In Defense of Christopher

WOW….. not too eloquent, but really all I can say after returning from an afternoon away from my MAC (computer & dog) to come home and discover 21 (and counting) very interesting comments with regards to my upcoming interview with David Sutcliffe.

I must say I’m disappointed (not really surprised) at the negative tone of some of the comments. I think fans of the show have to keep in mind a few things:

1) David is an actor doing a job! While I understand Luke & Lorelai Shippers desperately want to see them happy, negative energy/comments shouldn’t be directed towards David. He is an actor getting paid to do a job – one he does exceptionally well in my opinion. I say this, not to kiss some serious butt, but rather because his fantastic portrayal of Christopher is part of what infuriates me as a fan of Gilmore Girls (in a good way!). I can honestly say that Lorelai could live happily ever after with either Luke or Chris, which is a tribute to the acting ability of David, Scott and Lauren.

2) I think fans have to realize that just seeing Luke & Lorelai happy season after season doesn’t make for compelling television. Christopher plays a very integral role that keeps the show interesting. He puts the DRAMA into the Dramedy that is GILMORE GIRLS. Without Christopher constantly popping up in Stars Hollow at the worst possible time, the show wouldn’t be nearly as great, and devoted fans would have absolutely nothing to talk about!

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  • Babette

    Just because you want to kiss his butt, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to. I respect DS as an actor and don’t want to see him out of work, but I’d rather see him elsewhere.

    If you’re going to ask for comments and questions from GG fans, you should expect that most of them are going to be pissed off. Don’t ask if you don’t want to hear the answers.

  • Babette,

    I appreciate your opinion about Christopher – but let me ask you this – why is Christopher at fault? Was it not Lorelai who went back to his house and cheated on Luke? Why isn’t everyone angry at Lorelai?

  • Babette

    Oh they are disappointed in Lorelai, but she was out of her mind with grief when she went to Christopher’s apt. He took advantage of an emotionally wrought “friend” and should be ashamed of himself. Even if she begged him to sleep with her, what kind of man would do that knowing the woman was so distraught over breaking up with her fiance just hours ago? And she still had her ring on? AND his child was home at the time?

    Again, DS is a fine actor. I just wish he had another gig. Since obviously Amy only uses Christopher to muck things up for Luke and Lorelai whenever DS is available to work.

    So I’m just saying, David….I wish you nothing but luck and success. I hope you find another gig with your own show that is a huge hit and stays on the air for ten seasons!!!

  • Elizabeth

    You apparently haven’t seen the boards where people are calling her Whorelai. Others see that last scene as Chris taking advantage of Lorelai’s emotional state. I am taking a wait and see approach, myself. Frankly, I would find it more interesting and be able to believe Chris as more of a threat if they hadn’t had sex, but I don’t get a vote.

    And I really don’t wish David anything but the best, thus my interest in other projects. I agree that it is David’s charm that has kept Christopher a viable option for many people. To go to the shallow end of the pool for a moment, I miss his longer hair. Circa s2.

  • Denise

    I don’t have any strong feelings one way or other about DS. He’s an actor and he’s being paid to do a job so more power to him. But I have to respond to your second point.

    Okay so Luke and Lorelai being happy season after season doesn’t make for compelling televison. When exactly have they ever been that happy? A few episodes in season 5 before Christopher again came in to stir up trouble? This season when Lorelai was distracted and sad about Rory? Later this season when April was introduced? I don’t think anyone is expecting or even wants a fluffy bunnies type scenario for L/L. But how about drama that’s a bit more original?

    So Christopher plays an integral role in keeping the show interesting? How exactly is it interesting or compelling television to see multiple versions of almost exactly the same ‘Christopher comes in to stuff up Lorelai’s life’ plot? There’s only so many permutations of that particular story before it gets old. Guess what…it got old a long time ago. Must we really suffer through yet another season of it? Surely it’s time to change the record and come up with something a bit more orginal. How about, I don’t know…a decent Rory/Christopher story? Those haven’t exactly been plentiful.

  • Amanda

    We don’t know what happened that night so it’s hard to judge. I don’t get the fictional charater hate anyway.
    I could see Lorelai with either guy.
    I also think when you get away from the boards there are a lot of regular viewers who are quite happy with Chris. A lot of them think Luke is a jerk.

