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



Once upon a time I labeled the character of John Mulligan as a cad.

who, me?
who, me?

but also defended him with the opinion that he was a former bad boy just trying to get by.

yeah, let's go with that
yeah, let’s go with that

John confused me with the way he seduced the emotionally vulnerable Ellie by playing on her confidence issues. he’d talk down to her, reinforce how down on her luck she currently was–how far she had fallen from his previous conceptions of her– then flirt and build her back up again in the same conversation. that kind of manipulation never sat well with me but, ironically, I felt manipulated by the way the story was told through Ellie’s eyes, and so I fought against it. 


I was adamant that the pivotal scene when the drugs were found in her luggage, was not a set-up by John: he may have been hiding the drugs from her but he wasn’t using her to transport them….I was riding high on Mulligan charm.

it's the layers. chicks can't resist all this loud fabric.
it’s the layers. chicks can’t resist all this fabric!

somehow I misunderstood when Ellie said they should just use one suitcase for their trip instead of two. I was under the impression that they were sharing the same suitcase and thus the drugs she found were not intended to be transported by her alone. 


I must have also missed the part where John urged Ellie to go check and see if she had enough gas in the car, leaving him alone with the luggage–which was in actuality two separate suitcases–giving him the opportunity to either switch the drugs from his case to hers or to purposely place the drugs in her case as he intended to do all along. 

distRActed-part 2
distRActed-part 2

so, my opinion regarding John’s intentions has changed. I feel better about it now because I was fighting the creepiness before, the mental abuse John was exhibiting through his emotional manipulation of Ellie. I didn’t like it but I overlooked it because it didn’t fit in with what I wanted to see. but before you let out that breath you were holding in fear for my sanity, I must confess: I find prison John the more enticing of the two.

neck porn
neck porn

once he’s caught and gives his speech to Ellie, knocking her down a few pegs by pointing out that all the nice things she currently owns was bought with his money; the difference between the two personas is more apparent. it’s clear to me that prison John is the real him, and I dig his confidence. even though the jig is up, he’s resigned to his fate. he’s not blaming anyone for putting him there, he got caught and that is that.


before, I thought the look in John’s eyes at the end was regret because he really did like Ellie and he was sad that he lost what might have been.

Danger! Danger! do not look directly into the eyes!
Danger! Danger! do not look directly into the eyes!

but now I don’t see that look as loneliness or disappointment, but rather irrelevance: he just doesn’t care. I can respect that more than the smooth talker I thought he was before.

emptiness is the new sexy
emptiness is the new sexy

truth, even if it’s not the good kind, is preferable to a lie.

unless it's delivered while wearing this jacket- then all bets are off
unless it’s delivered while wearing this jacket- then all bets are off.

Harry Jasper Kennedy

Harry Kennedy, the quintessential boy next door that moved into town and stole my heart. okay, maybe I’m the one who moved into town since I didn’t discover him until long after he first appeared in 2006 but he had me at “hello”. 



I’ve always been drawn to the boy next door type, the wholesome nice guy with the stand up character and playful personality– Harry fits that description to a T. he has a quiet demeanor, may even appear a little aloof, but is not lacking in confidence.

confident, creepster- it’s all relative


he’s laid back, casual, someone who is happy just going with the flow. he’s well read

make that fan-fiction and you've got yourself a deal!
make that fan-fiction and you’ve got yourself a deal!


enjoys taking walks and is friendly to pretty much everyone, girls and guys alike.

"...and Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man"
“…and Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man”


I liked Harry instantly, and that has never really waned. he’s not perfect but I don’t really want perfect. 

but stop the interrupting, because that shit's annoying
but stop the interrupting, because that shit’s annoying!


We don’t really know much about Harry, other than he’s an accountant who works in the city and has decided to relocate to the country and commute. he must have a decent job to be able to afford that cottage but he seems like maybe he’s become disillusioned with city life. 


what a surprise to actually receive a visit from a neighbor. I lived on the same street in London for 15 whole years and the bell never rang once.


Harry falls for Geraldine right away, as she does him, but he’s much more impulsive



while she talks herself out of it being real.



a cute story with a happy ending and a lot of endearing humor along the way.






 Harry and his story may not be deep, it may not have a lot of action or soul-searching angst, but it touches a part of me that is very real. 

that room is missing a cat...or four.
that room is missing a cat…or four.


and on days when the world turns me upside down and pulls me in opposite directions, Harry brings me back down to earth and helps plant my feet on solid ground. Life is simple, it’s people who make it complicated.


Harry is simple, he uncomplicates me.


Prince Thorin

The first Richard Armitage character I became acquainted with was Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit: an unexpected journey. My first impressions of Thorin centered around the heavy responsibilities he carried upon his shoulders and how he seemed to wear his pride like a protective armor. I thought Thorin resisted the friendship between himself and Bilbo due to a superiority complex, and that it was less a case of accepting the friendship as becoming resigned to it. Thorin grew to respect Bilbo because he willingly subjected himself to the hardships that they all suffered along the journey, while also becoming a useful addition to the company. I still see those things in Thorin, but now I see so much more. 


Prince Thorin was a protector– he was softer before the dragon came. his father and grandfather were ahead of him in line to the throne–he was expected to observe, to learn, to hone his bravery on the battlefield. there is a lightness to his being when we see the younger version of Thorin in the flashback scenes– his stance isn’t as rigid and rooted as it becomes later, and there’s almost a shyness there. Prince Thorin is capable, can jump into action and take charge, as we see when he realizes it’s a dragon that is on the wind. Thorin shouts out orders immediately and grabs Balin to save him from the first attack of fire. but there is also fear. later, Thorin will try to mask that fear with arrogance and authority, but young Thorin wears his heart on his sleeve. when the Elves turn away and refuse to help– the incredulity upon his face. Prince Thorin had a trusting heart. 


After the dragon came, Thorin quickly became weighed down by responsibility, his stance changed to carry that load. his face became closed off, making the eyes stand out more than they did before. with age Thorin became more stoic, his body owning the space around him; older Thorin was solid. he no longer wore his heart on his sleeve, I would even venture a guess that he no longer believed he had one. Thorin was a leader now, a provider, and he would be damned if he let youthful fancies cloud his judgment. 


Prince Thorin wasn’t gone for good though, just hiding. when the keyhole didn’t appear: the vulnerability, the defeat, the loss of purpose. the acorn scene with Bilbo: the smile that made my heart hurt and soar at the same time.


Bilbo was able to reach the young Prince that was still inside of Thorin. the friendship that grew between them was the one thing that Thorin felt was his– apart from titles and responsibilities, from expectations and limitations. Bilbo saw Thorin, valued him for who he was, not who he was “meant” to be. I imagine that was scary and comforting and everything in between for Thorin, but it was real. the one real thing that Thorin possessed.


I see you Thorin. I see me reflected back in you.