Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Well, I Like Them

Several discussions in the romance blogosphere lately have gotten me thinking about the traditional romance hero. And I must admit, even though I drool over the Adrian Pauls and the Liam Neesons and Mel Gibsons of the world, there are other things I find fascinating about a hero. And the ones I get stuck on, really really fall for, are not necessarily tall, dark, and handsome.

I think about Oliver from Jayne Ann Krentz's Wildest Hearts. In fact, a lot of her heroes are not all that, at least in looks. Sam Stark from Trust Me is another that comes to mind. A lot of her heroes could be played by this guy.

Vincent D'Onofrio is one of those actors who can look like a frumpy dock worker or a complete hottie and I don't know why. His portrayal of Det. Bobby Goren on Law and Order: Criminal Intent keeps me riveted. He's a walking encyclopedia with enough behavioral tics to drive a saint to drink, but he could frisk me anytime.

Most romance heroes also have a surfeit of charm. Boyish smiles and witty banter abound. But I can't ignore the appeal of the Beauty and the Beast tales, which appear regularly in romances. But why, I ask you, are we all mad for this guy?

Hugh Laurie has made House, M.D. into a hit. He's a brilliant comic actor, but always played kind of nerdy good natured characters. (His turn as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster was nothing short of stellar.) But House? Rude, crusty, insensitive, and women all over America are falling for him in droves. Maybe it's the whole "but MY love can change him" thing.

Git 'er done. There's just something about competence, I guess. I can't tell you how many times I've read a book where the hero started to pale next to his aide, who could flat do the job, know what I mean? And while I fully appreciate the heroism of Jack and the bad boyishness of Sawyer and the hotness of Sayid and Jin, there's really only one person I tune in to LOST for: this guy.

Yes, he's older. Yes, he's bald. But he's also, in another character's words, "God's friggin' gift to humanity." Locke, the man of faith who found his purpose for living on the island, who has embraced his destiny, is endlessly fascinating to me. I personally think, traditional romance aesthetics aside, Terry O'Quinn would make a great hero. He makes things happen; he gets things done.

Words. Women have fallen prey to the fitly spoken word of a man from the beginning of time. The non-traditional master romancer was, of course, Cyrano de Bergerac. Not the most handsome man, but full of wit and intensity, with a voice that could make angels weep. His father played the definitive Cyrano, so it shouldn't be surprising that I love tuning in to Crossing Jordan to listen to this guy:

Small picture, but no small actor. Miguel Ferrer plays a coroner, fer pity's sake. You always see him fiddling with dead people. As long as he's speaking, I'm listening in rapture. Talk to me some more. Tell me about those hemotomas and epithelials, Dr. Macy. Balding, larger than average nose, but WHO CARES? With those intense eyes and that powerful, deep velvet voice, just say anything.

Do you like heroes outside the norm?


Anonymous Michelle said...

Sometimes, I do. But mostly it's the bad boy heroes, the scarred heroes, the ones who have been hurt in the past that get me every time. 'Cuz I want to make it all better. :)

3:39 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Yup, Michelle, there it is. That Beauty and the Beast thing again. We're all suckers for it.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Swoon. Great post -- I am an admitted Locke lover (though Sayid and Sawyer are more than welcome, too) and I'd say he does have hero potiential. Ditto on Dr. Macy -- I'm still wishing he and Lily could have made things work. Though if not, why on earth did they not follow through on Lily's supposed marriage of convenience to Nigel? Whatever happened to that? Steve Valentine plays Nigel with a certain flavor that keeps me watching, and then there's that slightly maniacal, totally charming glint in his eyes. Can't discount Bug either.

Must also put in my pitch for Admiral Chegwidden from JAG. So glad John M. Jackson will be on Bones now, and it doesn't look like the character on that show is that different from the Admiral.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

YES, Anna! I ADORED Chegwidden. What is it about hot old bald guys?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Jolene*Marie said...

I for one do not know, Robyn..but..I've never liked a hot old bald guy...hah. I see enough old bald guys in the nursing home ministry...heh. I dont know...ever seen Sue Thomas F.B.Eye? Yannick Bisson is someone to consider..he's not really the guy all the girls fall for, but he kinda is. hah.

Jo's confusing comment for the day.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

But that's the point, Jo. All these guys are not hot...yet they are...

9:22 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Competence is sexy.
So is a sense of humor, an appreciation of the ridiculous.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

The only reason old bald guys aren't hot to you is because you're still young enough to be considered a fetus. Those of us ovahdahhill womens like us some baldies! Could be because we think they are showing their intelligence by not trying the toupee route. Also could be because we like the whole Jean-Luc Picard vibe--Engage!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Make it SO, number one!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

(the last part is Be Embarrassed That I Peed Myself and Have To Take A Shower!)

8:57 PM  
Blogger Jolene*Marie said...

::shakes head: a fetus? I'm not quite THAT young. Am I? haha. ::Jo sulks to corner:

4:06 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Robyn, maybe the hot bald guy thing can be attributed to the extra testosterone?

Then you had to mention Number One and remind me I have "The Pegasus" episode of ST:TNG on the DVR. Locke AND Riker in the same place? I'm dreaming, right? Do not disturb.

8:54 AM  

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