For those Blacklist fans who are wondering if James Spader has always been this swaggish, I offer exhibit A. He was not the rich socialite Pretty In Pink's Andie went for in her bid for angsty star-crossed affection, because let's face it, any guy who can get away with a name like "Steff" and call a girl "trash" to her face right before sleeping with her is not going to fly as a leading man, not even in the '80s. But if you're honest, you'll admit you couldn't take your eyes off him. In fact, if you're like me, you probably wonder every time you watch why they couldn't just super-impose Blaine's personality over Steff's pristine, unaffected strut and call it a day. But alas, young adult filmmakers have always been content to split the soul of the perfect guy into pieces and scatter them among the cast like horcruxes.
Maybe I should be ashamed of myself for painting Steff as anything other than the social savage he was - a self-entitled power tool who blew his casual stream of smoke in the face of non-conformity. But we '80s babies had a near religious appreciation for the aesthetic ... the easy drape of pastel fabric, the soft tousle of hair, the unbridled arrogance of a sockless loafer. And if this wasn't enough, Steff poured his heart out to Andie in the most gut-wrenching speech "...I've liked you for four years and you treat me like sh*t..." Who wouldn't swoon at that declaration of devotion? Andie, that's who. Instead, she chose to pursue her weird thing for Blaine, a major appliance with foul taste in music whose idea of a date featured downing a six pack in his hostile friend's bedroom. Too harsh? Maybe. But I direct your attention back to exhibit A.
All of this said, of course, with the foregone concession that the Duck Man was the only real contender.