Saturday, August 22, 2009

CharacterExploration: Dr. Hot Bitch and the Daddygate Debate

Carlisle Cullen

So, you’re probably scratching your collective heads and asses wondering why Ninapolitan, is writing an essay on Carlisle.

Well I say why not? Sure, you can say a canon writer should have tackled (yum) the Cullen family patriarch but you’re stuck with me. I promise to be fair and only drool minimally.

Most would venture to say that I have a disturbing, in a non-psychotic way of course, love for Carlisle Cullen. I’ve also got the biggest collection of hideously inappropriate avatars that all include the delish Dr. Cullen.

This pic doesn’t qualify me for shit, just a lady that’s been a fan of Peter for years

One could argue that I have dubbed him one of the most recognizable, albeit unfortunate nicknames within the fandom. Let the record show, ‘Hot Bitch Carlisle’ wasn’t something that I thought would stick, especially after making him such a ridiculous representation of such a well loved character, but I digress. I blame Peter. * sigh *

Peter Facinelli, the almighty hotness with those scrumptious chipmunk cheeks is at fault for the much ridiculed (algonquinrt hates it) nickname did lend to the love (obsession) I have for Dr. Hot Bitch. Regardless of that fact,
even before the casting (no, I’m not lying) I did always find the character of Dr. Cullen to be my favorite.

The Twiverse is loaded with everything from the truly OOC manifestations, where the only thing that remains true are his damn name and maybe some of his physical attributes (mine from BSD is obviously in this category). But I wasn’t in the dirty trenches of the ficroll looking for those,hell no. I’d write my own ridiculous incarnation about Carlisle being a streaker in a mall parking lot wearing only a bow tie and a Burberry trench coat. (Don’t steal that it’s in the works and yes, I am that insane.)

So if it was totally OOC that I was looking for what was the search about? My quest was for the memorable portrayals of our dear beloved, hot and dirty, damn tangent again sorry. Let me start again, I wanted the versions

My Hot Bitch
of Carlisle that are so in-depth, that are such well thought out and descriptive adaptations of him that they have you questioning what is and isn’t from Meyer canon. To steal from the Bellies, the canon fic that is better than canon.

That point leads me to…canon Carlisle. Now, because I’m a perv, I immediately want to make a joke about Carlisle and his canon but again, I digress.

Canon Carlisle

When I began polling authors and readers for their thoughts on the different portrayals of Carlisle in the fandom, one of the most consistent comments was “It depends on how canon Carlisle is written as a father.”

What do I mean? There were essentially two major themes among the parties that I questioned. On one hand some people felt that some writers present Carlisle as too much of a Ward Cleaver or Mr. Cunningham. Some felt that he is written as an inappropriate replacement as their human fathers when in reality he’s only their ‘father figure’ (cue George Michael music) but they’re all technically adults free to make their own decisions. He should be portrayed as a role model, someone to guide not punish. The following is a comment that was a great representation of the middle of the road when it came to Daddygate.

As for what I loathe in Carlisle characterizations, it is when people make him too old or too paternal. He is supposed to be a 23-year-old vampire. Yes, for his time period that would make him rather mature, and he of course had centuries of experience, but there needs to be some hint of youthful vigor. Whether it is a bit of innuendo or hanging out with the younger Cullens, that is important to me.

The baseball scene is a perfect example of both sides to the debate (and one that is on constant loop at my house). Carlisle IS a twenty-three year old vampire who happens to have been born in the 1640’s.

So many crass jokes about hitting a homerun come to mind...
He’s a spring chicken compared to Aro’s whispy, geriatric ass. So why shouldn’t he be rounding the bases with me, er, I mean his family? But, in a matter of a few minutes, Carlisle’s demeanor switches from lighthearted and jovial to fiercely protective when the crazy nomads show up to threaten his family. * sigh * It’s reasons like that, why Carlisle is my favorite character.

The other side to the great debate over Daddygate is that he should be viewed as a more fatherly figure instead of just the proverbial head of the family.

I tend to view him as being more parental than not, because I think it was his relationship with Edward, and the direction it took, that lead him to becoming the steadfast leader we see in the books.

It’s true that all of his experiences have helped him grow into the truly complex character that he is. His past is what helps him educate and nurture his family. I don’t think that anyone can doubt that Carlisle sees the Cullens as a true representation of a family unit. I don’t particularly care for the word coven, especially not in regard to the Cullens.

One reason to love canon Carlisle is that he is really our beloved Edward-just a little older and a little wiser. In Carlisle, you can see the finished version of the man that Edward is becoming.

If that isn’t the best sales pitch for an eternal fount of Carlisle love, I don’t know what is.

The Not-So Canon Carlisle

Past & Present
: When I sent out the “Gimme your fave Carlisle stories”, thirty two people gave me their opinions, from AU/AH/Slash, all of it. Two of the stories

I may not be canon but I’m still magnificent.
that consistently were the mentioned from nearly every person polled (via twitter), were “Ithaca is Gorges” for Canonlisle and ‘Past & Present’ by Giveusakiss413 for the Not-so-canon (but still wicked hot) Carlisle.

I’m not going to lie. I love this Carlisle almost more than my own Hot Bitch. He’s the Vamp Hot Bitch of the Vamp world in my opinion. He’s tragically flawed, in love with Bella and God, for as tragically canon with pairings as I am, I almost wish he ended up with the Bella of this story. I can’t say that about any other story.

My point is (besides my undying love of this version of HotBitchBiteMeCarlisle, is that even in this story, where Meyer canon is thrown so off course because of who did Edward’s change and other pertinent events, the underlying sense of utter devotion to those that he loves is there and strong and beautifully written.

All My Human Carlisle

I doubt many people can/would argue that All-Human stories have an enormous place in the fandom. Obviously, you’ve got a lot of freedom when writing in that genre. I know that I could never write in canon, and I commend anyone that does.

That being said, have you ever noticed how many stories there are in the all-human genre that even though you’ve got the creative freedom, many still portray Carlisle as the patriarch? Sure, there are some where he and the other men are cousins or friends, ‘
Deconstructing Dracula
’ by
, and “
The Fan
” by
are two that have Carlisle closer in age (though unfortunately both still have him married to ‘you know who’).

My point is, that 7/10 stories have Carlisle and ‘that woman that shall not be named married’ with at least one

This has nothing to do with anything, I just think it’s hilarious.
natural Cullen child or an adopted one (or many). What I find interesting though, is how he is portrayed as a father in the all-human stories. Case in point:

In Art after 5, Carlisle is a friend first and a parent second to Edward, a prodigy who never felt comfortable around his peers.

In my opinion, I could read that statement and not have any clue if she were referring to a canon or OOC story. That is how I see their relationship. I think there is a happy medium with them, a mutual regard for each other that to me isn’t necessarily one-side by being paternal but much more of a brotherly level of respect.

There is a very telling conversation between Carlisle and Bella and his relationship with his son in Colleen’s story.

“Surely he's told you how close we are.”

“Yes. He claims you're his best friend and that he tells you everything. I just have a hard time believing him.”

Carlisle laughed. “Well, you should believe him. He's telling the truth.”

“He actually does tell you everything?” I asked. “As in everything everything?”

“Yes, Bella.”

“Fuck,” I muttered.

Carlisle laughed.

Carlisle, whether in canon or not, is an extremely complex character. He’s a strong willed and compassionate man, his love for his family is almost always an integral part of the story in some form or fashion.

So in closing, I’d just like to pass along some of my favorite Carlisle portrayals.

Honestly, when it comes to Big Daddy Carlisle and (his) canon you really shouldn’t look any further than, Giselle’s ‘
Ithaca is Gorges
’. If I didn’t mention this story, I’d be doing Carlisle, er, I mean I’d be doing the essay on Carlisle a huge disservice.

Essentially, Ithaca is the Cullen’s New Moon, and is truly a remarkable piece of writing. Giselle’s done a outstanding job of taking that dark, painful and tortured and virtually unknown timeframe that the

Hellooooo, Doctor.
Cullen’s lived through and expressed it solely through Carlisle and Edward’s perspectives. That alone, is only a shred of what makes this story so profound and intriguing.

