TV couples, don’t you love them and don’t you hate them. Tv is a special landscape as we do not get that many happy couples. Happy couples are dull, boring, have nothing to say and seldom bring joy to our screen. That is very curious as happiness in general in ‘normal’ life is fun and good to watch.

In my personal life I remember fellow students who had their girlfriends since high school, they married them right after their final exams and they had a very happy and peaceful life sitting behind the tv sets every evening. I went the other way, a life with more risks, more gains but also more falls and I am pretty sure I have never been as happy as they belief they are. But I am sure my life was so very less dull and that’s worth a lot. It’s the same with tv, happiness in couples is no fun to watch, we need drama, tension, do-they-or don’t -they and lots of teasing.

Drama and tension are often added giving us a couple that have a do-they-or-don't they relation. They are attracted to each other in some way and that tension, that unresolved sexual tension makes sure there is room for fun, laughter and drama. In general we then say we ship those relations. But what happens if those two people resolve it and become a couple in the series. It so completely changes the dynamics of the couple. Does it make the series better?

I am not talking about soaps. As they need their daily amount of drama, the relations seem to happen and change in such a hurry no one should feel connected to it.

To start of with one that will never be resolved, John and Joss in Person of Interest. I once wrote a post considering many of the other possible ships in that series (read it here). To answer one question immediately: yes, I do believe Joss and John had some great tension going and I hated to see her go.



In many of the shows the tension is resolved by eventually getting them together, breaking up again, getting them together etc., just like in The Big Bang Theory. The fact that Kaylee Cuoco and Johnny Galecki dated each other for two years in real life added to the tension. But for me, if Penny and Leonard would separate again I would quit watching as my annoyance would be bigger then my crush on Kaylee or the jokes they make.



To answer my own question if a series gets better when a couple gets together, my answer is no; for me it usually kills much of the fun in that show as the (sexual) tension is away. So often that tension is shown by the characters are teasing each other and I love that. It’s the way I love to do it myself. Growing up near the German border, I learned the Germans had a perfect saying: “Wasz sich liebt dasz neckt sich”, meaning something like “Teasing is a sign of affection”. But when the characters get together, the teasing is gone as it might be dangerous for the relation. What was normal to accept before is now dangerous for the relation if taken seriously. This is how it works in real life and certainly in tv series.

So, after they kiss or jump into bed, something goes wrong. It’s not that the ships sinks, it’s just that TV shows so rarely can make the ship continue on the same course it was going. It deviates from it’s destination to go to a shipyard somewhere else.

I see three main reasons why a ship gets launched. First of all because the storyline just can't avoid a couple coming together, secondly because it gives them the drama opportunity to break them up and thirdly to ‘jump the shark’. The show was going down and producers wanted to give it another power injection by bringing the characters together. Never a good idea and I have never seen it work.

The worst recent example for me must have been Bones where the intimate teasing of the characters just stopped as their relation just didn’t seem to be able to handle it; they became too serious. I stopped watching it. I’ll have to see where The Mentalist brings us as Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon kissed in the last minute of last seasons finale. It was filmed at a moment the producers expected the series to end and they wanted the viewers to get closure on the (sexual) tension that had been there since the first series. How will they cope with it now the got a new season, will the fun still be there?



The only show for me over the last years that really seemed to be able to cope with it is Castle. The main characters kept acting basically the same way, I am very jealous of them. It looks like they’re still having fun instead of only having relationship problems.



In tv land the disaster of Moonlighting is considered to be the worst example of a shipwreck, although the complainants might have outlived their warranty period by now. We now know the characters did not really like each other and combined with other factors it might have led to the worst sinking of a ship. But, as you can see in this post also, it still is used as the potential shadow on every tv romance.



Another big mistake for me was when Mulder and Scully ended in bed together on the X-Files. It was stupid, stupid and crashed so much of the strength of the combination. It was a bad example off ‘jumping the shark’.



An older shows where I think the tension worked until the end was I Dream of Jeannie with Major Nelson (Larry Hagman) and Jeannie (Barbara Eden). Although there did not seem to happen anything at all between them at first, they were obviously attracted to each other later on. When I saw it I always wished I had a Jeanny of my own who would tease me like that. They did marry in the end, but that was just before the series ended.



I loved Mork and Mindy ( with the dearly missed Robin Williams), but they married in the last season and it never got as funny as it was before.



One of my favourite unresolved ones was the relation between Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo on NCIS. She was a confident and powerful woman who knew how to oppose Tony. She could literally kick ass and always had his back if needed. The best scenes were when they had to play a married couple. At the end of last season they even seemed to acknowledge they really liked each other, but the failed contract negotiations with Cote de Pablo killed it off. The best thing is that it was never the center stage of the series thus not making it the necessary do-or-don’t they situation. I heard that Tony will have a new love interest next season and probably it will kill off the last bit off my love for the series. I miss Ziva, hate her replacement and wrote a post about it recently (read it here). Michael Weatherly, who plays Tony said in a commentary on an episode: “Unresolved sexual tension. It's the engine that makes television run.". He is right.



A special mention of a series that handles it well goes to Unforgettable. It is the only exception I know where a couple that separated now has a healthy unresolved relation. Carrie and Al separated years ago, went their own way and came together at work after so many years. The tension is still there, but due to her remembering everything and him knowing that, they can be friends but not anything more. It is the most fun part of the series for me as the crime part is not that ingenious.



