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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
nogoodforme superlatives: TV's most endearing assholes
Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass
In truth, there is nothing "endearing" about Gossip Girl's resident bad boy and king of smarm Chuck Bass, the good-for-nothing heir apparent to some corporate fortune and budding burlesque club impresario. He's just a plain old asshole. And there's nothing that really redeems him as a character; he's practically a date-rapist, for God's sake, and he boned his best friend's girlfriend after watching her do some sexy dance on a stage! He's also petulant, egotistical, conniving, bratty, slutty, greedy, venal and so many things that I'd find absolutely horrifying and puke-inducing if he were a real human being. Luckily, though, he's played by a preternaturally hot British actor with mystifyingly awesome hair, and he exists in stories so wonderfully, addictively trashy, dramatic and straight up fun that you can't help but be excited when he pops up -- because you pretty much know the party's about to start, and you know he'll get the best lines in the scene, which Ed Westwick delivers with such heavy-lidded flair you kind of can't help but swoon. But the best thing about Chuck Bass is obviously his fashion sense -- it's a real testament to your talent and style when you can wear such mind-alteringly bright clothes and such preppy bowties and seersucker and not seem like a marshmallow. He's on his way to icon status with such bold choices, and you know what else? He's only a junior!
The real question is -- when is he going to get back with Blair?!!!!!! Who cares about Dan and Serena?! SO OVER IT!!!
Entourage's Ari Gold
Are there any two more delectable words in the entire English language? I honestly doubt it. My love for Ari Gold is so deep, so true, so passionate, unending, and at times unnerving, that even just hearing his name makes me smile as wild as the man himself. If I could choose a song to sing to Ari Gold as a tool for communicating my adoration, it would be "Wild Thing" by the Troggs. Ari Gold, you make everything... groovy.
I barely even think its fair to call Ari Gold an asshole. Yes, it's true: Ari is brash, insensitive, offensive, shallow and obnoxious. But just because somebody's a loudmouth, it doesn't mean they're a bad person. I wish I could holler that exact statement to the world while wearing aviator sunglasses and a skintight black leather catsuit, standing upon an elevated podium a la Geri Halliwell in the video for "Spice Up Your Life" (if you want to know exactly what I mean, fast-forward two minutes and fifty seconds into this totally bone-chilling vid).
Just like Ari Gold, I have been forced to endure massive amounts of criticism and subsequent suffering in my life because the vast majority of the world's boring Normie population can't handle a little type A to "spice up their lives" (as it were). Well, they can all go to hell, Archie Bell & the Drells. If it weren't for termagant but pragmatic scoundrels like Ari and I running loose, there would be no world at all. Ari is the kind of a man who gets shit done. He makes it happen. And then, after he's done doing shit and having it happen, he hugs it out. Would an asshole ever want to hug something out? Obviously not. Assholes punch people in the face. Follow my train of thought? Ari Gold is a good, good man.
The captivating effervescence and appeal of Ari Gold mostly stems from the complex junction between good and evil that so defines his character. Ari Gold never bullshits. Ari Gold is the most honest man there ever was. He says exactly what he means: sometimes it's kind of nice, often it's mind-blowingly rude. But I'd rather be rude and trustworthy than sweet and phony. Which leads me to the crux of my pro-Ari argument:
Ari Gold and I belong together.
Don't worry, it's as surprising to me as I'm sure it is to you. But maybe you should stop being so surface for a second! Ari may not be fey or meta- or chiseled or play the bass in an obscure late-sixties baroque-psych band, but I know so deeply in my heart that our relationship would be as functional as either of we two firecrackers could ever manage. While I do think his relationship with Mrs. Ari is very cute, she just isn't enough for him. Ari needs somebody who'll respond to his verbal abuse with eloquently delivered Simone de Beauvoir quotes, throw a tin can at his head, or give him an Indian sunburn. Ari needs to meet his match. Ari needs me.
Ari Gold is the John Lennon of Entourage (in case you're wondering: Eric is Paul, Turtle is George, Vincent Chase is Ringo, and Johnny Drama is, I don't know, Neil Aspinall or Jane Asher or the Maharishi or something). Season Five should be all about his falling in love with a scrappy, whimsically-minded fashion blogger/conceptual artist, starring me as Yoko Ono/myself. Together, we would stroll seaside in matching all-white (as he so suavely wore in Season Four's Cannes episodes). Let's storm this beach like it's fuckin' Normandy, Laura Jane, Ari would say.
And then we would hug it out.
Thankfully for me, you, and everyone else on the planet, some genius made this ten-minute "Best of Ari Gold" video and posted it to Youtube for all the world to see. Check it out, and then pack that bitch, Chop Suey!
PS: What do you think Ari Gold's zodiac sign is? I kind of suspect he's a Scorpio, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part. (Laura)
Veronica Mars's Logan Echolls
I'm having a really hard time with this one. At one point I was gonna give up and write about Jack Donaghy instead of Logan Echolls, but then I realized that Jack's softened up so much over the course of 30 Rock This Town, Rock It Inside Out, he hardly even fits into the "asshole" category at all anymore. (Saint Jackie Boy? Seems probable.) It's all very odd, since endearing-assholeness is chief among my most valued personality traits: In fact, if I ever end up telling you, "You're such an asshole - but in an endearing way!", it definitely means I've fallen in love with you (whoops!).
What's the problem, then? The problem is NO ONE ON YOUTUBE posts Veronica Mars videos that appropriately honor the glory of Logan Echolls's psychotic jackassery. It's all these weird slo-mo montages of Logan and Veronica making out in the bathroom, set to wretched emo-pop or sometimes even George Michael's "Careless Whisper." And while I'll readily admit to actually gasping out loud the first time Logan and Veronica finally sucked face, I'm much more interested in watching him attack her Chrysler LeBaron with a crowbar. 'Cause without all that crazy violence peppered with the constant spitting-out of smart-ass one-liners, you're kind of left going, "Wait, why do I love this yellow-Hummer-driving almost-frat-boy in the puka-shell necklace?", and it just gets real confusing.
So here's the evidenced-nowhere-on-YouTube genius of Logan Echolls: Unlike all those teen dramas in which the bad boy ultimately reveals his heart of gold and finds redemption, this kid just kind of keeps fucking up over and over. He does some truly vile things (ringleading homeless-boxing matches, dating Paris Hilton), then later proves his valor (and, yes, utter gold-heartedness), only to turn bad again - then good, then bad, so pretty soon you figure out good and bad are inextricably, fantastically, and maybe tragically tangled up when it comes to this tortured little rich boy. That's we love our dearly departed VM - it's so slickly dark that you might not even realize how bleak the subtext is till you're writing a mini-treatise about Logan Echolls for your style blog. God, why'd it have to end??
Anyway, since you're not going to find the true spirit of Logan Echolls anywhere inside your magic computer, better just Netflix the whole damn series. At first you'll be like, "Dude, this guy sucks!" But at some point on the second disc of season one you'll learn what made Logan the irresistibly awful boy he is today, and from then on every time "Ventura Highway" by America comes on the classic-rock or oldies station your heart will just ache and ache. It's 9,000% worth it. (Liz)
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