Teen Beat

Rob's so dreamy! A-Ha, meanwhile, is magical.

Haim frenzy continued in the office throughout Thursday, and in memoriam, a challenge that continued throughout the work day was … what true “80s heartthrobs” are left and living large? Who can a gal my age look to with a sense of peace and hope in the wake of such tragedy? Swayze. MJ. Haim. Even Andrew Koenig, while a minor player in pop culture, was a loss to all children of the 80s. Show me that smile again.

Names flew about like wildfire … Rob Lowe, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Jason Bateman, Johnny Depp. Leo.

But as the afternoon wore on, we realized we needed to set boundaries, both for what constitutes modern-day “success” and what it meant to be a real “80s heartthrob.”

First, the heartthrob.  This was defined as “having appeared prominently on the cover of 16, Bop, The Big Bopper, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Dynamite, or an equivalent.  “Respectable” mags, such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, or People don’t count.

Second, the 80s.  Said cover appearance had to happen between 1980-1989.  This rules out Mark Wahlberg (who didn’t launch on the scene until 1991).

Third, the “successful.”  If an actor, he must have been in the regular cast of a TV show during the last five years OR a big-screen (i.e., not straight-to-video) movie in the last three years.  Yes, this seems arbitrary. It is trickier for musicians, because while they may not have released new material of late, their legacy might stand.  For this, I feel I’ll know it when I see it.  Example.  Tommy Page and Tevin Campbell?  Not so successful.  Donnie Wahlberg?  Arguably successful, considering he still gets acting projects AND his “band” had a sell-out tour in 2009.

So before I begin my list and my commentary on the players, my few readers out there, are there any stipulations you might suggest to separate the Neil Patrick Harris from the James Spader, the Jon Bon Jovi from the Joey Lawrence?