Bizarre Love Triangle

What could possibly be better than UST between an OTP? UST between an OTP that gets disrupted by a BLT! Sorry, couldn’t resist the acronyms. In all seriousness, though, I’ve noticed that when shows bring in the whole love triangle chestnut, it is almost always the woman in the middle who has to choose her man. Everyone knows that it’s not compelling drama, good acting and concise writing that keeps viewers watching a show. It’s the romantic entanglements, and nothing says high romance like a love triangle.

Example BLT storylines:

Stargate SG-1: Sam apparently loves Jack. Jack’s her boss, and they’re military; it ain’t going to work out. Sam starts dating a sweet young thing named Pete. Sam looks to Jack several times to help her decide if she should be dating Pete or if she maybe has a chance with Jack after all. Pete does the unthinkable and asks Sam to marry him. Aha! Now she knows. She can’t marry Pete. Her heart “belongs” to Jack. Good thing Pete was there to act as a catalyst! Bonus points to Stargate’s PTB to upping the triangle to a quadrangle by adding a girlfriend for Jack…

Eureka: New sheriff in town Jack kind of digs DHS agent Allison. He’s separated (maybe divorced) from his wife. Allison kind of gives the impression she likes Jack…and then her soon-to-be ex husband Nathan enters the picture. Oh, the angst! Nothing’s happened between Jack and Allison, and Allison claims she doesn’t want anything to do with Nathan. But the UST between Jack and Allison is blatant…and so is the UST between Allison and Nathan. Whatever is a girl to do? (In this one, the POV we’re supposed to sympathise with is actually one of the guys…but Allison is not without her moments of whinging.)

Grey’s Anatomy: Okay, I don’t really watch much of this show. But what’s not to love about the skinny woman with long, scraggly blonde hair being torn between two different men: one she can’t have because he’s married and one who’s pretty much picture perfect? Don’t doubt for a minute that this isn’t the most important storyline the show’s got – despite some downright tragic events that happened to other characters, it was this cliffhanging “which will she choose?” moment that ended last season. (I won’t stick around to find out because, as I’ve mentioned before, I only watched GA at all to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Oh, and I won’t stick around because I DON’T CARE!)

The few times I can remember it with the guy in the middle, he still managed to not spend every waking moment hemming and hawing about the momentous decision he had to make. With the woman in the middle syndrome, everything else about her ceases to matter; it always seems to make her character be only about this one issue, which is, in my opinion, a pretty big disservice.

Comments

  1. MaggieCat says

    The most egregious offender in this category that I can think of recently is Lost with Jack/Kate/Sawyer. Good lord they’ve made that annoying. Because if you’re stranded on an island with (what may be) a hostile group you know nothing about and impossible things keep happening, you’re going to spend time dithering about your love life. On the plus side I think I may have finally broken that show’s inexplicable hold over me last week when the aforementioned trio was taken prisoner; Sawyer was thrown in a cage; Jack was locked up somewhere else; and Kate…. was allowed to take a shower, given a pretty dress, and had breakfast on the beach with the kidnappers apparent leader. Yeah, that’ll just about do it for me.

    Grey’s Anatomy: Okay, I don’t really watch much of this show. But what’s not to love about the skinny woman with long, scraggly blonde hair being torn between two different men: one she can’t have because he’s married and one who’s pretty much picture perfect?

    Thank you! I am so sick of hearing that she should pick Derek. Even my mother has turned traitor by remaining neutral (and I only get that much grace because she can’t bring herself to side against Chris O’Donnell). The only reasons I still watch that show are Bailey (who I think has managed to avoid *most* of the now-I’m-a-mom personality replacement, thank god), Cristina, and Addison. Is it wrong for me to hope that both Meredith and Addison dump the passive-aggressive, useless, using manipulator and choose the guys who… actually seem to be in love with them? When they had Derek choosing between his wife and his girlfriend last season he may have had issues, but I loathe him and so can’t be specific.

    The few times I can remember it with the guy in the middle, he still managed to not spend every waking moment hemming and hawing about the momentous decision he had to make.

    I just sat here for 20 minutes and the only instance I can think of with a male character in the middle is Smallville, where it was a foregone conclusion anyway. There have to be examples that I’m forgetting, right? If it’s that disproportionate I may have to cry.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    The few times I can remember it with the guy in the middle, he still managed to not spend every waking moment hemming and hawing about the momentous decision he had to make. With the woman in the middle syndrome, everything else about her ceases to matter; it always seems to make her character be only about this one issue, which is, in my opinion, a pretty big disservice.

    I think this is just the male perspective that’s foisted on our entire society – that the man makes the proposition, and the woman decides. All a man sees of a woman he’s pursuing is her decision, so that’s all he writes for her character. And the idea that the choosing takes up all her time? Probably a projection that the writer wishes were true, so he can at least feel like he took up that much of her headspace before getting ditched for the preferred guy.

    Women do write the same trope sometimes, and I think it’s still that inherited male viewpoint: seeing their only influence in romance as choice, they prefer to imagine having a choice between multiple quality men to the usual reality – that you’re lucky to find anyone who really works for you.

  3. SunlessNick says

    Jack/Kate/Sawyer annoyed me from the very start because I could never see anything that Jack and Kate would see in each other; or that Kate and Sawyer would, barring a quick lay.

    Not to mention how Kate gets increasingly simpering towards Jack, while Jack seldom treats her with any appreciable respect – neither does Sawyer very often – some of the writers write Sawyer better than that, but that’s the shape. The whole thing is a fine example of what BetaCandy describes as pretend love triangle that’s really a pissing contest between the guys (and Jack has a far more interesting pissing contest with Locke, since that one actually ties into the mysteries of the island).

