We interrupt this program dedicated to my pathetic love life to dissect the love life of others. Specifically fictitious television characters. Of my choosing. And they are pretty dysfunctional. And they matter. So, without further adieu:
Ross & Rachel, Friends
Setting aside the fact that Friends probably lasted two seasons longer than it needed to, it was an otherwise great show. And even though Monica & Chandler stole the show from Season 5 on, the central focus was ALWAYS Ross and Rachel – because nothing is more painful than unrequited love. And Ross was so adorably in love with Rachel we were rooting for him while secretly hoping our shy, geeky, handsome friend was secretly in love with US because how awesome would that be? But then they got together and had this devastating break up and the rest of the series is all, “We were on a break!” “No we weren’t!” “Yes we were!” And then Ross says Rachel’s name when he is marrying Emily and it still takes them another 47 seasons AND a Vegas wedding plus annulment to officially seal the deal…post baby!!! I MEAN – do we really aspire to be in relationships with that level of dysfunction junction??? Probably not, but we were still always rooting for them!
Why it matters: Now we think dysfunction like this is romantic and normal. The pain of being in love with someone who does not love you is the old/new way to be deep and tortured. But hey look, they might eventually love you back! But then you cheat on them! But you’re so heartbroken we get it! Just because you break up doesn’t mean it is ever final. You CAN be friends with an ex after extreme awkwardness and some sort of 18-pages FRONT AND BACK letter.
Donna Martin & David Silver, Beverly Hills, 90210
Oh poor, virtuous Donna. She really wanted to stand by her “my father is the creator of this show so I have to be the uppity virgin” catholic beliefs. And David just couldn’t wait. So he cheats on her. And somehow, Ray cheats on her too. Because Donna can’t be the only one on the show who doesn’t suffer some tragedy, people cheat on her and beat her. But she’s just so nice and perfect and can do no wrong. She and David probably break up and get back together the same number of times as Rachel and Ross, which = Enough Drama to Keep Us Interested + No guy is that understanding and/or can resist temptation multiplied by Your Self Righteousness is BEYOND Annoying ESPECIALLY when YOU cheat on Noah and it’s okay but every other time you’re the damn victim you stupid bitch and you should KNOW better since it’s happened to you!
Why it matters: Same reason Ross and Rachel did. First of all, we want to believe we could never be that fucked up and second of all, it proves there is such thing as a 67th chance, no matter what you did the first 66 times around. Cheating is normal! You can get away with it and still find that great, unfortunate love that makes me hate you love you. Which brings me to…
Meredith and Dr. McDreamy, Grey’s Anatomy
Talk about FUCKED UP. I stopped watching after season 2, so I may be a bit rusty in my knowledge, but I BELIEVE that Hottie McHotPants moved to Seattle because HIS wife cheated and he hooked up with Mer, then Addison comes waltzing into the picture all, “Ohhhh sorry, I made a mistake,” and then for SOME reason of which I am still UNCLEAR, he decides to try and make it work with Skanky McHoebag and then gets all pissed at Meredith when she sleeps with George, etc., and he actually calls her a whore. She says to him, “I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke.” CHECK FUCKING MATE
Why it matters: Again – these people are writing these shows because they know someone who knows someone who had an affair with a married man and came out on top – my friend Amanda’s friend Ashley!!! And we get sucked into this shit and watch it while crying and drinking and being tortured because one time on a roof top you kissed someone that you thought was your future husband and six years later you are single AND unemployed. So watching someone worse off than you only feels natural.
I mean…I find it EXCEPTIONALLY hard to believe that Felicity is not some sort of witch. She can make people fall in love with her at the drop of a hat. She never gets rejected – and Ben and Noel taking turns breaking up with her does NOT count because they always come crawling back whether it is on a roof or in a dorm room or a coffee shop. So her little four year love hexagon (don’t forget this was another 90210 in which everyone dated everyone else) ends with her getting whoever she wants. She even gets to go back in time. Sketchy.
Why it matters: Sure, following your high school crush to a college you had no intention of attending until he did is NOT stalking. It’s poetic. Or something. And you get to spend four years having two gorgeous guys fighting over you while you remain faux clueless. This is giving hope to those girls who love boys from afar who are outside their social circle and they think there is no way it will ever happen and then they watch Felicity and then memorizing a class schedule for coincidental run-ins doesn’t seem crazy at all. I mean, if Felicity and Elle Woods did it, can’t anyone??
Carrie and Big, Sex and the City
Just like Ross and Rachel, this torturous on again off again sadistic what have you spans a lifetime. In between the first date and the eventual “I do” there are divorces and affairs and broken engagements and so much fucked up-titude that when the second movie finally ends, all you want to do is chug grain alcohol. Big is a prick, Carrie is a self-absorbed whack job and SOMEHOW, she manages to convince Big that she is THE ONE even though they cheat on each other (do NOT pretend you don’t remember her tryst with that waiter because Big refused to say I love you) and Big is just like the womanizing version of the Hamburglar (no, I don’t care if that makes sense or not).
Why it matters: They make you falsely believe that if you hold off long enough, you will get what you want. That you can spend $40,000 on shoes but marry someone rich so it doesn’t matter. That fashion is more important than being a DECENT HUMAN BEING AND NOT CHEATING ON AIDEN MY GOD.