Jordan Catalano, My So Called Life
I’ll accept that somewhere on earth, there’s a dyslexic, song writing (curious dynamic, there) Calvin Klein model who still shows up for school even though ~13 years passed before anyone noticed he couldn’t read; I’ll even accept that we live in a world where a self-aware and introspective young girl has mostly superficial but all-consuming feelings for a man who speaks few words and reads even fewer. These circumstances are unlikely to me, but I’ll accept them. The most perplexing thing about Jordan Catalano is that, over the course of two seasons, you never see him even speaking to another girl who doesn’t have something to do with Angela. You don’t hear girls gushing over him in the bathroom. His friends allude to him being a ladies’ man — so where are the ladies? Oh, only Angela happened to notice the brooding Adonis leaning on the same locker every day? Angela was the only one perceptive enough to see that piece of ass and think, “Do me [when I’m ready to lose my virginity, whenever that is]”? The hottest guy in high school, the deep-as-a-belly-button ‘ladies’ man’ only got laid one time during the show’s run. By Angela’s best friend. OH, OKAY.
Shawn Hunter, Boy Meets World
On what planet do orphaned kids move in with their teachers? Where how and why is that okay/ legal? To refresh your memory, Shawn’s mother bails on the family and his dad Chet (LOL) chases after her, leaving Shawn to fend for himself because the heart wants what it wants or whatever. Shawn moves in with his best friend Cory, but ultimately decides that a warm, caring family with whom he grew up isn’t the right fit. The better fit is to live with his English teacher, the too-sexy-to-be-a-father-figure Mr. Turner. Pretty sure that a shared leather collection isn’t enough to keep Child Protective Services at bay, but rock on.
Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl
I’m not clear on what any of the Gossip Girl kids did at school other than like, wear bows and sleep with each other’s boyfriends, but I do know Chuck’s extracurricular activities included sleeping with hotel maids, going on benders, and purchasing a burlesque club where he taunted his best friend’s ex-girlfriend until she performed a striptease which culminated in backseat-town-car sex. You know, just typical teenager sh-t.
Zack Morris, Saved by the Bell
Zack Morris’ greatest feat wasn’t bugging Jessie’s bedroom or convincing Screech to dress up like a woman multiple times. No, his best scam unfolded over time and was seemingly unintentional — he managed to kiss three (five, if you count Tory and Stacy Carosi, which no one does) friends and NO ONE CARED. I mean, Screech cared when Zack kissed Lisa, and Slater cared when he kissed Jessie, but the girls were all like, “Oh, you too? So cute! You guys should go for it!” (Actually, Kelly might’ve been a little peeved re: Jessie but I’m not sure she has much leverage since she let Slater and Zack double dip for like, two seasons). Also, owning a cell phone in 1988? Who are you calling with that thing, Knight Rider? GTFO.
Ryan Atwood, The OC
Ryan Atwood takes orphan-chic to new levels when a trip to jail lands him a sweet pad, a new wardrobe, and a girlfriend who seemingly has unlimited access to painkillers (not that he would take them — pills are for sad rich people). His lawyer basically pulled the “Ain’t he cute? Can we keep him?” on his moneyed wife until she agreed that Ryan could stay for a while (like, five years or something). Because kids from broken families are exactly like puppies in that if you find one on the street, you can basically just pick it up and bring it home with you, no questions asked. Bonus points if it’s adorable!
Dylan McKay, 90210
Oh, come on.