And last but not least, we have to give credit to our favourite comedy Community. It has the unresolved tension between Jeff and Annie. Jeff initially tries to keep his distance from Annie as he is uncomfortable with the age difference but we’ve seen him become a bit more honest about how he feels towards her. Although nothing really happened last season between them, we can always sense it in some way. There is much discussion about this ship and I often read opinions against it. They almost always start with the fact that it’s not the age difference. As it is tv thus fantasy, I wonder what it is they want?




What are your favourite couples or ships that have not sailed yet and should not sail. What are your ships that have become wrecks and caused you to stop watching the shows?


And as a reminder: If you liked reading this post, please give it a heart by clicking on the 'heart' you find on the top (blue) and bottom (grey) of the post. It is the reward for us (non-paid amateur) writers who try to make this site more fun for us all.
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I thought about it and I think the big problem is that writers think they need to show us the couple the whole time.
See its like in real live - u have 2 friends who really like each other and they finally get together - happy days - so what would annoy you? ( I tell you)
x to know about every little fight they have
x to hear how crazy in love they are the whole time
x to hear all their amazing sex stories - cause they love to have sex
x to see them cuddle and hug and kiss the whole time
x if they suddenly change their whole behavior
x if they dont call you or any other friends anymore

So why do writers show us exactly that on tv?
I rolled my eyes about a mill. times when Jess and Nick finally got together and then there was this one episode pretty much just about there sex life.. look I get it youre in love and u wanna have sex all the time (because only that shows that you like each other right? And there is nooo other way to show it and EVERYBODY in the world wants to have sex 10times a day at the beginning right? ( good that it seems like no one on New Girl has a job ) )

What I mean is just bring people together and then just let them be like they were before! 1 or 2 scenes where they cuddle on the couch, 1-2 scenes over a longer period where they fight and a kiss before they go to work. And no one would be annoyed. Just stop forcing it - then people get annoyed, just like in real life
And PLEASE no more on/off stories!!!
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Nothing in 1000 years can beat "The bold and the beautifu"l -
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thanks for the laughs
;))))
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In what, in sinking?
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I Dream of Jeannie also had a TV movie years (decades?) later.

It had them living the good life together years after the finale. However Major Nelson went on another space flight and there was a catastrophe; he was doomed to die.

Jeannie was powerless to save him, so she had to make a deal with another powerful being. He accepted, so long as Jeannie and Nelson break up and all of his memories of her were erased. Jeannie begrudgingly accepted, Major Nelson returned and forgot her.

But she reveals to the camera that the deal never said she couldn't start a NEW relationship with Major Nelson and she went off to introduce herself.
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I didn't know that. It was from 1985 and there even was a second movie called "I still dream of Jeannie in 1991. Major nelson was played by 'Trapper John' in the first movie and there was no major Nelson in the second. They weren't aired over here. I looked them up and even watched part of it on youtube, but there is no tension between Barbara Eden/Jeannie and Trapper John at all. So I remain happy to have seen the series.
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Another one that is resolved that I think works is Leslie & Ben in Parks and Recreation. Their relationship is so natural it works right into the rest of the show.

An old one that didn't work was Laura Holt and Remington Steele in Remington Steele. Near the end of the show's run they got together, and it was terrible. Of course, by then Pierce Brosnan had been offered James Bond and had to decline because of his contract with the show, so I imagine he wasn't really into it.

As for Tony & Ziva, I never liked to ship them. They were a great team, but I didn't want them to get together, so I thought the writers ended it well. I am looking forward to Tony's new relationship (I want him to be happy), but I don't want it to be a big part of the show.
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Remington Steele has never been aired over here so I never saw it. But I did read mixed opinions about hat ship in my research for this post.

I am not sure if I shipped Tony and Ziva, but their UST was great for the show. If they'd ever resolved it, I do hope we'd keep the way they were treating each other. When I read that Cote would leave the show, I thought about this option where that ship would sail and shw would go working somewhere else. She could have the odd guest star as Tony's partner in that way. But it din't happen.
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Mal Reynolds and Inara Serra. Their tension loaded banter was brilliant, and I wish we'd gotten a chance to see it develop.
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Good example, but as you said we did not get the chance to see where that ship would go. It might have sunk the show if we had six seasons, although being a browncoat, I should not say that. But in the episodes she was in, there absolutely was something.

It is the one show of which I still watch as many of them coming together on conventions. Those video's on YouTube are often so good and they are so much still having fun with each other. The ones where Nathan Fillion just calls in while others are in panels are hillarious.
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And I´m a shipper, it´´s difficult to me see a show and not get involved... the ship chooses you, you don´t choose the ship, but I´m always worried that if it happens that would ruin the dream...
"“what makes ships sink?” “when others ships have a canon" (borrowed from tumblr)
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I rather think that writers with canons make them sink. Sometimes it's one of the crew who detonates a bomb inside the ship and I even have seen instances where it were the ignorant rocks (read network) who made it sink.