  • Debbie

    I respectfully disagree with you analysis and wish to call you on your apparent bias against the fans. We are not dumb nor are we easily manipulated.

    Season five, the season that portrayed Lorelai and Luke as a basically happy together, was the best received season in the history of the Gilmore girls. I am so tired of critics and media people assuming that the fans would not be interested or entertained by a married Luke and Lorelai. It is a false and demeaning assumption.

    Well written and snappy stories, no matter how absurd the premise (need I remind you of the popularity of Buffy, whose premise started out as a 16 year old girl with the power to protect the world from vampires and demons.) will always entertain the fans. A mixture of comedy with drama in a character driven format illicit strong support from the fans because it entertains and satisfies them.

    It was never the chase that captivated the fans, it was and is the chemistry between these two characters that enthralls us. Whenever Lauren and Scott are allowed to portray a little sizzle in the romance of Lorelai and Luke, the fans go wild.

    What make you and apparently all others in the media believe that just because a couple is shown as married, they suddenly become passive and boring? I, for one, would love to see Lorelai and Luke work through “the learning to live together” aspects of a marriage. Let’s face it, both of these characters are complex and flawed enough to offer dramatic and comedic highs and lows in a marriage scenario.

    Besides, if the showrunner would finally marry these two off, then maybe the plot would be able to move past the soap opera quality it acquired in the last year and return to its character driven dramedy roots. We could return to observing the interactions and responses of all of the characters in the quirky world of Stars Hallow.

    The choice of the showrunner to introduce these absurd obstacles to the L/L romance is an indication of laziness. To show them married might require the writers to actually create new and untried stories instead of recycling used and tired plots.

    Bringing Christopher back for the third time to once again destroy Lorelai is just insulting to the fans. Now, if they were to actually show Christopher growing up and learning to be a man that might be interesting. I have never seen him really try to connect to Rory. (Sorry, but I don’t feel that inheriting tons of money improved his standing as a person. I have seen very little actual growth in this character over the years. He still appears to be feckless and shallow.)

  • Dear Debbie,

    Thanks for your response. Firstly, I take issue with your first sentence. I don’t have a bias against fans…. I am a fan, and running this web site should be evident enough of that! Secondly, I have never said in any such manner that the ‘fans’ are dumb or easily manipulated.

    Finally, I just can’t forsee any showrunner marrying Luke & Lorelai, at least until the final episode. The TV landscape is filled with shows where main characters are on again and off again. It’s what keeps the viewers coming back. Look at Friends (Ross/Rachel), 90210 (Kelly/Brandon/Dylan etc…), Desperate Housewives (Susan/Mike) and so many more.

    I think that showrunners are generally scared of creating the moonlighting affect. When Bruce Willis and Cybill Finally got together, the romantic energy died (as did the show). Another example: Lois & Clark. When the two finally got married…… BORING! (show cancelled)

    I’m not saying I have the right answers, I’m just writing my opinion.

  • Romi

    I pretty much agree. From what I’ve seen written around, some fans are really not making the connection that Gilmore Girls and therefore Christopher are fictional, unlike DS. There should be a line drawn somewhere and for it to not get blurred.

    I don’t hate Christopher, I quite like him actually, and quite frankly he has a lot better screen prescence with Lorelai than Luke. There’s something there not present when she’s with Luke and I really wanted to like them (Luke/Lorelai that is), but I’m just indifferent.

    I agree that we don’t really know what happened between them, so I find it extremely hard to heap the blame on just one character. There were two adults there. And until I see what happened I do reserve my judgement.

    And God knows, it’s not like Luke has been a sainted character throughtout this season, epsecially the second half. He also has his fair share of the blame, for acting like someone who had been drained of whatever IQ he had, and I’m not going to forget that (nor do I think will a fair share of other viewers).

  • Wil

    I think it’s kind of funny that so many people are angry at “Christopher.” It’s almost a testiment at how good David Sutcliffe’s acting is! Personally, I really like David and his acting, so my question to ask him would be if he’d ever consider doing a sitcom again. I thought he was great in a comedic role!

  • Wil,

    thanks for some positive energy on the site! I was a fan of ‘I’m with Her’, David’s short lived sitcom with Teri Polo (who I LOVED on the West Wing). I’ll be sure to ask him about it.

