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Romance and how badly it's written.

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  • #16
    Well I wouldn't deny that I saw many H/Hr fans who were gushing over that scene, but there had to be a moment where Harry was nice for Hermione somewhere. Perhaps it was a bit of both; in contrast to not!Angel -who was that guy?- showing up in 'Chosen' to waste minutes in the finale. The least they could do was letting Angel be in character if he had to be there.

    Originally posted by gregor View Post
    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.
    Matter of taste perhaps? I'm the opposite of you; Paul Wesley is the better actor and more handsome in my opinion. This thread is filled with my posts, stating that I wouldn't date a vampire. But if had to pick or if I had Elena's moral compass, I would totally go for Stefan. Stefan is also my favorite of the two, heck I think he has more personality than Damon actually. Damon has much more a shtick, Stefan has a realistic personality (although season 3 seems to be a mess). The shtick is perhaps funnier to watch, but I got tired of it in season 2 because Damon should've grown out of it by then.
    Last edited by Nina; 20-11-11, 11:25 AM.

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    • #17
      Another example is hooking two people just fo the purpose of sending another off to another show or maybe dying. Example: Willow and Xander´s romance in season 3. It was awkward seeing them together because they were happy with someone else already and they just did that to get Cordelia to move to Angel.

      btw, I don´t feel Ginny and Harry´s relationship is out of the blue.

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      • #18
        Romances don't have to be healthy for me to be interested in them. Why would they? How many perfect, healthy, happy and balanced relationships are there in real life? All I need is for them to be believable and interesting.

        If two people are having problems and a really messed up relationship but there is hope that they could work it out, that's what I'm interested in. Some of my all-time favorite couples are on-off, will-they-won't-they couples. The only time when it doesn't work is when it's been dragged out too long and without any good in-universe reason.

        That's the recipe for a good romantic storyline. Change it up, let it develop. You can't have the same situation drag out forever. Unfortunately, that's exactly what TV writers often do, because they're scared of rocking the boat and possibly upsetting a portion of the audience. But there are plenty of ways to create relationship drama, if you're a good writer. And it doesn't have to be an external obstacle. For heaven's sake, just look at the reality. There's no "happy ever after". Even the happiest of couples have issues, many people break up eventually or break up and get together again.

        One of my favorite couples ever were Anna and Miles on This Life, an amazing 1990s UK show that most of you probably haven't seen. They were on-off-lovers, friends and frenemies, snarky and sexy and on the same wavelength but both the kind of people who use sarcasm and cynicism to cover their real feelings, a "will-they-won't-they" love/hate couple, like modern day Beatrice and Benedick without the happy ending. But the show lasted just 2 seasons, 12+ 22 episodes, when the creators decided to end it on the high, despite the show's popularity in UK. The climax of their story was in the last few episodes.

        On the other hand, you get The X-Files which played with the Mulder and Scully tension but didn't dare to do anything at all about it, and it was just weird and unexplainable why they wouldn't simply make a move into something romantic if they actually had those feelings, which the show was hinting every time when either of them got interested in someone else and it produced jealousy in the other. And then they got them together off-screen and it seemed like they just didn't know what to do.

        I also enjoyed the love story between Nikita and Michael on the Canadian series La Femme Nikita, but I was afraid in season 1 that they would just be dragging the sexual tension on forever without them admitting their feelings and that it was gonna get old. But instead, they got them together as soon as the beginning of season 2, which of course, didn't last, but it surprised me pleasantly that they didn't have the endless sexual tension with no resolution and no change (which many shows do because of what happened to Moonlighting).

        When it comes to unrequited love, it can be compelling even when it lasts a long time, but only if there is always a possibility that there are some feelings or attraction on the other side as well, and that it might eventually become requited. And not in the "if you stick long enough, they'll come" way (ugh). I hate that. People are not going to fall in love with someone just because they're a loyal friend. You gotta show that there is some other impediment to the relationship that's stopping the other person from responding. Two unrequited love stories I loved were Odo/Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Niles/Daphne on Frasier.
        Spoiler:
        Which both finally turned into actual mutual love and relationship.
        In both cases, the women didn't even know about the guy's feelings for a long time, and finding out made a big difference on how they saw it. On DS9, Odo was an emotionally closed down character and a really alien being that most people wouldn't expect to have any kind of interest in humanoid mating and romance, so it's easy to see why Kira didn't see him like that for a long time and never imagined he could feel anything for her but friendship. When she did find out, it was very confusing, and then came the betrayal and the issue of Odo's desire to be with his people. In the case of Frasier, it seemed almost incredible at times that Daphne didn't realize, with the comedic exaggeration, but it did make sense psychologically that she wouldn't want to see it since 1) Niles was her employer's brother and someone of a higher social standing, and Daphne was very class-conscious, 2) he was married and obsessing over his terrible wife during the first several years they knew each other, and then later was going through a difficult divorce. One could see why she couldn't imagine him being in love with her, and didn't want to believe that he's the kind of man who would have a seedy sexual interest in her, since she always seemed to have a high opinion of him. But the show made sure to drop hints of an unconscious attraction on her part in an episode or two per season, and there was always a "what would she do if she found out?" And eventually they dealt with that question wonderfully.

