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  • Romance and how badly it's written.

    I was thinking about happy couples who get a realistic development (good or bad, sometimes happy couples do break up after some years) and where the interaction is believable, and if these relations are there in stories. (It's important the relationship is healthy because the challenge for writers is to write an engaging story about a happy couple.)

    Sadly enough for me the most stories lack these well written healthy romances.

    The most title characters have relations filled with cliches/tropes, lots of drama and they won't be happy until the very end. I don't even have to come up with an example for this one... these couples are everywhere.

    Another favorite of the writers; star-crossed lovers. No need for good writing and building up a relation, there is a certain ~attraction~. Sometimes the writers are nice enough to add one other reason why they are together but it's mostly twu wuv all around. Ever wondered how much Buffy actually knows of Angel? Does she know his real name? That he likes 'Mandy'? That he loves Ice hockey? That he is from Ireland? That killing Darla was a big thing for him? That he has daddy-isues? Anything beyond 'Angel is a broody vampire'?

    Or there is a happy couple but there is no real relationship. They live in one house, sleep in one bed but you don't really buy them as a couple because they don't behave as a couple. Especially in comedies it's bad; they often lack any knowledge of their spouse and are never on the same wavelength. Or the couple in question is not considered important enough to get any real storylines. Lane & Zach in Gilmore Girls by example, not only was it hard to buy their relation (two random people put together) but they never got proper storylines. (Unplanned pregnancy after first time sex must have been their only big storyline.)

    Another recuring problem; we've no clue who the boyfriend/girlfriend really is. It's only about the main character, the person they date is just a plotdevice. This can go right, but in the most cases we're stuck with manic pixie girls, stereotypes and other unrelatable and unrealistic characters. Or this random character was nothing but an obstacle for the real ship of the show. Again, almost every story has one of these relations.

    Last but not least; it's an off-screen relation. We don't see it happen but have to buy it anyway. Biggest example is Harry Potter & Ginny. JKR tells us (instead of showing) that Ginny is the love of Harry's life. She never wrote about a date between the two, never there was a conversation which gave us the feeling there is a connection... I don't even think they often share a moment together (perhaps one small scene every book). One day Harry was in love with her (Ginny's side is never told, except that she was always in love with him) and she became his wife.


    Are there some bright spots? Yup, but these often star secondary characters or the writing can't keep up the high level for some reason.

    Trudy & Pete Campbell (Mad Men); While Pete & Trudy came from far (really far... they almost divorced and both misbehaved.) they survived together and slowly they become a tight and happy couple. It's well written and believable for the time (early sixties) and the age of the characters (they were a bit too young to marry). Trudy & Pete made eachother better people and found peace and strength in their marriage.

    Rory & Logan (Gilmore Girls); To be honest I wasn't sure if I wanted to list this couple because the start was rough (although not incredibly unbelievable) and the end was badly written. But in the last season (before the forced break up) they were probably the most realistic young couple on tv ever. When Rory had a crush on her tutor she told Logan and Logan thought it was cute and was not worried at all because he trusted her. They were supportive of eachother, had many cute moments and they understood the other. And if one of them was jealous, they could laugh about it later on.

    Clark & Lois (Superman); This one is hard because there are so many movies, series and comics in the last 70 years. And their story is re-told several times, often starting with the ackward part where Lois can't make the Clark-Superman connection for years. But if you get past the beginning the couple is pretty amazing. I like that Lois Lane is always the love of his life, and that she is awesome without superpowers. Superman is probably the strongest superhero of them all, but in their relation she wears the pants. (But in a good way...) I enjoy the most Lois/Clark stories. (I did not enjoy them in Superman Returns, but who did?)


    And I'm happily suprised by Bones; I've seen nothing of the new season but at least they dared to put the two main characters together which is a huge step. Although being familiar with the writing on that show I don't expect much, but perhaps they suprise me the way GG suprised me with Rory & Logan.

    -------------------------------------

    How do you like your romance?
    And which romances are well written according to you? And what kind of romances are horrible in your opinion?
    Last edited by Nina; 17-11-11, 11:47 PM.

