Mr. Andrews

Paul Andrews, from Between the Sheets, has always been a confusing character for me. in discussions about him, I defended him. not that he wasn’t guilty of the crime he committed but more that he had reasons for acting the way that he did; his actions were understandable to me. I wasn’t condoning his behavior necessarily, but I was acknowledging that it could be reality, not just drama for drama’s sake. what I couldn’t seem to do was say, straight up, that what Paul did was creepy and wrong. I always ended up delving into the whys and hows instead. it was those Puppy Dog Eyes! they are my Kryptonite.

of course you can come home with me!
of course you can come home with me!

I’ve avoided writing about Paul in my then & now look back at the RA characters, putting it off and then putting it off again. I wanted to be honest about my views, what they were compared to what they are now, how they’ve changed (if at all), but that would entail really sitting down and looking at my reactions. and I wasn’t sure what I would discover about myself if I did.

this scene turned me on more than the sex did
this scene turned me on more than the sex did

When I first encountered Paul, it was through one of the fan made compilations that only showed his part of the story. I knew it was giving me a one dimensional view of things by not showing other points of view but as far as Paul himself was concerned, I thought it was enough to get a solid understanding of him. I know where my mind was when I thought that and I could argue for that stance still but my feelings about that, overall, have changed. it would be like basing my opinion of someone’s character only on my own interactions with them, completely disregarding how I see them interact with others and how others react to them. if I just don’t want to get too highly involved with someone, to only take them at face value, that’s all well and good but I have to admit that to myself and own it. I wasn’t doing that with Paul.

I tried to convince myself that this fashion statement could be overlooked. it can't.
I tried to convince myself that this facial hair could be overlooked. it cannot.

Initially I thought that Paul did fool around with Tracy in a sexual manner, I just wasn’t sure to what extent. in the grand scheme of things “how much” didn’t matter, what matters is that he did and he shouldn’t have. not only because she was underage, a troubled youth who he was supposed to be helping and guiding as her Social Worker, but also because he was in a long term committed relationship with Alona. I knew all of that and I said as much but I wasn’t really standing behind it. I tried to put myself in Alona’s shoes but she, like me, didn’t really know what she was feeling or why, so I put myself in Paul’s shoes instead. if I couldn’t figure out how I was feeling about him, I could at least try to see things through his eyes. but he kept tripping me up! it was like watching one of those ‘dumbest criminals’ shows; if you’re going to be nefarious, don’t do it half-assed. add to this the fact that I was attracted to him (duh. he looks just like Richard) and I was all kinds of conflicted. so I let myself be pulled along by him, intuition be damned.

I knew. and he knew that I knew. and I knew that he knew that I knew. but none of that mattered.
I knew. and he knew that I knew. and I knew that he knew that I knew. but none of it mattered.

I felt that Paul was feeling neglected, that Alona was in denial about her control issues, and that giving in to Tracy’s advances not only made Paul feel desirable and needed but also in control. I still feel all of that, but in watching the whole program (more than once- denial is a stubborn thing) additional aspects became more clear. Tracy’s advances did make Paul feel desirable and in control, because she was broken and she needed him. just like Alona was broken when they first met and she needed him. they needed him for different reasons but they were both damsels in distress that weren’t in their own mind at the time. Alona eventually moved away from that needy persona into a similar one when she decided to have a child with Paul. I’m not sure how involved Paul was as a father but I suspect Alona needed the family man when their child was small. flash forward 6 or 7 years (I’m not sure how old their daughter was supposed to be) with a slightly older child and an extra pair of hands (the nanny) plus an angsty teenage boy who was testing his boundaries, and Alona had traded in need for control. something I understood all too well and did not want to face by seeing myself in Alona. I didn’t want to sympathize with Alona, I wanted to comfort Paul and keep him for myself.

the (deluded) heart wants what it wants
the (deluded) heart wants what it wants

once I admitted that I wanted to keep Paul for myself (it was hard, believe me), all Paul’s attempts at manipulation by turning the arguments back around on Alona, became strikingly apparent. I’m more than a little familiar with that conflict resolution tactic because it seemed to be my mother and father’s favorite way to deal with each other when I was growing up. Oh, hold the phone! Alona and Paul represent my parents…




So, in summary: I wanted Paul to be a better man than he was. I wanted Alona to see Paul as a man and not a boy. I tried to control the story and make it do what I wanted.

story of my life


The Rest of the Story

When I read the announcement that Richard had been cast in Hannibal I cringed. I immediately wondered if the show was worth catching up on before his episodes will air, but I decided against it. I’m curious to see what he does with the character but the show itself is not something I could watch long term.

battling nightmares is so time consuming!
battling nightmares is time consuming!


This brought to mind the videos that fans make of only Richard’s scenes, in any given project. I enjoy these videos and find them very convenient but sometimes they make it easy to forget about the rest of the story.