  • Debbie

    Sorry, but your answer only supports my opinion that you are underestimating the fans.

    “I think that showrunners are generally scared of creating the moonlighting affect. When Bruce Willis and Cybill Finally got together, the romantic energy died (as did the show). Another example: Lois & Clark. When the two finally got married…… BORING! (show cancelled)”

    Did you actually watch Moonlighting? It died for me (and many others) because the story momentum was destroyed when the show was put on hiatus for medical reasons and then returned with the storyline “who’s the daddy”. That was boring and sleazy.

    If they had continued writing the characters as before with the additional complication that of a romantic relationship it would have soared in ratings. I am not a writer, but even I can write more compelling and interesting scenes that the last few episodes of Moonlighting. It died because the writers moved off of the characters to focus on the soap opera story. Bad mistake.

    Also, Moonlighting’s premise from the start was the love/hate relationship between Maddie and David. Gilmore Girls is the story of a mother and daughter. The Luke and Lorelai story is peripheral to the central theme.

    A married Lorelai and Luke would be fun and could obviously offer new facets to the Lorelai and Rory relationship. I will never waver from my belief that it would make a better story than the garbage that was forced on us in season six. There was nothing entertaining about it. (By apologies to Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson and even David Sutcliffe for excellent character portrayals in a unevenly written and badly paced, disjointed, and disconnected story line.)

  • Debbie – you caught me!

    In truth, Moonlighting was well before my time! (My TV obsessions begins with 90210) But I just like to reference it, as it is the show that is ALWAYS referenced as an example of how to destroy a hit show too quickly by hooking up your two leads!

  • clairol

    Well, thetvaddict, I have to agree with the comments from Debbie. You solicited questions from the fan base. Much (if not most) of the GG fanbase is VERY unhappy with the direction the show took in the last 12 episodes of this season. And Christopher Revisited, part 426 is a large part of that. You can’t have been surprised by the angry comments, but you seem to be. Your comments to the fanbase are condescending. I’m not 12. I’m in my 40’s, and I’m a well-educated, successful business woman. I do not need you to tell me that Christopher is a fictional character … or what I would or would not enjoy watching on Tuesday night. I know these things, thanks.

    Bringing Christopher back, again, is just rehashing the same old, tired storyline, again. It’s repetetive and redundant. To quote Robert Bianco with USA Today back in Feb, 2005, when Wedding Bell Blues aired: “With an assist from Emily, Lorelai has once again allowed Christopher to mess up her life. (Note to the writers: There are only so many times you can make Christopher her Ashley Wilkes before we demand he be kicked to the curb.”)

    I like David Sutfliffe as an actor, I have enjoyed several projects he’s been involved in, and I really think he has done a tremendous job in his role as Christopher. He’s been able to bring that character to life in a consistent manner, even though he appears on the show only sporadically, which is a testament to his skill. Having said that, though, the character of Christopher, I despise. And I’m allowed to feel that way. I would venture to guess that all of us, at some time or another, have had intense negative reactions to characters on television, the stage, or film. If we haven’t, the actors playing the slimy villian roles weren’t doing their jobs.

    I have watched the show since the pilot, and it has been clear to me since The Lorelai’s First Day at Chilton, that Luke and Lorelai belong together. And Amy S-P and Dan P hinted at it, eventually promised it, and finally told me (and the rest of us) to invest in it. So when people say that L/L fans are ridiculous for being upset, or being angry with Christopher, I tend to get a little bent out of shape. I watch this show and one other (House), and that’s it. I consider myself a rational, intelligent, grounded, fairly “normal” person. I have never “shipped” a couple on a television show before, but something about this pair of flawed, but golden-hearted people spoke to me. And ASP/DP spoke to me. And it clicked, and I fell hard. And to watch it finally happen, after so long, and see how beautiful it was, and could be, was wonderful, incredible, amazing. And then we had to watch Christopher enter the picture again last year, and we had the break-up. And those episodes (WBB – S… GT) were some of the best of the series in my mind. We’ve been here … we’ve done this. Why in the world do we need to do it again? And because of Christopher, again? I remember when ASP said Christopher was coming back for Rory. Hmmmm… I would have liked to have seen that. But how exactly is him ending up in bed with Lorelai doing anything for Rory? Please help me out with that, because I’m not getting it.

