Damn those short HBO seasons. This year’s True Blood run seems like it just started, yet we’re now only three days away from the finale. We enjoyed this season a great deal, the Vampire Authority’s internal intrigue providing a welcome break from Sookie Stackhouse’s supernatural love triangle — not to mention a surprisingly insightful commentary on what happens when church and state mingle. But one character whose development has remained fairly unexamined this season is Sookie’s brother, Jason. Originally presented as an empty-headed looker with a womanizing streak, he’s recently turned the himbo stereotype on its head. To celebrate his under-the-radar evolution (and the fact that he’s still sometimes a little too stupid for his own good), we’ve collected a selection of TV’s all-time greatest male bimbos — or “himbos” — most of whom aren’t nearly as multi-dimensional.
Jason Stackhouse, True Blood
When he came into our lives, Jason Stackhouse was your typical — if also uncommonly hunky — good, old boy. His life consisted of working on a road crew and bedding an endless cast of women. But if there’s been one theme to the character’s arc, it’s that his sexual irresponsibility gets him into trouble. In the past five seasons, Jason’s romantic exploits all ended pretty poorly. He’s been framed for serial murder, raped by werepanther women, and, most recently, nearly turned into a vampire by the woman who truly loves him. As a result of these painful experiences, over the years, Jason has become increasingly thoughtful about his promiscuity and relationships with women.
A.C. Slater, Saved by the Bell
He’s certainly got a higher IQ than most of the himbos on this list. But if Zack is the scheming bad boy and Screech is the brainy geek, then Slater is the beefcake. He does a lot of flexing and wearing tank tops and wrestling in tight-fitting uniforms and breaking hearts. What makes him a prime example of the himbo archetype, though, is his enthusiastically anti-intellectual personality. As Jessie’s boyfriend, Slater is always making fun of her self-righteousness and encouraging her to loosen up and have some fun (not to mention get off those caffeine pills!).
Joey Russo, Blossom
Blossom was the smart, creative youngest child. Tony was the eldest sibling, with a history of drug and alcohol addiction. Nick was the cool, single musician dad. And Joey, well — we can’t for the life of us remember what he contributed to the show, besides looking cute, dating a lot of girls, and saying, “Whoa!”
Joey Tribbiani, Friends
Frequently overlooked ’90s trend: the sweet yet dim ladies man named Joey. Basically an older version of his counterpart on Blossom, Joey Tribbiani is simple but kindhearted actor whose endless parade of D-list gigs never fails to entertain.
Kyle Bradway, Party Down
Speaking of himbo actors, Party Down catering has its very own in Kyle Bradway. Only one of several unflattering showbiz wannabe types moonlighting as caterers, Kyle is believes he’s irresistibly handsome, a consummate actor, and a deep alt-rocker in his other gig as frontman of a band caller Karma Rocket. He is right about exactly one of those things — although that doesn’t stop him from getting more work than some of his smarter, more talented co-workers.
Nate Archibald, Gossip Girl
Chace Crawford’s Nate Archibald is supposed to have everything going for him: money, family name, bone structure, an entirely unbelievable role as editor-in-chief of a New York Observer-style newspaper that would surely collapse in under a week were he truly running the show. The only problem? Aside from being a whole lot nicer than you’d expect for someone in his silver-spoon situation, he doesn’t have much of a personality. And he’s constantly getting duped. Often by the sexy older women who he attracts by the dozen.
Michael Kelso, That ’70s Show
Jackie Burkhart and her boyfriend, Michael Kelso, have one thing in common: They’re mostly interested in each other’s good looks. But that’s where the similarities end. While she’s a manipulative, self-centered, fashion-obsessed mean girl, Kelso is just a fool who has a little side action going on with his friend Eric’s sister Laurie (among other girls) and happens to look really cute with his face made up like David Bowie. Eventually, he becomes a cop — and, more surprisingly, a responsible dad.
Vince D’Angelo, Will & Grace
Speaking of cops, if you’d told us that someone as judgmental as Will Truman would wind up building a life with a hunky police officer whose defining characteristic — aside from his great hair and soft hands — is his weird obsession with gloves, we never would have believed it. The thing is, while he’s not exactly bright, Vince is a himbo with a heart of gold, and the only guy we meet over the course of the series who’s capable of finding any breathing room in Will’s Grace-dominated life.
Eric Matthews, Boy Meets World
It just figures, doesn’t it, that poor, awkward Cory Matthews would have a hot older brother who just glides through life. According to Boy Meets World lore, despite doing poorly in school and being entirely devoid of common sense, Eric is secretly brilliant in his own bizarre way. And, of course, like many of the himbos on this list, beyond the good looks and ditsy persona, he’s a sweet guy who truly cares about his friend, his family, and — most of all — his high-school principal, Mr. Feeny.
Jordan Catalano, My So-Called Life
While he also falls into the category of angsty, brooding dreamboat (see also: Friday Night Lights‘ Tim Riggins, Dylan from 90210, and many more), we would argue that Jordan Catalano is also most certainly a himbo. He just meets the criteria: Not only does he exist primarily to lean against things and be gazed upon, but he does Eric Matthews and Joey Russo one better in the academic department by actually not knowing how to read.