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Bad Boys With Hearts of GoldWhen it comes to male television characters that audiences find most attractive, there’s nothing quite like bad boys, the guys who don’t play by the rules and have a facade of toughness to hide their vulnerable sides. While bad boys may often make deplorable decisions, their softer sides often shine when a love interest brings out their best. And it’s these glimmers of redeeming qualities that keep viewers rooting for them. Here, we take a look at the bad boys of TV with soft sides we adore.
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Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars) Yes, Logan (Jason Dohring) spent much of the first season of Veronica Mars antagonizing the show’s title character. And, yes, he’s often a class-A jerk, but behind the sneer is a broken bad boy with an abusive father, a negligent mother and a murdered girlfriend. Given his dark secrets, Logan’s initial bullying toward Veronica (Kristen Bell) only became fully forgivable once he won her over with his true charm and deep vulnerability: "I thought our story was epic, you know, you and me. Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. EPIC. "
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Jess Mariano (Gilmore Girls) This bad boy first showed up in Stars Hollow with no stuff but a ton of attitude. Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) had no patience for anyone in the small town, did nothing to hide his disgust and couldn’t care less what anyone thought of him. But then he met Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), and his desire to win her over allowed glimpses of his sweeter side, even if it took him years to truly grow up.
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Bellamy Blake (The 100) When The 100 first landed on the ground, Bellamy (Bob Morley) commanded the group, determined to do things differently than on the ark. Fueled by his own anger, he sanctioned bad behavior and encouraged those following him to live with no rules—which was problematic for long-term survival. But as the Sky people faced challenge after challenge, Bellamy eventually learned what it meant to be a leader, and his friendship with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and his love for his sister, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), pushed him to be a better man.
Dylan McKay (Beverly Hills 90210)The motorcycle. The eyebrow scar. The lack of parental supervision. For a generation of television fans, Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) was the ultimate bad boy. The James Dean of 90210 had confidence and a devil-may-care attitude that made him incredibly appealing to every teen girl in Beverly Hills. Brenda Walsh (Shannon Dougherty) first won his heart, which exposed his soft and swoon-worthy romantic side.
Mickey Milkovich (Shameless)Mickey (Noel Fisher) may be the baddest of the bad boys, with his behavior going beyond cutting classes or breaking curfew. As a member of a hardened criminal family, he spent much of his youth in juvenile detention. But being gay and terrified of being discovered, Mickey’s often trapped in the throes of intense self-loathing, a predicament that makes it impossible for viewers not to feel empathy and hope for him, especially when he finds some (short-lived) happiness with a boy.
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Class Heartthrob Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto, My So-Called Life)
He has a band. Grunge appeal. The hair of a ’90s god. And that dreamy, far away detachment that drives folks crazy. And we bet that below the bad-boy veneer is a real Joker.
Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl)As a rich, conniving schemer so bored with life that he tortured others for fun, Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) seemed to lack any good or redeeming qualities. But they just buried deep down and revealed after falling in love with the equally manipulative Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester). Equals in every way, the couple treated each other terribly but (somehow) also brought out each other’s best qualities.
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Best Athlete Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights)
It’s a good thing he can play football better than almost anyone in town, because there is no way those looks are gonna last forever. Especially if he keeps sucking back the brews before school.
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Leo Hendrie (Chasing Life)When April Carver (Italia Ricci) first met Leo Hendrie (Scott Michael Foster), he was a poor little rich boy with a death wish. A terminal brain tumor had left him with little reason to give a damn about anything, so he was reckless and rude and had no concern how his actions affected those around him. But once he and April got closer, his will to live returned—and he became quite the romantic, which made it all the more sad when he passed away just days after saying “I do” to April.