AfterElton’s Trending Topics: First TV Crushes

Here at, people aren’t shy about naming their TV crushes, whether it’s a sometimes-brooding, sometimes-happy-go-lucky roguish time traveler, a gruff, strong-willed police officer or a cable TV decorator stud. But there had to be someone who started it all for each of us. The one who first made our young selves one day notice that there was more to these TV shows than just the spaceships, cartoons, and things blowing up. Someone who made our pulse race and previously non-tingly parts go all tingly.

That was the hot topic of conversations at the AfterElton break room this week: Who was your first TV crush?

The responses we got varied quite a bit. Some people remembered the teen idols of their youth, some people remembered a character who didn’t make the wardrobe department work very hard, while others remembered someone who … surprised us.

But we don’t want to just hear from AE writers. We’d also love to hear from our readers. So in the comments tell us: Who was your first TV crush?

From the staff…

Brent Hartinger

Patrick Duffy in Man From Atlantis. Although I think it’s far more accurate to say my crush was on his body-hugging swim trunks.

Even today, I stand fully by this crush!

Patrick Duffy from Man from Atlantis


Chris O’Guinn

I spent a lot of time watching my mother’s soaps. In particular, Days
of Our Lives
was the one I was totally into. I learned all I needed to
learn about life from those wacky denizens of Salem!

So it’s not
too surprising that my crushes started there. And yes, I’m picking two,
because everyone knows we bisexuals want it all!

Hope Williams Brady, played by Kristian Alfonso, was the gorgeous
woman who just wanted to marry her scruffy beau, Bo. She had elegance
and grace and eyes that I could stare into for hours. She needed a hero,
and I was ready to be that for her!

For me, the guy I wanted most was Steve “Patch” Johnson. The bad boy
with the heart of gold, he was the total package — looks, bad-ass
attitude, leather jacket and secretly romantic. He even tried to change
his whole life and become respectable just for his love, Kayla. Le sigh.

Days of Our Lives’ Hope and Patch


Christie Keith

Ah, this is so easy and so embarrassing: Laurie Partridge on The  Partridge Family, played by Susan Dey. I had a poster of her on my bedroom wall, and I wore my hair just like hers, long and parted in the middle. I even watched LA Law just because Susan Dey was on it.!

One of my earliest memories was of my bewildered mother asking why I wanted to look like Susan Dey and why I had her poster on my bedroom wall, so I immediately put up another one of David Cassidy; forgive me for not blistering my mom with a radical lesbian feminist tirade, but in my defense, I was only 11-years-old.

My next crush was Christine Cagney on Cagney and Lacey, played by a young, butch and hot Sharon Gless; by then I was old enough to know what was going on. After that, I became hopelessly devoted to Xena, Warrior Princess. I’m not sure if my crushes became less embarrassing with the years, or I just adjusted my perception of them so my inner queer fangirl could run free!

And who knows, perhaps my current love of Glee can be traced to those early musical episodes with Laurie Partridge pretending to sing back-up and play the piano.

Laurie Partridge, Christine Cagney and Xena

Chris Eggertsen

Ooh, this one’s easy: Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and A.C. Slater
(Mario Lopez) from Saved By the Bell. I remember coming home from
school every afternoon and rushing to finish my homework so I could
catch back-to-back reruns of the show at 5 PM. 

The greatest moments, of course, were the
subtly homoerotic ones – Zack pitching his latest scheme to a
scantily-clad Slater in the boy’s locker room; the pair lounging about
on Zack’s bed together with no one else around (Kelly and Jessie who?); their mutual affection for the music of George Michael.

As a kid just beginning to feel the first hormonal
stirrings of sexual confusion, the show served as an awakening to my
innermost animal impulses (well, that and the men’s underwear section of
the J.C. Penney catalog); it was as if every tiny exchange between the
two high school heartthrobs was coded with some secret, impossibly sexy
meaning. Now that’s what I call must-see television.


Lyle Masaki

My first TV crush was Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) from Wonder Woman. I didn’t realize it was a crush then, but I remember taking a special interest in any scene with Steve, interest that went way beyond my hero worship of Wonder
Woman. Yes, not only did Wonder Woman have me spinning
around and deflecting imaginary bullets on the playground, it also
provided the first man to draw my attention

Years later, when I was old enough to be more aware of what a crush
felt like, Carol Burnett was making fun of prime time soap
operas with Fresno, which had Gregory Harrison
as Torch, the sexy stranger who rarely could find a shirt to
wear. Not only did Torch steam up the screen, his hotness was the
joke, so I could enjoy looking at him while feeling like  Harrison’s bare chest wasn’t the only reason I was watching.


JT Riley

Okay, so my first television crush ever was on neither a man nor an
actual human being. In the pilot episode of Thundercats, we briefly get
to see the heroic felines on a spaceship, and for some unbelievable
reason they’re all naked. Seeing Cheetara’s spotted kitty-boobs was the
first time my four-year-old self ever felt that kind of special shiver,
if ya know what I’m sayin’!

But the first real-person crush came when I was in middle school
and saw an episode of My So-Called Life, with pre-jerkwad-phase Jared
playing the super crush-worthy Jordan Catalano. Oh, the hotness.
The hotness. Ever since, I can never resist guys with blue eyes and long


Ed Kennedy

My first television crush was probably Ricky Stratton, aka Rick Schroeder on Silver Spoons.
Now before you call Chris Hansen, I’m actually younger than Rick, and
I’m fairly certain it was mostly that I just wanted to ride the train
around his house. I do know I wanted to be his friend very badly, and he
grew up really hot.

But the first television crush that I could say made me
feel all tingly just goes to show how much of a nerd I am. I totally had
the hots for Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: TNG. I
don’t know what it was, but it certainly couldn’t have been the terrible
jumpers they made him wear. But he was cute and earnest and smart. He
was a good boy that no mother could object to, but was also a complete
outsider in his environment, kept close to the center of the action, yet forever apart. Something about that really resonated with teenage me. 

And I’m still a fan of Wil Wheaton today, who really works a beard as well as Captain Riker ever did.


Dennis Ayers

Honestly? I’d have to say Jamie Summers (aka The Bionic
) There was nothing I looked more forward to as a kid than Wednesday
nights when Lindsay Wagner would
take to the airwaves to fend off fembots and styrofoam boulders with her sonar
hearing, cyborg limbs, drapey dresses and bangle jewelry.

Jamie Summers actually made me feel all tingly inside in a
way no women and, frankly, few men have done since. I’m not sure I can explain why.
Maybe I just have a thing for power women. As I recall, I also had a particular
fondness for Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.



Like a lot of you, i have two crushes, a guy and a girl. My girl crush
was pop singer  Ciji Dunne (Lisa Hartman) from Knots Landing. I loved
her big spiky hair and her energy. I was crushed when they killed her
off, but she made a stunning corpse washed up on shore.

I think my
first real guy crush (in which i knew there was something … stirring)
was Bubba Higgins (Allan Kayser) on Mama’s Family. I don’t know why,
maybe it was the skintight jeans, or bad boy attitude, or … the suspenders But it was probably the suspenders.

Tell us, who was your first TV crush?

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.