We Loathe Him (don’t we?)

After being so impressed with Thorin and Harry, I needed to hunt down other Richard Armitage characters. I turned to YouTube to see what was available to view on-line. Over the next several days I became familiar with John Mulligan from Moving On, Lee Preston from Cold Feet and Paul Andrews from Between the Sheets.

naughty Thornton know what I mean gif
I keep my socks on too

They were all womanizing cads! No redeeming qualities whatsoever!

Lucas That's right! gif

At least, that’s how I was supposed to feel but did I really? Let’s break this down and take a closer look.

*Spoilers Ahead!*


John the Con-Artist

Mulligan from jail
Con-Artist sounds so negative

former bad boy trying to make a name for himself by buying and selling properties. potential investment turns out to be an old flame from his younger years. he’s interested in more than the house she’s selling.

Mulligan on date gif
can I drive my purple Porsche into your parking space?

he plays a confusing game of cat and mouse, every compliment is followed by a thinly veiled insult. this seems to work though, because soon they end up in bed together and a relationship.

Mulligan in kitchen
I should insult you more often!

friends and family are constantly throwing wrenches into things, making Ellie second guess every action and reaction. finally the naysayers are proven right when John is brought up on drug charges. Ellie offers evidence, when she finds drugs in their weekend getaway luggage.Β At this point I’m feeling conflicted.

Mulligan peeks through window
does this mean no conjugal visits?

I don’t think I would have turned him in, no questions asked, like that. Everyone is telling her she was being used by him but I think she was also being used by them, making her constantly doubt the relationship. I believed John’s heartfelt speech from jail; does that make me a sucker too?

Verdict: John made bad choices, but was doing so as a means to an end. He wasn’t respectable, but was trying.


Paul the Inept Probation Officer

Paul kisses daughter
we know, us too

in a long-term relationship with an older woman who has an unruly teenage son, and emotional baggage from the untimely death of her husband. she’s a straightforward, brash, and somewhat emotionally stunted therapist who thinks that sex is the answer to every problem.

Paul in bed
wait, this isn’t the answer to every problem? I’m confused

Paul is a probation officer with emotional needs that haven’t been met in years, and is being accused of having an affair with one of his teenage charges. It seems to me that he is indeed guilty of the affair but is convincing himself of his own innocence while trying to cover his tracks.

Paul looking sincere
believe you? not really, but you talk a good game

I hold out hope that I’m wrong, clear ’til the end. the relationship seems to be on the upswing, when Paul let’s the guilt get the best of him and decides to tell the truth. My reaction: dumbass! the finish-line was within sight, why tell the truth now?!Β Not my finest moment.

Porter judging you gif

Verdict: Paul is a cad, but could possibly be reformed.


Lee the Player

Lee wink gif
meet me after, ight?

Lee is such a womanizing flirt, it’s comical! He’s dating a firecracker of an older woman who should give him a run for his money, but always seems to play right into his hands instead.

Lee makes out on couch
you are feeling verrry sleepy

Lee checks out other girls while sweet talking his girlfriend, and plays strip poker with coworkers while she’s at home playing house. it’s all a game to him that he just wants to win.

Lee strip-poker gif
oh, so that’s how you play stud poker!

after having drunken sex with a coworker, he asks girlfriend to move in with him. after they fight, girlfriend leaves. then he asks girlfriend to marry him. after coworker starts avoiding him, he actively pursues her again. Ugh! The tone of the program was funny, but Lee’s actions were not.

Verdict: Lee was a cad! no regret, and clear intentions of doing it again.


So I’m left with one misunderstood cad, one emotionally needy cad, and one womanizing cad. but each of these characters kept me engaged, kept me guessing, and stayed in my head long after the program had ended.Β Richard Armitage did his job wonderfully, yet again.

Sydney shrug

Do you think I’m off my rocker for sympathizing with these fellows? Which of them, if any, crept under your skin?


38 thoughts on “We Loathe Him (don’t we?)

