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Welcome back to the TV Boyfriend Smackdown! We pit two (or three) of television’s most eligible (and fictional) bachelors against one another, and discuss their merits with regard to three major categories: attractiveness, personality, and potential for capital-D Drama. Based on our spirited debate, we’ll declare a winner, but fear not: you’ll have a chance to weigh in as well.
This week, we’re going crossover, baby, and analyzing two of TV’s most annoying (sorry not sorry) teachers: EzrA Fitz of Pretty Little Liars fame and Will Schuester, Glee’s overeager Spanish teacher and glee club instructor. Beware of spoilers here — if we’re going to judge thoroughly, we’re going to judge on everything that’s happened so far and we can’t be held responsible for your inability to Hulu or Netflix in a timely manner. Let the smackdown begin!
Lindsay's Take: I was, admittedly, a full-on Glee disciple when the show made its debut in 2009. As a former (okay, current) musical/singer nerd, I appreciated the music and the campy fun. Remember when the show was good? Those were the days. Also, in doing some light Wiki research before writing this, Jess and I learned that both Eric Stoltz and Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper AAF) directed episodes last season, a-whaaaat? Anywho, in the beginning, Will Schuester was a cute-if-overeager Spanish teacher with nothing to live for but the music, man (and certainly not his wife with the jest-ation). Now, he’s gotten way too close to a few students, gone to adult band camp in New York, and watched the New Directions get shut down. But the question stands: what kind of mans would he make by your side?
- Attractiveness: Will’s not bad-looking (Matthew Morrison was in a boy band, after all). He has a cute butt-chin and a mop of hair (“I thought I smelled cookies from the tears of elves weeping that live in your hair,” says Sue Sylvester). He breaks into spontaneous song a lot, but I guess I’d be able to overlook that for a winning smile.
- Personality: Ugh, Will. I mean, he’s a very doting guy: he didn’t even realize that his first wife, Terri, was faking a pregnancy to get him to love her more. He is so blind to the faults of those he loves that he would do anything for them. That’s not a bad thing. But, he’s too involved in his work. He loves the New Directions, but it’s a little sad for a 35-year-old man to be hanging out with 20 16-year-olds on a daily basis, outside of the mandated school time. April Rhodes doesn’t count. Will is too nice: he is lucky that he found his equally nice counterpart in Emma Schuester nee Pillsbury.
- Possible Drama: Will can’t get out of his own way. He’s so emotionally invested in the lives of teenagers that he sort of becomes one, so much so that when Finn sort of accidentally I guess kisses Emma, Will throws beyond a fit. Not that he shouldn’t have gotten angry, but hanging out with high schoolers makes you act like a high schooler. Maybe find some Gen-Y friends and forget about those glory days, Will. They were so long ago.
- Attractiveness: You know that scene from Friends when Phoebe is trying to convince Rachel she’s over Ross and makes her imagine making out with Ross, and then running her hands through his hair, but, eww — oh gross it’s some kind of grease! That’s how I feel about Mr. Schue’s over-styled coif. But I agree with Lindsay that his smile is adorable.
- Personality: Weird re: his wife Emma, especially concerning her fairly serious anxiety disorder? Not a good sign. And why is Mr. Schue only friends with high school students? (And why does Mr. Fitz only date high school students? But I’m getting ahead of myself.) I’d say that points to some latent maturity issues, Schue.
- Possible Drama: Schue is annoying. That could lead to some dramatic fights, hmm?
Jess' Take: Look, if you’ve read my and Lindsay’s PLL recaps (or if you somehow have our apartment bugged and can hear the things we scream at the television while watching PLL) you know that we kinda-sorta can’t stand EzrA Fitz and his (SPOILER ALERT) creepy, stalkery, way-too-obsessed with his famous writer namesake, undercover journalist face. But we also can’t stand Mr. Schue, so this is really a fair fight.
- Attractiveness: I cannot deny that Ezra Fitz is a pretty beautiful specimen of a man. While his boyish haircut in the PLL flashback scenes leave something to be desired, he’s cleaned up since the undergrad time of his life (haven’t we all?) and looks good in present-day PLL (except when he’s wearing cargo shorts, because, ew?). If I were in his English class, I’d definitely be hot for teacher.
- Personality: There’s a part of me — I’m willing to admit it — that would be all in for Fitz’s literary prowess and his tendency to show it off. But there are also times when he goes way too far across the line of pretension and I just. Cannot. Deal. And that’s coming from a major book nerd (salute to Major Book Nerd). Also, he purposely dated an underage girl (and a student of his) to gather info for the “true crime novel” he was writing about the OTHER underage girl he dated. Who does that?! A borderline sociopath.
- Possible Drama: Is there anything more dramatic than getting tossed in prison for statutory rape? ‘Cuz that’s pretty much a sure thing down the road with EzrA Fitz. Throw in a temper tantrum about his family’s wealth, a pattern of possessive behavior re: aforementioned underage girlfriend, and a secret maybe-baby-daddy situation, and you’ve got a lot of drAmA potential with this one.
- Attractiveness: Jess is right. We obviously feel a certain way about Fitz. But I gotta be honest: Ian Harding is hot (call me!). The dark hair, the chiseled features, and those baby-blues? Mama like.
- Personality: Fitz seems like a good teacher because he, like Will, cares a lot about his students. But biblically? That’s a little much for me. I’ll always maintain that a twenty-something who dates teenage girls is only doing so because there is something fundamentally wrong with him: there is something that girls his own age are smart enough not to deal with. Maybe that’s the case here. Fitz had a thing with Aria, a thing with Ali, and his relationship with Jackie (a girl his own age) promptly crashed and burned. Can you spell B-A-G-G-A-G-E? Maybe that’s why he’s such a good writer. Seconded, also, on Jess’ point about his pretension: Fitz sometimes talks like the guys I went to grad school with (other lit nerd here, thanks), and that is in no way a good thing.
- Possible Drama: Like Jess said, Fitz’s family money, his penchant for younger women, his inability to do a proper DNA test (sorry, Malcolm): these all add up to a drama-filled man. Probably should stay away (but don’t worry: if you’re over 17, he will not be interested).
Winner: Mr. Schue
We were torn here. Look, Fitz is hot and all, but Schue, while incredibly annoying and far from perfect, isn’t dating a teenager (he merely had one be his best man at his wedding). We’re not condoning his strange insensitivities to Emma’s OCD, but we had to go with the guy who wasn’t doing the illegal horizontal tango. We just had to. (Special P.S. RIP to #DojoHottie, who would win this fight were we to include martial arts teachers. Maybe next round.)
Disagree with our outcome? Well, you have a say, too! Just vote for your preferred winner in this round of the TV Boyfriend Smackdown below, and we’ll see you in two weeks for our next match-up!