The Boyfriend of the Week

December 3 , 2004

I KNOW. I KNOW already! I KNOW that featuring Joe Lando, most famous for his Fabio-Meets-Daniel-Day-Lewis-From-The-Last-Of-The-Mohicans part as "Sully" on "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" makes me about the lamest person on the planet at the moment.

Alas, I cannot control myself. Ever since I happened upon an episode of "Dr. Quinn" on the Hallmark Channel a couple of weeks ago, and then started getting the DVDs of seasons one and two from, I've been a full-time Sully fan. I swoon when he gets that little "I'm in love but I'm in pain!" look on his wanna-be Native American face. I get all giddy when he rescues Dr. Quinn from yet another dangerous catastrophe. And oy, when his biceps ripple? My stomach flips (in a good way).

I realize that this makes me about 50 years old. However, since I did feature both Josh Holloway and Eddie Cibrian over the last couple of weeks, totally a 13 year old thing to do, that means I'm actually averaging 31.5, which is not such a bad age to be. I hear, anyway. (I'm only 31.0027397 (rounded), and even then only if you don't count leap year days. Hey, there's a good word problem for all you math nuts -- when was my birthday? Email me with the right answer and you win. . .uh. . .my amazement and respect!)

What actually clinched this write-up for me, though, wasn't the marathon of "Dr. Quinn" episodes. I mean, yeah, that's what got me to look Joe Lando up. But what got me to make him a Boyfriend was the fact that I soon discovered he's been in two, I say TWO, natural disaster movies, both of which were just TREMENDOUS(ly awful). They were BRILLIANT(ly terrible)! They were AMAZING(ly wretched)! One great bad natural disaster movie is a fluke -- two is just totally on purpose. And how can you not love a man who so clearly loves good bad natural disaster movies?

Answer: you simply cannot (not love him).

And so here we are. In love with Fabio-Meets-Daniel-Day. Next week, I confess my life-long adoration of Michael Landon. Or Mr. Green Jeans. Or something equally dorkified like that.

Joe Lando, though. I can't figure out what it is about him that makes me swoon, to be honest. He's not really classically handsome. In fact, with the long Fabio hair, he looks kinda dorky. And without the long Fabio hair, he ALSO looks kinda dorky (though periodically, he also looks kinda Clive Owen). But now that I think about it, that pretty much explains the whole infatuation in a nutshell -- I've never been able to resist a good dork. Especially a good dork who stars in movies like "Devil Winds" (killer tornados!) and "Combustion" (killer methane explosions in basements!). Of the two, by the way, "Combustion" is the better movie, even though it features remarkable short-sightedness on the part of Sully's character -- short-sightedness so remarkable, in fact, that I spent the better part of the second half yelling at him to PAY ATTENTION, FOR PETE'S SAKE! Basements are exploding all over the town! Your son's bedroom is IN A BASEMENT! It doesn't take a degree in astrophysics to figure out where this is headed! Dude, you are in a DISASTER MOVIE!

"Devil Winds" does have nice CGI tornado effects, though. I love CGI tornado effects.

Anyway, Joe Lando just looks so good when he plays distracted scientist that it's hard not to forgive him when he's periodically acting like a complete stupidhead. Plus, though I can't put my finger on just why this is, there is simply something very "manly" about him. It might be the way he tosses that tomahawk on "Dr. Quinn." Or the way he faces adversity in "Devil Winds" when his family is killed by a tornado because he's too busy driving around in his truck talking about how friggin' COOL weather is! There's just something macho about Joe Lando. And, as I've always said, while I wouldn't live in Macho, it's not a bad place to visit every now and then.

Of course, in real life, he probably likes kittens and teddy bears.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Okay, as if all this manly-manness weren't enough to make me swoon with devilishly windy glee and then combust (kaboom!), the final factor that made this write-up totally mandatory was when I discovered that what Joe Lando's been doing in 2004 is making yet another great-sounding bad movie called "Bloodsuckers." Now, I know what you're thinking, because I thought it too -- why in the HELL would anybody want to watch a movie about killer leeches! I mean, EW! But, never fear, we were completely wrong to jump to that bloodsucking conclusion. Because the movie is actually about vampire hunters in space. Duh, OBVIOUSLY. Yes, according to its plot outline at the IMDB, it's "Buffy" meets "Star Trek" in a "Mad Max" world. I wonder if that means there will be librarians? And Tina Turner? (Or maybe Tina will wait for the sequel, "Bloodsuckers: Beyond Thunderdome"?) Regardless, with an official tagline like "In space. . . no one can hear you suck," you just know this one is going to vibrate with amazing awfulness. I cannot WAIT.

In space. . . no one can hear you yell at the top of your lungs, "Joe Lando, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!"