  • #2
    I couldn't agree with you more about the star-crossed lovers routine- Buffy and Angel drive me CRAZY for that exact reason. I don't hate Angel, and of course I love Buffy, but I never felt even for a second like they had any idea who the other one really was. Yet people set this pair up as a beautiful lover story.

    Here's another trope that I hate- the 'main character who somehow manages to be irresistible for no particular reason.' I'm thinking Sex in the City, Ally McBeal, Scrubs, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and countless others. The main character appears to make anyone they come in contact with fall utterly in love with them despite not really coming across as anything but 1) very selfish/self-centered most of the time, or 2) just plain boring. Then after a fairly minor struggle, they manage to end up with the woman/man of their dreams as the curtain comes down. Blech!

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    • #3
      I don't have time to comment in depth at the moment - hopefully I can come back soon, because I do completely agree with your sentiment: well written healthy couples are depressingly few and far between.

      I wanted to comment on one thing though - your comment about not enjoying Lois and Clark in Superman Returns. Oddly enough, I think I might possibly be one of the only people on the face of the earth who actually really enjoyed that movie, and loved the way Lois and Clark/Superman were played. I thought their relationship was realistic(that she didn't just fall into his arms the moment he got back, but that she clearly still had feelings for him, and a lot of hurt) and emotional and tender. *shrugs* I think it is probably because I loved BR so much in that role.

      EDIT - in case I don't get back here, I should mention my favorite kind of romance: unrequited at first. Possibly even strong dislike at first. Eventually leading to real, mutual love, trust, and reliance. My favorite examples: Spuffy and Damon/Elena. (obviously this is MY interpretation of what happened/will happen in these relationships) To me, relationships like Stefan/Elena or Angel/Buffy are charming and sweet, but not as compelling. It just seems..more fake to me, somehow. If it was a real relationship, the latter is much easier. But in media I prefer my romances to have angst and setbacks and failures, but still wind up being fulfilling. Maybe because that is more like the story of the relationship that turned into my hubby!
      Last edited by BloodyHell; 18-11-11, 04:39 AM.
      I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont

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      • #4
        I'm not a big fan of the unrequired love stories, certainly not if there was hate between the characters. They usually don't make for well written and/or healthy relations. Characters have to be redeemed (often done clumsy) and those relations never turn out healthy. And in these kind of relations you often have the feeling one is more into it than the other. Which is a big turn-off for me. They are great material for unhealthy relations tho, but sadly enough that's not what the most writers want.

        Unhealthy should be treated as unhealthy and non-romantic IMO; like Batman/Catwoman. It's based on both characters being damaged and the relation never tries to be more than attraction and bonding between two lonely and damaged characters. They love eachother (in some stories) but they will never date or go further. It remains unhealthy and doesn't wubbify either character.


        Originally posted by gregor View Post
        Here's another trope that I hate- the 'main character who somehow manages to be irresistible for no particular reason.' I'm thinking Sex in the City, Ally McBeal, Scrubs, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and countless others. The main character appears to make anyone they come in contact with fall utterly in love with them despite not really coming across as anything but 1) very selfish/self-centered most of the time, or 2) just plain boring. Then after a fairly minor struggle, they manage to end up with the woman/man of their dreams as the curtain comes down. Blech!
        Ugh don't start me about those; the worst thing is that nobody ever gets over these kind of characters and it happens so often. Remarkable how it's almost always a female main character, I guess people don't want to go there and have a man worshipped by women anymore (Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about that!) so they switch the old roles and especially tv is filled with men longing for one girl these days. Which is equally annoying. Most annoying case is probably Buffy; Spike but mostly Angel (A title character for god sake!) deserve better than being regressed and hold back because they wuv Buffy so much and can't move on ever.
        Last edited by Nina; 18-11-11, 11:35 AM.

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        • #5
          A good example of a healthy relationship is Tami and Eric Taylor. They really feel like couple, a believable one and one that even "comes out of the screen" because they feel so real.

