Glamorising TV shows can be all too easy. After all, entertainment is supposed to be an escape, right? We might even find ourselves fantasising about dating the characters played by dreamy actors – especially if our love lives leave a little to be desired IRL. In fact, showrunners probably bank on this, since characters’ appeal can hook viewers and make us even more eager to watch them on-screen. But TV romances might not be all they’re cracked up to be. Just like how Andrew Gray raised some serious red flags in hit reality show Bling Empire , there are plenty of fictional men who, upon second glance, don’t make great boyfriend material after all – no matter how good-looking they are. So were we blinded by pretty faces and heart-pounding scripts, or would some of these Casanovas be just as attractive if we met men like them in reality? We looked at seven popular TV love interests to find out. Who did Ivanka Trump date before Jared Kushner? Gabriel from Emily In Paris: beware the man who cheats What’s more charming than a man who can cook? In Netflix series Emily in Paris , protagonist Emily is pursued by her gorgeous neighbour Gabriel, who is a chef. But the start of their relationship isn’t exactly ideal: Gabriel sets about romancing Emily while still dating another character, Camille. This has lead some viewers to criticise the show for romanticising cheating. So why do men cheat? Perhaps it’s to fill an emotional or sexual void. According to GQ, they do it for an ego boost, or because they feel that their original relationship is getting stale. But regardless of the reason, we can probably all agree that a relationship based on cheating hardly has the best foundation. If a man wasn’t loyal to his ex, who’s to say he won’t behave the same way with his current partner? Simon Basset from Bridgerton : beware the man who’s hot and cold In racy Netflix period romance Bridgerton, central character Daphne Bridgerton has her happiness, honour and future plans carelessly tossed about by Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. He also takes unfair liberties with her. First off, he runs the risk of ruining her name in high society when he kisses her during an evening soirée (a massive no-no during the Regency era). Then he takes advantage of her lack of knowledge of sex and procreation. Finally, he confusingly goes back and forth on whether he wants to marry her due to a vengeful vow he made to his dying father – a vow he claims would end his family line. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah tell-all Basset is the perfect example of a man who prioritises his own personal baggage over his partner’s needs and wants. Playing hard to get is one thing, but this is probably going too far. The Independent even reported on Bridgerton being accused of glamorising toxic relationships. Joe Goldberg from You : beware the control freak OK, nobody wants a partner who’s a stalker, kidnapper or murderer – and Joe Goldberg ticks off all three of those boxes. But even without those traits typical of romantic thriller love interest, there are other warning signs that are perhaps more applicable to real life relationships. Goldberg is, to put it lightly, a control freak when it comes to romance. After becoming interested in Guinevere Beck, who he meets at the bookstore he manages, he stalks her to find out her schedule and other personal details – without her knowledge or consent, naturally – and meddles in her love life. He imagines that his courtship of Beck will follow a script of his own making, and when actual circumstances deviate from that script, he forces them back on track. He also cuts her off from her close friends. Five minutes of Googling will reveal that many of these actions are alarm bells signalling an abusive relationship. Winston Schmidt from New Girl : beware the man-child American sitcom New Girl , which aired from 2011 to 2018, came under fire mostly due to the character Winston Schmidt, who was criticised for perpetuating racist stereotypes by attending an Indian wedding in a turban, and for slut-shaming Cece and treating her model friends like sex objects. But wait a minute – Schmidt is supposed to be childish and immature. Wouldn’t such behaviour be in line with his character? His housemates even come up with a “douchebag jar” because of his antics. (Much like a “swear jar”, Schmidt has to put money in the jar every time he was caught acting like a “douchebag”.) How does former One Direction star Harry Styles spend his cash? In fact, some might call Schmidt a classic man-child. Cultural historian Gary Cross describes the “boy-man” as someone who fixates on adolescent longings for their intensity and variety of experiences. According to Cross, the “boy-man” stands on a treadmill of endless novelty and is always looking for quick hits of pleasure. Indeed, the show sees Schmidt continue to be “charmingly” insensitive while suffering few consequences. But in the real world, immaturity is rarely a viable excuse; eventually boys have to stop being boys. Schmidt might have been “ cancelled in 2020 ”, and perhaps rightfully so. Ezra Fitz from Pretty Little Liars : beware the creep who dates minors Do we even need to say it? A sexy schoolteacher seducing a student may be a tempting role-play scenario, but it’s another matter entirely in real life. Behind the handsome facade, Ezra Fitz is a massive creep. One viewer took to Reddit to say: “He seriously makes my skin crawl. There is nothing romantic about a teacher abusing his position of trust to get with a sixteen-year-old.” And as the series progresses towards its final season, it’s revealed that Fitz was initially dating the 16-year-old Aria to get more information on his first love, Alison … another teenage student. A predatory pattern perhaps? On top of that, Fitz is a compulsive liar and displays some serious anger issues when his lies are exposed. Yikes. Why Anna Shay is the true star of Netflix’s Bling Empire Ross Geller from Friends : beware the jealous, insecure man with something to prove We know, we know – Friends is such a beloved series that we stand to provoke some serious ire by including a character from the show on this list, but can you really blame us for pointing the finger at Ross Geller? He’s the perfect combination of narcissism and fragile masculinity. Geller’s awkward teenage years and failed first marriage result in some serious issues with low self-esteem. Throughout the series, Geller is so preoccupied with proving his manliness that he ends up focusing too much on himself and his own needs. He’s often territorial over his girlfriends – especially Rachel Green, who is the prime example of someone he dates simply to fulfil an idealised version of himself. His insecurity is also what causes him to get jealous and lash out – which is never a good look. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother : beware the misogynist Of all the “Casanovas” on this list, Barney Stinson is perhaps the most overtly misogynistic. The early-to-mid-2000s were arguably the peak of popular television “bro culture” that Stinson brings in spades. Harry Styles’ 5 biggest surprises HIMYM has its fair share of problematic moments – from transphobic comments to cultural appropriation – but when it comes to sexism, Stinson definitely takes the cake. He’s often slut-shaming and ageist towards women. Some choice quotes include: “the only reason to wait a month for sex is if she’s 17 years and 11 months old,” and “so many great things about this girl: her boobs, her rack, her chest”. Maybe don’t date a guy who can’t manage the bare minimum of basic respect. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter . This article originally appeared on Buro Malaysia.