  1. I love this post! I especially love your comments on the pictures. LOL! “You mean this isn’t the answer to everything? I’m confused!” was my favorite. I must say I didn’t care all that much about any of these characters. I just watched to see RA. But once again proving my theory that, despite RA’s insistence that he has a “mean” face, he clearly has been cast as the romantic/sexy lead in these shows. Your post proves that these guys are not just mean/evil baddies, they have complex issues (while they are having sex/showing skin). Since RA says he doesn’t get roles that are like him, I guess these guys aren’t like him. Thank goodness!! πŸ˜€ (Well I hope he has some of their naughtiness!)


    1. they’re all liars in one form or another, so I hope Richard isn’t like them either! character development is very important to me, so I often find myself defending a character against his individual actions. I may not agree with what they do, but I can understand/sympathize with what drove them to do it


      1. Clearly Mr. Armitage strives to make us feel that way – i.e. to understand/sympathize with the character’s motivation. And he does SUCH a good job! I wonder though, what kind of role WOULD be like Richard. Just Harry Kennedy? Eh.


        1. another role of his, or just a type of role in general? possibly a George Bailey from “it’s a wonderful life”; the always-do-the-right-thing kind of guy who may sometimes suffer for his choices.


          1. Yes, I can see the George Bailey kind of thing. Yes I was thinking what type of role in general would he want and be turned down for. I think he has shown in the work he has done a broad range of roles, not just action hero, not just costume drama hero, complex contemporary anti-hero. I don’t think his looks mattered in any of those, except that he is gorgeous and sexy and was cast to show off those attributes. So why is he turned down as he says? Clearly not because he has a mean face!


    2. “You mean this isn’t the answer to everything? I’m confused!”
      Yes. I actually thought this myself before I saw the caption πŸ˜€


  2. I’ve dated my share of John Mulligans and let me tell you, when you’re in the thick of things, you don’t see what’s really going on. Sending her off without him but WITH the drugs was downright dirty but he was right about one thing when he said that she got to have nice things because of him. Just because he got caught now and she’s all screaming “bloody hell, I’m better than you” doesn’t exactly make her a better person. Just lucky that she didn’t get on that plane. But at least one of them knows who they really are and is at peace with it.

    Paul the Social Worker was a totally different cad altogether. When he got into the babysitter’s bed and claimed that he mistook her bed for whatever, my brain shut down and I said, no way. Been there, done that, wrote the book. But Richard did a good job that it gave me the creeps and he played the power-abuser-in-great-denial perfectly. Though I knew it right away when the charges first were leveled against him that he was guilty. It was just a matter of time really.

    Lee the Player was simply that – the player. He wasn’t ready to get engaged to anyone or get pinned down. Let the boy play, I say, and sow his wild oats while he can. The perfect cad? Most definitely and Richard plays them to a T.

    Which one really got under my skin? I think it’s pretty obvious πŸ™‚


  3. I think Paul & the nanny was an honest mistake. when she was walking around in her underware he did indeed look, but only a glance. I do think he was trying to reform, try to get himself out of the mess he got himself in and then avoid sketchy circumstances in the future. I wouldn’t say I trust him exactly, but it wasn’t premeditated like Lee. Paul is the most confusing one for me. Lee is a no-brainer, John could use a whole lot of guidance but I wouldn’t say he’s bad necessarily, Paul though; I equal parts loathe and like him.


    1. I’ve only seen it once but didn’t Paul end up in the nanny’s bed in his underwear and she screamed bloody murder? I don’t know how anyone can wander into someone else’s bedroom by mistake, no matter how much they insist it was a mistake.

      I thought the scene demonstrated how he could abuse his power over the ones below his position, in this case the nanny and as its revealed later when he finally confesses, but only after the girl kills herself, the emotionally-scarred girl he took advantage of, and even framed, which ended up being the last straw for her.

      Whether he was close to the finish line or not, and never confessed, he would have messed up again in the future when faced with a similar situation.


      1. with the nanny incident, Paul and the girlfriend were fighting. the girlfriend had been staying in their daughter’s room instead of sleeping in their shared bed. he went into the daughter’s room thinking the girlfriend was sleeping in there again, but she had switched back to their bed so the nanny was in the daughter’s room instead. I truly do think that was a mistake. (& so did the girlfriend) but as for the rest? like I said, I’m just not sure.

        logically he probably will do something similar again if the relationship goes sour, but I’m all for second chances. would I just be setting myself up for heartache? possibly, but at least I would know for sure, instead of not giving that second chance and always wondering.