          One thing I don´t like very much (sometimes they´re well made but rarely) the will or won´t they routine. There´s an attraction between the two but then other stuff like their job or other boyfriends or girlfriends get in the way or they just can´t admit to themselves what is going on. An example of that is "Grey´s Anatomy", "Castle" and I´m sure there´s more but right now I can´t remember.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nina View Post
            Characters have to be redeemed (often done clumsy) and those relations never turn out healthy. And in these kind of relations you often have the feeling one is more into it than the other. Which is a big turn-off for me. They are great material for unhealthy relations tho, but sadly enough that's not what the most writers want.
            I agree that any redemption is often quite clumsy..but I disagree that those relations "never turn out healthy." Maybe I should clarify. While there may have been dislike (I'm not talking spewing hate, here..I mean "opposites attract" kind of attraction. Like Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice) in the beginning, or where one character crushed on the other for a long time before anything happened, when the two did finally become a couple, it was equal and real..not one-sided or unhealthy. I'm not sure why a relationship has to have a journey paved with sunshine and lollipops to be considered "healthy" in the end...but I might be misinterpreting your viewpoint.
            I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont

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            • #7
              Ah I was thinking about an evil person and good person (since your examples were about vampires 'turning good' for a girl), but I agree about Mr. Darcy & Liz. Those kind of relations are fun to watch and are often rather interesting because the writer actually bothers to explain his or her characters during the build up.

              About one character pining for another, it often makes for unbalanced relations, especially in fiction. Not always I agree, but often it does. Or it ends in the old cliche of falling in love with the sweet best friend who was always there. Nope, not a big fan of those although I can believe that it's done well a couple of times. So perhaps I should devide "not liking the style" and "unhealthy" a bit better, but in this case I think that both apply to a certain degree. Especially if one of the two pined for a long time and sacrificed a lot before the other came around, it's such a false start of a relation. And that has nothing to do with that it always has to be fantastic from the start but simply to keep it balanced. If there is one thing toxic for a relation is that one of the two has more power, that one of the two is more into it. And in the most cases of unrequired love (also when it's answered) the relation remains unbalanced. To use Harry Potter & Ginny as an example again; Ginny is a tough girl and I would assume that it's a happy marriage but Ginny does exactly what Harry wants from her while he never thinks about what she wants him to do in the 7th book, their kids are named after Harry's loved ones and I can't help but thinking that this is because Harry takes her love for granted, as long as he knows her she has been in love with him and waited for him.
              Last edited by Nina; 18-11-11, 05:55 PM.

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              • #8
                One thing I don´t like very much (sometimes they´re well made but rarely) the will or won´t they routine. There´s an attraction between the two but then other stuff like their job or other boyfriends or girlfriends get in the way or they just can´t admit to themselves what is going on. An example of that is "Grey´s Anatomy", "Castle" and I´m sure there´s more but right now I can´t remember.
                Agree- Like Mal and Inara, Bones (yucky pairing, in my opinion). On a realistic level, it's poison for any TV show for the will they/won't they pairing to actually get together, but if they wait too long it's simply not believable anymore that the tension could remain unresolved for so long.

                Another trope I hate- when a character suddenly realizes that they've been in love with another character all along, and it took some kind of flashpoint to make them see it. Seriously, is ANYONE so completely unaware of his/her own feelings as to be completely surprised by strong feelings like this?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gregor View Post
                  Seriously, is ANYONE so completely unaware of his/her own feelings as to be completely surprised by strong feelings like this?
                  Yes, I agree. It usually take quite a bit of internal justifying for me to believe THAT one.

                  Nina - I see where you're coming from. I think I used the vampire relationships as examples partially because I couldn't think of anything else at the time. A show that is fantastical and unbelievable in all sorts of ways is probably not the best example of a really believable, healthy relationship. If there were vampires in real life, dating them would not be healthy.

