I’m not quite sure what young pre-teen girls did before televisions were invented. I mean, who did they develop school girl crushes on before the Beatles or Scott Baio…the milkman? Thanks to the cathode rays that were beamed into our living rooms, we got to sit in front of the TV after our evening apple juice and before bedtime stories, develop crushes on our teen idols and make our fathers increasingly bewildered and nervous. Without further ado, I will list my Top Ten Teenage crushes from the 80’s or – as my parents might refer to them – much ado about nothing.
#10 – Eric Braeden (Victor) from Young & The Restless. A friend of mine once accused his buddy of making an ‘environmentally restricted decision’ around a woman he pointed out and liked in a bar, which meant that while she may have been the most attractive woman in the room, he only liked her because there wasn’t much in the room to look at giving her instant elevated status. Similarly, I’m not sure why any girl under 10 would have a crush on Victor from Young & The Restless. I can only imagine it was because I spent so much time helping my mother fold laundry while she watched her favourite soap operas. And Victor was always the dark, mysterious, gallant type. And always yelling at people which made him look powerful and cool.
#9 – Johnny Depp. This one requires no explanation. Even today, he hasn’t blown up like a blimp, squandered his childhood fortune or become pigeon-holed as that 21 Jump Street dude. One of our favourite bad/good boys. Please Angelina, leave this one alone. We need to leave some of our Midwestern topsoil untarnished.
#8 – Jason Bateman. Another well-preserved child actor who has stood the test of time. I guess I know how to pick them. Long before Arrested Development and the collaborations with Vince Vaughn, I developed a crush on Jason Bateman during his Little House on the Prairie and Silver Spoons days, knowing that he was destined for greatness. Jason was recently quoted in Vanity Fair as saying, “Being a d*ck in business is kind of a rookie thing to do.” Yeah, he’s alright.
#7 – Joey McIntyre. In retrospect, I often wonder how many of the boys in New Kids On The Block were gay, but back then you don’t notice such things convinced that they’re singing “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” directly to you. It’s phenomenal what pubescent boys and falsetto voices can do to girls. I recently heard Joey McIntyre’s new album doing covers (Henry Mancini and Frank Sinatra covers). At the risk of sounding opinionated the whole thing was kind of unnecessary. Maybe, stick to your day job. Oh, wait, you don’t have one. Well, it’s a good thing he’s pretty.
#6 – James Spader. James Spader was the ultimate waspy bad boy as Steff in Pretty in Pink. He was always strutting and scuffling across the floor like he was almost too cool to be walking and certainly too cool for the floor. Well, I totally bought it. Sold. I’m not sure how old I was when I first saw Pretty in Pink. He was dangerous and he didn’t give a s***. Plus he had great hair. Say no more. You’re in.
#5 – Robert Downey Jr. I went to see ‘Chances Are’ which he starred in with Cybill Shepherd. I went with a couple of friends before a little slumber party and totally fell in like. Again, I think I missed my calling as a casting director, because I seemed to be inexplicably and magnetically drawn to all the talent. Robert Downey Jr. is scary smart and of course insanely talented, but the big brown eyes and piano scenes roped me in.
#4 – Andrew McCarthy. Another Pretty in Pink alumni. Interesting that he’s further down the list towards the top yet played the good guy. There was something bug-eyed and a little weird/creepy about him whenever he talked to Andy in Pretty in Pink which of course intrigued me. Eh, now that I think of it he was kind of white-bread and boring. Maybe I just thought he was sweet to defend Andy against Steff the trust fund baby in that one scene. He wasn’t dressed with swords and fighting a rival in a duel for his fair lady but it was a good enough modern version.
#3 – Trey Ames. Not many people know who this is. He was a flash in the pan and was on a show called ‘Dolphin Cove’ which had a very short run. It also starred Sarah Jessica Parker. But I had a huuuuge crush on Trey Ames. I think he lives in Orange County now, is a born-again Christian and weighs almost 300 pounds. So sad. I think I’ll just keep my little memory of him at age 14 when he was shooting scenes with the soon-to-be Carrie Bradshaw. I couldn’t even find any clips of it on YouTube. Come to think of it, maybe there were a couple of years during middle school where my mother was putting crack on my cereal instead of sugar. Oh well.
#2 – Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox). What’s not to love? The impish Republican and black sheep of the family who loved to provoke his sister who hailed from the short bus and was challenged in the area of idea comprehension and sentence structure. I also like that he seems to be a pretty humble, solid and positive dude in real life. Good Canadian boy. We need to import more of this model.
A little ode to Alex – sorry about the crappy music during the montage:
And last but obviously not least, my #1 crush from the 80’s is a fellow Teutonic drunk. That’s right, I must like to keep it in the family.
#1 – David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider). Even at the age of 7 I knew he was destined for greatness or at least mediocrity. I’m only sorry I never got to officially meet Kit. He actually seemed much cooler than KR. I think after my mother caught me kissing the front of TV Guide which had a picture of Knight Rider on it at the age of 7, she must have called an emergency meeting with my father to discuss amendments to my bedtime because I suddenly wasn’t allowed to watch it anymore. But that was easy enough to work around. I just got thirstier for apple juice around 9:00. <<Sigh>> Poor David. He was apparently really big in Deutschland but never quite outran his glory days in the early 80’s. But he still has this 7-year old’s adoration. That should make it all worthwhile for him – who needs a career in the US when you have your German fans and yours truly? Actually, judging from the drunken videos released by his daughter, I’m relieved that my mother never honored my 7-year old plea to go to the store and buy a magic wand so I could marry Knight Rider. Thanks mom, way to do me a solid. I owe you.