But I like the idea that another ship would sink them because they were stronger. A bit like when Hodgins and Angela would sink Seeley and Temperance.
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The Gilmore girls: When Lorelai and Luke start together was cute, and nice, and I was waiting for it, but then all the mess: break up, a stupid weading...just to see them together the last second... I agree, the problem for me it´s taht it´s difficult to find new stories when the main characters are together, and making them broke up it´s easy way to "spice" things up
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I have never seen Gilmore Girls so I can't comment. But it seems like it's a standard example of what can go wrong. How awful.
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I actually hate the couples that dont get together. I think its stupid how some fans react when it happens - like they just want nothing to change - ever! The problem is that a lot of the writers just cant make interesting stories - and i DONT mean that stupid ,,we break up for some stupid reason just to look at each other in a sad way and have sex everytime we are drunk, have a lot of drama and come back together in the end anyway" stories! I hate that! Like Nick and Jess und New Girl - why did they need to break up? after weeks of being happy together (yes u can fight and still be happy like every normal person) they suddenly had to brek up - probably cause the writers didnt know what to do with them.
I think their are not enough good couples out there! Lily and Marshall were awesome and I know a few people said they are boring but I never thought so - also when couples get a Baby - doesnt need to be boring!
I dont understand people who say couples or babies are boring.
How can anyone who watches tv show since a while still enjoy those over the top dramas with "will they or not" couples? no idea... Thats actually a reason for me to stop watching a show! I hate it its annyoing
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I agree with you that Lilly and Marshall are a good example of how it can be handled. But, they were already a couple when the show started so there is no do-the-don't-they scenario in it. It wasn't a ship, it was already halfway across the ocean. There are indeed more examples of couples that were already couples when the show started and remained good ones. But the actors, writers etc. were hired because they could do it.
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thats true - but it was really interesting when they broke up - i really liked that story it was really realistic
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It was, but were you ever afraid they would not get back together? I wasn't as their relation was one off the fundamentals for the series. It could not have handled another broken up couple at the table (next to Robin and Ted), and knowing Lilly, she wouldn't have been at the table at all. But the writers did a good job on it.
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@tamaracassill Now that last question might be an interesting topic for another post, but I'm not sure I will be able to come up with enough suggestions to get the discussion going.
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yeah we knew that ;) but it was a good story.
I just cant understand why its so hard for so many writers to bring up interesting couples/families with kids
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In tv land the disaster of Moonlighting is considered to be the worst example of a shipwreck, although the complainants might have outlived their warranty period by now.

Nope, that complaint will live unto the end of time. Biggest and most stupid decision on the part of the head wankers in the history of television.

Michael Weatherly, who plays Tony said in a commentary on an episode: “Unresolved sexual tension. It's the engine that makes television run.". He is right.

Very right. Would that the idiots in charge learned their lesson. They don't.

What are your ships that have become wrecks and caused you to stop watching the shows?

Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky. It was the end of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. JK, just want to prove I'm old and remember the man who will never, EVER be equaled in the sewer that is late night television. Never.
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Would that the idiots in charge learned their lesson. They don't. What I would love to see is that when they decide to change the dynamics of a show in that way, they also might need a different crew to make it work. But, to be honest, in general I like the do-they-don't-they interactions and jokes usually better then the ones about the kid they had together.
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One that you didn't mention, and it may be because you never saw it was Lois and Clark. Of course it was Superman and the two were destined to be together. And I thought it worked very well--until they actually got married. But who knows, as the show was quickly cancelled after that. I still like Bones, however, and I don't think them finally hooking up caused any problems. Bones is a very strange character, and we all like her in spite of it. As for Angela and Hodgins, they still seem the same. I did really like Moonlighting. My wife had to babysit Bruce Willis on Episode 13 in a novelty warehouse in downtown LA one night because she was a substitute assistant director on the episode. He kept giving her novelty gifts, and she said it was really quite fun. But I really enjoyed that show.
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Actually, the whole thing in Superman would have probably gone better, if the producers hadn't decided to have the series wedding at the same time as the comic book wedding. And since the comic book wedding was postponed, the series writers had to come up with that crap that happened at the end of season 3, which turned off a lot of viewers (causing ratings to fall and the series to be cancelled prematurely, they had a fifth season planned with the child they got at the end of the fourth)
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Ah, a Clark and Lois child. I am not sure I want to know as it just doesn't fit into my superman realm. I know it fits into life, just not in the superman world.
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It wasn their child, it was left on their doorstep. I remember reading somewhere that it would have been a child with powers like Superman's (but that's unsubstantiated)
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I do have fond memories of Moonlighting and I will remember the bickering better then those last episodes. Good to hear Bruce is a nice guy. I am not sure how he and Cybill got along in real life, that might have been an issue after some time.

As I said in the post, Bones didn't work for ma after the pregnancy and marriage, although I understood the last episodes were better. But in general I missed the Bones from the first seasons, the martial arts specialist and writer who also dabbled at the Smithsonian. Maybe that marriage and changed dynamics was the last drop. As for Angela and Hodgings, those two have been great the whole series, but their relation has always been supporting and never on top as the Bones - Seelay one is. And it seemed to be more poignant after they came together.
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Jack and Sam from SG-1. sg-1 wasn't the sort of show that would have shown how that couple was handling itself, but I still would have been a lot happier if instead of really subtle clues from background photos on the wall and deleted scenes in spin-offs they would have made Jack retire after the 8 season. It's also much more believable than a desk job for him.
Also, if we're mentioning stargate, then Elizebeth and John. There was defenitly something there and they had chemistry. They killed her way too soon, and used her way too little when she was there.
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Jack and Sam is canon. The producers confirmed that they have been together pretty much since Threads.
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For some strange reason I never saw much of SG-1. It wasn't aired over here and the internet possibilities were far less. i do own the film on DVD though......