                  Ginny and Harry is an excellent negative example of initially unrequited love that is never romantic IMO (so I very much agree with you there - never bought that romance AT ALL)...but I don't think that a relationship has to be equal all along, for both to be pining equally, etc. to be considered healthy. I can see why it might not float your boat...but just because I relationship starts out unbalanced or one-sided, doesn't mean it can't wind up being a beautiful relationship eventually. I've always enjoyed romances that have a rocky road..it just makes the eventual happiness that much sweeter to me.

                  I guess a relationship that is really well balanced and equal all the time seems unrealistic to me as well. There are times when one person is going to be giving a lot more than the other, times when one side is going to be selfish and unsupportive. You know, highs and lows...but if it is a healthy relationship it can recover from that and sometimes the roles will be reversed, and sometimes they'll really "get it right" and be mutually there for each other/equally in love. Hopefully as the romance matures the latter wil be come more and more common. That has been my experience, anyway.

                  I'm probably going off-track into real relationships rather than story relationships. I can't believe I'm drawing a relative blank on character relationships that I love! Gossip Girl is a treasure trove of unhealthy, unrealistic relationships(and I have no idea of whether you are familiar with it)...but one that I love and WISH they would pursue more is Blair and Dan. An example of a relationship that started out with strong dislike, turned to friendship, and for Dan, unrequited love. I'd love to see Blair return the feelings.

                  EDIT - Nina, I think that I usually find that TV show relationships are far less believable and developed than book romances(such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc.). So lots of times, I might gloss over some stuff that would turn me off in real life. Since the writers have lots of storylines going on, lots of plot holes and unexplained character flaws, I can fill in the blanks character-wise (justify and explain why they are a certain way) however I choose to make it more acceptable and believable. I can't really think of ANY TV relationships that I thought were ideal or very healthy if I dwell on the details(though I don't watch many shows) I guess I choose romances that make my heart race a little, that have chemistry and sweetness and tenderness...and I settle for that happily enough. Using my 2 main shows as examples: what relationship that Buffy had was "healthy"? Is Stefan healthy for Elena? I say "none" and "no" for those 2 questions, so Spuffy and DE seem reasonable enough in the context of that shows world.

                  I think I'm rambling!
                  Last edited by BloodyHell; 18-11-11, 08:26 PM.
                  I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont

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                  • #10
                    Ah, romance on TV, one of my favourite ranting topics and the reason for many a facepalms. So many things that annoy me:

                    - the mortal enemies who hook up for no perceivable reason but it's okay because they have chemistry. A less extreme but even more common variant is people who don't try to kill each other but hurl insults back and forth all the time. On TV this is a sure sign of love.

                    - couples where the two partners have virtually nothing in common and one is left scratching their head why these people would spend any time together, let alone be in a relationship

                    - the roadblock romantic interest whom everyone in the audience knows is a roadblock (think Scott Hope). The one and only point of these character is to prevent the UST or the couple who have broken up from becoming a textual relationship (again) for a few more episodes.

                    - pandering to shippers. With the internet fandoms becoming ever bigger and more vocal, shipping seems to be pretty much a popularity contest and if you are like me and tend to dislike the usual popular couples you will rarely get the satisfaction of seeing these ships sunk.

                    - the idea that happy couples are inherently boring. Joss is not the only showrunner who believes in this nonsense. Just about every important relationship on TV has some incredibly contrived conflicts to create artificial drama, usually in time for sweeps. I can hardly think of any long-term TV couples that didn't break up and got together later at some point.

                    - turning a show that hasn't started as primarily romance into a show that's all about the shipping. Bones, I am looking at you.

                    Ugh don't start me about those; the worst thing is that nobody ever gets over these kind of characters and it happens so often. Remarkable how it's almost always a female main character, I guess people don't want to go there and have a man worshipped by women anymore (Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about that!) so they switch the old roles and especially tv is filled with men longing for one girl these days. Which is equally annoying. Most annoying case is probably Buffy;
                    Rory and Lorelai Gilmore say hi.

