You know how sometimes you feel like you’re in an actual, romantic relationship with a TV show? A few days ago, my friend Casey and I G-chatted about that, and we started thinking about all the different types of TV romances we’ve had. The broken, the beautiful… we covered it all. And just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Which TV relationships would YOU add to this conversation?
Casey: I think I’m about to break up with a show, and I’m sad.
Mark: Which show?
Mark: We never even went on a first date.
Casey: I used to LOVE this show. And then Julia Stiles ruined it for me forever.
Mark: She can do that.
Casey: Hell yes, she can
Mark: Andrew and I haven’t said it aloud, but I think we’re close to calling it off with 30 Rock. Monkey See ran this great piece about how Liz Lemon has devolved from a woman to a little girl, and it really articulated my problems with the last few seasons.
Casey: 30 Rock and I only went on a couple of dates. It’s always been one shade too wacky for me.
Has anyone written anything about these relationships with TV shows, and how it’s like a real relationship? We should do that.
Mark: We really should. I’ve written from that perspective a few times, but never about the actual phenomenon.
Casey: We can talk about how Lost beat us but always apologized in the last three minutes of every episode, and I left but you stayed. And how Dexter convinced me to have a threesome with Julia Stiles, and it ruined our relationship forever.
Mark: Also, I had this tawdry fling with Blue Bloods. I knew he wasn’t as smart as me, but he had this dockworker muskiness that I thought was really sexy. But I knew it would never work. I kept apologizing to my friends every time I mentioned him.
Casey: How about how long I stayed with American Idol because of the potential we had, but how I always knew it couldn’t live up to that potential? Then it got resentful of my expectations and sucked more and more.
Mark: Or how I stopped feeling passion for Law & Order after 10 years, but we stayed great friends until the end.
Speaking of “the end:” I like this line of thought because all these relationships are so wistfully romantic. Inevitably, your lover always dies. You can develop a fondness for their memory every time.
Casey: Or, on the other hand, if they did something that really fucked you over, you doubt that there was anything good about the relationship. Which is totally how I feel about Lost. Now when I think of it, I just feel like an asshole. Like I got duped.
Mark: And then there’s Mad Men, which I just started dating so all my friends would think I was cool. And then, whoops, I fell in love.
Casey: See, whereas all my friends keep saying, “You guys would be perfect together!” But something about it seems creepy, and I’m turned off. And then, there’s Weeds, which I should love, but it has this really annoying laugh… so every time we’re on a date and I hear that laugh, I want to run from the room.
Mark: Oh, and then there’s Glee, which loves me way more than I love it. And which keeps calling all my friends, asking how I’m doing.
Casey: From minute one, I have seen through that bullshit.
Mark: I feel like Smash might be the same for me. But I’m hanging in.
Casey: It’s like that blind date your mom set you up on, the one with the urologist, and every five minutes on that date, he keeps going, “Did you know I’m a doctor?’
Mark: Hahaha! So true. Do you know Downton Abbey?
Casey:I know of it, but I’m resisting.
Mark: Here’s the thing. It seems like a fancy PBS miniseries full of private emotions, but it’s actually a tawdry soap opera. It’s the very definition of “Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets.”
Casey: Fantastic. I think you just convinced me to start watching it.
Mark: You’ll love it. In the very first episode, a bitchy gay man publicly humiliates a cripple, just for fun.
Casey:WHAT? YES!!!! I already love it.
Also, you and I have similar feelings about Six Feet Under. The relationship was so amazing at the beginning, and then there was this period where we secretly hated each other, but were staying together for the kids and the house and stuff. And then, right when we were ready to give up, it made this amazing romantic gesture that made us fall in love all over again.
Mark: Exactly. And I wondered how we could have fought in the first place.
Casey: Meanwhile, SVU is kind of like a booty call for me. Like, when I’m really bored and horny, and I literally cannot think of another option, there’s always SVU.
Mark: There’s probably an SVU episode with this exact plotline: Booty calls gone wrong.
NOTE: That image up there is by Banksy