TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Current or vintage, broadcast, internet, cable, or satellite

TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mavrach » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:44 am

This has been a big pet peeve of mine for some time now. Is anybody else sick of seeing so much TV time wasted on the supposed suspense of whether a series' characters will date or not?

It seems that whenever a show needs some filler, or doesn't know what to do with certain characters, they just have them date each other. Ok, the first couple times you see this it's interesting, but after show after show, I could care less whether every fictional TV character I see dates the other characters.

It's always the same. Will they get together? Then they get together and the releationship can't last long so they break up. Then one of the characters dates a new character while the other half watches sadly. Then that person moves on and the other relationship ends and the other person sees what they lost. Rinse & repeat.


I just started The Office: Season 7, and this show is probably the worst offender. That entire office is one big incestuous mess where everybody in that office dates everybody else in the office. They introduce new characters only to have them date old characters. Why not just have a smaller group with better stories instead?

Even Dexter is getting this problem. I don't care who his sister dates every season, it's a waste of screen time of such a well-written show. And LaGuerta and Battista have nothing to do, let's hook them up with each other!


Is this happening too much on TV or am I reading into it too deeply?
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Mach6 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:40 pm

It does happen a lot on TV. I don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t dominate the entire show or gets to ridiculous levels.

I think this same problem might hit The Big Bang Theory this season. The earlier seasons were all about the nerd stuff, their interactions with Penny & the Leonard/Penny relationship. The relationship went through the usual phases (Will they get together, then they do, then they break up), but it never completely dominated the episodes. The fifth season has focused more on the social lives of the whole crew & less of the other stuff. They already hinted about a possible Amy/Leonard relationship. I don’t want to even think about the possible Amy/Leonard/Sheldon love triangle.

I still have hope that the writers won’t fall into “the everybody in the cast has to date each other” formula with how they finally had Penny land her 1st acting job. It will be more funny & interesting to see what other weird acting gigs she can get then what cast member she hooks up with next.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the 1st three episodes of this season have been hilarious. I just don’t want it to turn into the nerdy version of Friends. (Or as Mavrach pointed out The Office Season 7)
Mach6
City Attorney
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 5:12 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:15 pm

It's called The Moonlighting Effect, and it sucks.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:26 am

Community handled it brilliantly by turning it into a non-issue.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Kenneth Morgan » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:14 pm

As I understand it, NBC wanted to start an extended "will they or won't they?" plotline between Dave and Lisa on "NewsRadio". The producers responded by settling the question (they do) in the show's second episode.

The whole idea does seem to have reached the point of overuse, along with story arcs and season-ending cliffhangers. Does every show need to do these things?
-30-
Kenneth Morgan
City Prosecutor
 
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 4:38 am
Location: Piscataway, NJ

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mavrach » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:21 pm

Kenneth Morgan wrote:The whole idea does seem to have reached the point of overuse, along with story arcs and season-ending cliffhangers. Does every show need to do these things?


Cliffhangers are the reason why I don't get into shows until after they end. I want to see a final product that resolves itself. It's frustrating to essentially stop the story in the middle in the form of a cliffhanger.

Story arcs I think are a major step forward in storytelling, just tell different stories instead of pairing your characters up with each other.
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:03 pm

mavrach wrote:
Kenneth Morgan wrote:The whole idea does seem to have reached the point of overuse, along with story arcs and season-ending cliffhangers. Does every show need to do these things?


Cliffhangers are the reason why I don't get into shows until after they end. I want to see a final product that resolves itself. It's frustrating to essentially stop the story in the middle in the form of a cliffhanger.

Story arcs I think are a major step forward in storytelling, just tell different stories instead of pairing your characters up with each other.


