more specifically was forged in the fires of a DVD commentary track. ‘Twas listening to the Mr. Show DVD commentaries that I learned I loved one Paul F. Tompkins.
After seeing his standup and watching him on talking head programs like Best Week Ever, I knew I was a fan. But something about listening to this person laugh gleefully at his co-stars and crack wise and sing “You’ve Got to Follow Your Balloon” in the vein of Modern English’s “Melt with You,” I was sold. So sold. And by the time I worked my way through all of his Comedy Bang Bang episodes and his own podcasts, my crush was strong and powerful. Love is love. It doesn’t need things like faces or, like, physical forms or, like, a body (as dapperly adorned as that body may eternally be). All I need is an iPhone or a DVD set to audio track 4 (3 is French probably) to set my phasers to love.
Also, one time my friend Chris took a photo of him kissing my picture. So basically we’re engaged. —Courtney Enlow
I confess, I wasn’t familiar with Bob Odenkirk before I started watching Breaking Bad. Watching his Saul Goodman, I didn’t think of him as much more than an average-looking actor playing an often hilarious character. But something changed with the spin-off prequel Better Call Saul; something … developed.
The extra screen time and wider range of plots Odenkirk has in Saul have made view him with new appreciation — with longing, even. We’ve all been there: Someone you didn’t notice in *that* way gradually becomes more attractive the more you get to know and like them. That’s me and Saul, er, Odenkirk. Talent and smarts are sexy, and Odenkirk, with his sly half-smiles and his ability to convey deep emotion in a single look, is sexy as hell.
That’s right — the folksy sheriff’s deputy from FX’s Fargo, one of the best performers on TV right now, is damn fine to look at, goofy hats and all. — Sarah Carlson
If your first impression of Jason Mantzoukas is based solely on his filthy, perverted, disgustingly hilarious Rafi from The League, you’re going to have a bad time. With getting a lady boner. However, you can begin to appreciate the kind of genius and talent that goes into making a character that causes such revulsion in an audience. You may start to look past the sister make-outs and the wiping of his ass with a towel. You start to look forward to Rafi’s appearances because you get to see Mantzoukas work. It’s weird.
Then you discover “How Did This Get Made”. You realize that Mantzoukas is well-educated, hilarious, and witty, and that his laugh his loud and genuine. You start googling Zooks to get an idea of what he looks like without Rafi’s signature aura of date rape and old sex smell. You become obsessed with his crazy beard and gorgeous face. You find several shirtless pics and even more of him wearing glasses. You realize that you have a crush on Jason Mantzoukas. A big, brainy, sexual crush. —Jodi Clager
JULIA LOUIS DREYFUS — This may be a weird choice, since Dreyfus has been in our pop-culture orbit for more than 30 years, but I never felt the slightest pang of attraction toward Dreyfus on either SNL or Seinfeld. I thought of her as I thought of all the Seinfeld characters, and as I think of Steve Carell or Tom Hanks or Amy Poehler: Very likable in a very non-sexual way. It didn’t turn for me immediately after Veep started, either. I remember exactly when it happened, though. It was her trip to Helsinki midway through season 2. She was smoking a cigarette and wearing this dress and a lightbulb nearly exploded atop my head: Dear God, Elaine Benes is super hot.
I haven’t been able to let go of that since, and the crush only got more serious when she was in Enough Said, and then her episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and then Inside Amy Schumer. She’s 54 years old, and I didn’t realize how incredibly attractive she was until she was over 50. — Dustin Rowles
You’re the Worst regularly subverts audience expectations, but no plot point or character surprised me more during the show’s spectacular first season than Kether Donohue’s Lindsay. The protagonist’s stereotypical zany, outspoken, unlucky-in-love best friend who’s far too old to be so lost isn’t exactly an avant-garde character type in 2015. Casting someone as talented, intelligent and gorgeous as Donohue in the role, though? Goddamn revolutionary.
I was ambivalent about Lindsay after two episodes, intrigued after four, and Googling “is bigamy legal?” by the season finale…and it’s all a result of Donohue’s utterly charming performance.
It’s only September, but my 2016 Pajiba 10 list is down to four open female slots. Oh, and let me know if you need help with your, uh, electronic accessory problem, Kether. I’d be happy to assist. (I mean I’ll send her some batteries, what the hell is wrong with you heathens?) —Brian Byrd
I don’t know if it’s considered a crime, but I don’t think I really became aware of Tom Hiddleston until I saw him as Loki in Branagh’s Thor, and even then I wasn’t terribly impressed. Wait. Let me backstep a second and mention that I was indeed taken with his acting, and I did kinda dig his long-haired Loki look, but when I saw what regular Hiddles really looked like…I didn’t get it at all. Cute smile, but slanted more toward goofy than sexy; no matter how many fellow Pajibans fainted and screamed, all I could muster was a squinty-eyed “meh.” The Avengers broke out, then Thor: TDW, and somewhere in and around all the hoopla, stuff like this started happening:
Then the Hiddles got together with the Tild(a)les, and they were so hot together, the internet nearly melted.
And then I wanted to be a popsicle.
I have no idea where he found those magic beans, but Tommy boy can climb my stalk any old time. --Cindy Davis