Friday, August 04, 2006

TV Ex-Boyfriends: John Carter

Bumbling. Inept. Awkward. It's hard to believe these adjectives could describe a quality TV boyfriend. And yet from 1994 to perhaps 1998, during the first few years of the ER craze, they absolutely did.

Eager, well-meaning, and intelligent, John Carter burst into the ER with the air of an overenthusiastic, inexperienced puppy that's about to get kicked. Not as suave as Ross, as steady as Greene, or as stoic as Benton, Carter was sweet and sentimental, wearing his heart on his sleeve even as he operated on the hearts of others. Carter's most defining characteristic was that he cared. As a teenage girl, how I wished he'd cared about me -- but instead it was always one of those pesky patients of the week. Cock-blocks, the lot of them.

Looking back now, it's hard to remember quite why I loved Carter. Maybe it was his smile? Hopeful and earnest, none of the Adama angst or Turk tomfoolery I'd come to love in later years. Carter was vanilla and his adorableness was wide-eyed and unthreatening. To a teenage girl just beginning to indulge in romantic longing, this was highly appealing.

Yes, Dr. Carter always was good and tried to do good. No shades of gray for this doctor. When they later tried to add addiction issues, I jumped off the Carter train. I liked my Carter innocent and unsullied, which is probably the reason I didn't 'ship him with anyone. Unlike most of my TV boyfriends, I wanted him alone, not being romantic with one of those jaded nurses or pharmaceutical-peddlers or lawyers. Carter a la carte. Ohh, that's so bad I'm going to have to end on it.

You know what's truly shocking? I am older now than Noah Wyle was when he first appeared as John Carter. Oh, God. Someone get me a walker and some Depends, I'm about ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.

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