                    Another favorite of the writers; star-crossed lovers. No need for good writing and building up a relation, there is a certain ~attraction~. Sometimes the writers are nice enough to add one other reason why they are together but it's mostly twu wuv all around. Ever wondered how much Buffy actually knows of Angel? Does she know his real name? That he likes 'Mandy'? That he loves Ice hockey?
                    Angel loves ice hockey? I didn't remember that. I think I read somewhere that David Boreanaz liked hockey, maybe it was his idea. [/OT]

                    Another trope I hate- when a character suddenly realizes that they've been in love with another character all along, and it took some kind of flashpoint to make them see it.
                    What do you mean "some kind of flashpoint"? In 99% of the cases this catalyst is the other character starting to date someone else. Cue sudden jealousy. Yes, wanting the forbidden fruit happens in real life sometimes but it this plot is practically everywhere on TV.

                    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that every relationship on TV has to be perfect and lacking in conflict. Context and plausibility are key - a relationship needs to be believable. I mean, there are few more messed up relationships than Nate/Brenda on Six Feet Under but the show never pretended it was anything but a messy affair and they both had so many issues that it made total sense that the relationship would be like that. Well, at least that was the case until I dropped the show at the beginning of S4, dunno what happened next.
                    Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BloodyHell View Post
                      Yes, I agree. It usually take quite a bit of internal justifying for me to believe THAT one.

                      Nina - I see where you're coming from. I think I used the vampire relationships as examples partially because I couldn't think of anything else at the time. A show that is fantastical and unbelievable in all sorts of ways is probably not the best example of a really believable, healthy relationship. If there were vampires in real life, dating them would not be healthy.

                      Ginny and Harry is an excellent negative example of initially unrequited love that is never romantic IMO (so I very much agree with you there - never bought that romance AT ALL)...but I don't think that a relationship has to be equal all along, for both to be pining equally, etc. to be considered healthy. I can see why it might not float your boat...but just because I relationship starts out unbalanced or one-sided, doesn't mean it can't wind up being a beautiful relationship eventually. I've always enjoyed romances that have a rocky road..it just makes the eventual happiness that much sweeter to me.

                      I guess a relationship that is really well balanced and equal all the time seems unrealistic to me as well. There are times when one person is going to be giving a lot more than the other, times when one side is going to be selfish and unsupportive. You know, highs and lows...but if it is a healthy relationship it can recover from that and sometimes the roles will be reversed, and sometimes they'll really "get it right" and be mutually there for each other/equally in love. Hopefully as the romance matures the latter wil be come more and more common. That has been my experience, anyway.

                      I'm probably going off-track into real relationships rather than story relationships. I can't believe I'm drawing a relative blank on character relationships that I love! Gossip Girl is a treasure trove of unhealthy, unrealistic relationships(and I have no idea of whether you are familiar with it)...but one that I love and WISH they would pursue more is Blair and Dan. An example of a relationship that started out with strong dislike, turned to friendship, and for Dan, unrequited love. I'd love to see Blair return the feelings.

                      EDIT - Nina, I think that I usually find that TV show relationships are far less believable and developed than book romances(such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc.). So lots of times, I might gloss over some stuff that would turn me off in real life. Since the writers have lots of storylines going on, lots of plot holes and unexplained character flaws, I can fill in the blanks character-wise (justify and explain why they are a certain way) however I choose to make it more acceptable and believable. I can't really think of ANY TV relationships that I thought were ideal or very healthy if I dwell on the details(though I don't watch many shows) I guess I choose romances that make my heart race a little, that have chemistry and sweetness and tenderness...and I settle for that happily enough. Using my 2 main shows as examples: what relationship that Buffy had was "healthy"? Is Stefan healthy for Elena? I say "none" and "no" for those 2 questions, so Spuffy and DE seem reasonable enough in the context of that shows world.

                      I think I'm rambling!
                      I'll ramble too.


                      I don't think that we should let tv shows get away with everything just because the most writers don't bother to develop relations properly. Especially because there are enough writers (also for TV series) who deliver and come up with realistic and well written relations. By example Mad Men, the most relations are unhappy/unhealthy, but it fits the characters and the story. Also the show never wants us to cheer for Don if he treats another girl bad, he is portrayed as this lost and pathetic guy.