    I apologize for the rambling rant. Just felt the need to defend those of us who are sick of the Chris storyline. We do have logical reasons for our anger. Please don’t discount it.

  • emmphx

    Any reference to Moonlighting shows an ignorance of what truly transpired during that season.

    There was a writer’s strike. Can “the kids” these days even comprehend such a thing? This was in the days before unscripted/faux-scripted shows, aka Reality Shows. Every tv show was messed up.

    The leading actress of the show became pregnant with TWINS and had a horrendous (for Hollywood) but appropriate (for a mother of twins) weight gain AND a difficult pregnancy that necessitated bedrest, reduced schedule. The pregnancy was not made a holistic part of the show. Afterwards, the actress was tucking rolls of skin into her waistband as the result of rapid postpartum weight loss. (No less a journalistic luminary than People Magazine documented this, complete with photos of poor Cybil in her swimming pool…)

    When the writers came back, they had to write around that situation as well.

    So in no way is Moonlighting a valid comparison. It’s laziness and EVERY showrunner who has used it, not just ASP, but I’m looking straight at you, Chris Carter, has lived to see his or her show die in critical disgrace.

    There’s a point at which characters evolve into their own essences. It’s a coalescence of the written word and the talent of the actors. When this happens, if the characters are forced to do things out of character (see exhibit 1: Fox Mulder of XFiles turning into deadbeat dad on the lam, developing a mysterious brain disease, etc.) both fans and critics become disgruntled.

    I’m all for Mr. Sutcliffe appearing on GG if it’s organic. The character’s a deadbeat dad who only was written to be redeemed after he became a gazillionaire. Turn his character into Andy Brown of Everwood (ie trying to make amends to his kid after being an absent father) and maybe I’ll watch.

    But when said kid is 21–kind of hard to swallow, don’t you think?

  • Babette

    Interesting you say that tvaddict, because Gilmore Girls was one show that was singled out for breaking the Moonlighting Curse. Ratings in Season 4 were tanking when Luke was married to Nicole and Lorelai was with Jason. The Palladino’s knew the show was in danger of being cancelled so they pulled out the L/L card and put them together in the season finale. Vioila, ratings for Season 5 rebounded and critics proclaimed the show back from the dead thanks to finally putting L/L together.

    See this MSN article:

    along with this review in USA Today:

    I think the bigger danger if stringing an audience along for too long, especially by using tired old triangles and contrived obstacles. I wonder how DS feels being used as just a spoiler, yet again, for the inevitable Luke and Lorelai happy ending?

  • Jenny

    I compare the reactions to L/L/C to G/M/McD (George/Mer/McDreamy) on Grey’s Anatomy. It’s kind of the opposite. In the L/L/C relationships, people are pissed off at Christopher. In G/M/McD, people are pissed off at Meredith. It isn’t quite the same storyline, I know. But if people are blaming Christopher, why not blame George? If people are blaming Meredith, why not blame Lorelai? It’s silly really. And the people who are saying rude comments toward the ACTOR are ridiculous. He’s an ACTOR ffs. Blame the writers, not the actor. Eesh.

  • Babette

    No one is being disrespectful towards Mr Sutcliff Jenny. On the contrary, we wonder why an actor of his experience would subject himself to another go around as nothing more than a plot device to come between the leading couple. For the uptenth time. And if this time around, his character is going to be involved in the ‘A’ storyline, well then the reaction you are reading here is nothing compared to what will be heard during the season.

    Somebody, anybody…JJ Abrams, Shonda Rhimes, cant you give this guy a role in one of your hot shows?

  • Common Sense

    Hee, hee….as usual, I am flabbergasted at the reaction so-called “fans” of GG have regarding, what? World peace? Hunger? Unemployment? Um, no. A fictional on-screen love triange between paid actors. Sheesh. No need for your long and rambling (see above, several times) justifications, ladies.

    If you’re that passionate, how can we get you motivated to save Everwood…which (on Memorial Day), just left me with chills and tears at the profound acting, writing, editing, etc. It has consistently moved me WAY more than any episode of GG this season, and I’ve seen all episodes of both series. Watching EW, I found myself so angry at The CW folks who elected to kill the show, and at mindless TV viewers who refuse to support quality.

