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So Christian Grey, right? He is so awesome and dreamy and perfect.
Wait no, he isn't! He is an abusive douchebag.
Ok, sorry about that. Let's go by what the book TELLS us about him, not what it SHOWS.
So then Christian is super successful, he build a great empire in no time by dropping from college by a lended money. He is intimidating, likes fast/monstrous cars (again what we are TOLD), he likes big displays of wealth, social status, ego-strokes. He is selfish, a bit of a jerk and certainly a control freak. He has a broken childhood including an abusive situation and a dead parent-figure. He is amazing at his job and has cartoonish bodyguards. He loves his siblings. He is incredibly young. He is hot and is into BDSM.
|NO! Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey is NOT Christian Grey. |
It's was the only realistic version of Grey that I found, though. I am so sorry, Matt.
Hmm, I can think of one very prominent character a bit like that and no one from any erotic fiction (though I and lot of females did have a major fictional-character-crush on him). It's:
Ok, so for those of you who weren't kids/tweens ir didn't have kids/tweens in the early 2000s, Yu-gi-Oh was action-manga for kids (boys mostly, and I am sorry but I forgot the Japanese word for that genre), later adapted to a anime, the rights to which were bought by 4Kids in 2001.
It was about... adults playing a children's card game. Really, I can't explain it any better. This game is like the official sport in their world and most people play/want to play and the good ones are worldly-recognized. It's like Quidditch in Harry Potter except for the whole freakin' Western world. Also it's about ancient magic of dead civilizations. Go figure!
Seto Kaiba (or Kaiba as the show referred to him and as I will for the purposes this article) was the antagonist... except when he wasn't. On multiple occasions he'd help the main heroes, but usually for a selfish reason. He is basically everything that I said about Christian Grey and more. Well, except for being into BDSM, but I believe it was heavily implied. (Seriously, though - it's a kids' show.)
Unlike Grey, however whose personality is the same color as his eyes and name (see what I did there?), Kaiba was um... how do I say this? Interesting.
Besides the things I already pointed out, he could also pilot planes and helicopters; was a world-class hacker, a bit of a pick-pocketer, pretty proficient in martial-arts, a great escape-artist, amazing chess player and world-chapion of that card-game. Also - he was incredibly badass.
Not to mention, that what we are told about Kaiba is the same as what we are shown. This guy was a workaholic! And not a made-up workaholic like Christian, who while somehow being extremely rich and successful, can blow-off important business meetings on a whim; never ever works on a weekend; has all the time for lavish vacations; and basically makes his business decisions based on who he is fucking right now.\
Also, the reason Kaiba is so ridiculously successful is not only because he was a kid-genius, but he also had his father's money and his company that he just re-build (not build from nothing).
He was never a bad or a good guy per se (except for the first two episodes), but was an egotistical jerk and the show jokes about that. However, he loved his brother more than anything and would've done anything for him, which showed he also had a soft side. He had good parents who died, then he went into an orphanage and was adopted by a rich abusive jackass, so no wonder he grew to be a cold and selfish overachiever.
Also, did I mention that he was really hot!
I am not kidding here, but I think I had my sexual awakening thanks to him. Ok, not really obvs, since I was around eight or nine when I first watched the show, but... he was so cool...
Sorry, I got distracted there for a minute. What I meant to say is that I loved this character and yes, - I totally romanticized him. I think that's why to today I am always attracted to the jerk-with-a-golden-heart (thorpe) both in media and the real world and usually have it in my own writing.
And yes, he was totally into BDSM. And he was a Dom.
Ahem. Anyway, basically what I am saying is - when a kid's show centered around a bunch of teens and adults playing a children's card game, a show that included NO ROMANCE* (even by kids' shows' standards) has a sexeier, more realistic enigmatic-CEO-jerk-with-a-golden-heart character than the most successful book ever (and certainly the most successful erotic romance), something is terribly wrong.
Not to mention - in 50 shades Christian is THE MAIN character and the scenes without him are glossed over. Kaiba was a supporting character. There were many consecutive episodes without him and he was still my favorite guy (in show full of guys - it had three girls as main characters and even that is stretch).
Seriously? When a kids' show has a sexier character than the lead of an mainstream erotic romance, you just have to rethink the universe.
Be ashamed, E.L. James. Be thoroughly ashamed!
*Well, we had two guys fighting over that one girl, but she ended up going out with neither. There was also an obvious attraction between two more couples (in the canon!), but neither let anywhere.
Well, that's for now from me, expect my first Supernatural tematic review in the coming month.