“Let’s skate, bra!” Brink (Erik von Detten) says to Val (Sam Horrigan) in Brink!, challenging the sponsored skater to the soul skating match of a lifetime. The sexual tension was PALPABLE! I was eight years old but I knew these two boys would eventually make out like the bras they truly were. Alas, a sordid love affair between Val and Brink never did occur (still waiting for that sequel) but I was able to play out my Disney homoerotic fan fiction thanks to a few publications that knew exactly what I was doing.
The ’90s were a buffet of angel-faced guys with swooshy hair ripe for the picking. But who would deliver such heartthrobs in the form of elegant portraiture for teenage girls across the nation? Oh, I don’t know, the three print Gods maybe? Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and Bop. Delicious Bop. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s there were a handful of guys—studs—who made recurring appearances, telling us of their favorite sodas, the kinds of girls they look for and how working on the set with whomever was like working with family. Ah, it was a simpler time.