    And in fact Kate’s most touching moments with any man on the island(which I’d have been happy to see lead to romance) were with Sayid. All three characters are more interesting when they’re not interacting with each other.

  4. scarlett says

    Keep in mind, Derek’s pretty self-absorbed and amoral when it comes to choosing between Meredith and Addison. In real life, I think Meredith and Derek would be perfect for one another – I’ve met plenty of couples who are equally as self-entitled and aself-absrobed as one another. But what the hell Addison was doing when she had another man who loved her unconditionally begging her to run away with him, I could never work out.

    Everyone I know (and to be fair, like attracting like, most of the people I hang out with have some kind of feminist bent) think Meredith and Derek is the moth pathetic relationship currently on TV, and don’t see why it’s meant to be this super-romantic entangement.

  5. sbg says

    I forgot all about Lost. I’m part of the audience that jumped off the island when they brought on the Tailies…but it is an excellent horrid example of this love triangle trope. I just can’t figure out why this thing keeps getting done. It’s not pleasant to experience, so why is it pleasant to watch? And whose fantasy is this little triangle with the woman in the middle – a man’s fantasy or a woman’s? I can only speak for myself in saying it’s certainly not mine. Ugh.

    As for Grey’s Anatomy, I really did only watch the last few episodes because of a guest actor, but I was appalled at the “emotional cliffhanger” ending. Amongst other things.

    I still haven’t thought of a good example of a man-in-the-middle triangle.

  6. sbg says

    All a man sees of a woman he’s pursuing is her decision, so that’s all he writes for her character. And the idea that the choosing takes up all her time? Probably a projection that the writer wishes were true, so he can at least feel like he took up that much of her headspace before getting ditched for the preferred guy.

    Ugh. I can’t say anything else and remain polite.

    Women do write the same trope sometimes, and I think it’s still that inherited male viewpoint: seeing their only influence in romance as choice, they prefer to imagine having a choice between multiple quality men to the usual reality – that you’re lucky to find anyone who really works for you.

    I have to wonder how many people really enjoy love triangle stories. Why is it so titillating to see anyone, male or female, act like a wishy-washy fool? Or maybe that’s just my tainted perspective on them, and they’re actually highly romantic and interesting.

  7. sbg says

    I did, however, just seen a add for Gilmore Girls, which has also succumbed to the woman-in-the-middle love triangle storyline, it appears.

  8. MaggieCat says

    And whose fantasy is this little triangle with the woman in the middle – a man’s fantasy or a woman’s? I can only speak for myself in saying it’s certainly not mine. Ugh.

    People who never matured past the age of 13 or so? I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but as an actual question. It’s just that 13 was about the last time I thought it seemed like a flattering idea, probably under the influence of one too many Sweet Valley High books read during my grade school years. (Although it could be argued that one of those is one too many.)

    I think it might be supported by the same people who think that their SO doesn’t care about them unless they get jealous. I’ve never liked that idea myself- I think jealousy is an indicator of fear, not affection- but to those who belive the theory, two people competing over them may be the ultimate validation. And it’s a belief that seems to cross gender lines so that could help explain its ubiquity.

    I’m part of the audience that jumped off the island when they brought on the Tailies…

    Sigh. I had such high hopes for that development, it had such potential- demonstrating that the original Lostaways had it relatively easy between getting all of the luggage and having a doctor, a survivalist, and a someone who grew up around fishermen on board; the fact that the Tailaways were being led by a woman seemed like a bonus until it turned out to be Ana-Lucia who had all of one dimension as a character. But that’s an entirely different rant.

  9. scarlett says

    I never got it either – perhaps some people enjoy the fantasty of having two guys so blindly in love with them that they’ll take whatever scraps she deigns to offer. Never got the appeal for guys though – if I were in their position, I’d say ‘I’ll make your decision a whole lot easier for you by removing myself from the equation’, and I don’t see why it would be any different for a guy from a position of basic dignity.

    Personally, I don’t know why you’d be flattered about having two guys so obsessed with you. I mean, sure, I’m flattered when they ask me out and all, but when they pursue it beyond the first and obvious rejection? That’s not flattering, that’s creepy.

    I shudder to think what it means that enough people find such a storyline romantic that it’s such a stock storyline on TV.

  10. Jennifer Kesler says

    I second all that. We’re ALL trained to embrace the idea that the man propositions, and the woman chooses. In order to embrace that setup, men fantasize about women agonizing over the choice, and women fantasize about HAVING the choice. Both write the scenes the same way.

    It’s only with maturity that some of us realize, “This isn’t romantic – not even in my head!”

  11. Jennifer Kesler says

    I don’t know. Brisco and Daisy are one of my favorite couples, and that was SUCH a relationship of equals, no commitments, no choices being made, just wherever the wind took them. THAT is romantic to me. That’s something I’d love to experience in real life, and barring that, in fiction.

  12. Jennifer Kesler says

    Well, you know, the finest example of the triangle trope was Scarlett with Rhett and Ashley, because it was shown to be a complete folly on her part. It was almost a farce of itself. Ashley was a security blanket, and he wasn’t even how she imagined him in her mind. Rhett was… kind of a horrible match, but also exactly what she deserved, and ultimately a good man in some ways. It was just a continuation of the difficult choices and conundrums that had comprised Scarlett’s life ever since the war.

    It could be that writers – and viewers – are romanticizing that sort of storyling because they don’t fully understand what a bad joke it is, and all they see is passion flying in every direction.

  13. MaggieCat says

    Not to mention how Kate gets increasingly simpering towards Jack, while Jack seldom treats her with any appreciable respect – neither does Sawyer very often – some of the writers write Sawyer better than that, but that’s the shape.

