Rachel Strange

Happy weekend after Valentine's Day readers. Maybe you hate this holiday. Maybe you love this holiday. Maybe you’ll be spending this weekend with someone special, or maybe you will be wistfully watching “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and wondering when your own Peter Kavinsky will come. Maybe you're a gentleman reading this, and your very off put by the premise found in the headline of this column. I understand. You can consider the following as a peak into at least one example of the female mind. Maybe you’ll glean something from it. Or not. Either way, here we go.

I’m going to start with overrated and give you my hottest take ever. Jim Halpert from The Office is an overrated TV boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong. He starts out great. Some of his behavior could be a little stalkery if it wasn’t so obvious that Pam was into him. But his characterization later in the show is a primary reason for why I find the last couple of seasons of The Office unwatchable. Also, who buys a house without consulting their soon to be wife. That’s terrible. Next, all of Rory’s boyfriends on Gilmore Girls are the literal worst. I know what you are thinking. “What about Jess?” Nope. He’s rude, narcissistic, occasionally violent, and he constantly expected Rory to bail on her stuff to do his thing while never sacrificing his schedule for hers. Jess is the boyfriend all moms would hate for a good reason. I actually think he matures a lot by the time the Netflix movies arrive, and I even enjoy him by the end. But for the most part he’s just as lame as the rest of Rory’s boyfriends. Lastly, Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. It doesn’t matter how good looking someone is if you can’t depend on them.

Now to the more positive, underrated side of things, we start with Jake Peralta from Brooklyn 99. At first Jake is way too immature for any kind of relationship, but when he and Amy get together he figures out how to commit, how to step outside of himself to grow in a variety of ways, and generally is a thoughtful boyfriend and now husband. Next, Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. Michael Schur, the creator of both Brooklyn 99 and Parks and Rec, is just good at writing romantic lead couples. Ben is never insecure about how strong of a women Leslie is, even when people try to paint him into that corner. He knows her being ambitious doesn't mean sacrificing his own drive. He is a partner in the truest, kindest sense of the word. Last, Scott Lang of from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I admit I might be influenced by a college era Paul Rudd crush. However, like Ben Wyatt, he is not intimidated by the awesomeness of his significant other. And yeah he royally screws up by ditching her to go fight alongside Captain America, but he is emotionally mature enough to attempt to fix those wrongs in “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.

Whether you are single, partnered up, or whatever, I sincerely hope you enjoy your Valentine’s weekend. At the very least, maybe I’ve provided you with some good ideas for couples goals or not goals as you live out that search for happily ever after.

Strange Perspective if a look at all things pop culture by Progress columnist Rachel Strange.