The Boyfriend of the Week

ATTENTION: This week's write-up comes to you courtesy of Amber, a reader who wrote in awhile ago offering to ghost write a column for me on her sweetie, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Please note that Amber lives in a foreign country and English is her second language (Dutch is her first). Please feel amazed that she speaks English as well as she does (which is better than some of us, I tell ya). And then please feel free to giggle every time this crazy European lady yells the word "Hat!" in French when she is excited. I checked on this -- apparently, it's a Dutch thing. Okay, now on to the Boyfriend. Ready, set, CHAPEAU!

March 3, 2003

Like everybody else on this planet who owns a television I have been confronted with police series from the age of 5. Due to the overkill of all the whodunits, whydunits, and howdunits, I grew up hating all series that were even remotely based on cops, investigators and, yes, even lawyers. "Columbo" had the honor of being at the top of my list of Most-Hated Cop Shows, for the simple reason that one episode lasted more than 90 minutes. In second place on my list though was most definitely "NYPD Blue." Every time my family turned on the TV to watch "NYPD Blue" I went elsewhere just so I could avoid watching even a minute of that blasted show. My dislike was enormous. Huge. Gigantic. Mounds of dislike. Piled high all around me.

Until one day, I turned on my TV and by accident ended up on a channel that was airing "NYPD Blue" (not too surprising, given how often it's on during the day in reruns now). And that was when I first encountered John. Ah, John. A cute, dark-haired guy that looked a lot like someone I had seen before, a long time ago…hmmm. Well anyway, John had done something truly amazing. In just one episode he had made me addicted to a cop show. Chapeau!

Who was this guy who had single-handedly done the impossible? How did he coerce me into watching his cop drama?

See, in the first episode I saw there was this terrible gun fight, and character John Clark jumped in front of some innocent bystanders, took the shot and saved the day. A real hero! And I just love heroes. There is just something about heroes that makes them…oh, I don't know, SEXY? I mean, after John Clark had been shot, and you saw him, writhing in terrible pain. . .It just made me wanna go over there and take care of his wounds, comfort him, ease the pain. Oh, you know what I mean. Ease his PAIN. Too bad that in one of the next shots you saw John Clark in his hospital nightie wearing a blue hold-up-your-arm thingy around his shoulder (how is that called?). Granted, that made him look quite a bit less hero-like than back when he was covered in blood. Okay, but then again, I guess I can't really hold that against him? What should he have done? Bled to death just so he could keep lookin' cool?

Well anyway, I watched the next episode, and then the next episode, and then the next episode, and after being totally absorbed into the television during those heavenly 60 minute blocks, I decided that the time had come to look something up about that John Clark guy. Or, as I quickly discovered, that Mark-Paul Gosselaar guy. And that, my friends, was when I found out the horrible truth. Where I knew Mark-Paul from. Where I had seen him before.

And it was here: on a little 80's show called "Saved By the Bell."

Okay, does that bring back any horrific memories? Or am I just showing my age here?

Nah, come on. "Saved By the Bell"! Who doesn't remember that incredibly awful high-school series that ran from the late 80's till the early 90's? Six teenagers, and their world-threatening problems (note: sarcasm). What will I wear to the prom, how will I make sure I don't get kicked out of class, and most importantly, who will get Kelly Kapowsky? The show that had the same intelligent structure every episode: 1) we love each other. 2) we have an argument so we don't love each other anymore. 3) argument is solved, we love each other again, so let's hug. And then, of course, during this construction there was always some time left for Screech to follow Lisa around like a love-sick puppy dog, Jesse to hold a speech about women rights, and Mr. Belding to laugh his amazingly high-toned laugh (and they called the other guy "Screech"!).

Mark-Paul played Zack Morris - does that bring it right home for ya? Bayside High's most popular guy, who always managed to get: kicked out of class; a report-card filled with F's; and then a date with the beloved Kelly. Just about everybody on this planet loved Zack's I-live-by-the-day attitud and his bleached-blond hair with way too much gel in it (which somehow always resulted in a forelock that had approximately the same size as his head).

My other favorite aspect of "Saved By the Bell" was that from time to time, Zack would discover himself in an impossible situation and would just have to use his mobile phone to get himself out of it. Yes, and I know that you're all thinking back on mobile phones in the late 80's now. The T-Rex of T-Mobile? Without a doubt those gigantic, clunky things were very cool ten years ago, but they just look so ridiculous now, and so does everyone that's within a 50 feet ratio of such an apparatus. I can't watch "SBtB" without laughing hysterically every time Zach "whips out" his mobile phone. It's marvelous.

