Thursday, January 14, 2010

Different types of heroes...

I’m cheating a little bit by using a blog post I already posted this week on eHarlequin. But I figure it’s still a pretty good topic.

I’m on record as being a reality TV fan. (Frankly, I thought the Bachelor was one of the most entertaining moments in TV this week… when confronted with kissing the cameraman the lovely model said… “I don’t think my personal life is anyone’s business.” Uh…you’re on a dating show. Yeah it sort of is.)

My other favorite, beyond Idol, is Survivor. After 20 seasons in 10 years I still go back time and time again. The reason is that throughout the seasons true heroes have emerged. Men and women who have been stronger than others, skilled at leadership and able to mentally withstand various different challenges. The “alpha” is alive and well and this show highlights that.

As a fan of romance that features alpha characters, both male and female I love watching to see how they emerge and the different characteristics these people can have. Some are straight up, honest, hardworking stalwarts. Some are charismatic and charming. And others are devious and manipulative and don’t pull any punches to get what they want.

This next season will feature Survivor All Stars: Heroes vs. Villains. And it brings back two of my all time favorites. Tom the fireman and Boston Rob. I was so excited these two particular men were returning because for me they really showcase the opposite spectrum of the romance heroes we love to read about.

Tom dominated the game. Through strength and mental toughness. He was simply bigger than life. A man in his late forties he schooled the younger men with his prowess and never once had to lie or connive to make his way to the top. He was the leader from day one and he won with a unanimous vote.

Boston Rob also dominated the game. Through his strength but also his charm. He attracted people and made them loyal to him, even though they knew he wasn’t always trustworthy. He found the strongest woman on the show, aligned with her and then (much to my delight) fell in love with her. They became an awesome power team. When it was over the outcasts hated him, so they gave her the money. But it was too late. Rob had already proposed so in a sense the money was his. At one point mid-season he said to the camera…. “At the end of this thing either she’s going to be spending my money or I’m going to be spending hers.”

Now I get to watch as these two types pit their skills against each other. Throw in some strong women, some sinister folks and you’ve got a recipe for great drama. At least I hope so.

So tell me – are you an alpha fan? And what aspects of the alpha attract you the most?


Molly O'Keefe said...

Damn you Steph - I have managed to avoid Survivor and I have to admit when the heroes/villians thing came I was intrigued and NOW! Thanks to that litte summary of yours - I might have to watch the damn thing.

On a side note - I've held true to my writing at night promise, but about as far as I can go without just melting down into bad decision making is 8- 8:30, lame I know but I spend my days with small kids - my brain is already mush. Anway, so at 8 I go downstairs and watch tv - there's so nothing on right now. Nothing. So, I am watching and am totally horribly addicted to The Biggest Loser. For the same reasons you talk about Steph, it's people rising to the occassion in a way they've never been asked to before. I cry like twice an episode.

Eileen said...

I am so not a reality TV person. I tried to watch the season premiere of Idol a couple of years ago and spent half of it in tears.

That said, I love a good Alpha male. I think I love how capable they are the best. There's something very sexy about a man who is smart and strong and knows how to make things work. Hmmm. Maybe another reason I'm in love with an engineer. :-)

Molly, on your side note! You go, girl! Way to write!

Stephanie Doyle said...

Also a sucker for the Biggest Looser Molly. I can't help myself!

And like you I'm thinking about switching my writing time. Although I want to go really late - from 10:00 - 11:00. I can't sleep and there is not much on during this time so that might be the plan. Give me enough down time from work - because my brain is also mush at the end of day. But still get an hour in.

We'll see.

Regardless be proud of your 30 minutes!

Eileen - let me tell you a little more about Tom to tempt you. Silver fox, amazing body. He was able to hold his breath for what seemed minutes at a time while dragging a trunk across the bottom of the ocean single handedly. What took the other team 5 young men who all tried and failed Tom did on his own.

He also caught and killed a shark on his own. Yep. With his BARE HANDS. And he was sweet and funny and cool.

When I saw him all I could think was his wife is one very LUCKY woman.

So no fear of crying if you watch Survivor but be prepared to drool.

Maureen McGowan said...

I love Survivor. It was the first reality show I watched, (I saw from about 2/3 through the first season), and one I rarely miss. I've heard it said that people reveal their true character under great stress and nothing compares to Survivor in terms of putting a group of disparate people under great stress.

I'm not sure how this next season will go. I've not been a huge fan of the past allstar type shows. I don't think it can be the same when people go in knowing things about each other and also knowing a bit more about how their body's going to respond to starvation, etc.

I have to say, I generally like the Tom style alpha better than the Boston Rob, type. Arrogance really turns me off.

I watched Rob and Amber on The Amazing Race, too. I actually liked him better on that show. Maybe because it was less about tricking other people and laughing about how gullible they are. Also Amber's a real calming influence on him. I didn't believe they'd really get married after Survivor, but their relationship was very believable on Amazing Race.

Speaking of arrogance: Russell on the last season ended up (almost) winning me over by the end. There's no doubt he played well, but his arrogant assumption that he'd win was galling. Glad he didn't. (But looking for and finding those hidden idols was GENIUS.)

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, Those audition shows on Idol are just plain cruel. Horrible. I usually don't start watching until they get to Hollywood week. By then everyone's got talent and it's just a matter of who can hold up to the pressure and shine through.
I cringe to think of what the producers are saying to some of those people in the (from what I've heard) many auditions they have to go through to get to the point where they're in front of the judges. It's like that horrible show where they were purposefully trying to find the worst singer, but lying to the contestants about the premise. CRUEL.

Eileen said...

A shark? With his bare hands? I may have to tune into this one . . .

Maureen, tell me when it's safe to watch Idol and I'll give it another chance. I always feel like I'm missing out on part of my own zeitgeist by not watching it.

Maureen McGowan said...

Idol's not my favorite... but it does have its moments. Like Adam Lambert singing Mad World last season. WOW.

I am looking fwd to Ellen DeGeneres being in the cast, though. She should be an interesting addition and even if she's not in the music business will have more intelligent things to say than Paula Abdul.

Stephanie Doyle said...

2nd that on Idol. Just wait for Hollywood week. I DVR the first shows, but I only watch those auditions that make it. I NEVER watch the weird ones. And I have to say just in these last two eps. they flipped the ratio - there is more good than bad.

But you will cry.

Last night there was a girl from a place called Vonore TN. A country girl living in a trailer in the "middle of the country" with a dress on she bought from Walmart for $4.00. Her hair was a mess, no make up, no confidence at all. Then she opened her mouth and this pretty sound came out and you think... wow.

Eileen said...

Ooh. Kind of a Susan Boyle moment? Nice!

Alli said...

"Last night there was a girl from a place called Vonore TN."

Oh yes, I cried my eyes out! I SO wanted her to get through to Hollywood and then into Top 20. There is something so innocent and charming about her. Loved her. :-)

I like Alpha's - especially women. But women who do it with tact and empathy. It can be done. I especially like it if they don't start off as an alpha and find their inner strength.

Rob said...

The only reality tv show i loved was "Heroes". Frankly, i think the parents exploited their kids' abilities though.

Idol is interesting in that you actually follow the winner even after the show is finished. Well, that's the theory anyway. Anybody know what happened to Taylor Hicks and Rueben Studdard?

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