that girl ☠ (imafuzzball) wrote in _prisonbreak,
that girl ☠
imafuzzball
_prisonbreak

Let's do it already

Birds do it. Bees do it. So what's stopping TV's unrequited couples?

December 5, 2006
BY DOUG ELFMAN Television Critic
So you're single and lonely. Or you're not 100 percent emotionally fulfilled by your relationship. I think those two categories cover every American. What do you do to satisfy your yearning? You live vicariously through unrequited-love scenes between Jim and Pam in "The Office."









Or maybe you think of yourself as Marin in "Men in Trees," sadly longing to cuddle next to rugged Jack, who needs his space right now.

Or is it the three-season-long, pent-up flirting between Jack and Kate in "Lost" that rocks your boat?

Or is it the three-season-long, pent-up flirting between Jack and Kate in "Lost" that rocks your boat?

These are the non-couples that TV writers are counting on you to tune in and root for, especially when they aren't copulating. The journey of love is meant to grab you. Even on-again, off-again couples such as "Friends' " Ross and Rachel count, because along the way they leave viewers unrequited.

This is one of the sturdiest standards in TV (and movies). You can look at it one way or another:
• • Stories of romance fulfill your heart with thoughts of juicy fantasy.

• Or they're love-teasing you to frustration until you stop watching and ratings fall. Only then in a fit of desperation does the show throw the non-couple together in the sack.

This tradition goes back at least as far as the 1960s with "Gilligan's Island," which never did let Gilligan and Mary Ann get it on. But in "I Dream of Jeannie," Tony and Jeannie finally united and got married. To jog your memory, Jeannie called Tony "master." She never had a chance.

The 1970s were more requited, unless you count a teased relationship in "The Bionic Woman," and who in their right mind would do that?

Blame "Cheers," debuting in 1982, for spawning the mad resurrection of non-couple romances. The sitcom's taunt pitted Sam (Ted Danson) vs. Diane (Shelley Long). Their subsequent disastea relationship ended when Long pulled a Shelley Long and quit to "act" in "movies."

Subsequently, romantic stunts heated up ever after in "Beauty and the Beast," "Who's the Boss?," "Northern Exposure," "Frasier," "Dawson's Creek," "Sex and the City" and -- drum roll, please -- "Friends."

"Friends" might represent the best and worst of the unrequited non-couple. Ross and Rachel had great chemistry. They got together at the end of the first season. Yay. But then writers kept breaking them up with stupid things, like Rachel's overreacting to Ross' idiotic note-to-self about the pros and cons of her personality. Boo.

In the present day, you see all the crucial elements beefing up and/or ruining entire series.

In "The Office," Jim and Pam are in their third season of staring into each other's eyes. Whenever one is single, the other is in his or her own relationship, keeping both out of each other's arms. Ridiculous.

In "Studio 60," it's still the first season, and it's already offputting to watch Matt and Harriet not mend fences and reunite.

There's usually a good reason non-couples crave each other. Usually, they work together, which overworked Americans can relate to. "Prison Break" gets credit for pairing/not pairing a fugitive to the doctor from the prison he escaped from.

But writers strain the imagination to come up with ways to keep non-couples apart. In "Men in Trees," Marin and Jack rocked each other's socks one sultry day. But afterward, Jack said he needed time to himself to fish and think about life. Whatever. But at least they did it.

In "Desperate Housewives," Susan and Mike were about to finally couple until he was hit by a car, put in a coma and awakened by a nasty neighbor who used her evil talons to snatch Mike from Susan's jaws of life. Outrageous.

Why do viewers keep cutting a break to these shows and their idiotic story lines? It's on a case-by-case basis. I'm willing to deal with the on-again, off-again dance on "Veronica Mars" because the rest of the show is so great. But will I be strung along forever? Not likely.


TV's destined couples?
'PRISON BREAK'
MICHAEL AND DR. SARA
Played by: Wentworth Miller and Sarah Wayne Callies
They're: A fugitive and a prison doctor
Sex yet? No
Why apart? He's on the run
Seasons of tease: Two


'STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP'
MATT AND HARRIET
Played by: Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulson
They're: Boss and employee
Sex yet? Were lovers, broke up
Why apart? He's biased against her Christianity
Seasons of tease: One

'LOST'
JACK AND KATE AND SAWYER
Played by: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway
They're: Fellow castaways
Sex yet? No (my note: What? Sawyer and Kate totally got it on. Unless he's talking about all three of them together??)
Why apart? They're stupid
Seasons of tease: Three

'BONES'
BONES AND BOOTH
Played by: Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz
They're: Partners in crime- solving
Sex yet? No
Why apart? They deny their attraction
Seasons of tease: Two

'HOUSE'
DR. HOUSE AND STACY
Played by: Hugh Laurie and Sela Ward
They're: Ex-spouses
Sex yet? Broke up, dancing sporadically
Why apart? She's turned off by his assiness
Seasons of tease: Two

'MEN IN TREES'
MARIN AND JACK
Played by: Anne Heche and James Tupper
They're: Residents of the same tiny town
Sex yet? Yes
Why apart? He needs his space, man
Seasons of tease: One

'GREY'S ANATOMY'
'MCSTEAMY' AND ADDISON
Played by: Eric Dane and Kate Walsh
They're: Once lovers, now co-workers
Sex yet? Yes
Why apart? She needs her space, man
Seasons of tease: One (he's new on staff)

'DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES'
SUSAN AND MIKE
Played by: Teri Hatcher and James Denton
They're: Neighbors
Sex yet? Yes
Why apart? Edie stole him away
Seasons of tease: Three

'GILMORE GIRLS'
LORELAI AND LUKE
Played by: Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson
They're: Residents of the same small town
Sex yet? Yes -- they were engaged
Why apart? She's sick of his waffling
Seasons of tease: Seven

'VERONICA MARS'
VERONICA AND LOGAN
Played by: Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring
They're: Former high school classmates
Sex yet? Yes
Why apart? He's sick of worrying about her risky detective fetish
Seasons of tease: Three

'THE OFFICE'
PAM AND JIM
Played by: Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski
They're: Co-workers
Sex yet? No
Why apart? One or the other is always in a relationship
Seasons of tease: Three

source
Tags: articles
Subscribe

  • "PRISON BREAK" PLANS ITS GREATEST ESCAPE YET

    Sad news and some s4 spoilers included... "PRISON BREAK" PLANS ITS GREATEST ESCAPE YET AS SERIES COMES TO A CLOSE THIS SPRING The greatest escape…

  • New Article

    This came out in my local paper. It's about the girl who play's Gretchen's daughter.…

  • Ausiello on Prison Break

    Question: I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that Michael shouldn't get a new love interest so soon after Sara's death on Prison Break.…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 27 comments

  • "PRISON BREAK" PLANS ITS GREATEST ESCAPE YET

    Sad news and some s4 spoilers included... "PRISON BREAK" PLANS ITS GREATEST ESCAPE YET AS SERIES COMES TO A CLOSE THIS SPRING The greatest escape…

  • New Article

    This came out in my local paper. It's about the girl who play's Gretchen's daughter.…

  • Ausiello on Prison Break

    Question: I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that Michael shouldn't get a new love interest so soon after Sara's death on Prison Break.…