1. Hosts of any kind are disqualified. The relationship you’re creating is real; your better half must be fictional.
2. You can’t change anything about your partner — other than that he or she will no longer have the hots for the show love interest, obviously.
3. You must explain why you’d make a good match, so when other PopWatchers want to steal your pick, they know what they’re up against.
After the jump: Three of the TV heartthrobs who made our cut, and why.
I spent waaaay too much time debating this yesterday. First with colleagues Abby West and Jennifer Armstrong. Jennifer knew immediately that she wanted Jack (James Tupper, right) from Men in Trees because he resembles half the men she’s dated, clearly likes New York writer types, and has great hair. Also, because she didn’t want to say she’d date a teenager (Ryan from The O.C., played by Benjamin McKenzie). Abby had to ponder briefly and IM’d me when I finally let her return to her desk. According to her (and her husband), Medium‘s Joe Dubois (Jake Weber, left) is “the best all around man on TV. He’s handsome and loyal and smart (rocket scientist!!!) and loving and affectionate and real (will argue… eloquently… but argue nonetheless). Gets frustrated. Is a great dad.”
That’s very persuasive, but I couldn’t begin to process him with my head already spinning. Do I go with NewsRadio‘s Dave Nelson (Dave Foley)? Not if I want to keep my friend Eva, apparently, who said “What would you have in common with Dave Nelson? Do you drink coffee? Do you watch Green Acres? He’s mine.” What about Ed‘sEd (Tom Cavanagh)? He’s a dreamer but still solid, and were we ever to reproduce, his staff at the bowling alley would provide free daycare. Tempting, but the fact that I stopped watching the show toward the end doesn’t exactly bode well for our longevity. After I tried to tell my friend Tamara (pick: The West Wing‘s Josh Lyman, played by Bradley Whitford) what I loved about Sports Night‘s Dan Rydell (Josh Charles) but couldn’t remember, I accepted the inevitable: I had to post another picture on PopWatch of Bones‘ Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz, center). I respect the man, for what he does on the job, for how supportive and protective he is of his friends, for asking Brennan where her TV was when he first saw her apartment. I also happen to share his love of Thai food and pie, and I fully support his affinity for flashy socks and hair metal. Anthropology was one of my majors in college, so he could leave me alone with the squints. And because I work long hours in New York and couldn’t make the totally manageable trek to D.C. every weekend, he’d still have plenty of quality time with son Parker and shrink Sweets.