I got to this point through a weird progression of twists and turns, and I just want you all to be here with me, so I’m providing you a better road map. I saw hype about The Bold Type on Twitter, I binged it, then I clicked on the first suggested show in the list, which was Younger. It took me literally THREE SECONDS to fall in love with Nico Tortorella’s character in the show, tattoo-shop owner and artist Josh. He’s a pretty typical mid-twenties Brooklynite: he plays dodgeball, he’s in an ironic bluegrass band, he shares a shitty apartment with an unknown number of roommates. So imagine my surprise when I Googled the actor and the first result was an Advocate article about queer family.
From there it was a spiral through Google and Instagram and YouTube and iTunes. Nico Tortorella is gorgeous, just absolutely stunning to look at, and he’s a talented actor, but there is so much more to love about him. Explore some of those reasons, and then join me in stanning him in the comments, won’t you?
To start, just look at him …
No, but seriously, go look at him. He’s a beautiful human being. Do a Google image search, there are so many gorgeous photos of him. He’s admitted that he enjoys people looking at him, so don’t feel ashamed or shy about it. But after you’ve looked your fill, learn why he’s an awesome person inside as well.
… then read about him …
He’s done so many great interviews, but let’s start with the Advocate issue that he and his partner Bethany Meyers did in July. They’re very open about their relationship and their identities and their family, and it was not at all what I was expecting from the guy playing Josh. It was such a pleasant surprise, and then as I started clicking through other links about Nico, I kept getting surprised, and I kept loving him more and more. Read that article to learn about their relationship (and how Nico wants mpreg to be real), read this one to learn more about what Nico has in his closet and his connection to the spiritual world (he’s so earnest about it that you can’t help but love it), read this one (and watch the video) to hear him defend polyamory (YES NICO), read this one about how much he loves a good cry (he uses the phrase “fragile masculinity”). Is he always saying the right thing? No, not always (we’ll get into that later), but he’s always trying to evolve and he’s so open to other viewpoints. Reading his interviews is refreshing and a real joy.
… then listen to him …
Nico has a podcast called The Love Bomb that is currently in its second season, and I’m a little obsessed with it. Each episode is a conversation with a human he loves (the titles are literally “A Conversation With a Human I Love Named … “), and they’re usually pretty deep. Nico likes to ask his guests specific questions about their childhood, their careers, their lifestyles, along with more abstract questions like what they think love is. He endeavors to have people who identify as every letter in the QUILTBAG and some that aren’t including, or who are more fluid (like Nico themselves) and don’t have just one label. It’s an attempt to normalize what are seen as abnormal relationships or families or just ways of being. While his audience is probably still too narrow to be anything beyond preaching to the choir, I learn a little something new from every episode I listen to.
What I love most about the podcast (other than things like the poems he reads at the beginning of each episode, the themes played throughout, or his endearing ad break where he actually calls Instagram “the ‘gram”) is how ready he is to call himself out. He knows that everyone is at least a little problematic on occasion. No one always says the right thing. He regularly points out how conversations that could be considered “woke” are still coming from one or two perspectives that don’t cover every possible person’s experience, he recognizes his own privilege, he’s always trying to be and do better. I’m not saying he’s perfect, but what’s nice is that he isn’t either. Self-awareness and open-mindedness can go a long way.
… then watch him.
Honestly, Younger is more than the silly sitcom I originally thought it would be. It deals with more progressive storylines than I would have expected from a half hour TV Land comedy. I’m constantly impressed at the discussions characters have on the show, or the situations they deal with. I was also surprised at how many bits came up in Younger before they did The Bold Type (giving a girlfriend an assist on something stuck in their vagina, for example, happened in season one of Younger, which aired three years before The Bold Type‘s episode that used the same dilemma). The show is great for many reasons, but getting to watch Nico play Josh, who is just incredible and hasn’t disappointed me yet, which is more than I can say about a lot of male characters in television, is a big one.
Okay. Have I done enough to make you fall in love with Nico Tortorella? C’mon, polyamory and mpreg? That body? If that hasn’t sucked most of you in I don’t know what else I can do.