Televisions ‘Bad Boy’ Syndrome

Part of my Saturday morning tradition is watching FELICITY reruns on Canada’s W NETWORK (10AM EST). For over a year (four seasons in TV land), I’ve watched Felicity struggle with a new city, family, school and of course her personal life. Yet as we head into the fourth (and final) season, Felicity is still completely clueless as she struggles with the eternal question: Ben or Noel?

Now maybe it’s because I’m not a fifteen year old girl (even though my television viewing habits might make one believe otherwise!), but can someone please explain to me the appeal of the ‘TV Bad Boy’. How is Felicity, after four years, still debating between Ben or Noel? I don’t get it, what’s to debate? Noel is a smart, hard-working and clearly in love with Felicity — while Ben is a habitual screw-up, who’s constantly dealing with personal issues and never seems to be there for Felicity when she needs him.

Of course in Felicity’s defense, she’s not the only television heroine who happens to have a weakness for the ‘TV bad boy’. It just so happens that Neptune’s smartest sleuth, VERONICA MARS, isn’t so smart when it comes to her own love life. For some inexplicable reason, Veronica is still in love with one Logan Echolls — a trust fund baby with some serious anger-management issues. Hopefully when Veronica starts college, she’ll smarten up and find someone better suited for her. I wouldn’t count on it though — after four years of college, Felicity still can’t make a decision!

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  • Common Sense

    I envy you & your Saturday ritual. Felicity is not on any channel I receive, or I’d be doing the same. I believe it’s the greatest drama in its genre ever, and possibly The WB’s best series ever (Buffy’s close, though). Season Four, as I recall, is so great…love how Ben always mispronounces Javier’s name…and, again, the final three episodes are the best. Keep us posted on your progression thru the season. [Are Ben and Felicity "soul-mates?" You'll see :) ]

  • Tim G.

    I miss Duncan. Hopefully Piz will be the what Ms. Mars needs.

  • Blythe Lane

    Not much of a follower of Felicity but love Veronica! I beg to differ on Logan…I actually really like Logan for Veronica. Especially over Duncan.

    Enjoying the site. :-)

  • thetvaddict

    Blyth – Imagine Veronica was your daughter – do you really want her dating Logan?

  • Blythe Lane

    Sure, if we’re talking real life, no, I would not want my daughter dating Logan. However, we’re talking tv here where characters who are dynamic and three-dimensional are way more interesting and appealing. Characters like Logan always have room for growth and I like that. But, I’m up for anyone for Veronica who has some intrigue. Anyone else for her would just be boring.

  • thetvaddict

    Blythe. You’re completely right! It’s weird. I generally never bring ‘the real world’ into TV. I’m so not one of those people – I mean I still watch Prison Break even though it’s the most implausible show ever! I guess I had a momentary lapse of judgement!

  • Lynn

    Felicity is my favorite show of all time. I was always on Ben’s team. It’s all about destiny, tvaddict! As for Veronica and Logan, I think Veronica is typically standing on shakey moral ground herself so a “good boy” would be no good for her. Plus I second whoever said that characters like Ben and Logan are interesting because they have room for growth.

  • Kate Mayer

    female characters need the bad boy to fix but you have to agree Logan kind of protects Veronica which is sexy.

  • Geri

    Luv Veronica´s Logan, cannot stand Gilmore´s Logan, loved Pacey with Joey…I don´t think one can generalize the “TV Bad Boys”.

    As far as I see it, Duncan would have probably bored Veronica to death.

  • Stella

    I agree with tvaddicts first sentiments. Having Veronica with Logan lowers the character in my eyes because I have no idea why she dated him in the first place…other than pity. The only thing they have going for them is chemistry, and that’s just not enough for me.

    I miss Duncan too. At least he knew how to treat people like human beings.

  • Tara

    I don’t watch Veronica Mars often enough to defend her with Logan, but I am obsessed with Felicity and feel compelled to argue for Ben. While Noel seems like the right choice for Felicity, he is not…he is the easy choice and I daresay that Noel is not so much in love with Felicity as overly dependent upon and needy of her. But Noel is also not squeaky clean, even in the first season when most everyone is rooting for Noel, he wasn’t some standup guy–he had a girlfriend he didn’t tell Felicity about and then left Felicity for. Not very wonderful of him to do that. And while Ben is more obviously flawed, he truly loves felicity and knows that he doesn’t deserve her & doesn’t understand why she loves him because he is so flawed. He doesn’t have control over his anger and he’s not good at expressing his feelings but he recognizes that and appreciates that Felicity loves him in spite of that, which makes him a better person because she believes in him. I think the love that Ben and Felicity share is deeper and more passionate than what Felicity could ever have with Noel. In Season 3, the episode where Felicity’s mom is very disapproving of Ben, he says something to her that I think sums it up really well and I think has application to a fair amount of the “bad boy” appeal in other shows:
    “Look, I… I understand why you’d rather see Felicity with someone like Noel. Someone who’s obviously going to make it. And probably long before, I mean, I figure out what I’m going to be doing with my life. I always remember this one thing a teacher said, which was, all the interesting people she knew they had no idea what they were going to do with their lives when they were 20. So chances are, I’m going to turn out to be a pretty interesting guy. Look, for some reason, Felicity cares about me. And on a good day, I feel like I might become everything she sees in me. It is because of that, it is because of about a million other reasons that she means pretty much the world to me.”

  • thetvaddict

    Tara thanks for your perspective. You’ve definitely thought about this longer then I have :)

  • Tara

    Haha, I know my very long explanation confirms I’m far too obsessed with Felicity, so I’m a little embarassed–Perhaps I’ve thought TOO much about it. :)

  • LaMiichuh

    I Love LoVe!!! They have to be Together! i Hate Piz.!
    Logan & Veronica = LoVe! (LLLL)

  • Gen

    LoVe is love. If Veronica was my daughter, I would want her to go out with Logan. He’s proven himself to be caring and protective in the last season finale. Come on, you gotta love Logan and his wise cracks.

    Bad boy love.