        It's easy to turn an unrequited love storyline into an equal relationship where both people are equally in love with each other: put them in a situation where person A isn't expecting anything anymore and seems to have moved on and do the switch where the person B is the one more interested in relationship and longing and wondering about person A's feelings, for a change, and wondering if it's too late, before you let them work it all out. It worked great on Frasier. You don't want to make it seem like B just decided to settle on A or something like that. Or, you can have a story where they never get together - because while person B now wants a relationship, it is too late and person A doesn't anymore (even if they still love B). A tragically ironic love story where two people love each other but never were on the same page about what they wanted at any time. See Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

        Even love triangle stories can work wonderfully - if they're dealt with and ended. But if they're dragged out too long, they become unbearable, and make all the characters look annoying. Lost was a good (that is, awful) example of that. I didn't give a damn about who Kate ends up with, because I just thought she was wishy washy and self-centered and wasn't convinced of her love for anyone anymore. (Though at least they resolved it by not making it her choice at all, by basically having Sawyer bail out of it by falling in love with another woman and still loving her even after her death. But it's not a very satisfactory resolution if were were supposed to see it as a validation of Jack/Kate.)

        Originally posted by Nina View Post
        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.
        Why Buffy? At least she is an extraordinary person and she is the Slayer, which makes sense why reformed vampires would be obsessing over her. How is that worse than any other major character who gets tons of love interests? Say, Angel (Buffy, Darla, Cordelia, Nina, Fred had a crush on him early on)... or even Xander, despite him supposedly being a guy with little success with women (Willow, Cordelia, Anya, Dawn, eventually even Buffy in season 8).

        There are many other protagonists that have people going crazy about them despite not being anything special. Like Bella Swann. Or Felicity. Oh god, she was so whiny, pathetic, wishy-washy, uptight, really disloyal as a friend, not all that sexy and really not charming or confident or having any self-esteem. She was supposed to be smart, but that didn't translate to emotional intelligence. And she was a stalker since day one. I don't know why the hell I stuck with that trainwreck of a show.

        Originally posted by Nina View Post
        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'?
        Buffy/Angel in high school was believable and well written, to me, because I don't see it as "true love" story. I don't think that Bangel was ever portrayed as an ideal couple or soulmates. I enjoy the story because I see it as just a sad, tragic love story about the trauma of first love gone wrong. For her, it was first love and she was at the time in her life when people still have romantic illusions that there is such a thing as One True Love Forever. For him, he had absolutely nothing in his life for the past 100 years - no friends, no family, no job, no purpose, so he latched onto her and the ideal/fantasy of her and made all his life around her. And then probably remembered her in the hell dimension as the one good thing from his life that he could hold on to her. (Every other memory was either about his human lameness, or soulless evil.)

        Everything else, all the stuff about ideal romance and one true love etc. is fanon (and Entertainment Weekly etc.). The show shouldn't really be blamed for it.

        When I watch season 2, it gets me because I know how intense it is to fall in love for the first time when you're a teenager, when you still have romantic illusions about 'one true love' and believe that it's gonna last forever, and how much it hurts when it all goes wrong and how the trauma shapes your adult behavior in relationships. Not because I think Buffy and Angel are perfect for each other - which I don't believe (and used to have doubts about even the first time I watched, when I used to ship them).
        Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 24-11-11, 11:00 PM.
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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        • #19
          Because Buffy also kind of suffers from the "can't get over her" syndrome, not saying that none of the boys got over her but when a title character of another show is regressed in his own show just because he is not allowed to get over Buffy, I would say it's rather bad. In the most shows minor characters get this treatment, doesn't make it right, but less jarring. That's why I think Buffy is the worst case. Yes I'm a bitter Angel-fan and perhaps that's why I'm even more bothered by this example than the awful Rory/Dean (Gilmore Girls) story but it's the way it is; I think Buffy's case is the worst.


