by Jeanne Adams
Alllllrighty, ladies and gents (but mostly geared to the ladies, sorry, guys!), let's talk television. I have a hot debate for you. If you had to choose between the following wonderful TV men, who would you choose?
A. The Mentalist - Patrick Jane
Jane is a former celebrity psychic who now works as a civilian consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation. He riles up his boss, Senior Agent Theresa Lisbon, breaks the rules and generally solves the cases. Not to mention being fabulous eye candy. There's great repartee between Lisbon and Jane, the rest of the team is sharp and interesting. All in all, great entertainment.
B. CSI Las Vegas - Nick Stokes
If you've been following the blog for the last three years you've no doubt learned that I'm a huge fan of darling CSI boy-o Nick Stokes. He's very smart, very focused on his work and he has a boyish charm; an a "I don't know I'm cute" sort of charm. While he has a bit of a college frat boy thing going, he's also a brilliant criminalist. He's the "everyman" of the CSI Vegas team, slogging through data like a machine, but he's also the constant character that stays solid as other characters revolve in and out of the various storyline.
C. Castle - Richard Castle
Oh, my. What's to say about Castle? ABC says: "He's famous. He's gorgeous. He's smart as hell." Ohhhhh, yeah. There's that lovely tension with Kate Beckett, who secretly is a fan, but trys to pretend she isn't and who is totally snarky, competent, and brilliant. As a team, they are magnificent, within the greater team on the show and with the foil of his wonderful flamboyent mother and down-to-earth daughter. The interactions are fabulous.
D. None of the Above.
Really? You wouldn't pick any of these?
What about Jethro Gibbs from NCIS?
Or perhaps Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds - AKA the amazing Shemar Moore ? (Isn't that the most....hmmm...rippped picture?)
Or the ever delicious LL Cool J from NCIS: Los Angeles. What a wonderful new addition to the line up. Happy sigh. He hasn't lost any of his charm, or sex appeal with age. I love that in a man, don't you?
Maybe Choice D. should be ALL of the Above?
I don't have a lot time to watch TV these days. I'm a full time writer, a full time Mom. A full time "Estate Manager" for the house and home. I do some consulting, I do some other stuff professionally. I'm on the Board for RWA.
There are so many full time jobs in my life that TV is just one of those things that seem to fall by the wayside.
Then came the TV with the DVR.
"Ooooooh, shiny!" (As Christine would say. Snork.)
Now I can watch allll I want. I like this.
I actually have come to realize that it may be as important to watch TV as it is to constantly be reading (and refilling the creative well) when you're a writer.
Hey, Castle does it.
Seriously, popular culture influences trends and influences readers as much as it does writers-as-watchers. It also influences agents and editors. How many times are we asked, as writers pitching a new story idea to either an agent or editor, "What's it like?" We often reference these cultural icons to define essential pieces of our stories.
When my agent asked me to describe what my dark urban fantasy was "like," (and thus hopefully help her find it a home) I was able to sum it up as "It's Men in Black meets Walker, Texas Ranger." She got it in one. So if any editors out there are interested....*crickets chirping*...Bueller? Bueller? (ahhh, now THERE's an iconic reference!)
Iconic references aside, I'll give you the caveat that you have to be careful about some references. If a show - like Walker - has been off the air for a while and isn't featured on TV Land, and the editor is quite young, they may not have ever seen Walker, Texas Ranger.
And despite all the Flair on Facebook referring to Chuck Norris, there are a lot of people who don't know who he is. I know, I know, it surprises me too. Those of us who are into kick-em-up-shoot-em-up movies know, of course but not young, not-long-out-of-college editors.
Now long time editors, like dyed-in-the-wool Hollywood types and movie and tv buffs, they know these cultural icon references pretty well. For instance, you could say:
"It's like Beauty and the Beast meets Boston Legal."
"It's like Lost meets Swiss Family Robinson, Harlequin style."
They'd get the picture. Ohhh, the possibilities.
So, friends, who's your current TV Crush? I admitted yesterday that I have a slight crush on Tom Collichio from Top Chef - hey, he can cook, he's smart...what's not to crush on? Of course this was in Christine's blog on sweet little sins. It's just a little crush.
The crush on Nick Stokes? That, my friends, is huge.
C'mon now, fess up. Who's your crush?
Also, do you believe it's important to know about TV and it's pop culture when you write? (Historical authors can skip this question...)
As a reader, do you like it when an author uses a reference to TV or movies you know? Do you think it dates a book if they do it?
Oh, and if you're a writer, what's your pitch? How would you describe your book in pop-culture terms? Grins.