But okay, enough about SBtB. I know that I've been very unfriendly towards the show in the last two paragraphs but, just between you and me, I just did that to hide the fact that I still watch it sometimes, and, yes, I even enjoy it. My friend and I even taped it the other day, and we have rewound it about ten times just to hear Mr. Belding's funny laugh over and over again. And yes, I admit it, we even tried to imitate it. All right, I'm pathetic! So sue me!

Ooh, enough with the info-flow. Before I start revealing any more deep, and dark secrets about myself, let's go over a few of Mark-Paul's stats:

Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar was born on the March 1, 1974. He is half Indonesian, half Dutch, and he is the only one of four kids not born in the Netherlands, but instead in Panorama City, CA. He's been married to Lisa Ann Russell for several years now, a woman he met on the set of "Saved by the Bell." On every Mark-Paul fansite out there it's mentioned that he has two dogs and a horse. Now, I don't know why that's worth mentioning but I've shared the info with you anyway. It's nice to know that a guy owns a pet, I suppose. According to some studies it means that he is caring and sensitive, and doesn't every girl (or guy, for that matter) want a partner like that? Hmmm, though, of course, the dogs and the horse could of course belong to his wife… Oh great, there goes my theory!

Another nice fact about Mark-Paul is that he is a qualified pilot. And whenever I hear the word pilot I think: Pearl Harbor.

Okay, I'm guessing that I might need to explain myself a bit here. In the movie "Pearl Harbor" there is this scene when Evelyn comes to visit Danny at the hangar and they end up stealing an aircraft to go out for a little fly-trip. Okay, hated the movie, but loved that scene. I definitely wanna do that too sometime. And since Mark-Paul is a qualified pilot I'm thinking that something like that would be a perfect plan for a first date. Including the aircraft-stealing and all, which gives the date just the adventurous and dangerous touch that it needs. Mark-Paul, the handsom pilot and I -- together in the cockpit. The beautiful skyline in front of us. Flying high above the ground. Ah, wouldn't be something? It would certainly be something different than the restaurant/cinema setting first dates normally evolve around. I'd have something to brag about to my friends. You know, as long as the plane didn't go down in a fiery mess of twisted steel and broken bodies.

Right, enough with the daydreaming. Back to the facts. SBtB and "NYPD Blue" -- are they the only things we know Mark-Paul Gosselaar from? Nope, apparently not. He also starred in two other shows called "Hyperion Bay" and "D.C." Of course, where I live they didn't broadcast either of them, so I had to do without, though apparently I haven't missed an awful lot, since the shows came and went faster than the tides. They both got axed fairly soon after the pilot was aired, because the viewer ratings were so bad. Sorry about that, Mark-Paul.

So, what to do if you hate "NYPD Blue," but still want to see a bit of Mark-Paul on the small screen? Catch the re-runs of "Saved By the Bell" like I do? You'd rather not, if you can avoid it, I understand. Well, hey, you can always go out and rent a few movies starring Mark-Paul. Only problem is that you would have to search in the most forgotten places of your video store. If they even have any to begin with. Unless of course, what you want to see is "Atomic Twister." Yeah, that movie about storms, tornadoes and nuclear power plants. Won't that be a blast. Just what I want to see…A action movie filled with disasters. Why not star in a romantic comedy Mark-Paul?!!

[Note from The Management: Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of The Management. The Management would like to state for the record that she loves action movies filled with disasters and that a film about storms, tornados, and nuclear power plants sounds like a dandy way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.]

Hey, but wait a second, here I am talking in an unkind way about this movie, but I'm actually realizing at this moment that every movie that involves disasters needs heroes! Heroes that save the day! And when if you'll go back to the second paragraph of this write-up you'll be reminded that I love heroes, especially the kind that saves the day. So now I'm thinking that I might want to see this movie after all. Okay, I'm taking a note of that right now…

MacGyver Factor Score: 97.452%.Naturally, points off for the mobile phone in SBtB. I know I've said I can't hold it against him (it was 10 years ago I know), but still, it's forgiven, however, not forgotten.

Also some points off for the new hair. I know bleaching it every month isn't exactly cool either, but I just liked the blonde better. Points back for being able to speak Dutch. My first language. That will make conversations between us a bit easier. (Well for me, anyway).

Boyfriend-Related Links

The Official MPG Site
ABC's NYPD Blue Site

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