Five tv hunks

… of very different body types. Things saved up for some time, now to put them out.

Sage Brocklebank (Psych); Jordan Gavaris and Dylan Bruce (Orphan Black); John Wesley Shipp and Grant Gustin (The Flash).

Brocklebank. If his stage name is Sage Brocklebank, you can pretty much bet that’s his real name (cf. Meryl Streep). From Wikipedia:

Sage Brocklebank (born January 14, 1978) is a Canadian actor best known for his role as Buzz McNab, a long-standing role on the comedy-drama Psych. He also produces movies and writes for theater and film.

He’s a tall man (6´5˝) with broad shoulders, clearly a hunk:


He seems not to appear shirtless, but I can live with that.

On his Psych character:

Officer (Junior Detective (season 8) [his promotion is a very big thing]) Buzz McNab (Sage Brocklebank) is a member of the SBPD [Santa Barbara Police Department], who occasionally works with Detectives Lassiter [Carlton Lassiter, played by Timothy Osmundson] and O’Hara [Juliet “Jules” O’Hara, played by Maggie Lawson], as well as Shawn and Gus [the centra characters, Shawn Spencer (played by James Roday) and Burton “Gus” Guster (played by Dulé Hill)]. McNab is a naive, lovable cop who is always eager to please Lassiter, even though Lassiter doesn’t always treat him well.

The character just radiates sweetness. All the other characters are interestingly neurotic, but McNab is even-tempered, well-intentioned, and empathetic, though sometimes bumbling. Here’s Brocklebank in character:


and in a scene with Harris Trout (played by Anthony Michael Hall):


Harris Trout is a consultant hired by the mayor to whip the SBPD back into shape in “No Trout About It”. He was made the interim police chief at the end of the episode. He is fired as interim police chief at the end of “Someone’s Got a Woody”, due to his dangerous handling of a hostage situation.

In #3 it has come out that McNab has been moonlighting as a male stripper. The dialogue:

Trout: How about you, Magic Mike? [allusion to the male-stripper movie of that name]

Buzz: I actually dance by the name “Morning Wood”.

It’s good-paying, enjoyable work, and McNab has no problem with it. Note that he’s smiling in all three of these shots.

Earlier postings about the show: on 4/4/15, in a posting about Cybill Shepherd, this Wikipedia material:

Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television… The series stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a young crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department whose “heightened observational skills” and impressive detective instincts allow him to convince people that he solves cases with psychic abilities. The program also stars Dulé Hill as Shawn’s best friend and reluctant partner Burton “Gus” Guster [who is black], as well as Corbin Bernsen as Shawn’s father, Henry, a former officer of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

… Madeleine Spencer (Cybill Shepherd) is a police psychologist who is Shawn’s mother and Henry’s ex-wife.

And on 6/23/16, a posting on a moment in S1 E11 when Shawn advises “Lassie” (Lassiter), on attracting women by displaying sternum bush ‘chest hair’.

Orphan Black: Gavaris. Now for something completely different. The premise of the show, from Wikipedia:

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction thriller television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her fellow clones, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing Childs’ suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning, and its effect on issues of personal identity.

Tatiana Maslany [plays] Sarah Manning, and a number of clones …, all born in 1984 to various women by in vitro fertilization.

It’s Maslany’s show, a real tour de force. But there are several central male characters, one played by:

Jordan Gavaris as Felix (“Fe”) Dawkins, Sarah’s foster brother and confidant. He identifies as a modern artist and moonlights as a prostitute. He is the first person Sarah confides in about the existence of clones.

Canadian actor Gavaris (born September 25, 1989) is a hoot in his role as the flamboyantly gay Felix, also with an eerily convincing British accent of his own creation. (Gavaris has snapped back at critics who complain that his faggy character shows gays in a bad light, saying that it’s insulting to insist that queers must be presented only as “straight-acting”.) In one scene he’s tasked with baby-sitting his niece and nephew, and introduces them to the pleasures of cross-dressing.

Felix is a slim leather twink:


And he loves to show off his body as much as he can. Here he is painting bare-assed (and a very cute ass it is):


Orphan Black: Bruce. Then there’s

Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierden, an ex-military mercenary, who is Beth’s monitor and boyfriend.

Bruce is an athletic muscle-hunk (yet a third body type in this survey):


His Wikipedia page tells us that he’s a Canadian actor born April 21, 1980, also known for his role as Chris Hughes on the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns.