    That’s the worst part. (Well, excluding the fact that Kate is such a super special Mary Sue much of the time, despite looking incompetant a lot of the time.) It seems like the writers are trying to make the audience believe that it’s this unbelievably difficult decision between two people who are perfect for opposite sides of her personality, but they both treat her like crap most of the time. Her suggestions are constantly being ignored, she’s left out of the loop (of course they’re just “protecting” her, which I HATE in ANY context) and treated like what the character has become: an inanimate trophy. If she’s supposed to be so outgoing and wonderful and spunky she should have told them both to go to hell by now, because I can’t imagine anyone with an ounce of self respect tolerating this kind of treatment, let alone finding it flattering or encouraging it.

  14. scarlett says

    I assume you’re referring to the movie version of GWtW? That was, IMHO, one of those books which shouldn’t have been made into movies because the book relied so much on us knowing what Scarlett was thinking as well as Mitchell’s own social commentary.

    I’ve only seen the movie once but I’ve read the book God knows how many times and it’s a lot more sympethetic to Rhett, especially reading it again and realising how much he supported her and she constantly threw it back in his face. (Funnily enough, the book is also more sympathetic towards Scarlett, the movie really amped up the melodrama and took out a lot of the historical context – apparantly Mitchell really wasn’t all that fussed on it.)

    Me, GWtW purist who feels obligated to go around ‘educating’ people about what the movie was lacking? NEVER!

  15. scarlett says

    Oh, and one of the most realistic triangles I’ve seen was from the trashy British soap called Mile High, which showed all the characters involved to be deeply selfish/insecure/blinded by youthful ideals. Because I’m yet to meet a mature adult who’d waste any time in such a setup.

  16. says

    I think the way that they handle Sam’s sexuality in SG-1 is probably the worst thing about the show. Okay, that’s a lie, there are worse things (like their casting sexism), but Sam’s my favourite character and I bristle at the way they treat her sex/romantic life.

  17. Jennifer Kesler says

    I thought the movie did a fair job revealing Scarlett to have made a big mistake with her little fantasy triangle. I just don’t think everyone who saw it quite got that.

  18. Jennifer Kesler says

    “Threads” was like a vicious attack on her character. Worse, I think the writers thought they were flattering and praising her senseless. Then again, these are writers who had to have fans explain to them that they’d left the original team to die in Ancient Egypt in Moebius.

    Not. Too. Bright. As Robert C. Cooper has bragged, he’s not a great writer, but he sure can pump out scripts ASAP, and that’s what counts in TV.

  19. scarlett says

    Oh, it did, it just didn’t do either Ashley or Rhett justice. Your comment about Scarlett and Rhett being a horrible match sounded like an opinion that had been made from the movie, being the book goes a lot more into alike Rhett and Scarlett are in being selfish, ambitious, oppurtunistic, loyal, determined etc, but Rhett brought wisdom and understanding to these characteristics whereas Scarlett was just a child. I won’t blather on anymore about it but I reccomend you read the book, like most movies, it isn’t done justice.

  20. Jennifer Kesler says

    No, I did read the book and I got that Rhett had a lot to offer. But I don’t cut him as much slack as you do. He had more options in life than Scarlett had, for one thing. It would not be unreasonable to hold him to a higher standard than she is held, given his more opportune background. And that’s how I choose to look at the world. I think we’re taught to cut men more slack than we cut women, even though most men are inherently more privileged than most women. I try to let privilege be the only variance in how I judge two people’s character.

    I think Scarlett and Rhett are both very flawed people – and in some ways, very selfish and destructive – and yet strong and good in some ways, too. I have a lower opinion of Ashley than either of them, because he’s a non-entity, and absolutely nothing without his wife (which is as repulsive to me as the idea that a woman is nothing without her man).

  21. Ifritah says

    So, I was trying to come up with shows that did the opposite of this, just to see if I could.

    And I came up with more trios for you to use as examples:

    That 70s Show: Kelso/Jackie/Hyde

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel/Buffy/Spike (They weren’t even around her much at the same time, but it was still marketed as such)

    Angel: Wesley/Fred/Gunn. Angel/Cordelia/Groo

    Star Trek: TNG: Riker/Troi/Worf

    Star Trek: DS9: Julian/Jadzia/Worf (Angel and Worf get around, apparently. *Cough*)

    I mean, there’s Smallville, where Clark was trying to decide between Chloe or Lana… but that was first season. Now they’re working on Lex/Lana/Clark… or, well, that’s where it was headed before I jumped off that train.

    What this really comes down to is one of the reasons Beta started this site in the first place. Where are all the women characters? There are oftentimes more men in a series than women and so a triangle becomes a fight for the sparse women in the show. Because, as was noted, shows need that romance angle to get their ratings.

  22. Jennifer Kesler says

    *hugs Ifritah*

    We’ve missed you!

    Damn, those are depressing examples you added. This is just sad, that we can’t think of more examples where it’s a man in the middle. Ugh.

  23. Patrick says

    All I can think of is the “Harem” genre of anime, where you get one guy who has five or so women competing for his affections.(Tenchi Muyo, Love Hina, Oh! My Goddess, etc. Also Ranma 1/2 had mutliple love interests competing for both members of the lead couple.)

    But I’ve never seen this genre in western television.

  24. Jennifer Kesler says

    I’m still trying to think of an example. I swear there have to be some.

    They were originally going to set up a triangle in Brisco County, between Professor Wickwire’s daughter, Brisco, and Dixie. After the pilot, however, they decided Dixie was so the winner hands down it was pointless to include the competition.

    Jeez, that’s all I can think of. This is just sad.

  25. Mecha says

    Part of the problem with ‘men being in the middle’ is, I think, that most real ‘men’ would not be portrayed in the middle as passive, they would be portrayed in the middle as ‘adulterer’, ‘player’, or ‘honorable’. And the women around him as ‘catfighting’. Look for female catfights that have a guy as a reason and you’ll find the media equivalent of the love triangle with a guy in the middle. (Soap Operas would have the most common example of this, although how much of it is the guy varies.) A ‘realistic’ treatment of adultery (see: L&O w/Bratt’s character) doesn’t draw in the long going conflict angle.

