Friday, February 20, 2015

Of Love and Romance: The Many Examples of TV Romance by Rissi

Rachel's note: There are few readers who do more to help promote books and authors than Rissi at Scribbles, Scripts and Such .  Her evident passion for her favourite books and films ---and TV shows---is contagious!  Rissi often contributes to Femnista and is one of the shining stars behind the INSPYs awards! Thus, I definitely was eager to have her contribute this month :)  

The Many Examples of TV Romance

If there is one thing television writers excel at, it’s whipping audiences into a frenzy. Aside from the twists the puzzling plots take, where this element really becomes a problem are the romantic relationships. The writer’s put us through a roller-coaster, will-they-or-won’t-they tease. This causes us mere mortals’ trauma. Our fandom loving hearts cannot take those longing glances, all of which merely serves as a conformation that these couples are meant for each other. We all know who they are and squeal with pleasure (seriously, I’m not alone in this, am I?) when things seem to be falling into place and take to social media when something goes wrong. Here are some of the romances television has introduced us to.

First there is CW’s Arrow and its titular character Oliver Queen. This relationship seems to be destined to “torture” us forever. We all know he and Felicity Smoak are meant for each other, but does he? Nope. Seems Oliver wants to go self-sacrificial and keep distance (in a romantic sense) from the woman he truly loves because he doesn’t want to put her in danger. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Oliver, this is dumb reasoning. Much as I love him, it had to be said. The logic behind that doesn’t compute because Felicity is firmly ingrained in Oliver’s life even if only in a professional capacity. She is a part of Team Arrow and of course, anyone could threaten her just for that. Still, if Oliver wants to be noble, let’s see how far it takes him.

ABC gave us an alternative in the short-lived Pushing Daisies which featured pie-maker Ned and his true love Charlotte – “Chuck.” In this quirky story, I’ve no doubt the two would have been together had it not been for the awkward impediment that if Ned were to touch Chuck, she’d die. You see, Ned has the unusual ability to bring people to life – as he did for Chuck, but if he touches them again, they die.

c/o pushing

1920’s Australia introduces us to lady detective Miss Phryne Fisher and Detective Jack Robinson. The attraction between these two is instantaneous. From the start, it’s obvious both are interested. Phryne is quite the sassy woman and Jack is married making them unattainable. But as time passes, Jack’s marriage ends in divorce and there is a moment that the pair nearly break down and spill what’s plainly written across their faces. Part of what makes this relationship so interesting is the differing personalities of the two: Jack is as “buttoned up” as they come. He’s a gentleman who isn’t the type to take advantage of anyone or anything. Phryne is the definition of a “modern woman” and seems to take pleasure in “shocking” Jack either with the things she says or the independent streak that is constantly getting her into tight fixes.

CBS’ The Mentalist is another complicated romance. Its hero, Patrick Jane lost his wife to a horrific murder prior to when we meet him, but working with the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation), the lead agent, Theresa Lisbon is someone who seems to reignite a spark in him. Whether he realizes that or not is another thing entirely. Jane’s broken spirit and heart prevent him from ever telling Lisbon anything while Lisbon is drawn to Jane because of his demeanor and unusual crime solving. In spite of his infuriating methods, she falls head over heels for him. Their relationship blossomed after a genuine friendship and when Jane actually does tell Lisbon the truth, I swear, I probably wore a smile for hours after watching that defining moment.

Then there are the marrieds. I don’t think a more wonderful couple has graced the screen than Peter and Elizabeth Burke. These two… I adore them. Their relationship may be glossed over in some regards, but it also shows the ups and downs of marriage. The Burkes hit snags along the way yet through it all, they’re a “solid” relationship that TV writers don’t usually give fans. It’s a happy relationship that starts with a happily ever after and answers that age-old question “what comes next.”

No matter your favorite television romances, there is the common thread of winks and teasing that never seem to let up. It’s clear romance sells because nearly every procedural has one in their story. The writer’s might think that this is what keeps us glued to the television screen when in reality, a couple actually getting together can make any story that much stronger. But the secret is they also know that no matter how long the “slow burn” develops, we aren’t likely to abandon our fandoms. Cleary, we’re in it for the long run with these couples. 

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