Smart ladies love dumb TV, Nolan Ross edition


I’ve been catching up on TNT’s Dallas reboot and while it is soapy summer fun, I feel like there is something missing. A snarky voice of the people who will tell these lunatics the truth. Someone like Revenge’s Nolan Ross (excellently played by Gabriel Mann).

Nolan might be my favorite character on TV. He participates in Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) crazy schemes but never all the way, as he doesn’t want Ems or any of his other friends to get hurt.

Here are some reasons to put a Nolan on every hour-long drama/soap (Hart of Dixie, listen up!). If you haven’t seen season one of Revenge and plan on it, I recommend stopping here because things are going to get a little SPOILERY.


Nolan in red…yowza -K

Why Nolan Ross kicks ass

1. Nolan is a modern character
With self-awareness and “meta” references at an all time high in pop culture, many soaps are not as enjoyable today if they follow the serious formula of the 80s and 90s. The first two seasons of The OC, in my opinion, are the finest examples of modern nighttime soaps. Commentary from within about how ridiculous everyone is puts viewers at ease about their own opinions and it gives them someone to root for. Because Nolan is also filthy  rich we trust him; we can see that it makes sense he is in Revenge’s world. A very important precursor to Nolan is Gossip Girl’s Eric van der Woodsen, who is rich but funny and hates everyone. Fun fact: Connor Paolo left GG to star on Revenge as the most boring teenager ever.

2. One-liners
While the writing on Revenge is awesome and there are plenty of great lines to go around, Nolan gets some of the best.

You ever notice how whenever you want girlfriend to leave she keeps popping up like the homicidal stripper version of whack-a-mole but whenever you need to find her she vanishes?

You know I haven’t been this disappointed since Phantom Menace.

Do not do anything revenge-y until I get there. Got it?

Tyler badass

Nolan being a spying badass.

3. He’s an Emily and Jack shipper

One of the best parts of Nolan’s friendships with Emily and bar owner Jack (Nick Wechsler) is that he them to be together so he plants all these ideas in their heads independently of one another. While it would probably never work out for them since good old honest Jack would hate that Emily is lying about her identity and trying to take down an entire family, it’s especially adorable that Nolan is trying so hard.

Nolan and Emily

Their friendship is so cute.

4. Nolan has terrible taste in men, like the rest of us

Nolan likes to get involved in Emily’s revenge, which led him to have a fucked up power struggle/sexual relationship with funtime villain Tyler (Ashton Holmes). It was clear that both men were using each other–Tyler to get to Emily and Nolan to help plan some of Emily’s revenge. Nolan is one lonely dude and he seemed genuinely upset to be duped by someone he thought liked him.

Tyler Nolan

Tyler tries to get cozy with our hero.

5. Best. Outfits. Ever.

He’s a billionaire who, as far as we have seen, spends zero time in the office, so he gets to have fun with preppy Hamptons fashions.

I love how he goes all the way with a theme.

Subtle pattern mixing.

Past Nolan had really bad hair.

Nolan cable

This was when he dressed up as a cable guy to work some revenge.

I’m excited to see where the writers go with the show this season (returns Sunday, September 30th–thankfully football prevents The Good Wife from starting on time) and I hope Nolan stays at the center of it. It’s essential for him to remain friends with Emily–not only do they have a strong bind (Em’s father) but they are just so much fucking fun together.

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