          edit:
          I love Buffy/Angel in the early seasons of BtVS and if the writers would've left it there and let both characters move on, I wouldn't have any issue with it. (Although I was always distubed by how little Buffy knew of Angel as a person, who did she love? I would've asked a billion questions if I had a bofriend who saw the world and who was 240.) But the star-crossed lovers thing isn't just fanon, it's fed to us by the writers. The fact that Angel declares his love for Cordelia in the one episode but starts drooling over Buffy in the next, episodes like TGIQ, Buffy's "loved him more than anything" line in 'Selfless' and his whole rampage in season 8. That was not natural behavior, dude forgot about his son. The power of 'true love' must have gotten to him. Also the way they got together; pretty much love on first sight, no decent build up but it was hardy just a high school love the most of us had when we're 16; it went deeper than that. Which are symptoms of "star-crossed lovers".
          Last edited by Nina; 24-11-11, 04:31 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Nina View Post
            edit:
            I love Buffy/Angel in the early seasons of BtVS and if the writers would've left it there and let both characters move on, I wouldn't have any issue with it. (Although I was always distubed by how little Buffy knew of Angel as a person, who did she love? I would've asked a billion questions if I had a bofriend who saw the world and who was 240.) But the star-crossed lovers thing isn't just fanon, it's fed to us by the writers. The fact that Angel declares his love for Cordelia in the one episode but starts drooling over Buffy in the next, episodes like TGIQ, Buffy's "loved him more than anything" line in 'Selfless' and his whole rampage in season 8. That was not natural behavior, dude forgot about his son. The power of 'true love' must have gotten to him.
            What I meant is that the early seasons didn't portray it like that. Afterwards the writers were oscillating between ignoring it for most of the time, occasionally mocking it, and giving lip service to it once or twice a year. The fanservice escalated when BtVS and AtS were ending, but most of the fanservice was mixed with mocking... when it wasn't mostly mocking, as in TGIQ or season 8. Both shows would have been much better if the writers didn't think they had to address the wishes of a portion of the fandom whose influence they might be overestimating thanks to the Bangel-obsession of so much of the public (EW etc.). The public seems way more Bangel-focused than the actual fandom.

            (From what I've heard, near the end of BtVS season 7, there were ads by Bangels in Variety calling for Buffy and Angel to ride into sunset together etc. That explains a lot. Whedon all but admits in the Chosen DVD commentary that Angel's appearance was fanservice.)

            That's why I enjoyed the Bangel story in early seasons but got sick and tired of Bangel when they started reanimating and beating its corpse in the late seasons of both shows and the comics.

            Also the way they got together; pretty much love on first sight, no decent build up but it was hardy just a high school love the most of us had when we're 16; it went deeper than that. Which are symptoms of "star-crossed lovers".
            I've had an experience with my first love in high school that was disastrous and it all kind of ended before it began, and I needed years to get over it. It's not about love (we barely knew each other, too, despite being in the same class for years, since we were awful at communicating), it's about the trauma, since it's a formative experience. And then you add to the trauma the "one that got away" thing, it can make you regret it for a long time because the relationship never got properly tested, which feeds the "true love lasts forever" fantasy. The cure is to grow up. I've stopped being in love with that guy years before I really put it all behind and realized I really didn't care anymore.

            Originally posted by Nina View Post
            Because Buffy also kind of suffers from the "can't get over her" syndrome, not saying that none of the boys got over her but when a title character of another show is regressed in his own show just because he is not allowed to get over Buffy, I would say it's rather bad. In the most shows minor characters get this treatment, doesn't make it right, but less jarring. That's why I think Buffy is the worst case. Yes I'm a bitter Angel-fan and perhaps that's why I'm even more bothered by this example than the awful Rory/Dean (Gilmore Girls) story but it's the way it is; I think Buffy's case is the worst.
            Riley and Xander got over her. So it's not a case of "can't get over her" but a case of the writers wanting to keep certain ships alive.

            One could just as well turn it around and ask why Buffy isn't allowed to completely get over Angel.
            Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 24-11-11, 09:03 PM.
            You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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            • #21
              Well it's not like somebody forced Whedon and the other writers to write about the popular couples, if they made it till then (4 to 5 seasons after the Bangel break up) why would they pander in the last episodes/season? And it's rather horrible that they prefer to mock some fans than to write good stories especially because they clearly can't mock fans in good stories. From what I see on this board some Bangels (cheryl, Bonoleah) still love Bangel and the (Buffy/)Angel stories in season 8 while the big Angel fans (Nile, Kana, myself) are not amused at all, so it doesn't even 'work'. *sigh*


              I never had such a passionate 'on first sight' romance so I wouldn't know, but I believe you. Although I'm not very comfortable with almost dismissing the love they feel for eachother just because both were rather immature at the time. I mean it wasn't the greatest love that ever was but it was more than a fantasy/obsession in my opinion.

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