The Bad Boys of TV

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Geoff Stults of “The Finder.”

There are some pretty cool guys on TV nowadays. One of my favorite new discoveries right now is Geoff Stults, the star of The Finder on Fox TV. Geoff has been in a couple of big films, J. Edgar and She’s out of My League, but on The Finder he gets to show off his leading man qualities. He seems to have the same roguish appeal of a young James Garner in The Rockford Files. And in fact the Bones spin-off is very reminiscent of that great old private detective show.

The Finder is about Walter Sherman (Stults), a sort of a heroic fellow who doesn’t always follow the rules, yet still charms the pants off everyone he meets. But he has a tragic back story, as a decorated hero who suffered a battle injury that left him with a damaged brain. The blow to his head has also increased his powers of perception which makes him great at finding things. He finds solutions to problems in unconventional ways, and he is driven with dogged determination to complete a task. Stults said, “He helps people find the unfindable. That’s the thing that drew me to the character and the show. He can be quirky and doesn’t take himself seriously.”

He works out of a bar in the Florida Keys, a dive appropriately called The Ends of the Earth. The bar is owned by Walter’s great sidekick Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan), who looks after his pal. Also helpful is the Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn), who provides inside information when needed, and wants to see her “boyfriend” get some professional help for his head. Stults said, “It’s a great dynamic with the cast. Whatever we go through, we’re there for each other.”

The setting in Florida helps with the show’s quirkiness because, Stults said, “It seemed like a good venue to meet a lot of oddball individuals.” It’s a fun show thanks to the setting and Stults. Tune in Thursdays on Fox.

Also during the recent Television Critics Association press tour I got to hang out with other interesting fellows. There was an interview session with the “Bad Boys” of the CW Network that proved to be entertaining thanks to Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl, Jared Padalecki from Supernatural, Shane West from Nikita, Joseph Morgan from The Vampire Diaries, Kristoffer Polaha from Ringer, and Wilson Bethel from Hart of Dixie.

All of the bad boys have devilish charms that get them in to and out of trouble on their shows, whether it’s Ed on the Upper East Side, or Wilson in the Deep South, or Shane kicking butt around the world. Actually Jared claimed to be the top bad boy because he’s a supernatural hunter who battles the things that go bump in the night. But Joseph said he’s the best bad boy because he has “way too much fun playing pure evil.” Then there’s Kristoffer who has done some bad things in the name of love. Haven’t we all?

While photos of the bad boys in action were being projected on the huge screens in the ballroom of the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, all the guys started kidding one another about their “badness.”

Joseph said he worries that the writers might want to soften his vampire character Klaus. He said, “I think they can make him more human and relatable without necessarily taking away any of his badness. I think that it’s possible to have someone who is an antihero who does tear hearts out and break necks, and still you can kind of relate to him on a certain level.” Oh, really?

When asked about his bad boy fighting skills on the action-packed Nikita, Shane said, “I’m faking it. All the credit goes to Maggie Q, who is phenomenal. It’s embarrassing how good she is and you have to live up to those expectations. I spend a lot of time in the gym and at the gun range trying to keep up.”

Ed explained that money makes him bad, “because my character is incredibly wealthy, and money can get you into a lot of trouble. That has made for some interesting storylines on Gossip Girl.”

Much sweeter than any of the other so-called bad boys was Hart of Dixie’s Wilson Bethel who said, “My character’s not too bad. He just has so much fun that it’s kind of hard not to love the rascal. And I ride motorcycles and write poetry.” So much for the bad boy image.

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Valley Variety

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