But I do remember Jack had some chemistry with a woman. I will have to see it some day....
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I guess you're right, some couples can sink a show, but I think that is mostly due to the fact that you either don't "feel" that particular couple, or it is handled badly by the writers. To me, nothing is more annoying than the obligatory drawn out will-they-won't-they dance. After a while, you just wish they would decide what it is they want already and act accordingly. The on again/off again couples are even worse. Somehow they end up together at the end of one season, only to break up again on some flimsy pretext at the beginning of the next? Pu-lease!
And contrary to common belief, I do like to watch a happy couple even outside a sitcom-setting. Castle is a nice example. I also liked Zoe and Wash on Firefly, although there is no telling how that might have worked out in the long run. In Medium, the happy family was more compelling to watch than the weekly cases. Then there is Hart to Hart - a mediocre detective show, but with a loving couple at its centre. A handful more come to mind - The Closer, Ghost Whisperer, Pushing Daisies, Burn Notice - but happy couples are definitely to few and far between in TV drama for my taste.
To date, there are only two shows that handled the on again/off again thing ok, and both because it was because they explained it with some kind of space/time warp: Farscape and Eureka.
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The good thing about Zoe and Wash was that they saw each other as equals and the writers were not shy to show us fights between them as normal couples can have. That relationship seemed to be healthy in a good way and it supported the series. It was never a major point in any episode. And yes, we will not know what would have happened.

I once saw a panel with Joss Whedon where he was asked what he regretted most on Firefly and his answer was : 'killing Wash'.
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The three couples I enjoyed watching the most didn't end on a good note and all three were from Star Trek:Deep Space Nine.



Because of these events,I'm a little jaded with seeing happy relationships on TV since a lot of the times,it doesn't work out,or they bicker or they are a happy couple but YOU don't feel it.Like in real life,relationships come and go and it becomes more about your own personal happiness.
Besides,give me a great and intriguing story-line over a romance story any day!
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Don't forget about Worf and Deanna. The last time they acted like a couple was the TNG finale, and they weren't a couple in the movies, especially when she got back together with Riker.
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I never took the Worf/Deanna relationship seriously and considered it forced on the fans.Those two together never made sense to me.And besides,Deanna is Riker's 'Imzadi',which is the Betazed word for 'beloved'.Glad they finally got married in the movies.
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Riker and Deanna even married in a movie. During the run of TNG we had Riker and Deanna and Picard and Beverely Crusher with the tension these series seemed to need/have. I didn't like the Riker Troy will-they-won't they as in normal life they would have acted on it that amount of time.
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How about Star Trek Voyager Tom Paris and B'elanna Torres?
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Good one, although I hardly remember them. It is some time ago. As far as I remember there was never a will-they-won't-they situation, but one from not-liking until marriage. A relation that was supporting and dealt with in a serious way. So, an example of how it should be done.
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They ended for several reasons, but as part of a good storyline (and dead) and not because they had to be broken up to keep the flow of the show going. So I would qualify them as good and supporting and not taking over the show.
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Oh, boy. Did I have a huge crush on Jeannie especially in the 1960s and 1970s. I kept thinking Major Nelson had to be a total idiot to ignore her like that. At the time I thought she would be any normal man's (or boy's, to be precise) fantasy.

More currently the TV couple that has become one of my favorite ones was Ned and Chuck, from Pushing Daisies. They had emotional issues, but they were not as extreme as many other couples. But they had a singular problem: they couldn't ever touch, or she would die. That made it hilarious, endearing, fantastic, original, and full of enough tension.


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Yep, that crush .......
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I hate the idea that happy couples can't be interesting. Like, seriously, do people actually enjoy seeing couples needlessly breaking up and getting back together for stupid reasons just to keep the drama going? For me, that's so annoying, and it spells to me that those characters should not be together. And lord forbid the writers feel pressed to bring in such big drama like cheating or something... Then I'm like, "WHY WOULD YOU EVER GET BACK WITH THAT PERSON!?" and then I just think that both halves of that couple are idiots, and it makes them all very unlikable to me.

I guess I'm in the minority. I understand drawing out sexual tension for as long as you can, I do, but once that ship starts to sail, you sail it or you don't. This whole breaking up and getting back together shtick is so boring to me. It's just frustrating and will make me lose interest much faster than a happy couple.

I mean, especially when you have a couple like Glenn/Maggie on the Walking Dead. They are happy and secure in their relationship to each other, but people call them boring all the time. I don't understand it. Do people actually want them to start having relationship issues when they have more pressing issues - like NOT BEING EATEN TOMORROW? I just don't get what people want...

Oliver/Felicity on Arrow is supposedly very close to becoming canon. Now, that is one couple that I am very afraid of being ruined if they get together. I love Olicity to death, but I don't know if the writers will know how to keep that teasing going, and I will admit to that. However, the end game couple - Oliver/Laurel - is just so atrocious that the writers really need to let that one go. They just really do.

In the end, I prefer happy couples. Just get my OTPs together, don't change their personalities once they get together, and keep them happy. That's what I want.
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I'll always be thankful that Joss Whedon stood up for his happy couple Wash and Zoe. They were never boring!
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Like, seriously, do people actually enjoy seeing couples needlessly breaking up and getting back together for stupid reasons just to keep the drama going?

Yes. I hate happy couples and happy detectives. Every single successful UK show with a detective was one where the lead was a miserably unhappy alcoholic misanthrope. Morse, Vera, Cracker, Frost, e.g. - happily, when they put those guys in schmoopy relationships, the women always died. Now THAT'S a smart PTB.
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I can't stand it. The idea that female characters have to die to further male angst is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I think it's a very old fashioned idea. I really also can't stand when couples break up and get back together, as I said, because obviously those two were never meant to be if they can't stay together for more than two seasons without somebody cheating or getting bored or doubting their relationship!

I hate characters that make stupid decisions, and I hate stupid characters. And that's what you get when writers feel compelled to make characters miserable or have them perpetually in a state of unknown with their UST.
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As written in the comment below this one, I fully agree with you. I'm not sure if it is laziness from the writers because the drama is more easy to write, if they think the audience wants or or something else, but we seldom get happy detectives. And if so, we're never involved in their home situation.