    Alternatively, you get setups where the guy is honorable, and then the triangle doesn’t often form even though there are other ‘interested’ women because there’s no real risk. (Think (Super)hero Genre w/seductresses.) Sometimes it does, though. Lois versus Lana Lane is what comes to mind, but I’m not familiar enough with comics to be sure. Similarly, Mary Jane versus Felicia Hardy in some Spiderman AUs. The ‘triangles’ there are based pretty strictly on rejection. When one woman hasn’t accepted you, go to the other. That’s a more common ‘triangle’, to bounce between women based on rejection.

    I find it personally amusing in some small way that the ‘guy in the middle’ situation is most associated with high school (quarterback, anyone) where the guy is a point of competition between women. Women, in the media ‘grow out’ of competing (childish behavior)… and instead grow into dithering (also childish behavior) or accepting/settling/claiming (‘adult’ behavior.) Men are almost always (in contrast) competitive/adulterous to some degree, or completely honorable. It never really comes off like ‘dithering’ to me that I can think of. At least, in western media.

    -Mecha

  26. Ifritah says

    *Hugs back*

    Aww. I’ve missed you all, too. ^_^

    It really is sad. Granted, I don’t watch nearly as much television as I used to. And I doubt As the World Turns counts, as the triangles go back and forth between the sexes.

    Hrm, I just thought of yet another example.

    The Office (America version): Roy/Pam/Jim. Heh, though if you want to count Michael’s little fantasy world of Jann/Michael/Carol it might be even… but since it’s not really happening, I can’t in good conscience count it.

  27. Ifritah says

    Oh yes, that’s a big thing in anime. I refer to the phenomenon as the ‘Tenchi complex’.

    Amusingly enough, the role-playing game BESM has a drawback you can buy where you’re a magnet for the opposite sex (male or female can buy it).

    An interesting observation of different cultures, certainly.

  28. Mecha says

    One thing, in contrast to what I write below, is that in Japan the ‘Harem’ anime specifically aims at the main male character _being_ unwilling and unable to decide, fairly explicitly (Tenchi, Ranma, UY… oh, the list, the list.) Not because they’re a player, but because they’re weak or unable to commit. It’s usually a humerous genre convention (although there’s some solid analysis you can do on the concept of a wishy-washy guy managing to get multiple women interested in him. Male fantasy in another way, huh?) Very rarely in a ‘harem’ anime is the center of the love polyhedron assertive. Although sometimes they can be ‘humerously lecherous’ (See: UY, where the main character reminds me of Al Bundy in a way: Hates his ‘real fiance’, lusts after pretty much every other attractive woman in the world.) Humor value may significantly vary (I never said I liked UY. Blah.)

    The fact that it’s a disadvad in BESM is always a source of perpetual amusement to me. Imagine if everywhere you went you actually DID have people hitting on you, or obsessing about you. There’s a reason that the harem genre is often sort of a ‘why-me’ humor thing. Too much of something some people might dream for.

    Ahem. Enough asiding for me. ^^;;

    -Mecha

  29. Jennifer Kesler says

    That’s just it. No matter how the players are arranged, the women must look stupid, and the men must look either studly or villainous, but never just stupid.

  30. SunlessNick says

    Of course they’re just “protecting” her, which I HATE in ANY context”

    Another difference between Sayid and Jack or Sawyer in his interactions with Kate: when Sayid, Kate, and Sawyer are in the jungle, Sayid is about to take off, and doesn’t trust Sawyer alone with Kate. I suspect Sawyer would told the other guy not to try anything (thereby marking territory, and incidentally daring him to do so), and Jack would have said nothing but contrived a reason why Kate had to go with him; Sayid quietly made his concern known to Kate, and left it to her to decide what she thought and what she could handle. Which is still protecting, but coupled with respect. But maybe I only see it that way because I’m a guy.

  31. Jennifer Kesler says

    No, I agree with you. I mean, I haven’t seen the show, but from what you describe.

    I’ve never had a guy jump in and try to protect me – I’m “intimidating” so I guess no one deems it necessary – but I’d prefer advice and an OFFER of protection over someone jumping in and manipulating my situation in what HE feels is a protective manner, which I may not.

  32. sbg says

    It could be as simple as a man going out and buying you pepper spray and other ‘self-defense’ items because he decided it wasn’t safe for you to walk to work without them, rather than him asking you if you felt unsafe and perhaps offering to help get those kind of items.

  33. Jennifer Kesler says

    Exactly. And in real life, there are times when men are overprotective, but you know it really is out of love – and that’s acceptable as long as they don’t try to run your life.

    What Nick described was a definite male-male pissing contest, and I think that’s how any well-adjusted woman would see it: guarding his prize, rather than prizing her well-being.

    In asking a woman if she recognizes a potential danger, and would she like protection, the man is proving he’s aware of her as an autonomous person with the right to make her own choices, not just a trophy for him.

  34. MaggieCat says

    Sayid quietly made his concern known to Kate, and left it to her to decide what she thought and what she could handle. Which is still protecting, but coupled with respect.

    And this is one of the reasons Sayid is one of the only characters I can stand anymore. He seems to respect people as a matter of course until they do something to prove they don’t deserve it, rather than making people prove themselves. He was one of the few people who treated Shannon with any respect and consideration, something her own step-brother couldn’t seem to manage. (Incidentally, Shannon was another character I liked- she was totally out of her element and was hurt that everyone called her useless all of the time, but she still tried, and she never filtered her opinions for fear of being called a bitch.)

