It’s embarrassing, we all know it is, to admit that you’re rooting for two totally fictional people to just MAKE OUT WITH TONGUE ALREADY. You feel as though you should brush the cat hair from your sweats and put down the pint of Ben & Jerry’s before gushing something along the line of “OMG Ben & Leslie 4-evah…I call them Beslie…do you…aren’t they the CUTEST?!?” And while all this may be true (though not of me as I sadly lack both cats and a tolerance for dairy), a solid will they/won’t they story drives many a-plot along its way. But it’s always a tricky dynamic, isn’t it? When exactly should the writers pull the trigger on the relationship? How many “organic” or “inorganic” obstacles can they throw in the way before we’re bored/lose interest? One of our writers, the luminously knocked-up Courtney Enlow, is somewhat famous for her love of the Barney and Robin “ship” on “How I Met Your Mother,” but, in my opinion, the writers bungled that relationship so poorly this season (probably right around the time Ted told Robin he loved her…again…and I threw my non-dairy frozen yogurt across the room) that all the tension is gone. Forever. The ship has sailed, crashed into an iceberg and left Leonardo DiCaprio for dead. There’s no going back.
On the other hand, once the will they/won’t they question has been answered, what’s left to drive the narrative forward? The union of Pam and Jim and the failure of Andy and Erin to become the new Pam and Jim has all but killed “The Office”. “Parks and Recreation” has been handling their little relationships quite beautifully, I think. But that could fall apart if they try to drag the sitcom out for another four seasons. But, when done properly, a ship can still cause quite the fervor 15 years later. What follows are some ships that the writers obviously want us to buy into, and those that I think they should. Especially the last one.
“Cougar Town”—Laurie and Trav: This relationship (with a questionable age gap) has been teased for a few seasons and finally had the spotlight in last night’s episode. Creator Bill Lawrence went on Twitter today to see where the fans stood on the relationship. It doesn’t look good for these two. Which makes me sad, because I think they’re adorable.
“Doctor Who”—The Doctor and His TARDIS: River’s a sassy enough match for The Doctor and certainly a vast improvement over Rose who was the last girl the BBC tried to cram down our throats. Personally I prefer the Doctor when he’s not being romantic (which is why the Donna pairing was always my favorite). But if it’s to be anyone, I wish it were his TARDIS/Idris. I know the her last appearance doesn’t leave much room for her return…but in a show packed to the brim with improbabilities, an impossible Idris comeback is the one I’m most hoping for.
“Happy Endings”—Dave and Nobody…Please: The writers tried to push two different Dave ships on us this season. But I’d like Dave to end up with neither Alex nor Penny. Or if he does, it shouldn’t be for a long while. I like this group of friends where they are. There’s no need to manufacture a Ross and Rachel scenario.
“New Girl”—Jess and Nick: But if you are going to give us a new Ross and Rachel, make it these two. I’ve liked them from the start (mostly because of Jake Johnson’s angry turtle face), but they won me over completely in the last few episodes of this season. I’m not worried about the health of the show after these two inevitably get together (in Schmidt we trust) and I’m all in for the entirety of their journey.
“Mad Men”—Lane and Joanie: Known philanderer Don Draper has tied the knot and Peggy is cozily living in sin, but Joan Holloway is officially back on the market. I hope they don’t resurrect the Roger/Joan relationship, but I did melt a bit during all of her scenes with Lane. It wasn’t the ill-advised kiss, it was the way Lane let Joan know how valued she was. My apologies to Mrs. Pryce (that shrew), but these two could be so good together.
“Game of Thrones”—Arya and Gendry: Some might wrinkle their nose at the age gap here, but I would direct them to Exhibit Ab.
“Justified”—Deputy US Marshals Rachel and Tim: Here are two of the most criminally underused characters on TV. So let’s give them something to do…each other. There have been some rumors that Deputy Tim might be gay, and I’m down with that. But just in case he’s not, I think a little office romance might be just the thing.
“Fringe”—Olivia and Pacey: I haven’t watched at all this season. Is this still going on? I consider Olivia to be duller than a box of used up number two pencils, but everyone deserves a Pacey in their lives.
“Downton Abbey”—Lady Edith and, Oh, Simply Anyone: Say it with me now, poor Edith. The girl cannot catch a break. Let her have some sunshine in her life. A one-armed Lord? A seriously disfigured false heir? I don’t care. I’ve had enough of Mary and Matthew.
“The Vampire Diaries”—Elena and The Evil Brother: In case you don’t watch, this show is pretty much ONLY about this preposterous love triangle. As if anyone would choose the brother with the “90210” hair and “you kicked my puppy” face when the evil one’s around. I’m pretty sure this whole soapy, bloody, vampiric mess will come grinding to a halt the moment Elena chooses. But I hope that when she does, she makes the right choice.
“Sons Of Anarchy”—Chibs and Juicy: Look into your hearts. You know it’s true.
“Smash”—The Entire Cast and A Peanut Allergy: The only thing that could possibly redeem this mess of a TV series is if everyone remotely associated with the production met a grisly and untimely end. Uma Thurman went down this week with Peanut Allergy, the least the writers can do is give us the happy, fatal ending we’ve all been dreaming of.