But first, what makes a guy considered geeky attractive? This website had some thoughts, as well as these Youtube videos:
How does this play out with celebrities? Let's see...
Obviously it's Doctor Who. Playing a charismatic and humorous yet darkly tinged hero makes him incredibly attractive (I don't know much about Mr. Tennant as a person, so this is the best I can postulate on). The Doctor is... but why am I yammering on about the Doctor when Craig Ferguson has a perfectly brilliant explanation of it all? Cue Mr. Ferguson:
"Intellect and romance triumphing over brute force and cynicism" - bingo. That's it. Maybe at the core of being a geek is a little bit of romanticism and characters like the Doctor speak to that. And thus, when actors like Tennant become this character, they appear to express these same qualities from within themselves.
Also the Scottish accent and tight leather pants from Fright Night probably doesn't hurt.
And again, it's speaking to that romantic sentiment. Matt Smith has often been dubbed as fans as acting like the Doctor when he's just himself (like in this post. And a hundred others I've seen and now can't find). It's easy to read a lot of his personality into the Doctor, as it is with Tennant.
Also, the hats and hipsterness doesn't hurt.
3) Benedict Cumberbatch: Somewhere in the infinity that is the universe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is very, very upset with us. For many reasons, especially this:
On one hand, it's like trying to cast the role of Mr. Rochester: he's supposed to be unattractive but he's also a romantic lead so it's kind of a Catch 22 for Hollywood (unless you cast Michael Fassbender, of course, and then it's just like well fuck it, it's Fassbender, we don't even care. He was great in that movie so this is not a complaint). So there is a sort of trend towards making Holmes and Rochester (shall we say) aesthetically pleasing.
But, being a Sherlockian since I was thirteen or so, there is something sort of sexy about Holmes which I think Conan Doyle didn't expect modernity (or post-modernity, or post-post-modernity, if you so desire) to fixate on. And that, namely, is:
(Another gif I'm going to end up overusing; I can tell :P)
Geeks find intelligence sexy. Why? Well...
Yup, American high schools; gotta love them (but, as a wise Youtube commenter said: "Don't blame the kids, blame the schools that educate them". And not all schools are this bad. Well, mine was pretty painful; there was a teacher there that didn't know a squid was an animal. And she taught honors and AP Biology. Oh yes...). This is one reason at least I find intelligence a rather nice trait. Because if I have to spend my time talking with someone explaining that Canada is in fact not a state in the United States, I'm going to be rather put out.
But sometimes I feel rather confused about this whole intelligence thing. Like when people comment that they aren't surprised I'm a book worm because I look like one. Or how someone can look intelligent. But often see Cumberbatch, Tennant, and Smith described as intelligent-looking. And I find myself agreeing with this idea but I don't know why. What does intelligence look like? Is it something about their smile, their eyes, their freaking cheekbones? Who knows?
Also, the Tumblr post I included image-wise in my last post gets me kind of confused to:
Intelligence intimidating? Maybe... The only situation like this that comes to mind for me was with a professor who was teaching an upper level undergraduate/intro graduate course who looked like Anthony Bourdain and was very, very intense about everything. As in he spent an hour explaining why he despised Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Flaubert so much and I sat there in class almost cowering because he was so intense about it all, speaking in this really dark, heavy voice and raising his voice but not shouting, like someone right on the verge of getting into an argument. Yes, I couldn't remember a damn thing about Madame Bovary and I hadn't read any Baudelaire yet (they weren't assigned for class; this was actually kind of a tangent on the professor's part) but it wasn't because he knew these things and I didn't that intimated me; it was that he was so fierce in expressing it. It wasn't his knowledge; it was his delivery (and the fact that he really, really hated Baudelaire more than I hate 50 Shades of Grey - and that is saying something).
I kind of doubt that Mr. Cumberbatch is like my college professor (otherwise interviews with him would be very, very difficult, I should think). He seems far more laid back. So I'm rather confused how he could be intimidating. But then maybe I should admit that just maybe I have "above average intelligence" (whatever that means, because now we're getting into the issue of actually being able to measure intelligence with numbers and tests, which I think is just plain silly) and might have at one point or another intimidated people with things I have said. Maybe we're intimidated because we're just afraid of saying we don't know something...
Okay, steering clear of a giant tangent I feel coming on there, I'm going back to Sherlock Holmes. You know who is incredibly intimating? Sherlock Holmes. The bro can deduce where you're from, what you've been doing, and whether you're any good at football in ten seconds. Awesome - but terrifying. So if he's so intimidating, why is he still sexy?
Good question. Guess who doesn't have an answer?
Yup. This blogger.
I will admit, the first time I read A Study in Scarlet, I hated Sherlock Holmes. I couldn't understand why he was so popular; he seemed like a total tool for thinking things were so obvious. I really, really didn't like him. But then I reread the story later and thought he was brilliant. Sarcastic, rude, and brilliant. What changed? I probably started seeing aspects of myself and others I knew in Holmes. I probably figured out that Conan Doyle wrote detective stories differently then we do today (as in there is little chance you'll be able to deduce what's going on until the end because you don't get the clues along the way). I probably enjoyed the fact that Holmes was a bit of a tool (but a clever tool). And I'd probably seen this by that point:
This is Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes from BBC/Masterpiece Theater's Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking. I get the feeling this wasn't very popular but I loved it. I've realized in retrospect that this is the first Sherlock Holmes actor I encountered that wasn't directed towards kids (ie: The Great Mouse Detective and Wishbone, both of which I adored - and continue to adore) and set me up for a world of sexy, deducing detectives. Thanks for that, BBC.
But why is it sexy? In some ways, Holmes is like the Doctor - deeply flawed but deeply intelligent and using intellect over brute force. And romance... well, perhaps no, perhaps so (I'll let the Johnlock shippers and anti-Johnlock people fight that one out). Regardless, the relationship between Watson and Holmes is crucial and without it, we wouldn't have any of the stories, as Watson recorded all of Holmes' cases and was interested enough in his work to document it and... TANGENT. SORRY. (I like how the bits on Tennant and Smith were all nice and neat and then we get down to Cumberbatch and it's just a disaster. How did this even happen...) Unlike the Doctor, Sherlock Holmes (as a wonderful post put it - which I now of course can't find) is a man trying to be a god while the Doctor is more like a god trying to be a man. Think about it...
As usual, I haven't the foggiest. And I'm also running out of Martin Freeman-hedgehog photos and have given in to making a few myself :P In the meantime, enjoy this comparison between Sherlock-Cumberbatch and Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon:
Ooh, and one last thing before I meander off here - I've been getting some really good ideas/submissions from talking to my friends Ashley, Bridget, and Sarah, and from emailing with my penpal Paulina. But if you happen to have some sort of recommendation, submission, idea, more pictures of Martin Freeman and hedgehogs, or you're Mr. Cumberbatch's lawyer sending me the cease and desist order, feel free to send them my way, either in email or comment form. Or if you're also confused as hell because you ended up here just looking for a photo of Matt Smith on a dinosaur, that's okay too. :D