    This is another place where I’m not sure if can trust my own experience because so many people have told me I’m a mass of contradictions. The issue of guys feeling the need to stand up for/’protect’ me is a good indicator of which ones know me better; someone who doesn’t know me well may do it because I look like a creampuff and appear to fit a lot of the girly clichés, those who know me know that I’m more likely to be offended that they think I can’t take care of myself. (Granted, this is a massive generalization with several exceptions.)

    The bottom line is that it would be nice if, when anyone feels the need to do something like that, they would take the time to actually consult the person who they have perceived to be in a vulnerable position and realize that it’s not about them. Of course in the triangle setup it IS actually all about them, which is part of the inherent flaw in the situation.

  35. scarlett says

    This debate about who exactly such storylines appeal to me has got me thinking about a girlfriend I used to have. For some reason, there was this guy who became absolutely infatuated with her. It didn’t matter how badly she treated him or what she demanded of him, he considered it an honour just to be in her presence.

    From what we could gather, she considered his devotion to her to be a reflection or her irresistable femininity. And we were like, no, it’s just a reflection of his obsessive personality that you had some arbitrary element of your personality he gravitated to you. The only way it’s a reflection on YOU is if you’re too insecure, vain and/or stupid to find his devotion complimentary, not creepy.

    The point of this story? No secure woman with healthy body image wants someone obsessing over her. As all the women I care to spend time with are secure with a healthy body image (that girlfriend has long since been left by the wayside), NO WOMAN I KNOW thinks scenarious like Grey’s Anatomy and Stargate are romantic – just the actions of insecurity, narcissitic (sp?) women… and the men inm these scenarios aren’t much better.

  36. Jennifer Kesler says

    Come to think of it, I’ve had one or two encounters with guys who project an ideal fantasy goddess woman onto you, and then proceed to worship. I was always so creeped out, I usually managed to chase them off within hours.

    And, interestingly, they projected their ideal fantasy goddess woman onto pretty much the next woman that happened by, and it became her problem.

    Except one time, when the guy just kept glowering disapprovingly at me whenever I saw him – like I’d betrayed him by showing him I wasn’t what he imagined me to be. That was creepy, and sadly, it could indicate he had a serious mental disorder that could at some point escalate to stalking (emotional terrorism) and/or violence (punishing the woman for not being the fantasy).

  37. sbg says

    That is pretty creepy – I’ve had guys do this as well. Which is very bizarre, because I’m very open about my flaws (perhaps a bit too open), and don’t give them reason to worship. Not cool at all to find out the guy you’ve dated a few times is so interested in the minutiae of your life that he Googled your name/home town/various other random things you’ve mentioned in conversation. Yeah, uhm, dude, that’s freaky and not romantic.

    If I had two guys professing their undying love to me in even remotely similar fashion, I think I’d be more inclined to run like hell than put them on a scale to see which one is actually worth his weight.

  38. scarlett says

    That’s my point… In real life, it’s usually not about ‘you’, guys like that are geared towards some arbitrary thing about you – maybe the fact you were wearing a red top the first time you met :p. The kind of guys who would worship you unquestioningly – especially when there was another guy in the picture – would have to be a nutcase, and his devotion is a measure of his delusions, not your irresitability – and any woman who can’t make the distinction has to be pretty vain/have exceptionally low self-esteem. In my friend’s case, she would brag about how her man would do anything she asked, from paying for everyone whenever she went out with friends, to going out at 2am because her sister had mentioned she felt like chocolate. She took this to be a meaure of how desireable she was, and we were all like, no, he’d just mentally unstable.

    So I would assume that the kind of audience these BTL stories appeal to are women who are vain enough with such low self esteem that they think having the dumb devotion of two men would be romantic, when in actual fact, they’re just mentally unstable, and the women are too stupid to see that :(

  39. Gategrrl says

    Right. So it’s NOT “my” Daniel who’s there screwing around with a no-good character like Vala. It’s an AU. That makes me feel a lot better. And I’ll have to go reread your fic based on that. I think it’s taken the place of the actual episode in my head. Or it’s direct and logical sequel.

  40. Jennifer Kesler says

    *preen* :D

    Seriously, though, it’s absolutely correct that the original team died in Egypt, although you can mount an argument that it’s ALSO the original team that went onto Seasons 9 and 10. I prefer not to, since those seasons felt like such a disconnect for me. I rather liked the idea it was all an AU, and I could evaluate them separately.

  41. Patrick says

    I recently came across a show where the love triangle was a guy choosing between two women – Wonderfalls. Naturally, the show was pulled off the air before the episodes featuring the love triangle could actually be broadcast.

  42. Jennifer Kesler says

    Interesting – discouraging that it was pulled, but still interesting. Was it well-written and interesting, or the usual trite drivel?

  43. Patrick says

    It was very well-written. Essentially, the guy catches his wife cheating on him during their honeymoon, leaves her and starts a new life where he meets the leading lady. They hit it off immediately, but are both hesitant to get involved – he doesn’t want a rebound relationship, and isn’t sure if he’s over his wife yet anyway, and she has a pathological fear of genuine human interaction (also, inanimate objects talk to her). They are tentaively on their way to establishing a relationship when the cheating wife returns begging forgiveness. While the talking objects do complicate things somewhat, most of the triangle is based on their personalities’ rather than stereotypes of dramatic tension.

  44. SunlessNick says

    One thing that’s frequently painted as romantic, but which really isn’t, is the claim to have loved someone before meeting them. Wesley and Fred from Angel are a prime example, especially since the two were never really a couple anyway, whatever Wesley wanted – he obsessed over her for several years, to the point of wanting the woman he was sleeping with to “play” her.

    And he never showed much understanding into what Fred was really like, or much of a desire to find out: his “love” seemed more based on her vaguely resembling some ideal he had.