I don't really know why, I'm not a psychologist, but we viewers find it more easy to relate tot drama as we will remember easily points in life that are connected to that tv drama. But when we see happiness on tv, we never relate that to our own happiness. If only it were different, but we humans are pretty horrible in that sense.
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I agree with you that the unhappy ones gave us the best series and with my favourite Morse I always knew the woman would die if he found her interesting. Drama gives the best bottom for great television. But real life wishes and good television clash about it in my head, as I love the good characters to have a happy life but I know it will weaken them in their role. How I hated avery time the Morse woman died. At least frost had some good times with his women, sometimes for a longer period, but in the end he always became single again. I felt sorry for him when that nurse went away and especially when she came back but not in his life. It is the detective solution for the getting together and breaking up, but with different people.
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Well... it´s sad but yes - happy couples are very boring and not just in tv shows... why do you think that so many people cheat? Most of the people feel alive only when they are in love, when they feel these butterflies in their belly and dream about first kiss, when everything is new and adventurous.. stereotype, simplicity, seriousness, lack of passion (for me passion always comes with a little bit of hate and teasing) - who wants that? As famous bad boy Spike in Buffy said - "Trust is for old marrieds. Great love is wild ... and passionate and dangerous. It burns and consumes."
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That's not love, that's lust.

Great love is eternal, everlasting. It's sitting by your bedside for six months without a single passionate romp while they wait for you to get better. It's still holding your hand forty years down the line. It's knowing what you look with and without your makeup on, and loving both sides. It's beautiful and comfortable and doesn't breed mistrust or hate or anger... Love is good and pure and only rare because people make it rare.

Love isn't being an asshole and only realizing you had a good thing when it's gone - and then repeatedly getting back together with that person only to grow bored over and over again so spicing it up with more stupid mistakes.

To me, the greatest love stories have all of the drama come from the outside. The couple itself is strong, but the world is against them.
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I completely agree with you and share the comfort of being in the minority. As I wrote in the post, I like to keep the couples the same after the ship sailed, meaning the fun and teasing just has to continue.

I once read that only 10% of couples that come back together after a break will succeed in that new hookup. And how many people in real life hook up again? There is a reason they broke up and after some time they will remember why. With ' Unforgettable' cannot forget it.

I do hope Olicity does not sail. Even if they're in relationships with others, they can keep up the same tension and teasing relation they have now, it would absolutely fit.
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Just thought I would mention this since I have been rewatching the series on Cable.
I wish I could remember how exactly it ended, I think it was Harry went chasing after Christine, but Night Court did the tension great between those two characters, even having them kiss a couple times only to realize it was not quite right. I think it was one of the better great tensions between two characters who never really got together.
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I never watched the series. Due to (I think it was @Gislef) mentioning it to me, I started watching it but I never really got into it. I guess that when you have good memories of the series, it is much more fun.
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Like Gislef said, the first 2 seasons went through some growing pains, several parts had high turnover for a while before they settled onto the main cast for the of the series. I loved it when I was young and it still makes me laugh. I grew up on this, Cheers and a few others.
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It depends on when you get into the show. The first season or two is kinda eh, but they get more into the whackjob zaniness after that.
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It could be worse, you could base the tension of your entire show in shipping a couple with zero chemistry from the get go, such as;

  • Betrayal's leading cheaters characters,
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland's Alice and what-was-his-name,
  • Reign's Mary & Francis,
  • Once Upon a Time's Neil & Emma (or Cinderella & Prince, or Aurora & Phillip, or basically anyone not paired up with either Ruby or Regina),
  • New Girl's Schmidt and Cece,
  • Grimm's Nick & Juliette (I love you guys, but you don't work),
and so on and on.

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Butting in this ancient post to say that, I don't think Neal and Emma were ever supposed to have a fanbase as a couple... Neal was introduced as Emma's past/first love, in the very same episode where Hook was introduced as her potential new love interest. The problem was, the writers didn't anticipate that fans would ship literally any two characters if they didn't like the alternative. Thus Neal/Emma gained a following and they were forced to keep the love triangle going, even when it made zero sense. But it definitely was not "basing the tension of the entire show" around them.
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'Ancient post'. You make me feel very old as this post is less then two months old......

Many older post are still fun to read and can be appreciated. You can always show your appreciation by 'hearting' it.
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I know, but I always feel like a creep when I'm commenting on posts more than a month old... it's like I'm stalking someone. Even if in reality I just followed a link that led here.
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Nobody will think you're a creep, especially if you're showing appeciation for the post by giving it a 'heart' or comments you're replying to and enjoy by giving them a ' thumbs up'.
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I think the worst of that category is TVD. But those are some close runner-ups.
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The Walking Dead actually has happy couples that keep romantic tension alive, mosty because they could die at any time. Even those that were in crisis, like Rick & Lori, still had that certain spark.

Maybe its because the tension of the story isn't built around romance:
  • the dynamic I'm looking forward the most right now is Rick & Carol and they aren't romantic,
  • neither are Glenn & Tara yet what she did is bound to cause friction with Hershel's dughters,
  • Sasha & Tyreese, if only because the siblings have no idea the other one is still alive.
  • Tyreese and Rick because the latter still believes the former wants to kill Carol,
  • Dayl & Beth, if only because their issues were even more unresolved than Rick & Carol's when they got separated,

and so that, whenever you do see something like Glenn & Maggie or Bob & Sasha, they never seem boring.
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I think he/she meant The Vampire Diaries ;)
Think TWD (not TVD :P) is indeed doing a good job in that department,
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It must have been one of the reasons I do not watch any of these shows. It seems a horrible setup for a series.
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The only issue is Nick and Juliette were together before the series started and the first season and through most of the 2nd, it was not good, but with the changes they made to Juliette, things were improving, but the way the most recent season ended and the tension between them over the fake Juliette, it is hard to say where it may go. On the other hand... Monroe and Rosalie... perfect couple, love them together, but the show doesn't focus on them as much but when it does, I have had no complaints.
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Problem is: Rosalee was a recurrent character since the late part of the first season. She could've easily not been a part of the show.