        1. Thanks for clearing that up πŸ™‚ wasn’t sure of the circumstances around it anymore but wasn’t keen on reviewing that show again. Pushed too many buttons for me because whether he was truly remorseful or not towards the end, it took the girl’s suicide to finally get him to admit it. And he did try to frame her with the necklace in a “your word against mine” power play. And it’s hard to overlook, at least for me, the fact that he did take advantage of a teen ager using his position of authority. And that to me is a scary prospect, one that has the possibility of spilling over to his own daughter as she grows older and if emotional needs continue to be unmet in his relationship . Worse, if he hasn’t been caught, who is to say he wouldn’t do it again?


          1. as an authority figure, yes, everything he did was wrong, wrong, wrong! I did not mean to trivialize that or explain it away. he’s not someone I would want to date, but if I had been dating him for over 7 or 8 years already and had a child with him, these are the types of things that would be floating around in my mind.


  4. Great post! I have wondered for a long time if RA were to be cast as a character I’ve always loathed (for good reasons) would I change my mind about the character because I opposite of loathe the actor? I think he’s made a number of characters more complex than they may have been originally scripted…probably why we keep going back for more player, cad and bad, bad boy πŸ™‚


    1. I really try to look at the character, because I fear that I may become biased at times because of Richard too πŸ˜‰

      I’m always one who tries to find the good amongst the bad, or at least the whys of how they got to that place. so even just looking at the script, we get a lot of background and insight into Paul during that therapy session, and then the talking through things in their relationship afterwards, so that I see more of the human man instead of the one dimensional fictional character. if someone “real” were to make a mistake of that magnitude, would they be honest and confess straight-away or would they try to cover it up? you could argue that the mistake should never have happened in the first place, but it did. so I think it’s best to examine what “would” my reaction be first, and save the what “should” my reaction be until later, because what if I weren’t the girlfriend but was Paul instead?

      and now maybe I’ve made the character way more complex than was originally scripted!


  5. Hi! I simply had a good laugh reading this and I loved it, thanks! πŸ˜€ Of all the three I’ve only watched “Moving On” so I can only talk about John Mulligan. He did kept me wondering until the end and I actually sided with John at one point against her best friend. I did wonder at the end, why. They had been friends at school, so did he really find himself attracted/falling for her and decided to use her for his trade, or did he want to teach the “smartest” girl from his class a lesson? A sort of petty revenge? (maybe because I’m hard of hearing and not English sometimes I miss some dialogue) It did got me wondering his reasons, especially when she leaves him in prison, his face… he seems to regret what he just said to her. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway loved this post, the pics and your comments! Thank you!


    1. I think John truly did like her, he was just using their luggage to transport the drugs, not to trap her into getting caught herself or anything. they did write it in such a way as to not be clear though, for the viewer to be doubting him along with the female lead. I thought the things he said in prison were more of just a lashing out type reaction, than to try and hurt her purposely. I may debate Paul, but I don’t put John in the same category as him at all.

      I’m glad you liked the post. these three stories have to do with serious subject matter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with them in my usual way πŸ™‚


      1. Whenever I fly and they ask me at check in if anyone gave anything to carry or something to that effect, it makes me realize that in this case, John did know what he was doing. He got himself a drug mule but her intuition stopped her from getting on that plane. If she had gotten on that plane and not get caught, good for her, but if she had gotten caught, no amount of claiming she had no idea she didmt know what was in her luggage would save her from jail, nor would I hold my breath that he’d come and bail her out. That was a con from the get-go 😦

        I think I’ve seen too many David Mamet movies and have heard tales from my flight attendant friends in Asia to see anything positive from John Mulligan’s character. She was vulnerable and desperate and he zoomed in for the “kill.”

