My first instinct was to concoct some kind of fake accidental misconstrual whereby I assume you’re calling me Malcolm Reynolds, and then act confused about what you’re asking me if I would do or not. But it’s not actually that funny and is surprisingly hard to construct in a comprehensible way at this time in the morning.
So I’m not going to do that.
I think the answer is probably fairly simple, in that I’d probably do Nathan Fillion, but not Malcolm Reynolds.
Mal’s a bit of a dickhead really, and rampant masculinity, even when tempered with honour, a protective streak and a sharp sense of humour, is probably the biggest turn off for me on all levels.
For those who don’t know, questioneer included, Malcolm Reynolds is the Captain of a spaceship called Serenity, from the TV show Firefly. If you want to know what it’s like, you could probably do worse than reading Joe’s deconstruction of the formula.
It misses out his relationship with Inara, a companion (guild approved escort/sex worker) who travels with them. Basically, Mal invades her space/privacy, because he fancies her, she pushes him away, because he’s a douchebag, then later she saves him somehow, because she fancies him, then they almost kiss, but don’t.
It’s just your standard ‘misogyny as romance’ tv/romcom bullshit, and even though part of me roots for them to just get over it and be in love, it makes me feel more than a little sick inside. I admit to being a slave to romance in visual media, despite the connotations it has. An entire genre of film entirely devoted to telling the world that stalking is romantic.
And of course, it’s Mal’s strong silent sense honour that makes him the dream man. Despite the fact that most of that means that he doesn’t kill/steal from poor people (which should be a given) and doesn’t talk about his emotions, which is annoying.
I can’t believe that it is such a core foundational myth of modern masculinity that an inability to express emotions and talk about things is considered hot/sexy/cool/good.
If only because it makes me feel less hotsexycoolgood.
I guess it’s partly the ‘western in space’ deal of the whole show (which, incidentally, I do actually love, I should probably make that clear). Harking back to and romanticising old fashioned ideals of honour and rebellion is what the show is all about.
Of course, the fact remains that Captain Tightpants is actually pretty damn pretty.
But I’m quite glad to say I’m one of the people who can’t detach someone’s attractiveness from their behaviour and attitude to the world. I don’t think it would take long in his company to see that, while he loves people in his way, his way is filled with mistreatment and lack of respect. A subtle tinge of violence.
I don’t think I have the patience to find the kind, gentle lover within. Maybe I lack patience.
Or maybe I just don’t like dicks.
Illustration by Jaime.