Richard is an ensemble player and so it’s essential to see who he’s playing off of and the atmosphere they are existing in, to get a well-rounded view of the character he’s portraying.

I’m not suggesting anything


While I didn’t really need to watch the six preceding seasons of Spooks to understand Lucas, I did benefit from watching them.  They introduced me to Adam and showed me his influence on the team, his personal connections to both Ros and Jo, and how bits of his personal history made him open to accepting Lucas so easily.

it takes a certain kind of person to look past greasy fingers
it takes a certain kind of person to not react to greasy fingers


Viewing all six seasons also gave me insight into the political climate of the show, the red tape they often had to work around, and the constant game-within-a-game aspect of it all. So the second time I watched seasons 7-9, after catching up on 1-6, I had a better understanding of it all. The things that Lucas did made more sense to me within the overall framework of the show, instead of just how they fit into a study of Lucas North. It also helped me to look beyond Richard, to take off those rosy glasses and let myself get mad at Lucas for most of season 8.

kick Sarah to the curb, Lucas, I beg of you!
kick Sarah to the curb, I beg you!


The whys of season 9 were much louder coming from my mouth the second time around too because I knew Harry better, I knew Ruth better, I remembered Tom Quinn. I think viewing the whole picture is especially important in the smaller productions Richard has been a part of. Those stories don’t revolve around him, so I need to understand how much or how little his character is influencing the sequence of events. Most of the time I generally feel the same about things, regardless of whether I view it in whole or in pieces, but I feel it on a deeper level when looking at the whole story. It makes more sense to me because I can see how it all fits together instead of just relying on gut-instinct.

my instinct for this one is a little lower than the gut...
this instinct is lower than the gut…


For example: my opinions of Paul and Alona from Between the Sheets didn’t change after I was able to watch more than just Paul’s scenes but I did understand better the world that Alona operated in. The way her shortcomings clashed with Paul’s became more apparent to me, and why they were together in the first place made more sense.

this guy left his socks on. yeah, that fits.
this is the guy who left his socks on. yeah, I get it now.


My gut-instincts and my empathy are the core of how I form impressions of people/situations, sometimes without anything concrete to base it on. I’ve learned to trust those instincts but not understanding why I feel the way that I do can end up closing me off to the multiple dimensions of something, leaving me with only a stale first layer.

move, Richard! you're blocking the rest of the room
move, Richard! I can’t see the rest of the room


This is why Richard’s particular brand of acting is so enticing to me. His eyes, his voice inflections, and his body language are all separate layers that work both with and independently of the dialogue and action. It’s a real thrill for me to see that, to feel it and understand it. To work my way through and around those layers. it affords me the chance to participate, to engage, instead of being led to how I should feel like an outdated laugh-track.

Dude, you weren't supposed to laugh there!
Dude, you weren’t supposed to laugh there!


So, I guess this means I should savor my sleep while I can, doesn’t it? because I’ll eventually want to get the full effect of the Hannibal world. No need to rush it though…

me, checking for serial killers under the bed
me, checking for serial killers under the bed


Just Give Me A Reason

A quick reminder:

these music-inspired pic spams

are reinterpretations,

not canon…

Right from the start

you were a thief, you stole my heart

and I your willing victim


I let you see the parts of me

that weren’t all that pretty

and with every touch you fixed them


Now you’ve been talking in your sleep

things you never say to me

Tell me that you’ve had enough

of our love


Just give me a reason

just a little bit’s enough

Just a second, we’re not broken just bent

and we can learn to love again


it’s in the stars, it’s been written in the scars on our hearts

we’re not broken, just bent

and we can learn to love again


I’m sorry, I don’t understand

where all of this is coming from

I thought that we were fine

(we had everything)


Your head is running wild again

my dear, we still have everything

and it’s all in your mind

(yeah but this is happening)


You’ve been having real bad dreams

you still lie so close to me

There’s nothing more than empty sheets

between our love


Just give me a reason

just a little bit’s enough

Just a second, we’re not broken just bent

and we can learn to love again


I never stopped

you’re still written in the scars on my heart

You’re not broken, just bent

and we can learn to love again


Oh, tear ducts and rust

I’ll fix it for us

We’re collecting dust, but our love’s enough


You’re holding it in

you’re pouring a drink

No, nothing is as bad as it seems

we’ll come clean


Just give me a reason

just a little bit’s enough

Just a second, we’re not broken just bent

and we can learn to love again


it’s in the stars, it’s been written in the scars on our hearts

that we’re not broken, just bent

and we can learn to love again


Just give me a reason

just a little bit’s enough

Just a second, we’re not broken just bent

and we can learn to love again


it’s in the stars, it’s been written in the scars on our hearts

that we’re not broken just bent

and we can learn to love again


we can learn to love again

we can learn to love again


that we’re not broken, just bent

and we can learn to love again


(pictures courtesy of Richard Armitage Central)

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. 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?! 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. 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?