  • Catie

    Just because GG needs drama doesn’t mean that it needs to come from Christopher screwing up Luke and Lorelai. I honestly love Chris, he’s a great character. And if he could stay friends w/ Lorelai and not mess everything up, then I’d be happy, but that’s not plausable. He needs to go be a father and stay away from Lorelai. There is still the inn, the diner, emily and Richard, Rory and Logan, and a ton of other people to cause Luke and Lorelai some less painful drama, not to mention that there are so many other story lines besides L/L that can be painful and dramatic. Chris doesn’t need to cause problems to keep the show good.

  • WOW!! Um, ok. I was just stopping by to say congrats on the interview. I didn’t know the sh*t storm that lay ahead…lol!! I saw David Sutcliffe in NYC during the upfronts and he is HOT HOT HOT…and that’s all I’m going to contribute right now!!

  • Chen

    Speaking as a Christopher/Lorelai fan, I too am dissapointed with the way they bring Christopher back “at the worst time”. Us Christopher/Lorelai fans know they will not end up together, however much we may want it, and all it does is create needless Chris hate. Chris should be back as a recurring charactor, to be a friend to Lorelai and a father to Rory, and not just some cheap plot aide whenever raitings are low. Christopher might be much suited for Lorelai than Luke-but not if he’s offscreen.

    Even in the season 2 finale, they didn’t even make the Christopher returning a cliffhanger- we knew it was over before the episode ended. Just bad writing.

  • Lauren

    Hmm…tell him I think he does a great job and I’m sorry that so much is translated from fans that dislike his character into disliking him. Umm…as far as questions…ask him what the heck it’s like working with Amy and Lauren…I think that’s pretty Christopher-neutral and we’d all be happy to hear about that.

  • Personally I am a big fan of David and “Christopher” – and so I put this in context – have always been a huge fan of Gilmore Girls. The fact that “Christopher” evokes such emotion is a testament to David’s ability as an actor. Why would an actor of his experience “subject” himself to such a role – um because it’s a job immediately comes to mind, but more than that, it’s probably fun to play Christopher and to know you can create such a reaction. Personally, I prefer Christopher over Luke but I know that’s not the popular opinion and I’m sure that’s not how the season finale’s going to go – but a girl can dream. Congrats on the interview!

  • Babette

    No offense to DS, but the reason “Christopher” incites such strong emotions has nothing to do with his acting – rather it’s the storyline and how he is written. And you can thank, or blame, Amy Sherman-Palladino for that. She wrote him as deadbeat pondscum for five seasons and suddenly does an Complete Makeover on the creep and then expects the audience to drink the Kool Aid. Uh, no thanks.

  • Gilmore fans with an IQ above 12 do not “hate” Chris simply for being Chris, and really don’t hate him. Because with maturity comes realization. However, the writing of the show, specifically Chris’ character and his connection is quite banausic. It’s been done on every other drama before. Seemingly ill-matched boy pines for beautiful girl. Beautiful girl loves ill-matched boy as a friend, beautiful girl wants a boy whos only interest is getting in her pants, and possibly having a relationship while still maintaining his free ways. Pretty girl wakes up and smells the metaphorical (or literal, in this case) coffee and realizes that Free-Boy will never be what she needs, just what she wants in the moment. Ill-matched boy becomes more smitten but tries to play it off by getting involved with a woman who is obviously not his type. Ill matched boy pines more while watching meaningless relationship, Ill-matched boy takes care of pretty girl, thus furthering his resentment and causing his own relationship to fall apart. Then finally, after years of waiting, and I do mean quite literally on the fans part, Ill-matched boy is no longer ill-matched, but the perfect man we always knew was there (excluding fans of other couples). This is almost sounding like a rant against the Luke and Lorelai relationship, but it is not. Few if any shows can keep relationships fresh. I loved Gilmore Girls for five seasons for doing that, they didn’t change the characters, there were no cheesy “Oh Lukeypoo, I love you so much. Let’s get married even though we’ve been dating for 2 days. Oh pick out baby names!! yayyyy! I love you so much!!” and it was still the same banter, with the same sexual tension that we’d seen for 4 seasons. It was well-written, it was funny, it was smart. My problem isn’t so much with Chris as it is with the shitty writing, starting at the end of season five. I loved the proposal, but it was ill-timed and just a way to keep viewers. The same way this season finale was just a back up, if you will. And if I’m completely mistaken, well I guess I’m wrong, but that is how it seems. We’ve seen Chris, we’ve seen Lorelai hurt Chris, we’ve seen Chris hurt Lorelai and most importantly we’ve seen Lorelai unintentionally (or so I hope) use Chris to hurt Luke, and we’ve seen our favorite Pretty Girl wind up in bed with an old flame that obviously has no future on every other freaking tv show. It’s old. It’s about as old as Amy Sherman Palladino’s nine million crack jokes. It’s unfunny, it’s not smart, it’s boring and it’s plain out banal.
    So my point in this long Luke-like-rant is that I don’t think fans truly hate Chris (with the exception of a few 12 year olds), they just have a hard time expressing their distaste with the writing, and it often comes off as hatred for the actor.