    Interestingly, for most of Angel’s run, this was understood as the creepy-ass quasi-stalking that it was – only in the lattermost episodes of the last season was it romanticised.

  45. Mecha says

    Not to drag this too far into an Angel discussion, but there was more there. Billy basically turning Wesley INTO a mysoginistic stalker for an episode (that stalked Fred, the only woman around at the time) pretty much ruined any chance Wesley had of learning about her, and made Gunn the only romantic possibility, leaving Wesley to be the other/stalker. There was a serious case of ‘form follows circumstance’, there (and those circumstances were designed, from the outside, to drive Wesley away from the group in preperation for mid-S3.) And then the Lilah period in general had Wesley doing a lot of things, most of which were unexplained and/or immediately counteracted by him (remember that Lilah was the one who initiated that little roleplay, specifically for the purpose of screwing with his mind/doing damage. The fact he went along did indeed show that he was damaged. It doesn’t take a psychologist to see that one. Most of the damage happened in the context of the show!)

    Now, the romanticization of being the one who looks on from afar (and is a geek) and eventually gets the girl, that’s unescapable, and that’s definitely a model he fits. He also fits the model of someone growing up, too, and developing into an adult for real (as opposed to faux adult.) But I don’t think it’s possible to put the ‘stalkerdom’ in a vacuum. Or the fact that he had trouble interacting with her. Or that when the relationship would just start to develop, it would be ripped away from them (changing BOTH of their mental states for the desperate and overdramatic, which created that line of ‘loving her since before he knew her’ that you started your post off with.)

    I suppose I ultimately find the immediate dismissal to stalkerdom and having no real feelings of anyone who falls into the partial obsessive catagory very troubling, which is sorta where this overall thread seems to run. No matter what their circumstances, like this, is where it bugs me even more. And the Lilah/Wesley/Fred/Gunn quadrangle has been in my mind recently anyway. *chuckle*

    -Mecha

  46. Jennifer Kesler says

    most of the triangle is based on their personalities’ rather than stereotypes of dramatic tension.

    That’s how it should always be written, IMO. Don’t write “a romance”. Write a story about these characters and how they fall in love.

  47. sbg says

    I’m all for romance…but it’s not something I seek or find particularly entertaining in most instances. On TV, I mean. ;) Even if it was always intended in the master plan of a show’s creator, it won’t work for me if it’s forced. I would much rather get to know the characters as themselves, and then see how they evolve into a couple. Or not.

    The triangle isn’t even there for romance. It’s flash-in-the-pan. It’s “ooooooh, isn’t all this angst delicious?!”

    Er, no. It’s not. It’s usually ridiculous, uninspired, and insulting.

  48. SunlessNick says

    That’s a reasonable analysis to add, and another reason to confine my problems with Wesley/Fred characterisation to the lattermost episodes. (Since I really liked Angel for the most part).

  49. SunlessNick says

    In better news, Lost did have an example of the guy-guy pissing contest being – somewhat – called, though in a different context from a love triangle. I’m thinking of Charlie/Claire/Locke, where Charlie and Claire were a couple for a while, and Charlie beginning to fancy homself as a surrogate father to Claire’s baby. Then he started going off the rails and seeing Locke’s friendship for Claire and the baby as rivalry. Eventually he tells Locke that Locke has no responsibility to either of them, and Locke replies, “Neither do you.” He makes no claims for himself, only calls bullshit on Charlie’s.

  50. Jennifer Kesler says

    To be clear, I wasn’t talking about every person who’s slightly obsessive. There’s a definite pattern some people follow, where they project an ideal onto you and refuse to see you for who you are. Now, if they never ever see you for who you are, they cannot possibly have real feelings for you. You see what I mean?

    Obsession is always about the obsesser’s relationship to herself and her own life. It is never truly about the object of the obsession. I say this from my own experience as someone who used to be pretty obsessive in a lot of areas of my life.

  51. sbg says

    Y’know, I’ve been watching reruns of Everwood, which has as one of it’s main storylines a love triangle of sorts. The parties involved are all teenagers, and I have to say – they’re all handling it better than the grown-up versions airing all over the place. It’s still a stilly plot, but it’s less bothersome because these are kids we’re seeing go through this, and melodramatic ones at that.

    Another difference is that the girl in the middle has chosen. She continues to have feelings for these two guys, but she’s chosen one and has stuck with it. No real longing glances at the other, no major hedging.

  52. Patrick says

    Outside of TV, I found another “guy in the middle” love triangle in the excellent webcomic Questionable Content. The love triangle here develops gradually, and is very much based on the issues of the individual characters.

    Nothing like this on TV, naturally.

  53. Jennifer Kesler says

    Another difference is that the girl in the middle has chosen. She continues to have feelings for these two guys, but she’s chosen one and has stuck with it. No real longing glances at the other, no major hedging.

    WOW. Let’s send her over to explain reality to Sam Carter, who’s forty and can’t make a choice and stick with it like a grown-up.

  54. Mecha says

    I do see what you mean, but what if you like someone who, say, has serious body image issues? Simply thinking they are beautiful (the idea that people who aren’t modern-day beautiful can still be beautiful being something that is supported in many feminist blogs, among other places) immediately invites the belief that the person is ‘ignoring the facts.’ ‘They’re clearly obsessive, and delsional.’ ‘They’re focusing on other parts of your personality to the exclusion of my big glaring flaw.’ That rings very commonly with a lot of the line of discussion in this thread, even the first post. Statements like ‘In real life, it’s usually not about ‘you’’ is a statement of pre-judgement that sits pooorly with me.

    If they’ve made it into a true pattern, collecting idealized obsession targets like pin-up calendars, then it’s clearly a problem. But considering how often people are blind, about themselves, about others, the protest that someone ‘doesn’t see the real you’, while likely true, is also not any different from normal life. It makes me wonder how often they’re really trying to say is ‘you are irrational.’