But I can answer that, actually. I don't know if my answer is correct, but it's the one I hope to be true. What Joe Lando is thinking is this: bad movies are really really fun. The badder the better. Which is not to say there isn't a level of badness beyond the realm of goodness. I mean, you can have a bad movie that is just plain ol' BAD (in fact, apparently, you can have several hundreds of them). But, I just know Joe Lando aspires to a better bad. A good bad. A devilishly windy and combustible bad (kaboom!), no less. Bring on the CGI space tornados!!

In space. . . no one can hear your maniacal laughter! Mua ha ha ha ha ha!

Anyway, despite the fact I'm pretty much just discovering him for the first time, Joe Lando has actually been an actor since about the mid-1980's, when he landed his first film role in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," the movie most trekkies consider to be the worst film starring William Shatner ever made, and that's even counting "Janek: The Silent Betrayal" (which I've never seen, actually, but with characters named "Bodosh," you know it's got to be awful). Anyway, Joe had a small, nameless part ("Shore Patrolman"), but you just know it was the start of something big.

Orrrrrr, the start of something even smaller. Like his next role, "Pizza Guy" in "I Love You to Death."

But everybody has to start somewhere, and if you're an actor, it's better to PLAY a "Pizza Guy" than to actually be one, I suppose. Regardless, it didn't take long after that for Joe's career to really get its jumpstart, with the role of Jake Harrison on "One Life to Live." He was on the soap for two years, making countless housewives swoon at his very presence. And it was almost immediately after the end of that gig that he got picked up for "Dr. Quinn," making pretty much all the same countless housewives swoon some more.

I myself looked upon Dr. Quinn with nothing but scorn while it was on. In public, anyway. But privately, I will confess to you that I have two weaknesses (aside from bad movies). The first is for "Little House on the Prairie." And the second is for westerns. Yes, yes, think about it -- what is "Dr. Quinn" if not a combination between those two elements? Plus, a little medical drama thrown in for good measure (another weakness of mine because I'm a science nerd). So, it actually makes perfect sense that I would publicly scorn "Dr. Quinn" (because I am not, actually, 50 years old), all the while filing the show away with plans to catch up on it in the future. Thank god for DVD, I can only say (for the bazillionth time). Because it's embarrassing enough to watch "Dr. Quinn" without having to do it on the Hallmark channel for Pete's sake.

I hope I'm not insulting anybody, by the way. Because, secretly, I also love the Hallmark channel. But, see, you lose about 400 bazillion punk points when you confess to that. And I'm already dangerously low on punk points simply from posting this write-up to begin with. If I get any lower, I'm going to have to do something drastic, like stick a safety pin through my cheek. And I really have no tolerance for pain, so it's best I try to preserve what remaining points I still have.

Quick biography: Joe Lando was born Joseph John Lando on December 9, 1961 in Prairie View, Illinois. His parents, Joe and Virginia, are a mixture of Italian, Russian, and Polish and thus, so is Joe and his older sibling Kathy. Joe's married to Kirsten Barlow (since 1997) and the couple has two sons and a daughter, the latest one born only about a year ago.

He's 5 feet, 11 inches, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a "build" described on one fan site as "very nice" (understatement of the year!). By comparison, I am 5 feet, 9 inches, with blue eyes, light brown hair, and a build that could accurately be described as "large-assed."

Clearly, we're made for each other.

Up next for Joe, aside from the space vampire flick, is a guest spot on the show "1-800-Missing," slated to air January 9th, 2005. Aside from that, not a whole heck of a lot else. But hey, if you're ever missing him and you need a fix, just pick up one of those bodice-ripping Harlequin novels with Fabio on the cover and insert Sully's face in your head instead. It's a technique that always does the trick for me.

Now go away -- I have to get started on season three of "Dr. Quinn."

MacGyver Factor Score: 92.137%. Okay, I had to deduct a bunch of points from Joe Lando just because of his hair. No matter how he wears his hair, it just looks totally and incredibly wrong on him. Long Sully hair -- wrong. Short Clive Owen hair -- terrible. Medium-length hair -- outrageously bad. There is just no Joe Lando hair that satisfies me. And thus, I fear that if we ever did go out on a date, I'd just be distracted the entire time, staring at his hair and willing it to transform itself into something somehow more flattering. Incidentally, I have this same exact problem with Stephen Baldwin -- he's got, hands-down, the worst hair on a guy I've ever seen. If only these two men would get serious about this, I'm sure some hair genius out there could fix them up. Hey, I've seen that show "Blowdry." Somebody call Jonathan!

Boyfriend-Related Links

Joe's IMDB Page
The Joe Lando Web Page
The Sights and Sounds of Joe Lando
The Official Dr. Quinn web site

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