I don't have a word for it but there are shows that get you to tune in with cliffhangers and such and those that get you to tune in because they are good. The ones that depend on cliffhangers often alienate the audience however because people feel unpleasant being left hanging like that time and again. Those shows fail. The best shows are either self contained or at least wrap up. Think X-Files proper versus the few years it was a soap for an example.
-Marshall-
Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
User avatar
mkiker2089
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1372
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:45 am
Location: Utopia

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mavrach » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:04 am

I'm done with The Office (US) at this point because of this. My wife & I are eking our way through Season 7 on Netflix, and I just don't care anymore. At least half of the show's time is focused on characters dating each other.

I'm supposed to be in suspence over how each of these relationships works out before they break up again and each person dates different coworkers. There is zero suspense if I can see that they're just going to break up anyway. It's such lazy writing and they can keep going in circles repeatedly.

The UK version was a commentary of office life. Tim & Dawn's relationship was there as only a part of the show, and because that happens sometimes in an office environment. It was interesting because of their chemistry, and worked because there was a final payoff and the characters ended up happily. But the focus of the show was about all the archetypes you'll find working in an office, and the awkwardness when those people are made to work together.

The US version is too popular, and its at the point where they want to appeal to teenagers and people who've never seen office life. So the way to do that is to just have the relationship crap dominate the show. The office stuff is more of a parody in the US version, but that's the enjoyable part of the show. I'd rather see them focus on the guy who takes his job too seriously, the apathetic guy, the incompentent boss, etc. more, than to watch everybody date each other. And the characters that don't date each other barely get any screen time in this series.
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Jim_Thomas » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:47 pm

Bringing in a love interest on a series can be problematic, particularly if the character won't be in every episode--the actor's availability becomes an issue. So the reason Everybody gets it on with everybody else in the main cast is that it's just easier to do it that way.
Jim_Thomas
Judge
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:40 am

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mkiker2089 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Jim_Thomas wrote:Bringing in a love interest on a series can be problematic, particularly if the character won't be in every episode--the actor's availability becomes an issue. So the reason Everybody gets it on with everybody else in the main cast is that it's just easier to do it that way.


It's also easier for an actor to guarantee their job.
-Marshall-
Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
User avatar
mkiker2089
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1372
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:45 am
Location: Utopia

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:37 am

it does get a bit silly, "well, what else do we have? Ah, let's hook those two up..." Kind of like the Worf/Troi thing in season 7 of TNG. I'm just hoping that Castle can keep it going by simply having her character be such a mess that she can't get her head around the idea of a relationship with him, and he keeps dating bimbos (or not quite bimbos, as last weeks episode revealed). The worst and recent example of "we're out of ideas" was Dexter's Batista/LaGuerta hookup which added nothing to the overall storyline but filled three pages of script every week. I didn't watch Dexter to see it get soapy.
"I ain't a boy, no I'm a man, and I believe in the Promised Land"
-Coming to the USA on January 20, 2009!
User avatar
Dunnyman
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:37 am
Location: Seattle

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mavrach » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:56 am

Chuck was like this too, at least the first two seasons that I watched. Too much emphasis was placed on wanting Chuck & Sarah to get together, and it was a shame because it was such a witty show otherwise. And it's a show that's aimed at geeks like myself who are into pop culture, so would've likely seen this too many times already as well!

I watched for the funny references and the tech storyline, and found myself tuning out every time they almost kissed. It got in the way so much that I haven't been able to bring myself to rewatch the first couple seasons and haven't checked out subsequent seasons I haven't seen yet (maybe they fixed this?). For a show that's called one of the wittiest on TV, they spent a hell of a lot of time on these two.

I'd just rather watch a movie than go for another TV season that will take me about 18 hours to watch, with 9 of those hours devoted to "will they get together?????"
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: TV Characters Dating Each Other - Overdone?

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:19 pm

I think with Castle and Bones both they need to either decide to date or move on. With Castle it kind of feels strange to me. I think they aren't a match and would do better simply downplaying it like they have. Why do we even have to get so deep into their personal lives. Bones, well I'm not so sure but I think the same rule applies.
-Marshall-
Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
User avatar
mkiker2089
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1372
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:45 am
Location: Utopia


Return to Television

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron