For the last month or so, I’ve been feeling like Michael Ealy is stalking me – well, sort of.  Whether I’m driving west on Pico, south on Overland or fighting my way through rush-hour bottlenecks at Fairfax, I’ll look up and catch him staring over at me, with a sly grin on his face. It gives me the chills, in a good way.
Let me explain…
It all started in early April when he was posed up in those billboard, bus side and bus shelter ads (and of course, on the cover of the May issue of ESSENCE) for Think Like a Man.  I saw the movie, twice, and yes, I fell for his character, Dominic, and that whole budding-chef-whips-up-amazing-breakfast-after-a-wonderful-night situation. And while I’m not usually one to partake in delicacies prepared on the street, I would have happily sampled a plate from his food truck menu. Mmmmm, mmmmm.
Fast-forward a few weeks and the film has grossed nearly $80 million and Ealy is already gearing up for his next adventure with the new series, Common Law, premiering tomorrow on the USA Network. As such, nearly every corner of Los Angeles is now covered with yet another round of billboards, bus side and shelter ads featuring Ealy. His image is plastered everywhere I turn, which means that it’s my duty, my calling, to tune in to his show tomorrow and each, consecutive Friday night, right?  Right.

Rather than completely blow his cover, I’ll just state a few facts about the buddy-cop series, which, to my surprise, leans more toward campy-fun than nail-biting drama. Ealy plays a homicide detective and certified ladies’ man by the name of Travis Marks who struggles to keep the peace with his partner and maintain a flourishing, though drama-free, love life. Needless to say, he fails at both, but it’s rather entertaining to watch him try. Ealy’s come a long way since he introduced us to Ricky, the roughneck cutie from the Barbershop franchise, and yet, he’s still so damn charming. Go figure.
Thankfully, the days of actors having to choose between film or TV roles seems like a thing of the past.  With the success of Think Like a Man and his upcoming turn on Common Law, Ealy has joined the ranks of a select few who can score big at the box office and carry top-billing on the small screen. So, along with his subtle swag, the chiseled jaw line and that heart-melting gaze, his resume is actually blossoming right before our eyes. That’s definitely a good look.

Michael Ealy is everywhere, indeed.

Regina R. Robertson is the West Coast Editor of ESSENCE.  Follow her on Twitter @reginarobertson.