The Tutor
” by ItzMegan73. Not only does Megan write one of the only teenage stories that I read and love, she embraces the teenage mentality wonderfully. She also manages to write a Carlisle and wife that act like parents to teenagers. They’re not conveniently absent nor do they turn a blind eye as in some stories. They’re also not obscenely overprotective and OOC. They’re parents and I love the story.

The Vampire in the Basement
” by Michellephants. I rec’d this way back when and I believe that 98% of the fandom has read it but it needs repeating. I love the way Michelle has written Carlisle, aside from this truly beautifully written Edward, Carlisle is my next favorite character in this story. Another example of how even though they’re not ‘his’ children, he does everything in his power to protect them and keep his family safe.

I’ve got a list a mile long of OOC, asshole Carlisle, smutty Carlisle (not in a gross way, just in an ‘I like sex’ kind of way. I know I bust balls, and make fun of his wife but in all sincerity it take a lot of work to write truly canon stories.

Eve, the Apple of my Eye
” from Bethaboo is a phenomenal example of a great in character story that follows the couple.

No Longer Alone
” and “
A Coming of Age
” by Elise Shaw were rec’d to me by MsKathy and Algonquinrt and I devoured them. They’re just two more examples of unbelievably well written and detailed stories.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little ride on the Carlisle train. I tried to be good. I hardly cursed at all and I was respectful (mostly) to my favorite character. Honestly, if you guys want some good and dirty ones, let me know I’d be more than happy to pass those beauties along, Lord knows I read enough of them.

Oh, and Peter smells like fresh laundry and mint. He chews a ridiculous amount of gum and is honestly THE NICEST celebrity that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Yes, I’ve met a bunch after living in NYC for a while but he takes the cake. He was genuine and humble and receptive to every fan that was there, even after six hours of non-stop crazy.

I want to thank the wonderful Sam for allowing me to do this, I owe her peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and I will send them.

I leave you with the good Dr. Cullen.

And my favorite Peter videos…good Lord.

, HBIC of the
pervily perfect PPSS
, also authors such classics as
The Bella Swan Diaries
The Wingman
. She's known for smut and fluff and has the cutest little accent.
Archived Explorations:

Upcoming Characters:
Esme, Alice, Rosalie, Jacob, Nessie.

Characters still up for grabs: (The groupings are tentative and can be amended for technical purposes.)
The Denali Sisters

If you feel as though you know these characters well, are intrigued by popular characterizations and uses of them, and have the time to offer an exploration installment, please email me at for more information and to snag a character. This is pretty first come, first serve. Writers AND Readers welcome!


  1. I am so shocked that Nina did a Carlisle essay - I just never ever saw it coming.

    I couldn't agree more on Ithaca is Gorges as the best canon Carlisle fic to read. In my head it folds perfectly into canon because of the way she has characterized him. Her Carlisle may be my favorite BDC fic ever.

  2. There is something about the way Carlisle is written both in cannon and ooc, he rarely is pictured as the bad parent. Most of the times he is the one the rest of the characters go to when in trouble. But when he is the "bad guy" there are few if any redeemable characteristics in him. A character who is mostly loved and rarely hated and for whom, I believe, most of us have a soft spot, either as a "father figure" or a "male figure", we all care for him.
    Nina did an amazing job in her essay, showing us Carlisle is one of the favorite Cullens, no matter how he is portrayed. I haven't read several of the fics she mentioned, after her comments they went to my "to-read" list.

  3. I'm kind of new to the fandom, and I'm interested to read the character exploration of Esme whenever that is posted. I'm familiar with the Bella-hate/Bella-boredom because I experienced them while reading the Twilight Saga, so I'm curious about the comments that pop up about Esme. Is it just because she's usually the wife to the original Hot Bitch?

    Thanks for the fic recommendations. Now I'm off to read The Tutor.

  4. I just stumbled upon this blog and I am excited already. I myself am a "Team Carlisle" if one seemingly existed. The ALSL blog reccomended a story I had been following and thought I would mention it if anyone is interestes: Beyond the Broken Scars by December.Eclipse on Fanfic. It's a fantastic story which so far pairs Bella/Carlisle but has some serious room. She also created a warring clan and I have feeling S#*t is going to hit the fan.


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