Teen TV and That Boy

Yesterday I was thinking about what had become of Adam Brody and how he being typecast as Seth Cohen hadn’t helped him out any… then I got the idea to write a blog about the “that boy” character, but then I watched an episode of the OC as “research” and one turned into 5 and that’s why it’s taken me this long.

In an attempt to explain the that boy character I’ve made a list of qualities that the character in question should possess, not all are compulsory, but we’re looking for a good solid 4 out of 6 to qualify.

  1. That boy cannot get the girl too early
  2. That boy must skateboard
  3. That boy must like comics/books/movies to an unhealthy degree
  4. That boy must be picked on by jocks
  5. That boy must have a female best friend ( who is usually secretly in love with him, while he lusts after the prettier more popular girl)
  6. That boy must have a strong moral code
  7. That boy maintains a GPA in the high threes.
  8. That boy always has a wisecracking remark to add.

In the medium of teen TV the original that boy can be traced back to Brian Krackow in My So Called Life. As this was an early attempt the writers hadn’t yet figured out that this character had to be hot as well as nerdy. Alas for poor Brian his ridiculous hair and love of corduroy got in the way of Angela crushing on him, who knows though, had they made a second season and Brian had gotten a makeover…..
There wasn’t really a that boy in Party of 5, Griffin was basically Catalano and Justin was too fricken nice (and not indie enough) luckily though along came Kevin Williamson offering up a TV show with not one, but two that boys, and this time they were best friends. Pacey and Dawson both qualify, yet both are lacking something, combined though Capeside’s finest become an almost unbeatable that boy. Bad boy with moral code, amazing artistic sensibilities and a GPA to match? Wowzers.
Around the same time in the small town of Sunnydale CA, a that boy was emerging in the form of Xander Harris, sidekick and member of the Scoobies, in season one he showed much promise as a that boy. Willow’s unrequited love for him, his skating antics and crush on Buffy all stood him in good stead, but as the seasons drew on and the characters grew more complex, Xander transformed before our eyes, into an actual man.
In Stars Hollow, Jesse had that boy potential, but although bookish and troubled he was way too cool and attractive to ever pull it off.
On to the most important boy in all of Orange County. Seth Cohen is the ULTIMATE that boy, the that boy which all other boys will aspire to be, he possesses all the required qualities (sans the female best friend, although it can be argued Anna played that role from time to time) to such an extent that I remember the show as being about Seth, when really he was only ever supposed to serve as Ryan’s wisecracking BFF.
The current contender to the throne is one Dan Humphrey. Yes Dan has a similar self-deprecating witticism, but the fact he started dating Serena in episode one? really.. come on now.
As bookish girls who liked comics, we fell in love with these ficitional characters in the hope that they actually did exist, what we didn’t realise at the time was all these characters are written by former real life that boys (Joss Whedon, Josh Schwartz I’m looking at YOU) who really did want to date the Prom Queen.
Hell though, a girl can dream…

about the floppy haired boy

Someone posted a Something Corporate video on Strike Gently today, and it took me back to the epic crush I used to have on Andrew McMahon, don’t get me wrong, I was aware this was a guilty crush even at the time, I mean, they were on Drive Thru. The main attraction though, was entirely based around his hair – and in particular his spectacular, thick, floppy fringe that would wildly swish around as he played his piano in that adorable energetic, boyish way of his.
It got me to thinking about my ongoing love affair with floppy fringed boys in bands throughout the last 15 years and I’m shallow enough to write a blog post about it, so here we are (yeah yeah, whatever, you’re reading it)
The thing about the floppy fringed boy wasn’t so much the fringe itself but the promise of boy qualities it held.

