Thursday, April 09, 2009

What's Your Fantasy: Tie Me Mentalist Down, Sport

Well, the title says it all. (Though not all, since I used to sing that song as "tiny kangaroo down, sport" when I was younger.)

That said: Simon Baker may be ten million undeniable varieties of hot, but I don't have a strong urge to demand naughty spankings from him. For one thing, he has been married for 18 years to the same woman, and is a father of three; on top of that, his eldest daughter not only looks exactly like him, but also shares one of many names with yours truly. Then there's the sloppy writing that has been plaguing The Mentalist lately, which has been distracting - and detracting - from the hotness that is Mr. Baker-Denny.

(Though I will allow that if it weren't for the above-mentioned hotness and the deadpan presence of Tim Kang, The Mentalist would have been kicked out of my TV rotation by now.)

But since this is an entry about the boilerplate hotness of Simon Baker, let me count the ways why I find him so captivating...

- Bucketloads of charisma. Like I've mentioned earlier, you can't watch The Mentalist and take your eyes off him, even when his character (the titular fake-psychic Patrick Jane) is at his most reprehensible. Sure, any guy could get away with wearing three-piece suits and tossing around snarky quotes while driving around a baby-blue Citroen like Jane does - but compared to, say, Tony DiNozzo on NCIS (another snarky character who lurks around CBS' Tuesday night slate in sharp suits), Jane is practically a homage to the old-school British detective shows that usually populate the programming schedule on PBS' Mystery! He's sharp and dashing, all right, and usually quick with the zings... but Baker isn't afraid to show the chinks in Jane's armor, often letting us into certain quiet moments of vulnerability - and even downright madness - behind that perfect smile.

And the magic doesn't stop at Patrick Jane, either, as evidenced by Baker's various talk-show appearances; whether he's talking about working on an interracial love story with Oprah or having Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts as the godmothers of his children with Letterman, he's as witty as expected, and just as bemused by his own popularity.

Which also gets us to the next point:

- He's not that into himself. Tell him he's the sexiest thing on two legs (as TV Guide just did) and he'll say, "Really?" - but not in the "aw shucks, you rillyrillylikeme" way that would be irritating on another actor. Maybe I'm projecting this, but I think that goes hand in hand with being married for so long: when you've worked so hard, and changed so many diapers, being the hot stud of the moment does turn out to be overrated in the long run. See also: every single time he shows up at formal events with thick eyeglasses.

- Also: not picky with work... understands the job market anyway. Okay, so maybe there was a reason I didn't watch Something New, or any of his other TV shows, or even The Devil Wears Prada... but if those hints of instability I'm seeing in Patrick Jane are any indication, maybe those days of rom-com/ playboy roles might be behind him.

- He'd make a great husband... if he already wasn't one. And I think that's the whole point of this entry.

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