Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cheering them On

Last night, Matt and I were hanging out, relaxing, and watching some TV. These days when we watch anything on television it’s 90% either non-commercial or old shows available to stream on Netflix. That’s because we’re both so tired of the he-said, she-said media circus that TV has become these days.

I just can’t do politics. The whole scene is so last season. Kind of like that cliché. I’m over it because I hate being sad, depressed, questioning humanity. So instead, we like to live in ignorantly blissful worlds of fiction entertainment.

Our current obsession show of choice is Friends.

Friends has been one of my favorite shows since the season it debuted in 1994. When it came out I was close to the age of the characters and found myself experiencing similar stuff in life. Love, career, living on my own, and finding my own friend family. It was smart and witty and I found myself cheering for all of the characters regardless of how silly or irritating they could be at times.

It was one of the only shows I faithfully stayed home to watch on the night and time it aired every week.

Going back and watching the entire series on binge-level of episodes in a row has been fun. Last night we started on season 5.

(SIDE NOTE: If you haven’t seen the show then a lot of what follows will be spoilers. But it has been 12 years since the show went off the air so I’m taking the chance that those who wanted to see it have done so by now.

Come to think of it, you should probably stop reading here if you never saw Friends, The Office, Moonlighting, or Dawson’s Creek and wanted to do so without spoilers.)

Anyway, as we watched the first 4 seasons of Friends, I constantly remarked how the show’s creators had Monica & Chandler’s characters in a couple-holding-pattern the whole time. So, when they got together in season 5, it wasn’t entirely a surprise.

When the characters admit for the first time they’re in a relationship (not sure which “The One…” that happened in) Matt said:

“They were always my favorite TV couple.”

I thought about that a lot since he said it. Probably a lot longer than I should have but that’s just me. I have to agree with him, those two characters were maybe the perfect TV couple.

Once they decided to get together they stayed together. They laughed with and at each other but still put each other and their relationship at the top of their priority list. They fought and it wasn’t a perfect relationship but it worked on so many levels. Because it was funny and sad, real and fantasy, relatable and like nothing we’d ever experienced before. The writers who crafted those two characters were brilliant.

So of course that got me thinking about the other TV couples I’ve cheered for over the years. I thought, and thought, and thought. But coming up with them proved more difficult than I would have expected. And it left me with a short list.

Of course there was Ross and Rachel. Meh. They were certainly the central “dramatic relationship” on Friends but most of the time I liked them better when they were torturing each other instead of together. It was funnier.

Moving away from Friends my next favorite would have to be Jim & Pam on The Office. The writers made the characters and their struggles realistic but still gave them a happily ever after which I always appreciate. They were cute together and sarcastic smart-asses. Which I also always appreciate.

And of course there were David and Maddie from Moonlighting. Only trouble with them, after they got together the writing struggled to make it the same punchy banter they had before and the show took a dive.

Though I didn’t watch when it aired, Matt and I wrapped up a Dawson’s Creek binge last year. All I have to say about that – Team Pacey! If he and Joey didn’t end up together I would have been shocked and utterly disappointed. I was neither of those things at the end of the series. I was crying, but not disappointed.

Thus completes the list. Which wouldn’t surprise me except it feels like it should be longer. The problem with television is they need us to tune in week after week. Because of that, lots of shows create a “two tortured people who can never be happy” dynamic just to keep the tension going.

Personally, I think that stinks.

When my sister and I got our very first TV in our bedroom I used to stay up late night and watch Get Smart in syndication. And I’ve been a TV junkie ever since. But this list wasn’t about shows I loved over the years (a list too long even for this blog I think), it’s about couples I cheered on until the end.

Which, apparently, amounts to a total of 5. Well, 4-1/2 if I only count half of Ross and Rachel.

Regardless, it really has been fun going back to watch, in order, all 10 seasons of Friends. If nothing else it’s a nice escape from the daily news.

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


JudisJems said...

I'll be giving away my age, but must say my first favorite TV couple was Morticia and Gomez on the Addams Family. More recently, Castle and Beckett of Castle and then there Camille and Humphrey in seasons 3 & 4 of Death in Paradise.
Thanks for sharing your list - don't think I watched any of your shows except for Friends as reruns on the CW. Glad you enjoyed them!
Peace and Hugs and Love, Mum

Launna said...

Jenn, I am a massive FRIENDS fan... my favorite couple was Ross and Rachel but I truly adored Monica and Chandler, they really were so real and they worked at their relationship with so much less angst... xox