Yes, Peyton And Blaine Are Better Than Peyton And Ravi on 'iZombie'
I should start by saying that I still very much don’t care for this shit the show is pulling with Ravi. It seems like such a petty, unrealistic stance for everyone’s favorite medical examiner (sorry, Liv) to take. And before you say anything, yes, his emotional funk about Peyton sleeping with Blaine is different from Peyton walking away from the Recently-Boned-By-His-Boss-Ravi. Ravi is pissed that a woman with whom he is enamored slept with a dude he justifiably dislikes while he and said woman were in no way romantically involved. Peyton finds the fact that Ravi professed his love and then immediately took his old boss to pound town an unconvincing testament to his devotion. He continues to wallow in regret, disappointment, self-pity and what I can only assume is some sort of English beer while she seems to have moved past the whole situation. Or at least she’s not actively raging about it. Both the instigating event and reaction are different in each case. All of which to say: Jesus, Ravi, stop being such a dick about this. Suck it up, man.
And a big part of the reason I dislike Ravi’s side of this love triangle is because I’m so much more interested in the other two. Blaine and Peyton’s blossoming relationship is both a more interesting story and better TV than rehashing “what went wrong” between Ravi and Peyton. Here’s why:
1) It Solves The Hot-Bad-Guy Issue
TV has to walk a fine line when finding relatable bad guys. Make them too bad, and the character becomes flat; make them too relatable, and no one cares how bad they are. Remember how first season Eric Northman kidnapped and tortured Layfette? But then the showrunners stopped making him wear that stupid wig, and everyone realized that he looks like this?
And then everyone just ignored what a homicidal monster he’d been? I think it’s better to avoid that.
David Anders is, in fact, attractive and charming so at some point The Other Rob Thomas was going to have to address the giant, good-looking elephant in the room. It’s significantly better to create an actual event that causes the change, and then deal with the fallout of the change. Having Blaine quietly switch sides in the zombie wars would have been a cop out.
2) It’s Realistic About Attraction
Here’s a thing: I’m attracted to Jeremy Renner. I am. I wish I weren’t, but that’s not working. I know he’s an asshole and has said some terrible things about women under the guise of joking and that there’s some shit going down with his kids and child support. I know all of that, and I’m still physically attracted to him. Luckily for me, I’m never going to meet Jeremy Renner so I don’t have to devote much time to exploring the unwanted attraction. All of the other unwanted attractions in my life? I should probably spend some time dealing with those. Or maybe the opposite. Maybe I should accept that sometimes people are attracted to people we know we shouldn’t be attracted to, and stop beating myself up about it. I have not failed my feminist ideals because part of me wants to see Hawkeye with his shirt off.
And Peyton shouldn’t have to feel like she did anything wrong by sleeping with and being attracted to a man who intentionally deceived her. Nor should she feel like she’s let herself down because of her continued attraction to him. Attraction is complicated, and, fundamentally, often too base of an emotion to be properly reasoned with. And because of those two traits, it’s more often than not something that should be acknowledged, and then dismissed. People in general, but TV shows in particular, like to make a big goddamn deal about one person being attracted to another. “What does this mean?” “What are you going to do?” “What happens if they don’t like you back?” The answer to all of those questions is: jack shit. Peyton knows she’s still attracted to Blaine, she recognizes that his past makes her uncomfortable about that attraction, but nothing else needs to be done. That’s it.
Before you jump to the comments with the “Why is it OK for Peyton to have natural feelings and not OK for Ravi?” It’s OK for him to have feelings about Peyton sleeping with Blaine. It’s OK for him to be upset about that. It’s not OK for him to be such a wild dick about those feelings that Peyton has to force the confrontation about why he’s been so shitty to her for the past two weeks. Feelings can’t be controlled sometimes; behaviors always can.
3) It Addresses The Nature Of Change And Repentance
So has Blaine truly lost his memories, and become a completely different person? Hell if I know. It’s entirely possible he’s been faking the amnesia in order to get in with Liv and the Gang, and/or Peyton’s pants. But the show has presented it to us as an Brand New Blaine. Given that he’s changed, should his treatment by others also change? And changed in this case doesn’t mean repented. He doesn’t remember all of the terrible stuff he’s done, so he clearly has no way to make amends for it. But he doesn’t want to know about the terrible things he’s done, and he doesn’t seem to want to continue with doing any terrible things.
When it comes to being better people, that’s about as much as you can hope for. I’m not saying there aren’t cases of people making complete departures from their previous lives. Cases where people do a complete one-eighty, and become saints overnight. I’m sure that that happens. Sometimes. But more often than not, it’s slow, small, incremental changes that are just barely outside of our comfort zone. So Blaine having the gift of losing his memory has allowed him to escape from his previous terrible self. It hasn’t taught him how to be a good person. Not yet at least.
So what we basically have is two attractive characters being attracted to each other in a way that a lot of viewers would want to watch. Under those circumstances, could there be a better way for them to get together? Maybe, but I’m pretty fond of what’s happening now. I’m not exactly shipping Bleyton yet, but I’m interested in where it goes. At least until they introduce the Blavi sub-plot. Luckily the boys have already been working on it for us.
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