Growing up in the 1970s, hardly a week went by without encountering an episode of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ on one of the eleven channels that my elderly Quasar could drag out of the Cable TV ether.  As an adult, I recognize the archetypical power of Sherwood Schwartz’ vision, even finding parallels between the castaways of the SS Minnow and the classic stock characters of Commedia Dell’Arte.  But all that high-falutin’ falderal (Doo dah!  Doo dah!) is thrown by the wayside at the appearance of young Mary Ann Summers, the fresh-faced farm girl who stole my heart.  The quintessential Girl Next Door, she was one of my earliest crushes, alongside Samantha’s evil double Serena (who is an entirely different kettle of fish.)  Able to catch a fish, sing a torch song, and put even the overly-educated Professor in his place as necessary, Mary Ann raises today’s pointed query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always had a slight crush on Silver Age Lightning Lass, if it helps, asking: Who’s your favorite example of the “Girl/Boy Next” door archetype in pop culture?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. December 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    I’m torn between Betty Cooper, Emma Nelson (Degrassi: The Next Generation, something I’m still surprised I’ve enjoyed at some point), early seasons Willow (from Buffy) and Topanga (Boy Meets World)

  2. December 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm — Reply

    Maggie Greene in AMC’s The Walking Dead.

  3. Kirby
    December 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm — Reply

    Betty Cooper and pretty much anything Phoebe Cates has ever done.

  4. SnowWolfNW
    December 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm — Reply

    Betty Cooper, Mary Ann Summers and Tinya Wazzo (LSH’s Phantom Girl) were my first three “fictional character” crushes, in that order, as a wee lad.

  5. December 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm — Reply

    The Pink Ranger from the season season of American Power Rangers.

  6. Hannah Jones
    December 3, 2013 at 12:22 am — Reply

    Two words, freinds: Rory Williams <3. Granted, aside from some obvious exceptions (Jack, Romana.. ect) companions are usually kind of a boy/girl next door type. Someone who seems ordinary or even boring but is actually fantastic.

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm — Reply

      I stopped seeing Rory as “Boy Next Door” when he became bad@$$ Rory in the opening bit of “A Good Man Goes to War”.

      • Hannah Jones
        December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm — Reply

        Excellent point. He definitely made the transition from “BND,” to badass.

  7. December 3, 2013 at 10:33 am — Reply

    annie (alison brie)P from community

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