Whether it was the super smart,bookish older brother type
Steve Malkmus, Thurston Moore)

the completely non threatening/safe as a teenage crush/slightly effeminate britpop kind
(Alex James, most of the band Marion)
the sweet little brother crush
(Andrew McMahon, Adam Lazzara)
or the grown up a little, done some stuff respectable and dateable now
(Ben Gibbard, Matthew Caws, Keith Murray)
they all had a particular and definite allure.
The floppy fringed boy is, to a certain kind of girl, equal to the perfect ethereal indie girl who wears no make up and band tee shirts, is to a certain kind of boy.
There’s a reason we all swooned over Jordan Catalano and Seth Cohen the first time we saw them, and it can’t just of been the fact they were wearing Vans.
Don’t get me wrong, these days I’m all about the beards and random gruff punk record collections, but I can’t imagine getting old with one of those dudes, you know? How long can hearing about tour only coloured vinyl be entertaining? Floppy fringed boys are the ones who are just a little bit shy around your friends, don’t start fights and read fiction books, not just music bios and message boards.
Like Adam Lazzara said “Literate and stylish, kissable and quiet, that’s what girls dreams are made of..”

P.S. Be aware these boys are far more likely to break your heart and write a record about it then any other kind of boy. They’re probably worth the risk though.

if you hear this song a hundred times it still won't be enough.

On the subject of clicking.

I was just discussing this with Fessey, and I’m not sure what I think..

Do you think you have a quota of people that you will at some stage in your life click with ? Or are you of the opinion that there are an infinite number of clicks out there available to you?

I think I might live on the slightly more pessimistic side, where there is a quota – and not a giant one at that. If there were an infinite number of clicks wouldn’t we all be in love all the time?

,

today

I’m gonna have my friends over, drink some, listen to some lifetime, go to a punk rock show and sing along with my fist in the air. It sounds ideal.

p.s.

yesterday I sat around and played my guitar for most of the day, for the first time in literally years. know what I’d forgotten – how happy it makes me. I’m like a giant fucking idiot sometimes.

and also – internet crushes – was their ever a frustrating fruit so sweet ?

I’m almost excited for September.

get stoked on it

I’m in the best mood than I’ve been in all year recently. This is due in no small part to the annual Reading time influx of boys in bands in London Town.

Thursday was the night of guiltiest of all pleasures in the form of Taking Back Sunday. I know, and we’ve been through this before, but I love them and him, in a know all the words sing a long a really loud kind of a way. So I went, got in, but found out we didn’t have passes and had to stand with the kids. It was almost liberating, it sounds much better from in front of the stage… Fucking kids though, a million cameraphones in the air. Just watch the fucking show! That way you might have a memory. I miss the 90s when only photographers had cameras and the internet wasn’t clogged up with billions of shaky, dark, some dudes on a stage pictures. Adam Lazzara seemed equally annoyed by this situation. Anyhow, it was good and it was fun and I stayed out til 7 drinking.

Yesterday ( a little hungover, has to be said) was the Gaslight Anthem in store at RTE. I was all excited about it the whole week and was right to be, cos they were fucking incredible. Super tight, great musicians, genuine and passionate. I think I love them now more than I did, and it was a pretty big problem for me before. They played mostly 59 sound stuff, but also Ida Called You Woody, Joe & We Came to Dance off the first record and Senor & The Queen and Say I Won’t (Recognize) of the EP. It was, honestly, the happiest I have been this year.

Oh yeah, as suspected, Brian is pocket sized, this just makes him all the more adorable (and for the first time ever, not in a condescending way). He’s an old soul perfectly capable of slipping into Stand By Me or Sweet Soul Music mid song, and making it sound like it belongs. I’m a sucker for all that Jersey romanticism, so I’m biased (and a little gushy) but really – this band is nearly perfect. They make me feel the way that I felt when I was 13 years old and music started making me feel somthing. That’s all.

There would be pictures in this post, but I like to actually enjoy the shows. Sorry.

I am SO excited to dance hard on monday night at the proper show. It’s going to be the best.time.ever.

I’m at Lou’s house btw, but she’s gone out to buy hair colour and I’m here alone. We’re still thinking about the intervention.

boycentric

It’s been nice to be “back in the game” so to speak, this week. That sort of feeling of hope and promise hasn’t left me yet. Which is good. Although I feel sort of guilty about it, the world/many of my friends being the way they are, and me being so goddamn chipper. There is a possibility it’s just the alcohol though.

I’m so stoked on The Gaslight Anthem having a London date. I feel pretty much the same way about them than I do about Lucero. So giant HURRAHS are in order.

Re: Matt Flags party. Well that was fun. Who knows who I was talking to for giant chunks of the evening? Ah well, good times.

Right, I’m gonna try and go back to watching a movie.