Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy was a TV crush for many viewers.
Image: Warner Bros

Everyone can remember their first TV crush – the cartoon and real-life characters that enchanted us in childhood and adolescence. This summer, a group of New York Times critics will write about their first cultural crushes, and how those characters and the relationship they had with them as viewers prompted a pursuit of careers in writing about the arts. To kick off the series of essays by New York Times contributors, five readers of the publication who now work in the television industry wrote about their first cultural crushes in the article, “Your First TV Crush”.

Teresa Bruce, a writer and former PBS station news director shared her early love of “Charlie’s Angels,” to which she attributes her desire to pursue a career in television. Raised in South Africa, Bruce explains how when television finally arrived in her hometown in the late seventies, she perceived the feisty Angels as “brave and independent women.” For her, television became a medium capable of influencing huge audiences, sparking a passion in her through the character development within “Charlie’s Angels.”

The Simpsons

Ben Joseph says his first cultural crush was “The Simpsons.”
Image: Fox

Another contributor, Ben Joseph, is a screenwriter for the Walt Disney Company, something that he also attributes to a love of television and especially cartoons. His cultural crush developed at a friend’s house while watching television; it was the first time he was exposed to the iconic cartoon sitcom “The Simpsons,” and it was love at first sight. Joseph loved the cartoon’s visuals, and the simultaneously smart and silly jokes, and he knew that he wanted to create moments just like that. Sixteen years later, he got his chance while freelancing a script for the show, getting to work directly with his first “television crush.”

Other first crushes included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Van Williams as “The Green Hornet,” and even Hulk Hogan during his heyday in “Wrestlemania.” Many of these television crushes inspired imaginative role-playing, early manuscripts and dreams of working in the entertainment industry.

Not all of us want to work in television, but everyone has had a TV crush. Come on, you know you had one! Who was your first cultural or television crush?