Sure, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, with most of it spent in quarantine (or social distancing) and every month bringing a new disaster to make us all wonder what Flashpoint timeline Barry Allen put us in. But it was also filled with swoonworthy actors playing swoonworthy characters in television and movies. We’ve compiled our top 10 of the year.
Skylar Astin (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist)
Let’s be honest. The premise of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is just a little campy and a lot ridiculous. So it comes as something of a surprise that the result is a series that is just so damn good. The show has heart and humor – and some fantastic musical numbers. It didn’t take long for Max Richman (perfectly portrayed by Skylar Astin) to steal the hearts of everyone at Fangirlish. After his heart-stopping rendition of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” we’re Team Clarkeman all the way.
Santiago Cabrera (Star Trek: Picard)
Who doesn’t love a reluctant hero? Star Trek: Picard brought back our titular hero and introduced a slew of new supporting characters for the audience to love. The most memorable of these new characters had to be Santiago Cabrera as Cristóbal Rios – Picard‘s lovable rogue, cast in the Han Solo mold. He wouldn’t have to ask twice for me to travel the galaxy by his side!
Tom Ellis (Lucifer)
The Devil never looked so good. Tom Ellis played two roles on Lucifer this season – as both the titular Lord of Darkness and his twin brother, the archangel Michael. Somehow, he managed to be way hotter as the former than as the latter, even without the scar. The only thing more amazing than this show’s repeated return from the dead is the fact that Lucifer has asked probably hundreds of people “What do you truly desire?” and more haven’t answered, “You. I mean, have you seen you?” He already owned our hearts, but the moment he let Chloe take the lead and made sure she was ready to take their relationship to the next level sent us over the edge.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)
Disney, in their ongoing attempt to have all the money ever printed in the universe, acquired rights to the filmed stage production of Hamilton – written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda – and released it on their streaming platform early in the pandemic, when everyone was stuck at home and looking for something to watch. And watch it people did, by all accounts. The film reportedly boosted downloads of the Disney Plus app by 74% on its opening weekend. At the heart of the play/film, Lin-Manuel stole the audience’s heart in his portrayal of the long-forgotten Founding Father, particularly in his depiction of Alexander Hamilton’s romance with his wife, Eliza. True, their relationship had its share of ups and downs. But it was easy to see why Eliza would fall for Hamilton so quickly. Over the course of three hours, we did, too.
Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton)
Bridgerton hasn’t even premiered yet – but trust us when we say that Regé-Jean Page is going to steal your heart as Simon Basset. There’s the way he commands a room just by walking into it, his presence as the Duke of Hastings, the one everyone’s eyes always turn to. But that’s not all we get to see! We also get to see the sweet side of Simon, and the passionate side, with all the nuances in between, and there’s not one moment of the entire show that we’re not feeling like yes, we would also fall with this handsome, soft, charming Duke.
Sam Palladio (The Princess Switch: Switched Again)
Just ask Fangirlish editor Lizzie, and she’ll be happy to tell you that The Princess Switch: Switched Again is the best Christmas movie of the season. And, no, we aren’t taking any notes on this, because we happen to agree with her. Sure, it’s a little silly and the exact amount of cheesy mandated of every good Christmas movie. But it’s also sweet and funny, and Prince SixPack spend the entire time being a golden retriever with heart eyes for Princess Stacy. By the fifth time he just wanted some romance and she got distracted by a shiny object, we were ready to reach into through the television screen and take Sam Palladio for ourselves. There’s already a third movie in this series in the works, and if it doesn’t involve a doppelgänger of the prince, we will riot! (Besides, how many Stacy clones can there be?)
Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian)
We have absolutely zero doubt that Disney knew exactly what they were doing in creating Baby Yoda (yeah, yeah, yeah, Disney keeps claiming that isn’t his name. We don’t care). But did they have any idea how much the Internet would come to thirst over the titular hero of The Mandalorian? And – between his slick action scenes and acting as reluctant (and not-so-reluctant) father figure to an adorable green goblin – thirst the Internet absolutely did. Of course, Disney had to know going in that we would know the swoonworthy-ness of Pedro Pascal, even before he took off his helmet. They had to see the thirst coming, right? Right.
Carlos Ponce (Julie and the Phantoms)
Yes, we are very well aware that the main attraction for Julie and the Phantoms lies in heroine Julie and her three ghostly bandmates, Luke, Alex, and Reggie. But while all the boys are sweet and swoonworthy in their own ways, we have to give a shout out to Carlos Ponce, who plays Julie’s dad, Ray. His character is an unsung (no pun intended) hero of the series. He’s sweet, supportive…a little lost at times, but doing his best after the death of Julie’s mother. That alone caused us to swoon more than once in his own right. Plus, we have it on good authority that his stomach is “firm” and there are a few of us here at Fangirlish who would love to see further evidence of that fact. Come on, show. Chop chop.
Sendhil Ramamurthy (The Flash)
Yes, Sendhil Ramamurthy played villain Bloodwork on The Flash, but…come on. Look at him. It wouldn’t take much for him to convince us to give in to our dark side. It probably doesn’t hurt that he was one of the better-written villains of recent years, in part because his tenure on the show was (comparatively) short-lived, so there wasn’t much room to bog down his story with filler and contrivance. All we’re saying is sometimes it feels good to do bad, and you can interpret that any way you want.
D.B. Woodside (Lucifer)
After giving in to some of our darker impulses, it seems only right to close out this list with an angel. Amenadiel has always been a good character on Lucifer, but this season was his best yet, giving the character some added depth and actor D.B. Woodside a chance to stretch his legs (and his wings) a little. From his role as new (and somewhat adrift) father to Charlie, to acting as genuine friend to both Maze and Dan, it’s easy to see this season why even nuns can’t resist him.
Honorable Mention: Baby Yoda
It’s almost cute that Disney thinks people will ever call Baby Yoda anything other than Baby Yoda. Our swoon may be more protective than romantic in nature, but we would watch eight hours straight of Baby Yoda toddling around eating frogs and making the Mandalorian facepalm and have absolutely zero regrets about time well spent.