...and Grimm would've found itself with no tension to base their show on.
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Here is one that should never have happened:



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I shipped the hell out of Mulder and Scully the whole series, but I felt them getting together was poorly handled. It's just like 'oh, we're shagging now' and then 'oh and there's a baby... or not' *blegh*
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I completely agree and mentioned it in the post as an example of bad couples that should never have resolved any tension between them.
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I think it is mostly a result of my Gillian Anderson crush. Although, TBH - I have a man crush on David Duchovny too.
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I have no crush on David, although I envy of his potential to get sjhows where he is around so many beautiful ladies. I watch the occasional Californication before going to sleep and he has some beautiful women around. On that show I have a crush on Natascha McElhone.
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Obligatory:




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I just knew Ed would show and say something here
:)
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Except the problems presented by nearly all the article's examples are avoided in Farscape because of its relatively compact series run. The lazy dependence on will they/won't they sexual tension—and the almost inevitable disappointment among fans if they eventually do—really only becomes detrimental after many seasons. In Bones, Booth and Brennan didn't get together until the end of Season 6. Likewise, Jane and Lisbon's declaration of love didn't come until The Mentalist's Season 6 finale. Ziva and Tony danced around for nine seasons on NCIS. Even Castle and Beckett took four full seasons of obvious flirting to get it together. Farscape only lasted four seasons and a miniseries. It didn't have enough time to wear out a good relationship.
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You are correct in that. But they had a magnificent solution for them getting together, getting seperated and getting together agaian. But, we will never know how it would have ended if they'd gotten another few seasons. My guess it would have been something like Castle as the moments they were together in the series basically all were supporting the series and were not the main issue.
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Yep, left it to you, but @stevei already mentioned I forgot it. It is one of the few times is worked.
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Rolamb! I never saw this was up. Gotta read it over.
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Yep, you punched me off the sweet spot after a few minutes and you can't see the writer of the post until it reaches the second layer on the home page :-). Just read the community feed :-).
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X files was not terrible, you saw the tension the entire time and it was going to happen at some point. The disappointing aspect of the X Files was failed contract negotiations (i think? i was only a kid when it was ending) with David Duchovny, seriously hindering those last few seasons. When they added Monica and John, the romance fell on the two of them, but the unresolved nature of that (the face they knew each other fairly well, and she had attempted to help him with his son's case but failed amped up the disappointment he seemed to hold towards her) What ruined the X files for me was that 2nd movie.

Castle works because the creators/producers are an actual married couple in real life who have frequently said Castle/Beckett were endgame from the start and we would see the natural progression from awkward strangers, to partners, to boyfriend/girlfriend/lovers, to a married couple. Though at times i'm kind of like, is Castle done yet?, i like that it works for the show. They resolved all of their major cases whereas most series will drag them, limping and bleeding, throughout the entire series. All they have now is the 3XK storyline, and the interrupted wedding.

I loved Bones, but i can't watch past the 5th or 6th season now. They could have handled Emily Deschanel's pregnancy better, rather than suddenly, out of the blue, claiming they slept together and bam, she's preggo. (who thinks, even in tv fantasy land, that woman was too smart not to have birth control of some sort?? She was always talking about sex!) They could have had her go on a dig somewhere for x amount of weeks, and pair Booth with someone new who would drive him insane in a not good way and have us laughing until she returned, but no. They killed it.

I think New Girl might be able to climb out of their hole. What i enjoy most about that show is the friendship first aspect.

Speaking of NCIS, what about NCIS:LA? 5 years (well, 4, since Deeks was only in the last few episodes of season 1) Deeks and Kenzi finally got it on, she's sent away (a good way of handling a real life pregnancy, i'm looking at you Bones) and returns ready for a relationship but he thinks better of it, and they collectively put their romance on the back burner on purpose. The flirting and the jealousy though! I thought it would taper off but wow, was i wrong. They're awesome together, and apart, and i can't wait for the next season.

There are many others i can think of. Don't get me started on HIMYM. But those are my faves/least favorites.

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NCIS:LA has definitely handled it well so far, just hope they keep it from getting weird.

I see a lot of people complain about Castle, but much like the first NCIS, which I think is starting to fall short, it is the characters I love more so than the stories. On Castle the couple works and they play off each other perfectly.
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For some reason I stopped watching NCIS:LA two years ago. I absolutely remember the attraction between Deeks an Kenzi, but I guess they must have hit it off (and off again) after I stopped watching. Listening to you they found a good way of dealing with it. I just hope it doesn't get weird between them.

I've watched HIMYM until the end. I always thought that the relations in the group were the weakest part of the show. Let alone how it ended.

And yeas, Bones getting pregnant in the show was a dealbreaker. After that it never bounced back. The explanation was, as you said, 'the easy way out'. If only they had some creativity in the writing room.
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Poll

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I see you liked the post enough to comment a black and white poll whereas I tried to be a bit more on a sliding scale.

You could at least have given the post a heart if you liked it that much
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Perhaps a little notation alongside the heart:

if you like this article, please heart it ?

Come on, people, heart this article.
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Thanks. I've asked staff a few times in pm's and feedback posts to do something about the hearts, but nothing has changed on the site for over a year now. So it's no priority :-).

