Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Perfect Body: Sean Maher

Woman are not as visual sexually as men are—we all know that. Personally, I may be one of the least visual. My turn-ons are things like sense of humor, intelligence, voice, and attitude. I’ll take Zack Braff over Brad Pitt any day of the week, and as you recall, I ignored Kelly Monaco’s hunky dance partner Alec in favor of John O’Hurley.

Nevertheless, even a person like me must occasionally take note of the male physique. I recently rewatched the final episode of the cancelled sci-fi series “Firefly” to prepare for the release of its movie sequel “Serenity.” In this particular episode, viewers are treated to Sean Maher, as stowaway Dr. Simon Tam, with his shirt off.

Sean happens to have what is in my particular opinion the perfect body. It’s just genetic. I’m not saying he doesn’t work out to make the best of it: obviously he does. But the man is blessed with flawless proportions. The taper from shoulder to waist could not be more perfect. He’s lean in the right places, and it’s the perfect amount of lean. His carriage displays every feature to its best advantage. He’s a walking dream, really, so faultless he could have been designed by DaVinci.

What makes the scene that much more effective is the complete nonchalance of the circumstance. It’s not a love scene, there are not even any women present, and sex is the furthest thing from Simon’s mind. He has been awakened in the middle of the night by a dangerous intruder bent on kidnapping his sister and possibly murdering the rest of the crew. Simon happens to sleep shirtless, so here he is.

Simon is not in any way engaged with his own physical appeal, and yet the female viewer can hardly think of anything else. To be more accurate, the female viewer’s attention is amusingly split. On the one hand, we watch Simon keep his cool in this horrific situation—we marvel that he can be calm and even witty, and this behavior only increases his appeal. And on the other hand, well, the primordial female brain is simply chanting “God he’s gorgeous, God he’s gorgeous.”

Gorgeous without even thinking about it. Isn’t that a man at his best? Effortless beauty. The tight stomach and narrow hips exude masculinity, the shoulders and arms radiate power, the geometry of the entire assembly is poetically lovely. And all the while that the fellow emanates this glorious beauty, he is quite busy doing something else entirely and doesn’t even notice.

In the director’s commentary on the “Firefly” DVD, creator Joss Whedon makes an offhand comment about how he wrote Simon shirtless in this scene as a little treat to female viewers, and he’s gotten tons of messages of gratitude on that count. Personally, I believe that in the grand scheme of the universe, Sean Maher has a solemn duty to share himself in this way as much as polite society permits. God bless him.


Anonymous said...

If you loved Sean Maher's shirtless scene at the end of the series, you must have LOVED his shirtless scene/love scene at the end of "Serenity". :)

However, I must say that Sean Maher's perfect proportions, while aesthetically appealing, didn't bring out the tigress in me like Nathan Fillion's shirtless scene in "Serenity", or better yet, his entirely nude-from-the-rear scene in an unaired episode of "Firefly" on the DVDs. It is easy to see that Fillion must have had dance training at some point. :)

I've recently had an argument with a friend about whether women who are beautiful and brainy make a mistake when they try to play down their looks. His argument was that women who hide their looks in order to gain "respect" for their intellect are making the same mistake that, say, Sean Maher would be making if he refused to appear shirtless: they are abusing/neglecting a God-given talent/asset that is as valuable as a gift for singing or painting. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

Diana Laurence said...

Sean's love scene in "Serenity" was nice indeed, NEJ, but I confess I was still reeling (for hours, actually) over the loss of Wash. He was my favorite character. (And I do hope the movie has been out long enough that no one minds that spoiler!) It's amazing how grief crushes one's libido.

That scene with Nathan that you mention was indeed wonderful. Sean's perfect body aside, Nathan is just dandy too and the character of Mal is definitely inspirational sexually. I miss him...

As for your question, I tend to agree with your friend. I don't think it's ever right for anyone to play down an asset, regardless of what it is. "If you got it, flaunt it," if you will. That said, I can see a beautiful woman being frustrated that her intellect is sometimes ignored by men who are overly intent on her looks, so I can see her sometimes toning down the beauty to be taken seriously. So both sides have a point...

Thanks for the insightful post!


Darielle said...

I agree 100 percent. Sean Maher is heaven's gift to the population of the world that is sexually attracted to beautiful men. His body is perfect; breathtaking actually.

The Kaylee/Simon scene at the end of Serenity was definately spoiled for me too. I couldn't think of anything but Wash. How could things go on without him? I was crushed.

Anyway, thanks for the fantastic post. I'm not the only admirer ;)

Diana Laurence said...

You're certainly NOT the only one, Darielle! Considering his relative lack of exposure in the entertainment world, Sean Maher has made quite an impression on the general women-folk. :-)