                      Also supernatural shows shouldn't be judged differently just because it's supernatural. If Superman can have a good and healthy relationship, why can't Buffy? Why is it okay for Elena to flirt with the rapist of her best friend? What's against not dating vampires because they are dangerous and killed many people? Why do these simple morals change? Because most writers fail to tell a decent story?

                      Actually the two series you listed are rather rare in the world of fiction; the most stories (realistic/fantasy/sci-fy/supernatural) don't go there. Good people end up with good people and relations between a good person and a demon/bad person are often portrayed as disturbing and really wrong. Even series like Charmed (not the best written series) showed how bad the Phoebe/Cole relation was. And wubbified!Cole didn't return to win her heart back, she killed him, he stayed dead and she moved on and ended up with a nice guy.

                      For some reason the shows/stories involving vampires are te ones where good people can date massmurderers without any real negative result. I still think we should consider Elena a good person, but her actions (especially this season) would be considered revolting in any other setting. BtVS/Ats ignored the obvious issues very often, but at least they tried here and there and the characters were not behaving as bad as the TVD ones. The TVD trio don't have any real moral code; all they do is protect themselves and do whatever they want without thinking about others. They are horrible people and we're supposed to cheer for them I believe. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to watch but it's really disturbing at the same time. And if pretty much every show can do a better job, I think we can say that TVD does an awful job with this part of the storytelling.

                      I do agree with you that good relations can have a rocky start or bad moments in the middle or whatever. Jane Eyre & Rochester is another amazing example of a beautiful love story with a rocky start. So no it doesn't have to be always moonlight and puppies, I never said that. But pretty much every relation in fiction which started as a one-sided crush for a good amount of time, feels unbalanced. I can't come up with a lot of examples where it went right in fiction. The most are "it was my best friend all along" stories and those often stop right after the first kiss. And I don't see why those would end better than Harry & Ginny. I don't consider Lizzy & Darcy as an example of these relations because he was an ass and had to show his other side, and in no time she felt for him after that. I do consider it a love story with a rocky start. If we stay in the old literature; perhaps Margaret & mr. Thornton (North & South, watch the BBC series! It's better than P&P) are an example of one-sided pining ending up in a good relation.


                      Jack Shaftoe

                      Rory & Lorelai are also a great example, probably even more extreme than Buffy. But I dislike it in BtVS more because Angel even screwed over his son, friends, current girlfriends and the world in favor of Buffy. And he is a title character of his own show. A show which made "fighting over Buffy" the plot of at least two episodes in it's final season after years of showing us how Angel moved on.

                      Angel's love for ice hockey is shown in season 3 when he buys ice-hockeygear for Connor and in season 5 he is 'brooding' because his favorite team is losing. And it's indeed DB's own input as far as I remember.
                      Last edited by Nina; 19-11-11, 12:42 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Jack Shaftoe: pandering to shippers. With the internet fandoms becoming ever bigger and more vocal, shipping seems to be pretty much a popularity contest and if you are like me and tend to dislike the usual popular couples you will rarely get the satisfaction of seeing these ships sunk.
                        Oooh, my FAVORITE example of this is the completely bizarre and ridiculous scene in the first Deathly Hallows movie where Harry and Hermione start dancing for some inexplicable reason. Totally pandering to Harry/Hermione shippers, since it's not in the book, added nothing to the plot, and was weirder to see than watching a pair of first cousins going at it. And of course, Angel showing up in Chosen. Total pandering.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nina View Post
                          Also supernatural shows shouldn't be judged differently just because it's supernatural.
                          Since I don't watch many shows, I find it difficult to do anything but let my real-life standards slide with them. I enjoy romance. Romance is a big part of TVD and BtVS. If I judge the characters like I would a real person, I won't end up enjoying or cheering for any of the relationships. BtVS at least had more going for it than 'ships. You could watch it and love it even if you ignored the romance. But what else is there really, to TVD? The brothers relationship? Well, I love that too. But there just isn't enough of it. So I lower my standards so that I can enjoy the show. Kind of sad really! I don't bat an eye at Elena "flirting with the rapist of her best friend" because she has already slept with and loved a serial killer. Stefan is just given more of a free pass because he "can't help it" and "he's sorry". Out of curiousity, what do you enjoy in TVD?