The Flash. Now to the complexity of the DC Comics world. On the character, from Wikipedia:

The Flash is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (January 1940). Nicknamed the “Scarlet Speedster”, all incarnations of the Flash possess “super speed”, which includes the ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and seemingly violate certain laws of physics.

Thus far, four different characters – each of whom somehow gained the power of “super-speed” – have assumed the mantle of the Flash in DC’s history: college athlete Jay Garrick (1940–1951, 1961-present), forensic scientist Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Barry’s nephew Wally West (1986–2011, 2016–present), and Barry’s grandson Bart Allen (2006–2007). Each incarnation of the Flash has been a key member of at least one of DC’s premier teams: the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans.

Specifically on Barry Allen, from Wikipedia:

The Flash (Barry Allen) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Barry Allen is the second character to be known as the Flash. The character first appeared in Showcase #4 (October 1956), created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino. His name combines talk show hosts Barry Gray and Steve Allen. Barry Allen is a reinvention of a previous character called The Flash that had appeared in 1940s comic books as the character Jay Garrick.

The Flash’s power consists mainly of superhuman speed. His abilities allow him to move at the speed of light, and in some stories, even beyond that real-world limit. Various other effects such as intangibility are also attributed to his ability to control the speed of molecular vibrations. The Flash wears a distinct red and gold costume treated to resist friction and wind resistance, traditionally storing the costume compressed inside a ring.

Barry’s classic stories introduced the concept of the Multiverse to DC Comics, and this concept played a large part in DC’s various continuity reboots over the years.

An early comic book version of the character:


Out of all this, I’m posting here about two tv incarnations of the Barry Allen character. First, in the 1990 tv series:


The Flash is a 1990 American television series developed by the writing team of Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo that aired on CBS. It is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. The Flash starred John Wesley Shipp as Allen, along with Amanda Pays, Alex Désert, and Paula Marshall. (Wikipedia link)

And then in the 2014 tv series:


The Flash is an American television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, airing on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. It is a spin-off from Arrow, existing in the same fictional universe. The series follows Allen, portrayed by Grant Gustin, a crime scene investigator who gains super-human speed, which he uses to fight criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities. (Wikipedia link)

Shipp and Pays appear in both series. My interest here is especially in contrasting two different ideals of masculinity as embodied in Shipp (Priapus, powerful maturity) and Gustin (Apollo, youthful beauty), and especially in exploring the Barry Allen character as developed for Gustin.

Shipp. The man, shirtless and intense, on Dawson’s Creek:


John Wesley Shipp (born January 22, 1955) is an American actor known for his various television roles. He played the lead Barry Allen on CBS’s superhero series The Flash from 1990 to 1991, and Mitch Leery, the title character’s father, on the drama series Dawson’s Creek from 1998 to 2001. Shipp has also played several roles in daytime soap operas including Kelly Nelson on Guiding Light from 1980 to 1984, and Douglas Cummings on As the World Turns from 1985 to 1986 (which earned him his first Daytime Emmy Award). He portrays both Barry Allen’s father, Henry, and Jay Garrick on the current The Flash series on The CW network. (Wikipedia link)

Shipp is a square-jawed major muscle-hunk, and his version of the Barry Allen character is a hard-working superhero (with not a lot of emotional complexity).

Gustin. Gustin as a thin-faced agreeable Barry Allen — indisputably masculine, but in a different way than Shipp:


And shirtless, lean, and playful:


And a more direct counterpart to Shipp as the Flash in #8:


(Note: all superheroes, whatever their body type, exhibit aggressive genital masculinity; they live in the land of jockstraps, dance belts, and codpieces. It’s in their contracts. More seriously, they embody fantasies of power and strength, of secret identities, and of transcending limitations.)

Thomas Grant Gustin (born January 14, 1990) is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles as Barry Allen / Flash on the CW series The Flash and as Sebastian Smythe on the Fox series Glee.

… On November 8, 2011, he debuted on the television series Glee as Sebastian Smythe, an openly gay member of the Dalton Academy Warblers. Gustin won the recurring role of Sebastian, a promiscuous and scheming character. (Wikipedia link)

Gustin’s Barry Allen is sweet, earnest, and principled, but also an adult and a true hero (when a hero is called for). He reflects often about how to live as a good and decent man. His best friends are a black woman and a Hispanic man, and he helps his gay friends (definitely a modern young man). So he’s an admirable character, someone you’d like to get to know — and then there’s that really cool superspeed thing, and the messing with time and alternative universes. The series has all the DC gee-whiz stuff, but it’s also amiable and funny.

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