The Boyfriend of the Week

April 10, 2000

This week's Boyfriend continues along the lines of the overall theme for April -- Guys You May Have Missed and Ought to Get to Know. Of the four I have planned, Ioan Gruffudd is probably the one you are most likely to not recognize (not to recognize, to recognize not, to non-recognize, etc.) Because he only recently debuted in a lead role and it was in an A&E series that you probably thought was going to be really really boring, "Horatio Hornblower."

Now, the thing is, you probably HAVE seen Ioan. He was in "Titanic," for example, as the swarthy crewman who saves Rose at the end. He was also in "Wilde," as the swarthy young lad who interests Oscar briefly (as all young lads were apt to do). Actually, he does swarthy very, very well. It can't be good for his skin.

So, anyway, you've seen him. You just weren't paying attention to him. Don't feel bad, though. After all, it's my job to be on the lookout for faces like his and I totally blew it too.

In fact, if it hadn't been for terrible, disgusting, and contagious germs, I'd probably STILL be blowing it. And what a horrific loss that would have been for you. Explanation: I got sick a couple of weeks ago and had to stay on my weekend vacation an extra, unplanned day. Too sick to board the train (you try mixing a stomach bug with four hours in a lurching, rocking Amtrak car -- I was having none of that). Anyway, to kill time, my mom and I watched three of the four Horatio episdoes which she had taped awhile back and not yet seen.

I'll admit, I was dubious. Something about the title "Horatio Hornblower" makes it sound dull, dull, dull. (Do YOU know anyone cool named "Horatio"? I didn't think so.) But, avast, you heathens! We were wrong! It's incredible!

The Hornblower saga traces the career of a young Naval officer from lowly midshipman to swarthy (here we go again) and totally impressive leader. Not only is Horatio dang good-looking, but his loyalty, honesty, and integrity are pretty inspring. As dorky as that sounds. Plus, the films are just gorgeous -- great costumes, magnificent ships, and a TON of good-looking co-stars (I'm especially fond of HH's captain, who reminds me of Kevin Spacey).

These are great movies, you guys. Exciting, intelligent, and just plain cool. And the best part about "Horatio Hornblower" is that Ioan is the star! So, like, he's in nearly every scene! In uniform! And while it's true he's no Mountie, he does have a lot of personality traits in common with the Constable (see above, "loyalty, honesty, etc."). And his ingenuity and brains are on pretty even par with MacGyver, too. No pocket knife, but he does have a pretty swell hat.

It's very likely that all or part of the series is available at your local public library. So look for it! You will not be disappointed. Also, if it looks like A&E is about to rerun them, I'll alert you. Hey, it's the least I can do for you guys. I mean, after all, where would I be without you, my loyal, honest, ingenius, and swarthy fans?

A brief history of Ioan (pronounced, by the way, like this: YO-an). He was born in Wales and speaks both Welsh and English perfectly (and with the most outrageously charming accent, I might add). He's exactly my age (well, actually, he's exactly one month and twenty-four days older than I am (Oct. 6, Dec. 2)). And we have more in common than just that, too. For example, we are both under six feet tall (5'11", 5'9"). We are both known for our complete lack of fashion sense (today I am wearing blue striped pants and a blue sweater that is not the same blue as the pants and nailpolish that isn't the same red as the red stripe in the non-matching blue sweater, e.g.). We both have had long curly hair in the past and now do not (thank god). We are, of course, both radiantly good-looking and devastatingly intelligent. Oh, and we both sang in the choir as kids. Also, he played rugby and I sort of played soccer, which is practically the same game, only with less bleeding and breaking of bones (unless you are my brother, master of the I-Hope-I-Don't-Need-Stitches-After-This slide tackle).

See? Obviously made for each other. And, incidentally, he just broke up with his girlfriend. (Whee!) So, Ioan, babe, if you're reading this, muster up some of that fire-boat-jumpin', prison-break-organizin' courage and drop me a line! I think everyone here would agree that I'm quite a catch! Right, guys?

Hah! Whatever, Meg! You're totally insane, for one thing, and you're an absolute geek to boot!

Yeah? Well, I can dream, can't I? Nobody ever said I wasn't allowed to DREAM, you creeps.

MacGyver Factor Score: 99.3%. Speaking of dreaming. . .GORGEOUS!

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