    Maybe in some ways ‘You can’t see the real me’ is a statement I associate just as much with teenagers as people targetted by obsessions, and it often rings hollow in both. If it was really about the obsessive, it’s not ‘You can’t see the real me’ it’s ‘You don’t actually care about me.’ And that’s a much harder statement to back.

    Still feeling this one out, aheh. Hmm.

    -Mecha

  55. sbg says

    We’ll see how long it lasts. These are teenagers, after all. But for now, she’s sticking by her boyfriend (who was in a coma or something when she met the other boy she has feelings for) and trying really hard to avoid the other situation.

  56. sbg says

    I do see what you mean, but what if you like someone who, say, has serious body image issues? Simply thinking they are beautiful (the idea that people who aren’t modern-day beautiful can still be beautiful being something that is supported in many feminist blogs, among other places) immediately invites the belief that the person is ‘ignoring the facts.’ ‘They’re clearly obsessive, and delsional.’ ‘They’re focusing on other parts of your personality to the exclusion of my big glaring flaw.’ That rings very commonly with a lot of the line of discussion in this thread, even the first post. Statements like ‘In real life, it’s usually not about ‘you’’ is a statement of pre-judgement that sits pooorly with me.

    I’m being dense (hey, it’s Monday), but I can’t figure out where in my original post I said anything like that.

    LOL, I think this thread’s meta has gone in several different directions. All good, I like it. I’m just admittedly slow on the uptake sometimes.

  57. SunlessNick says

    The Dead Zone did the love triangle well: you have Johnny, who was in a coma for six years following a car crash; Sarah, who was engaged to him before the crash; and Walt, who she has subsequently married; oh, and JJ, a son conceived by Sarah and Johnny just before the crash, who’s being raised by Sarah and Walt.

    Once Johnny wakes up, feelings flare between himself and Sarah, especially in regard to JJ. Walt tries to deal, sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t, but does his best to remember how tough it must be for Sarah and Johnny. Johnny wants to be with Sarah and JJ, but doesn’t want to wreck a family. Sarah doesn’t want to reject either of them. In the end, she sleeps with Johnny once, partly wondering what if, partly as a goodbye, mostly motives they can’t pick out. Which causes a lot of trouble and pain between all three, including a separation between Walt and Sarah.

    In the end though, Sarah sticks with the man she made the promise to, Walt forgives both her and Johnny, and Johnny realises the need to form a life outside of pining for a relationship that would harm three people he cares about. Walt and Sarah move on, and have a child of their own – Johnny moves on enough to be happy for them, and to pursue other relationships.

    Adults whose reactions run a spectrum, who can make and be hurt by bad choices, but heal from them.

  58. Jennifer Kesler says

    I agree with you that we’re talking about several things, and there may be a slight disconnect about just what’s being discussed by whom.

    Mecha, I think generally we’re talking about the romanticization of unhealthy or obsessive behaviors in the media, and real life people inheriting those ideas.

    “I will let you abuse me because I love you so much” is not evidence of love. It’s evidence of a neurosis that probably goes back to childhood. This person is probably playing out a psychodrama in which you’re just the actress, easily replaced by another. And if you think to yourself, “Wow, a slave! My lucky day!” you’re a sick puppy, too.

    Reverse the gender and it becomes even more apparent.

    “I love you so much I interviewed all your friends back in the little town where you grew up just to get a better sense of who you are” is also not evidence of love. It suggests a desire for control over the other person’s entire life.

    Anyway, I’m not sure how your remarks about body image fit in. I know Scarlett mentioned that, in saying that if her former friend considered a guy’s neurosis to be evidence of her own feminine wiles, then she must lack confidence in her feminine wiles. I’m not sure I agree with that point: I don’t think insecurity alone could lead one to participate in an abuse dynamic just in hopes of feeling pretty. There’s an extreme lack of morals, conscience and/or empathy going on there as well.

  59. Mecha says

    Well, we did sorta dip into real life behavior, and real life examples, as opposed to romanticization.

    I agree with your first example, with the caveat that replacing the word ‘abuse’ with a few other very similar words turns it into a ‘normal’ BDSM scenario, which I’m not prepared to say is bad. Indicates psychological issues, yes, but I barely believe in people that don’t have psychological issues, so I don’t believe that’s a disqualifier for being ‘normalish’.

    The second is indeed just creepy. Invasion of general privacy and a bunch of other things.

    Here’s my problem with Scarlett’s statement, and how the ensuing conversation played out. Her story about how the guy was deluded and twisted and obsessive and bad and insert negative modifier here was because he was too blind to see when she treated him badly, and he tried to treat her well very constantly (to the point of apparent obsession, in Scarlett’s eyes.) She has to have body issues (Scarlett did indeed say that) and he has to be diseased. That’s the basis she started from, and everyone chimed in with, ‘Oh, yeah, totally, I’ve seen that.’ I assume that there’s other conditions that underly this that aren’t stated? But the fact that they aren’t stated makes the conversation less… conversationy and more stereotypey.

    I think the general _point_ that the writers are confusing that highly romanticized scenario with the noraml love process is a valid one. But the discussion started off… well, badly, to my mind. And it returned to badly. ‘Guys like that.’ Guys that don’t see perfectly when someone’s abusing them? Guys that can actually be affected by emotions in such a way as to blind them? Scarlett wasn’t talking about a stalker. The person she was talking about was a lovestruck fool. I mean, unless it’s going to be backed with something else, that’s all that _she_ described. You added in the guys that do the goddess complex thing, sbg talked about someone who did background research… and all of those are clearly the same sort of creepy ‘guy like that’? They all represent the same profile?