        I better stop my commenting on an otherwise lighthearted post. Sorry 😦


        1. no, you’re perfectly fine! I knew these particular characters would stir up some differing views, that’s why I asked how everyone felt about them. and that was kind of my point really: It seems like I should feel like you do, that’s what my brain is telling me to feel or how to react anyway; but my heart/gut tells me different. so that’s why I wanted to talk about it. I’m not trying to get anyone to agree with me, or to tell anyone that they are wrong when they don’t agree with me, just throwing my thoughts out there.

          and I always encourage each one of you to never be afraid to throw your thoughts out there either πŸ˜‰

          as for John, I don’t think he was using her as a mule purposely; they were sharing luggage if I remember correctly. he wasn’t able to go on the trip because he was being called down to the station for questioning or whatever, so he just had her go on ahead without him, hoping he could talk his way out of whatever was going on and join her later. what he was doing was wrong, but I don’t think he was conning her, in regards to the drugs or the house.

          that’s just how I see it, of course. I could be totally off the mark and in lovesick la-la-land, it’s entirely possible πŸ˜€


      2. Unfortunately I do get the same reading of the “drugs in luggage” scene as morrighansmuse. I always got the feeling that it was made to frame only her if she got caught in customs, that the whole last minute call was staged. Therefore my doubts about his feelings towards her. Because when she visits him in prison I get the clear impression that he said all those nasty things to push her away from him. Maybe remorse? Maybe he realized that he actually cared for her after all, and she’d better not get involved with someone like him?

        Or maybe I’ll just join you in lovesick la-la-land πŸ˜‰

        It’s funny that I’d been thinking about this character and wanting to see other people’s opinions and then you posted it πŸ˜€


        1. I think your view of the luggage incident is in the majority, which is why most people don’t like John. it’s pretty cozy here in delusional-ville though, so I’ll just stay here πŸ˜‰


          1. It’s not that I don’t like him, I feel conflicted about him, that’s why I’ve been trying to understand his motivations.

            Lol! I think I’ll join you in delusional-ville πŸ˜‰ May I?


  6. I think your post was hilarious and now I feel guilty for not taking it seriously enough. What can I say? I”m shallow.


  7. MMuse, I think Paul/Tracy and the necklace was a red herring. I also thought he was framing her until I watched it again and she seemed to admit stealing it.Also there was no other basis for the chaotic party scene at the house except to make us wonder whether she could have been there. Still, Paul was definitely using the necklace to coerce her into withdrawing her charges. He got the idea right away when Alona showed him the necklace. Made me think he was not only a liar but a schemer. I thought he was really creepy and the least sympathetic of all the choices. He was weak, whiny, ( even his voice was higher) sneaky – So much so that I started to forget it was Richard, which was a good thing. I didn’t understand why he made that final scene confession. The audiences needed to know, but I don;t think the character would have done it.
    At least Mulligan had charm and a back story we could believe. RA showed us in this role what we know-he can play a romantic part.
    Thank you for this post.


    1. Paul’s character was definitely sullied by his actions, but sometimes people do horrible things when their way of life is threatened; fear can be a very dangerous thing. I think he broke down and confessed at the end because the girl’s death finally snapped him out of the fight-or-flight frame of mind he had been consumed by.

      the fact that this character affected so many in such a negative way, shows that we can indeed admire Richard for his talent without our bias getting in the way πŸ˜‰


  8. There’s one more cad character I’ve seen, which is the guy in Malice Aforethought. I think he is at least as bad a person as any of the above.
    (There’s also the character in the Miss Marple who I think was a cad, but I don’t remember the storyline too clearly, and just about everyone in the show came off as not very admirable).


      1. He wasn’t a cad in the Gently show IMO, but I have a soft spot for Ricky Deeming.
        I haven’t seen Inspector Lynley, but I suspect another bad guy.


        1. his characters all have varying levels of depth to them (except Lee maybe πŸ˜€ ) so I never really see any of them as being inherently “bad”.


  9. Oh my gosh, you had me squealing with such laughter at the notion of Mr. Thornton keeping his socks on that I couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the post!!!


    1. everyone thinks that buttoned up Mr.Thornton is such a regimented guy, that he probably takes his socks off and folds them nicely on top of the pile of clothes he placed neatly on the chair while Margaret has her back demurely turned…but I suspect that he gets a little impatient, just like everyone else πŸ˜‰


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