Credit: USA

The Starter Wife

Five years ago, I started watching The Starter Wife for Debra Messing, but I stayed for Stephen Moyer. Only, I didn’t realize it was Stephen Moyer until years later.

Let me back up: The Starter Wife was a USA miniseries about a recently divorced single mother who was trying to develop her skills as a writer. It was based on the novel of the same name by Gigi Levangie Grazer, but all I really remember about it is that Debra Messing played the lead character, Molly Kagan, who lived in a gorgeous oceanfront house with her daughter. And after divorcing her very rich husband, Molly surrounded herself with a quirky group of friends and one very attractive island man. I don’t think they were actually on an island, but that’s the best way to describe him.

Basically, a beautiful tanned blond man appeared on the beach one day and proceeded to sweep Molly off her feet. Having been married to a studio executive, a homeless island man wasn’t a likely choice for her next suitor, but this one was hard to resist with his bronze skin and his rock-hard physique. He was pretty much every woman’s dream. Not for a husband, but you get the point.

So after the show only went one season and was then considered a “miniseries,” I was left with no decision but to find a new obsession. Plus, Sam, my island man, didn’t last very long anyway. So, with this being 2008, I did what any realistic TV obsessive would do: I started watching True Blood. And just like that, I fell in love with Bill Compton’s love for Sookie and Eric Northman’s long hair. The blood and campiness took some getting used to, as did watching the show’s elaborate intro, but I grew to love it all. So you can imagine my surprise when my friends started talking about The Starter Wife years later and one of them mentioned Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) being their favorite part of the show. I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about. Then it hit me: The pale, black-haired vampire I’d come to love was none other than my island dream man!

I was thrown. Sure, I loved Bill on True Blood, but he was by no means the heartthrob of the show. Obviously he was very attractive, but they left the eye-candy responsibility to the likes of Eric and the always shirtless Jason Stackhouse. So how was it that I’d never recognized Moyer’s cheekbones? Did he really look that different without a tan? The answer turned out to be yes. I’ll put it this way: If The Starter Wife universe and the True Blood universe collided, I’m pretty sure Sam (Moyer) would’ve been Jason Stackhouse’s brother. Is your head exploding yet?

I’ve seen many actors transform themselves for a character, but I don’t think this will ever sit well with me. I loved Sam, and I love Bill, but for them to be one in the same just feels strange.

Here’s an interview with Moyer during his Starter Wife days, for reference:

What do you think, PopWatchers? Did you recognize Moyer? What Hollywood transformations caught you off-guard?

The Starter Wife
  • TV Show