                          I agree with you that TVD writers can be quite sloppy. For some reason I really enjoy myself anyway. Hmm...And I COMPLETELY concur about the TVD trio having no moral code in regards to anyone but themselves. It's quite odd, actually. Like it is supposed to be this amazing, loving act for Stefan to go with Klaus to save his brother/Elena. But he kills 10s of people. Maybe more. And everyone just swallows that and says "What a good brother/boyfriend!" Erm....right. (I don't mean to pick on just Stefan, but that is one action that I feel has been portrayed as "pure"...and it SO isn't.

                          Actually the two series you listed are rather rare in the world of fiction; the most stories (realistic/fantasy/sci-fy/supernatural) don't go there.
                          Yeah, the sad thing is that these sorts of stories are becoming more and more common, especially amongst young girls. As much as I enjoy these shows, one does have to wonder what kind of message we are sending to these pre-teen and teenage girls about what love looks like!

                          If we stay in the old literature; perhaps Margaret & mr. Thornton (North & South, watch the BBC series! It's better than P&P) are an example of one-sided pining ending up in a good relation.
                          Heh, I do love Mr.Thornton...but I couldn't stand the BBC version of Margaret...I found her sooooo annoying. She was always jumping to the wrong conclusion. Have you read the book? I'd like to read them, I've heard they are better than the series. Better than P&P?! Pah! Not possible.


                          And of course, Angel showing up in Chosen. Total pandering.
                          Yep. Couldn't have a genuine Spuffy moment without throwing Bangel's a bone too.

                          I hate pandering to fans too. Writers need to just tell a good story. As soon as they start pandering the story makes less and less sense, characters act OOC and so on...
                          Last edited by BloodyHell; 19-11-11, 03:18 AM.
                          I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BloodyHell View Post
                            Since I don't watch many shows, I find it difficult to do anything but let my real-life standards slide with them. I enjoy romance. Romance is a big part of TVD and BtVS. If I judge the characters like I would a real person, I won't end up enjoying or cheering for any of the relationships. BtVS at least had more going for it than 'ships. You could watch it and love it even if you ignored the romance.
                            Compared to TVD, yes BtVS did a much better job. But it was rather romance-heavy. The trio had almost always a love interest and the vampires & Anya were hardly the type of people heroes date.

                            But what else is there really, to TVD? The brothers relationship? Well, I love that too. But there just isn't enough of it. So I lower my standards so that I can enjoy the show. Kind of sad really! I don't bat an eye at Elena "flirting with the rapist of her best friend" because she has already slept with and loved a serial killer. Stefan is just given more of a free pass because he "can't help it" and "he's sorry". Out of curiousity, what do you enjoy in TVD?
                            I think Stefan got a free pass (before this season at least) because it felt a bit like an earned second chance, he stayed away from drinking fresh human blood for decades and before last season he was still having some moral code. And while it's perhaps not 'right', it probably feels different if the victims lived 80 years ago and you didn't know them or if it's one of your best friends or your brother and it happened last year. I guess the same reason why I thought that Angel/Buffy was slightly more reasonable before the Angelus arc than after it. Now Elena knows that vampires will never be good boyfriends, but it doesn't look like she does anything with that knowledge which makes her look stupid. At least BtVS bothered to raise these kind of issues even if they ignored it in the most episodes.

                            And I agree that TVD is pretty much all about romance, the brother-relation seems to be one-sided and undevelopped (in the case of the Salvatore brothers, Elena & Jeremy probably forgot they are family.) and the friendships are not much better.

                            To be honest, I liked TVD in the first 1,5 seasons as light entertainment because of the many twists and in the beginning Elena (and Stefan) were characters I could care about and Damon was awesome to watch. Now I watch because I can't stop and I enjoy watching evil!Stefan and the Originals. But the drama in Mystic Falls leaves me cold.