Thus I started the initiative to have a few lines in a post asking the readers to 'heart' it if they liked reading it. And for some reason, I forgot to put the line in this post. Your comment made me aware of it, so I'll put it in.

Reading some other comment, people do not really know what 'hearting' is, so I think about making a post explaining it and linking to it every time I/we ask for that heart. If staff does not help, we have to do it ourselves. We do not get the pageview number (we have asked ....) so the only way to know if people have read and/or like it are comments and 'hearts'.
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I didn´t know that the heart thing exists, and I´ve been around here for years! Now I know, I´m going to heart every post I read and like (that are almost everyone)
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Poll


;-p
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For those who really do not know what a 'heart' is, as I assume that those voting for that item are not only joking: A heart is the little heart symbol you can see at the right hand top corner and left hand bottom of the post. When you've read the post and you liked reading it, you gotta click on it, thus giving the post a ' heart'.
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@cheriross75 Thanks for the reply and the 'heart'. A 'heart' is a visible sign the reader liked it for the unpaid amateur writers on the community pages that we are. It is the reward that keeps us writing as we know/learn that people like what we write. There are a lot of people who just take it for granted (you know, the 'internet is free so why should I do anything in return' behaviour) and some even think we are paid writers so they can insult and yell at us in the comments. Probably even the paid writers also like it when they get hearts.
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Thanks for the explanation. Seriously, I have never "hearted" anything on tv.com because, although I assumed it was a positive mark, I wasn't sure if there were unwritten subtexts to it.
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I'm not generally a shipper, but I've been wanting Stefan and Caroline to get together on The Vampire Diaries for two seasons now. They've hinted at it so many times, but just when I think it's going to happen, it doesn't! Here's hoping things will change this season...
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By now I should get a stamp so I can use that stamp instead of writing every time I did not see TVD (yet) :-). I maybe the only one out here, and people always tell me to watch it. maybe after my retirement.

For Stefan and Caroline, if it adds to the story it must happen. If it will kill off their relationship and theirs in relation to the others, please keep them apart. If they get together and break up afterwards, it will be killing also.
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I watched TVD and had enough of it and stopped. I think I stopped half a season ago, but while I was watching I got the feeling that while Stefan and Caroline definitly would work the writers don't see it at all and would rather just keep up the main boring triangle even if there is nothing there anymore.
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I wonder if there's a list out there anywhere of series that have both a male and female leads and what percentage of times they end up getting together?

You listed Bones, Castle, Moonlighting, and The X-Files, and I'm sure there are many more, but for more recent shows like The Strain and The Lottery does this formula mean at some point in the future we'll definitely be seeing Eph and Nora or Kyle and Allison getting together? Is there no other way for television series to present two opposite-sex leads?
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I did a bit of research on the interwebs, but I did not find a list. I believe that it all depends on the quality of the writers. If there's tension, will they be able to contain it and give it the right place in the series. And with the right place I mean it is supporting to what is happening. Most writers will fall for the trap to make it a major part in the story and after that, it is mostly doomed.

The fun thing is that the sexual tension can hardly be written in the storyline and when the producers cast the actors, they hardly know if it will happen. We see the shows on tv where it did happen, as those are the shows that get good rates and get renewed. If it doesn't happen and the main characters are just acting, we viewers know it and the rates drop automatically.

If there are new shows like the Strain and The Lottery (still have to pick up both but I will), I believe there is an 75% chance it will happen after a few years as the writers just aren't good enough to not make it happen. But personally I rather have it not happen and have the tension add to the storylien then have it happen and the storyline is killed.
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New Girl will face a similar problem to The Big Bang Theory now that Jess and Nick have been together and broken up. One assumes this happen again at least another time before the series finishes.
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I do not watch it, but my son did and he stopped watching it as he could not bear the decline. It is one of those series where the attraction between some of the characters (weren't they room mates) cannot not be dealt with. I like the way Friends dealt with it much better. There was tension all the way and by keeping the characters apart in separate flats they could pretty well deal with it. Even when Chandler and Monica got to live together, their neuroses were the better part of the story and never the love story.
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Wait, what? I would have sworn that if you have a son, he's watching Sesame Street! Or whatever it is the little darlings are watching these days.

Or do you have a really, really, really advanced kid (like the one in Dream On) who is a future writer of tv.com? :O)
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I do have a really, really advanced kid, but he's also a third year student of medicine at university. I am very proud of him.

He is not a writer at all. He has written one story in his life. He was forced by his teacher Dutch to send in a story for a competition. He won the competition and the story was published. If only I had a bit of his talent. I assume the only thing he writes these days are notes for his lectures.

I guess you though I was young at heart :-)
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Wow, you write about it all the time but you don't mention it, so how about Aeryn and John on Farscape. He proposes and they blow them up and cancel the series.
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Yeah, I know. I thought about I wanted to leave it to one of the other writers in that community to name it, but you were ahead. that relation could use a separate post as they used a very special way to get it back to unresolved after they came together. Very unique and good!

