Beautiful People

There have always been beautiful people on television. And what a shallow topic, you're thinking. Well, yes, it is. But they're still beautiful. Here begins the list of beautiful people:


Scotty on Cold Case
Warrick on CSI
Greg on CSI
Sean Bean

Keith Hamilton Cobb
Noah Wyle
Vincent D'Onofrio

Ashton Kutcher (yeah, yeah, but he is, I can't help it)
Conrad Dunn (see comment)


Grace Kelly
Julianne Moore

Lexa Doig

Nicole Kidman (see comment)

This list will be open indefinitely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andromeda gets several mentions in this department. First, it features a starship that seems propelled by some sort of logical technological process, as opposed to Star Trek, whose velocity is still controlled by a gas pedal.

But back to the subject. Even though she's on sabbatical having a baby, Lexa Doig's eponymously-named character is still TV's best babe. And more bonus points for how they eased her out. Well, "ease" isn't the word. At the end of last season they blew her up. She's an android see, so then they could spend all this season putting her back together again. Smart shows have smart solutions.

On the guy side, there's Keith Hamilton Cobb (Tyr), who has left the show (permanently), but during his tenure, as one of television's best "bad" good guys, he created with Sorba the kind of ongoing dramatic tension that Star Trek TNG in particular never dared try, and suffered mightily as a result. (The original series had a benign form between Spock and McCoy. Some is better than none.)

Nothing against his replacement, Steve Bacic, but "Rhade" is something of a lightweight in comparison (though a handsome one). I don't know whose decision it was--probably Cobb's--but Tyr had such a well-defined and defiant personality that it would have strained credibility for him to keep hanging around season after season.

Note that it wasn't until near the end of the series that Riker's never-ending presence on TNG made any sense at all. As my brother has argued, too bad Picard wasn't an Ahab-type borderline nut-job and Riker was stuck there to keep him from wigging out. On the other hand, credit Steve Bacic for creating a character who comes across as a tough guy, but one who really wouldn't want to strike out on his own.

Getting back to the subject again, interesting that both Cobb and Gary Dourdan (Warrick) could be described as having "rough good looks." In comparison, their white male contemporaries seem awfully pretty these days, unless they are approaching middle age (Sorbo always struck me as too square-jawed to be "pretty," and I think Sorbo has always known exactly what he is and hasn't tried to be what he's not).

And speaking of approaching middle age, I watched JAG the other day for about the second time in five years, and though to myself, David James Elliott (Harm) is definitely a decade older than when the show began. In a few shots he looked like Dan Ackroyd's only slightly younger brother. It really is time for those two to settle down. (Angel's Boreanaz definitely matured, but I didn't see him as getting "old.")

But, my God, what a basketcase of woe and intrigue they turned Catherine Bell's "Mac" (who's still pretty cute herself) into. So THAT'S what it takes to keep the leads in a serial drama from consummating a patently obvious mutual attraction.


3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kate! This is my kinda Blog!
Noah Wyle comes to mind
Vincent D'Onofrio
I will keep thinking!


3:43 PM  
Blogger Kate Woodbury said...

In reference to the rugged look, there is a difference between sexy and beautiful. They can coincide. But not necessarily. The guy who plays Scotty on Cold Case is beautiful. In a manly sort of way. But still beautiful. John Castle is sexy. Harm, from the never-ending saga of Jag, is a very handsome man but almost entirely lacking in sex appeal, which always confuses me no end whenever I watch the show (which isn't very often--look to this site for a post, someday, on the stupidity of leads who are kept indefinitely apart). Tommy Lee Jones, for who knows what reason, is sexy, but he isn't beautiful or even particularly handsome. Michael Culver, from Agatha Christie's Moving Finger, is incredibly sexy, which goes to prove that balding men don't have to be regulated to the dust heap when it comes to attractiveness.

I don't know if the same split works for women. There are plenty of women who are beautiful without being sexy. Are there women who are sexy without being beautiful? I think there probably are but I don't know if it is as acceptable a concept as it is with men. There's this whole women-trying-to-be-beautiful thing in our culture, which seems to be generated as much by women, if not more so, than by men.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but notice you're a CSI (and crime show in general) fan. Me too!

Roofing Guy

3:44 PM  
Blogger Kate Woodbury said...

I hate to add this guy but Ashton Kutcher is a beautiful person. He's almost scarily beautiful, like too beautiful. Which may explain why the 70s show people gave him the worst haircut ever. He doesn't really flip my lid; I prefer Topher Grace (Eric Forman) but Kutcher is a beautiful person.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Kate Woodbury said...

Two more to add:

Conrad Dunn is not strictly a beautiful person. This particular post isn't about "beauty being in the eye of the beholder," although I will defend that maxim in other places. However, Conrad Dunn is so unbelievably sexy, I have to include him. (He plays Saul Panzer on Nero Wolfe).

I hesitated to add Nicole Kidman since every time I've ever seen her, she's been all glammed up (as in Stepford Wives) and glammed up doesn't necessarily translate to beautiful. However, I recently watched The Hours, which I may or may not have understood, and good heavens, Nicole Kidman is amazing! She totally deserves the award for her performance, and I was struck that, absent glam, she is still beautiful. So she goes on the list.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Welch? No? OK then...

4:46 PM  
Blogger Kate Woodbury said...

What I should do is create a separate post for "handsome/attractive/we're crazy about them" people. These folks don't, bizarrely enough and despite the welter of information written about biological/evolutionary processes (processi?), always match up to The Beautiful People. Watching "The Cater Street Hangman" yesterday, John Castle playing the (sanctimonious) preacher, I thought, "Good grief, that's a handsome man. Oh, yeah, that's right, I'm suppose to be disliking him right now." Sean Pertwee (the first Cadfael series) is an example of a man who isn't really all that handsome or beautiful but still makes my heart flutter; Julian Firth (no relation to Colin, also Cadfael series) fits into this category as well (and showed up in a Poirot episode; one of the things I love about watching British TV is I keep seeing the same people over and over). Rupert Everett is uncontestably a beautiful person (oh, I need to add him) but David Suchet has got, no kidding, the most gorgeous eyes in the universe. (Well, except for an ex-boyfriend of mine.)

The thing about Beautiful People, as Dr. House says, is "it's like having a nice painting in the lobby" which sounds hopelessly shallow and, when applied to women, chauvinistic (what is it when it's applied to men?) but he means that for its own sake, beauty (human beauty) is quite pleasant. But it doesn't always correlate with desire. I suppose biologically the brain is determining the difference between beauty and accessibility; I'm not sure it matters what the biological reasoning is since ultimately it comes down to who you want to watch and go on watching. I would much rather watch James Fleet (on "Vicar of Dibley") than James Caviezel, although James Caviezel is rather devastatingly beautiful (and no, I never did see "The Passion").

(This approach does make me feel sorry for The Beautiful People. Beautiful and accessible get narrowed down to the same basket and what do a Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston do? Which explains why Hollywood seems so incestuous at times.)

7:10 PM  

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