Tag Archives: Friends

The romantic tension is … nonexistent really

So lately I have been wondering why some of my favorite television shows drag on the romantic tension between the leads.  As I watched Monday’s episode of Castle, I was once again reminded of this.  I know this type of storyline won’t go away, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put in my two cents, so here they are.

One reason I’ve heard is that us as viewers will lose interest.  That we’ll lose interest if the characters get together is ridiculous, in my opinion.  (Another, similar train of thought is that we’ll also lose interest if a character has a baby – but that’s for another blog post.) It’s true that some storylines change and tension does ebb, but not every show becomes a disaster when the leads get together.  And for us shippers out here in the land of tv viewing, we love it.  I can see how networks may take an example like Moonlighting to prove their point – but really wasn’t that more about the chemistry between Bruce and Cybill and not really the plot?  Was anyone really watching at that point anyway?  Personally, the Taming of the Shrew episode was one of the best, and it went slowly downhill from there.  But I digress.

Let’s consider another case study: Friends.  The end of the first season, Rachel finds out that Ross likes her. Their relationship went back and forth for seasons as they got together, broke up, were on a break, accidentally married each other in Vegas, divorced, had a baby, and more. By the time the series finale came around, we knew they would get together, just not how. It’s why we stuck by the show (besides all the comedy) – to see those two crazy kids get together.

Consider more modern fare, such as Bones.  Season 4 ended with essentially an hour long dream sequence in which the leads get together, but in the show’s reality did not actually get together for another 2 seasons.  That season 4 finale whet our appetites for more. And while this season’s plot lines aren’t as edgy as 4 or even 6 seasons ago, I’m okay with that.  I believe that characters in television should evolve, change, and grow as people in real life tend to.

Consider another modern favorite, The Good Wife.  A really great show, who got the characters together at the end of season 2.  Season 2, people! And the writing is still fantastic, the show’s still lovely, and we all can’t wait to see what happens next. We all know those 2 crazy kids will have their ups and downs (Alicia is still married, after all) and they may not even end up together, but we love seeing them as a couple onscreen.

The whole notion of romantic tension didn’t even really start until the late ’80s, in my opinion.  We all remember The Wonder Years, right? Will Kevin and Winnie get together? Will they break up? Will they be together? And then in the final episode, via voice over by Daniel Stern, we learn (SPOILER ALERT!) that Kevin and Winnie do not spend the rest of their lives together, as with most high school sweethearts in real life.

And why do I even care?  Because for me, who sadly cannot even afford cable anymore and suffers through the debacle that is online tv viewing, television is still my form of relaxation.  It helps me forget about my crappy, abusive boss and makes me happy or, at the very least, distracts me.  And isn’t that why we watch television anyway?

I could go on and on about this, as there are hundreds of television shows I can reference here, but the main point of this article is: speed up the romance on Castle. I’m beginning to like the books better than the show, because at least those have the leads in a relationship (with ups and downs). And when you do get those two together, please make it worth the wait …

Thanks for reading!

-MK

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