Sunday, February 19, 2006

the anatomy of fictitious men

What is it in that second X chromosome which makes women innately love chick flicks? Or at least the romantic leads involved in them? Heathcliff, Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice or Bridget Jones version), Doctor Zhivago, Lloyd Dobbler. The archetype of the love tortured, faithful and true, strong yet sensitive male.

It isn't that they are mirages. Great fiction is based on what is true. Many of these famous characters are even created by men. I have myself met many of these mythical creatures, and even dated a couple.

The fact that they are rare is what keeps us hooked. That and the fact they are two dimensional on screen, free of flaws, fated to utter incomplete perfection.

Now that I have lured you in with my educated ruminations, I bring you back to the base reason I started this debate. The men of Grey's Anatomy - whom we so lust for but yet if we dealt with in reality would so suck.

Let's start with the obvious - Dr. Alex Karev.
  • Why we love him - He's the bad boy with the hidden sensitive side. You know, the one who will change for you. Also, as the bad boy he clearly presents with an animal magnetism, his sexuality worn on his sleeve. Nummy.

  • Why in reality he sucks - They never change for you, that is crap. Also, his forewarned hidden sensitive interior will lose the battle to the harsh outside one every time it really matters. You will be hurt and betrayed over and over again, as maybe you should for expecting anyone to morph for you.


  • The flip side, Dr. Preston Burke
  • Why we love him - He's the guy who falls for you just because you are there. You push him away and push him away again, yet he just wants to get to know you. You complete him. His obvious perfection was a fallacy, he needs to use every ounce of emotional energy he has to prove to his true love that even though he has no idea what you are really like inside, he loves every ounce of that hidden darkness.

  • Why in reality he sucks - Let's see, the guy is a world class cardiac thoracic surgeon. He is in impeccable shape. He probably saves puppies and kittens in his spare time. The man is addicted to challenge, and once you cease to be one, he'll find another.


  • The longing side, Dr. George O'Malley
  • Why we love him - He thinks of you first. He gets you, he really does. Because he watches you, thinks about you all of the time. He is a sensitive guy, always there for his friends and loved ones, always taking one for the team. He is utterly devoted to you.

  • Why in reality he sucks - This guy never gets the girl. He pines and pines and waits and waits and misses his window. By the time he actually gets his gumption up to say something, he has stored up so much pent up emotion that he freaks the chick out and she turns him down flat. As much as I love the piner, the very thing that makes him in theory appealing in reality makes him undatable.


  • Finally, the romantic lead, Dr. Derek Shepherd
  • Why we love him - He is sensitive, smart, strong, and a romantic. He is also very moralistic, so much so that he pulls away from a woman he loves to make his marriage to a philanderer work. And when he looks into your eyes he sees your soul. Most importantly, he is mysterious. Oh, what ideas lurk behind those baby blues?

  • Why in reality he sucks - He wants what he cannot have. The grass is always greener, and when he gets close enough to you your lawn looks like it needs to be watered. And that mystery? It is the potential you fell for, not the reality.


  • The key to a good romantic movie or book is one believable romantic male lead and the key to a good TV series is several. The show inevitably has to jump the shark – not because the writers get stale or uninspired, but because eventually when we get to know the characters long enough we see more of the flaws than the fantasies.

    I’ll still enjoy it while it lasts. I know who my favorite is, who is yours? (Men in this case would be even more interesting to hear from, but so much less likely to have anyting to share.)

    1 comment:

    Alison said...

    I myself have always fallen for the McDreamy kind.

    Awesome post my friend. Lets wait and see what Mike has to say. He's quite the little lesbian.