As a publication that publishes things we write, the Intergalactic Business Report is also able to create and administer awards for anything it deems worthy. In this spirit, we announce our first Genius Award, which goes to a fictional character played by Martin Henderson on the Netflix show, “Virgin River.”
Henderson’s character, Jack Sheridan, is a semi-alcoholic ex-marine who runs a bar in the Northern California hamlet of Virgin River. Jack spends his days drinking and his nights porking hair stylist Charmaine Roberts, in a brilliantly devised “casual” relationship in which Jack shows up for booty calls and stares through her when she suggests she has feelings for him.
Enter hot nurse practitioner Melinda Monroe, who spends much of her time explaining what a nurse practitioner is. Melinda, known by her male version name of “Mel,” is coerced into serving out a term in the village by snarky horrible human being and mayor Hope McCrea. (On a side note, Hope’s estranged husband is the town doctor and Mel’s boss, played by Animal House’s Otter. He came in a close second for his ability to convince Hope and other women in the town that he’s just a grumpy old doctor and not a sex fiend, but they don’t understand that he’s actually Otter from Animal House and he’s playing 3D chess with their vaginas).
Anyway… Mel meets Jack. They have an instant connection. Mel isn’t ready for a relationship, so she just has intermittent casual sex with Jack, who, as a genius manipulator, keeps himself in the friendzone with benefits.
HOW JACK DOES IT:
Jack has impressive eyes. They make him look really serious, as if he’s listening to your every word. In reality, he’s probably just drunk and forgotten what came out of your mouth three seconds ago, but he keeps quiet long enough that you have no idea.
Using his eyes as an anchor, Jack captures Mel’s attention. He then moves on to grooming her for his ultimate plan. He starts with offering her rides everywhere during which he listens to Mel whine about her life as he pretends to listen. He tests her boundaries by taking her to a creepy baseball batting cage he’s constructed in the middle of the forest. Finally, he fixes up Mel’s crappy cabin into a “love shack” where he can show up any time, unannounced, and see if she’ll bone him.
HOW JACK’S FRIENDZONE WITH BENEFITS WORKS:
For Jack to successfully keep Mel in check, he consistently overplays his devotion to her. This includes constantly asking her if she can deny she has feelings for him and pretending he wants more, even though he never goes into detail (smart, Jack. Very smart). He never, for instance, asks her to marry him. He never even suggests they move in together. He never gives her jewelry or a ring or any keepsake that could be tied back to him. Every time he pushes, Mel retracts and suggests they stay as “friends.” Jack acts hurt but actually revels in this because he knows as soon as she utters the word “friends” she will soon have non-commitment sex with him. After one such encounter, Mel awakens to tell Jack she is sorry she let things go too far—meaning having sex with him. He gleefully consents to going back to being “friends.” Genius.
JACK SHERIDAN. LIVING THE LIFE.
Just to put the rest of Jack’s life in context, we feel we should mention some other things he has going for him.
-He owns a bar. It’s always packed.
-He drinks whenever he wants. It’s free.
-He has a super responsible friend named Preacher who does all the shit work for him.
-Jack is a total dick to Preacher, expecting him to never leave the bar so that Jack can tool around town offering rides to Mel and fixing shit for her to gain her trust.
-Jack gets Charmaine pregnant with twins and confines her to a “Misery” style existence in evil Hope’s house, while he pursues Mel.
-Jack can probably kick anyone’s ass. Don’t test him.
-Jack’s entire day is free. He can be anywhere at any time and if he shows up somewhere and doesn’t want to be there, he can make up some bullshit about how he needs to “get back to the bar.”
-When Jack does show up at the bar it’s to pour himself a drink, flirt with or mindfuck Mel, or to sit in his pretend office and shuffle through papers until Preacher comes in and says he can take care of that for him, probably because Jack doesn’t even understand what’s on the papers and what it means.
-The hair. Nobody has hair like that.
Editor’s note: We’re only about half-way through Season Two. Don’t write us with a bunch of bullshit that will ruin it for us.
Like yoghurt, we keep it cultured actively.