Did you ever read that post I wrote especially for you on law systems to support my European detective series (you can find it here)? I never heard if you read it.
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Is that called unresolved? They were together before, sure they didn't get married(at that point) but there was defenitly a working relationship which did not dull down the affairs.Yes, we didn't get to see them grow old together and have grandchildren(ok, we did get the first part) but we saw them in a relationship for quite a while.
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They were unresolved for some time and after Talyn Crichton's dead another time. But at the end they were happy tiogether and Farscape is one of the few shows that pulled it of as far as I'm concerned.
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Well... gotta be honest. I'm a Vala/Daniel fan from Stargate SG-1,...a ship that had never sailed. In few monbths I'll tell you what I think of the mentalist- I've always been a shipper, but we'll have to see how the showrunner will handle the thing...
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Yay for Daniel/Vala! Does Unending count as that ship being confirmed? Either way, she was clearly mad about him from the start
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well, I like to think that given time they'll get together- for now, they've never had been in a relationship in the canon universe of the stargate novels set after the end of the series (and in fact, Daniel is currently doing the archeologist and arguing with McKay in the pegasus galaxy....) but I'm a teu shipper, so I like to think that they'll eventually fidn their way to each other...
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I am worried about The Mentalist. It seems like Simon Baker is the actor who can handle the fun of the new situation, but will Robin Tunney be able to do so? I will watch of course, until it's no fun any more.
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I doubt it will go more than one more season, meaning I'll remain loyal to the end of that season but if it goes beyond and things go very wrong, I do not know.
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At the end of next season they start a private detective agency together .....
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Eh. I'm just glad that the Lisbon/Pike ship sinked- I mean, how can I take seriously a guy who power-fist when the girl accepts the marriage proposal? Even if I'll do miss Pike. As in Pedro pascal, because he was terribly sexy as Prince Oberyn Martell with the beard...
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You're happy it stranded to that the Lisbon/Jane ship could sail. Oh men, there are so many funny ways to get a name for that ship and Jisbon is one of the least funny ones.

I am a man, but I did understand the attraction of Prince Oberyn. I mentioned him as one of the characters I miss most in a recent post.
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Uh, it's not for the "Oh look, she breaks up with her boyfriend/fiance of five minutes and now she can get it on with Jane". It was the "I know this is our third date, but what about you move in with me? On the other side of the country? Where I already found you another job?"
Violets was superb, I loved pascal and I loved his Pike in the episode and how he romanced Lisbon. It's the way they made progress the story between them afterward that was kind of... uhm... well, if the guy you are dating from two weeks asks you to move on the other side of the country with him, well... I'd freak out a little.

If I have to be honest, I think that the allure of the ship (and yes, I hate Jisbon and Jello too- more to Jane/Lisbon. I shiver when I hear ships names. Yep. Brangelina too.) has more to do witht he eventually and the things left unsaid; I may have shipped Fox and Dana when I was a kid (ehm), but the moment I saw them together on screen, I was all lifted eyebrows on my side, like "Bad move, writers, bad move... why can't you leave this to fanfiction writers?" That's why I fear there's a good cahnce that I will abandon the mentalist after so many years, after few episodes pf season seven...
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I'm not quite sure what the over all thesis is here, but BUFFY AND ANGEL or Spike even. Seriously unresolved.

So what do you think it is that makes these couple flop after they get together? The writing? The lack of romance or teasing? Chemistry? what?
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It's been a long time since I wrote my last thesis. But I see what you mean and rewrote a small bit of the post.

I really do not know. But my guess is that the writers and staff were chosen because they were good in a certain type of show. Getting a couple together changes so much in the writing, the actors interaction and maybe even in the filming, that it's not the right crew anymore to keep up the quality of before. I also think that it's done quite some times to 'jump the shark'meaning that the series is already going down. It's just continuing and we shouldn't blame the ship for that.
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I see, like how Vampire Diaries was losing it's mind in the writers room, and then Damon and Elena finally became a couple... and that only made matters worse.

I like in NCIS that Ziva and Tony's relationship didn't really effect the show's writing at all. It enhanced it if anything, gave it more substance.

I wonder how that differs from shows where the main characters already are established couples and they write around that?
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Not necessarily about established tv couples from the start, but i think Friends did a decent job of handling makeups and breakups. Ross and Rachel were off and on for those 10 years, and i didn't hate it because it was the up and down of what a real relationship is (aside from cheating, that's not too typical in real life, but it's still a real issue they faced). And then you had Chandler and Monica, and Chandler became a bit less sarcastic and defensive, and it was more about him progressing and growing up once they got together, and he didn't sarcasm as a defense anymore. I loved that show for how real the relationships were.
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I sometimes watch Rules of Engagment as it is on just after the news. There are two married couples in it. Both are happily married, but one is constantly showing it and the other is teasing and testing each other. I really do not like the first one and really like the second one. All in all not enough to be a fan of the show.
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I liked that show, and for reasons I cannot even explain but I get what your saying. The married couple was more entertaining than the other which were engaged for the entire series.
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What a great post. I agree sometimes we have these two characters who we love as individuals and ship them for so long beacuse their bickering and back and forth banter makes the show but sometimes when the writers finally get them together it can go wrong and the fun that we love just isn't there any more and a big reason why you loves the show is gone and from then on you feel like something's missing. Sometimes I think to myself don't get them together just have them sleep with each other every now and again but still keep the fun and don't make it awkward.
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Thanks. As to your suggestion, sleeping together also changes the dynamics of the show and that's essentially what I'm talking about. The question is whether the two characters will be able to keep the same dynamics of bring them to a new level with as much excitement. I really don't know but my gut feelings says it will attract drama in that show and that's not always good.
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Your right but essentially it's down to the writing team and not the actor/characters because we know the two charatercter shave chemistry and fire but it's the writers who decides to change the way they interact.
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I agree that the writers are the most important part. But the actots, who do have the chemistry, should also be able to act all the finesses of the new situation. A great comedy actor might have problems with some of the more serious stuff.
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I know what you mean, Jack Nicholson is one actor who does psychotic evil really really well but sometimes can't do more laid back roles.
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