I press play on my remote and am greeted by your smug smirk and playful, devilish eyes. Why do you have to be so handsome—usually the tall, dark kind?
And so obnoxiously charming? Within the first few episodes, you reveal your unbecoming mean streak. You bully people. You cheat. You yell. You fight. I tell myself that you are a completely arrogant jerk and that I will not, under any circumstances, fall under your spell like the swooning girls in the show. Why can I never stick to that?
It is clear from the start that you are the infamous bad boy, the one that has songs written about him, and stories told. In fact, I am continuing the infatuation the world seems to have with you by writing this ode now.
Behind that tough exterior, the cruel words, the countless mistakes and the punches thrown, there is always a tortured past. A poor family life, an unspoken trauma, or a great fear—something to justify your wrongdoings, or at least to explain them. While in real life, I wouldn’t be so forgiving, your home in television softens me. I forgive you nearly instantaneously, and I defend your character whenever someone questions it and believes you lack morality; I know, undoubtedly, that it is somewhere inside of you.
I decide you are really a decent guy under the bravado. You just need a little help to change for the better. You’re a good old fixer-upper. I begin to root for you. I see the good and brush off the bad, excusing it without a second thought.
Suddenly, I notice you are adorably good with kids. Or maybe you are devoted to your family. Or you secretly read classic novels. Perhaps you cry in rom coms or show up at someone’s doorsteps with flowers and an apology. Back in the first episode, I would’ve scoffed at your apologies, but now I sigh and gush over how sweet and thoughtful you are. I’m convinced you’ve truly changed, and sometimes you have.
Sometimes you grow up. You still carry a fire inside of you, but you decide to try to be kinder. To be a good man, the man that’s lurked below the surface for so long.
So I guess I don’t love you because you are a bad boy, I love you because, nine times out of ten, the TV bad boys aren’t all bad in the end.