Out of the box
When it comes to television, everyone goes crazy for the clean-cut hero, the one who saves the day, the one who treats women like princesses. Think Angel, in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sam in Seasons 1 to 3 of Supernatural (before the dark forces got to him too), Joey in Friends ... the list goes on.
Not me. In my case, it is the villian of the piece who tends to inspire my virtual crushes. There is something totally irresistible about the idea of a bad boy – probably the fact that there is the potential for redemption, while we can still enjoy the ‘nastiness’, so to speak. Here are some of my favourite villians – and they’re not all male, either.
Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike (James Marsters) has to be the ultimate villain who redeems himself. He of the bleached, peroxide blonde hair, the black leather trenchcoat, constant chainsmoking and faux – yet infinitely sexy – British accent.
While hundreds of female viewers swooned at the sight of Angel’s biceps, it was the skinny Spike who held my attention. Particularly because he cuts the perfect tragi-romantic figure, first with his eternal love for fellow vampire Drusilla and eventually his doomed love for Buffy.
His witty one-liners, of course, contribute no end to the attraction.
Castiel from Supernatural: Here’s one who started out all prim and proper, as innocent as they come. After all, purity is kind of expected from an angel, right?
But if there’s one thing that commands more attraction than the lean and mean bad boy, this is the good boy gone wrong. Or, in this case, a fallen angel – and with Castiel (Mischa Collins), the term is used literally.
The first time we are introduced to Castiel, in the Supernatural Season 4’s premier, Lazarus Rising, he is annoyingly prissy. Thankfully this doesn’t take too long to change, as – major spoiler alert – our angel gets overcome by a god complex.
To make matters worse, the universe seems to humour him on this one, and our one-time angel takes on the hues of a real nasty so-and-so. At which point his sex appeal increases a hundredfold.
Irene Adler from Sherlock: This is especially true in the BBC television series version, in which Irene appears in A Scandal in Belgravia, Season 2, Episode 2. In the Sir Conan Doyle original stories, Adler is the only woman to ever catch Holmes’s attention. Adler is brought to life beautifully in Steven Moffat’s series by Lara Pulver.
Pulver portrays a cynical, witty and cunning Adler, in a way that Conan Doyle would certainly approve. Adler’s character in the BBC series takes on a highly sensual aspect that it naturally didn’t have in the novels themselves – however, this development of her character is very believable in the context.
And of course, the fact that she manages to put one over Holmes (though not for long) makes her even more attractive. Think of her as the token woman on this list.