Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Will They Or Won't They?

One of the big complaints people seem to have about TV relationships is that the chemistry is "ruined" when the couple actually gets together. Moonlighting is often cited as an example - once Dave and Maddie hooked up, the delicious sexual tension between the two of them disappeared.

And yes, I can name shows where bringing the two characters together takes away something special about them, changing the dynamic of the show for the worse.

But it can be done right, as well. One of my favorite pairings on TV was Chandler and Monica on Friends. Their hook up in London, though shocking when it happened, really did build on the friendship they'd had all along. And the "who knows?" storyline that wove through the first half of that season was delicious.

The best part of their romance, in my mind, was how it didn't change who they were at the core. Monica was still Monica, Chandler still Chandler, and their foibles and issues complemented each other in a way that made their relationship just work.

I'm feeling the same way about Castle and Beckett this season on Castle. Though I'm a latecomer to the show, I love the dynamic between those two, and I think the writers are hitting all the right notes with their blossoming relationship. Even though they're together, there's still enough sexual tension to keep the connection humming for the viewer.

So despite the "Moonlighting Curse", I think it's definitely possible to bring two characters together without destroying the delicious tension between them - and without losing the viewers' interest. And on the flip side of the coin, there's only so many obstacles a writing team can throw up between two characters before the audience gives up altogether.

It's a tightrope, to be sure, but it can be done right. Who are your favorite couples on TV, together or apart? And what makes a "connection" work for you on a show?



Erin Nicholas said...

Yes, yes, yes! It can be done and I wholeheartedly agree with both of your examples. Beckett and Castle!!!

It's so fun to see the characters make the relationship work and yet stay the characters that we love.

Thing is, at some point, the writers will have to throw some wrenches in and they'll be some hurt feelings and broken hearts, likely and then we call get to take sides (Ross and Rachel anyone?! :)) but watching them work it out is awesome too.

Hmm... kinda like those books I like to read...

June M. said...

Thank you!