                            I agree with you that TVD writers can be quite sloppy. For some reason I really enjoy myself anyway. Hmm...And I COMPLETELY concur about the TVD trio having no moral code in regards to anyone but themselves. It's quite odd, actually. Like it is supposed to be this amazing, loving act for Stefan to go with Klaus to save his brother/Elena. But he kills 10s of people. Maybe more. And everyone just swallows that and says "What a good brother/boyfriend!" Erm....right. (I don't mean to pick on just Stefan, but that is one action that I feel has been portrayed as "pure"...and it SO isn't.
                            I know it drove me mad, and I think it was the moment where Stefan's character got flushed through the toilet. Yes he gets more story now, but he just becomes what the story needs him to be. Last season was already a bit problematic with the boys being ready to do anything to save Elena, but in that case I could understand it a bit. It was a lot of self-defence and Elena is an innocent person.

                            Yeah, the sad thing is that these sorts of stories are becoming more and more common, especially amongst young girls. As much as I enjoy these shows, one does have to wonder what kind of message we are sending to these pre-teen and teenage girls about what love looks like!
                            I know, CW shows and books like Twilight preach a strange version of true love. But also Harry Potter did the same with Ginny in a slightly different way; if you wait long enough and use other boys to make him jealous... he will come. It's sad when the better relations can be found in superhero comics.

                            Heh, I do love Mr.Thornton...but I couldn't stand the BBC version of Margaret...I found her sooooo annoying. She was always jumping to the wrong conclusion. Have you read the book? I'd like to read them, I've heard they are better than the series. Better than P&P?! Pah! Not possible.
                            I did read parts of the book but the online version was hard to read and I'm already not very comfortable with English from the 19th century, I find it difficult.

                            I liked it more than P&P because of the extra dimensions; the prejudice towards the north, the workers vs the owners and more things happened in the story. I had no issues with Margaret either (it's not like Thornton never jumped to the wrong conclusions. ) but I do have issues with the last scene; it was sweet and all, but a 19th century unmarried woman who is traveling with a single man, leaves the train, kisses another single man in public and goes home with him. That's not how it went...


                            I hate pandering to fans too. Writers need to just tell a good story. As soon as they start pandering the story makes less and less sense, characters act OOC and so on...
                            I will also join the bandwagon; pandering is wrong!


                            But I do like the Hermione/Harry dance scene, not because I ship them (I ship Parvati/Harry... don't judge me!) but because I like the little moments in the movies where Harry is nice to her. She deserves a bit of kindness and movie!Harry would look like an ass if he behaved the exact same way as book!Hary. Remember when Cormac tried to force himself upon Hermione and Hermione was hiding? Harry blamed her and not Cormac. Can you imagine that being in the movie.... Harry would look really bad.
                            Last edited by Nina; 19-11-11, 03:33 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I JUST watched the first 2 seasons of TVD now that it's available to stream instantly on Netflix, and I've got really mixed feelings about it. Stefan leaves me completely cold- I do NOT get why he's supposed to be believably able to inspire love in first Katherine and now Elena. What is so great about this guy? He has the personality of a pet rock, and he's nowhere NEAR as charismatic and handsome as Damon. Yes, Damon is 'evil' initially- but he wasn't evil with Katherine, and she still picked Stefan over him? This show is awfully lucky that they cast Ian Somerhalder, who is so incredibly interesting to watch. I'd watch him eat a baked potato and find it interesting.

                              I agree totally that a lot of the town drama is just an annoying distraction. They should just embrace that it's pretty much a romance/soap opera and not an ensemble show.

                              I can see what you're saying about Harry/Hermione's dance scene, because I also thought book!Harry completely took her for granted and was not a great friend to her at all- but I still think that the scene was added as a bone to throw to Harry/Hermione shippers, who were very vocally furious about Harry ending up with Ginny and JK Rowling sort of making fun of them during some interviews.

                              Rambling a bit here...

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