  • Also, to add on to what you were saying (whomever you are) about successful shows using on-again-off-again relationships; I do recall Amy Sherman Palladino swearing on her crackstash (or whatever seemed to be significant in her life at the time) that she would never pull a Ross and Rachael, because she wanted to be fresh. While I’ll admit being original is something everyone claims to be, this show had something a little… avant-garde about it. Doing the same crap I could watch on NBC, or Fox is not running with the shows theme. It’s also a great way to lose viewers when you promise things and do not follow through on them.

    Business sense is something that many people lack, I think.

  • Renée Goodwin

    Hi David,

    I am a huge fan of Chris. I feel you play him with wonderful depth and strength of character. I feel that over the past 6 seasons both the writting and your performance have shown Chris to be Lorelai’s intellectual equal, the person who best understands who she is, and the person who can banter with her and appreciate and get her references. He is a guy who is never cold or distant with her; he is warm and loving. He is also a guy with a fun side, who is forever the gentleman, and also is charming and respectful of everyone. Yet, he also understands his own shortcomings and has regret for his actions regrading his absence and such over the years in Rory and Lorelai’s lives. Chris has been shown to be a deep and compelling character with complexities. You have brought this character to life. You have portrayed him with a brilliant vibrancy and texture. As well, as being a fan of Chris, as is already evident, I’m a total fan of the Chris and Lorelai romance and totally absorbing love story! You and Lauren have the most phenomenal chemistry ever on TV! Chris and Lor are perfect for one another. I feel they have a connection that is rare and profound. They make each other whole. I feel being with Chris is where Lorelai’s life needs to be headed in order for the show to end on a poignant and touching note.

    I would like to know, do you feel that Chris is the man to whom Lorelai is best suited? In your portrayal of him, has it been your intent to show Chris as Lorelai’s soulmate?

    Thanks again for your super work as Chris! And Happy Birthday for the 8th of June!

    – Renée Goodwin

  • Sylvie

    Just read through your comments. I followed (with great amusement) the utterly hilarious implosion of the Luke/Lorelai ‘shippers at TWoP after the GG season finale, and I recognize a number of sock puppets in the comments on this page. You’ve got, like, 2 or 3 middle aged Scott Patterson fangirls here, frothing at the mouth as per usual. Don’t lose any sleep over it. They are fangirls. They could just as easily be on about how JK Rowling betrayed her own series that she created by hooking up Ron and Hermione. They see everything through a Scott Patterson haze. They are not capable of rational discussion. In fact, these women are objects of ridicule. There are a number of forums that exist for the purpose of sharing the stoopid and these gals figured prominently at the end of the GG season. Cheers.

  • Melania

    Well I for one think David does a bang-up job playing Christopher, incorporating loads of chemistry with Lauren, and his return delighted me so much I added the show as a TiVo season pass and completely forgot about American Idol. I prefer Christopher and Lorelai, but have known since the end of Season 2 that Luke and Lorelai are the clearly telegraphed show coupling winner (as would be obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary grasp of TV storytelling conventions and film grammar. But hey, if they all want to burn themselves out fretting over nothing on various blogs until the show comes to a close, it’s a free country. Maybe the producers are cleverly orchestrating this so that they’ll all feel like they had a part in making the blindingly obvious come to pass?) and I’m just enjoying watching the story unfold. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the interview as well, thanks!

  • Babette

    Hey Sylvia – you know this website is hosted by a fangrl with a huge crush on David Sutcliff? You do? OK, just checking.