    Let me offer an example to make it clear. Someone I know (who was not me, I have my own issues) was in a bad relationship for a while. He would, in fact, spend money on his girlfriend to excess (he said that he wasn’t going to use it, so why not make her happy?) He did let her yank him around. This lasted a while. It hurt him hard when they broke up the first time. Eventually they broke up permanently. The examination of that thread was that he’s clearly a creepy near-stalker, if one only read the text. That does not sit well with me.

    -Mecha

  60. Jennifer Kesler says

    Okay, I think you’re taking the word “obsessive” to mean “stalkerish” in every instance. When Scarlett referred to the guy who couldn’t get enough of her former friend being obsessive, I thought she was merely referring to his inability to break out of a cycle that wasn’t giving him what he needed – like someone who obsessively washes hands. Stalking is one form of obsession, but not the totality.

    So *I* was operating under the assumption we were discussing two different improperly romanticized stereotypes.

    I assume that there’s other conditions that underly this that aren’t stated? But the fact that they aren’t stated makes the conversation less… conversationy and more stereotypey.

    Like I said, “reverse the gender”. Make the woman the lovesick fool, and you return to a very familiar and unfortunately very real refrain: “He only hits me because I make him so mad. It’s my own fault really. He’s a good provider.”

    Now, how is it anymore romantic when a man allows himself to be emotionally abused? BDSM is something that people enter into with discussion, with safewords, with a plan. What Scarlett describes was not a conscious roleplay; it was a potentially damaging psychodrama. Merely the emotional equivalent of physical abuse.

    Am I clearing anything up, or just mucking the waters more? :)

  61. Jennifer Kesler says

    I just re-read this – I hope it didn’t sound like I’m telling you what you’re saying rather than listening to you. I’m just using the technique of “I said, she said, and if I’m not mistaken you said” to see if we’re all on the same page here. :)

  62. Mecha says

    No, it is clearer, at least to your intent. (And yes, this thread really is hard to track, sbg. ^^;)

    It’s not particularly romantic either way, really. Unless you’re really into hopeless love conquering all, I suppose. I don’t feel there’s much of a gender flip except in that the ‘men use violence, women use emotions’ stereotype flips and becomes clearer. Abuse is abuse, to me. And people messing with the stereotype in confusion, assigning it to people (women) who are generally stable just to make it work, that’s generally bad characterization. Character motivations cause character behavior, not the other way around, even if we (viewers) can only see behavior. Sometimes it feels like the writers are writing… as viewers view. Mmm. Anyway.

    But the conversation still just bothers me. And when I typed it out just now, it was very much a deviation from anything approaching the actual point of the post (or the general point of the blog) so I’ll reserve it for… well, uh, never, I suppose, as it probably won’t come up, but!

    -Mecha

  63. scarlett says

    I’m going to attempt to qualify my example, and I apologise if it ends up in another string of comments…
    My friend didn’t exclusively suffer from low self-esteem. She was selfish, self-absorbed, arrogant as well. I’m sure she had positive attributes, because she still had mutual friends, but by the end of the friendship, all I could focus on were her negative attributes, which is why it’s best I steer clear of her these days :(
    All her negative attributes meant what she was looking in a man was someone who adored her and pandered to her self-absorbtion, her low self-esteem. I do believe he was blinded by love, and not a stalker – he seemed to take their breakup quite well, although he always went running when she beckoned :8 But ultimately, through her low self-esteem, her self absrobtion and her arrogance, she saw someone who adored her as a goddess as a reflection of her femininity, not his issues. And that audience, I think, is the only one which finds love triangles like in Greys, Stargate ROMANTIC; everyone I know thinks they’re creepy.
    And for the record, while I’ve only met one person like this (and I’m not even friends with them any more!)I realise the example could just as equally apply to a man; my friend Alexandra could just as easily be an Alexander. I was just making a point about when someone obsesses about you like that, its usually an indictation of their issues and your irresistability.
    I have a feeling I may have started an argument from my opinions, so if anyone wants to discuss it in more detail, you can email me at paulacole2000@yahoo.com – but this is my spam account, so make it obvious from the tiutle what it’s about, or I’ll spam you :p

  64. Jennifer Kesler says

    Mecha, I think I do get what you’re saying. And Scarlett’s clarification makes it sound a bit less like what I was thinking, although I think a lot of what I said still applies…?

    I don’t feel there’s much of a gender flip except in that the ‘men use violence, women use emotions’ stereotype flips and becomes clearer. Abuse is abuse, to me.

    Well, that’s the point that I don’t think everyone gets. As a society, we’re still just learning to recognize emotional abuse in any case. The idea that a little ol’ female could possibly use words and actions to rip a man to shreds just hasn’t quite entered public awareness yet.

    So every time I have a chance, I try to point out the parallels – not just for the person I’m responding to, but for anyone else reading it. Men need to be allowed to recognize that women CAN hurt them, and they have a right to the same sympathy and support as a woman in similar circumstances.

  65. Mecha says

    Scarlett: I think that clarification helps as well in working the discussion. Thanks. ^^;

    Beta:

    The idea that a little ol’ female could possibly use words and actions to rip a man to shreds just hasn’t quite entered public awareness yet.

    I actually see the hints of this a lot. The concept of a ‘shrew’, loveless marraiges blamed on nagging and arguments, etc (although those presentations can vary wildly and build upon stereotype, the hints still seem to be there.) But those hints don’t really sink in to everyone, not even the people in the situations. At the same time, I think to a surprising degree those sorts of thoughts resonate with men, right before the big manly men quash ‘em.

    I think the mention of ‘recognizing emotional abuse in _any_ case’ (emphasis added) as difficult is what really hasn’t entered public awareness (and here I go expanding on the concept in a big rambly fashion, but it does touch a few other active posts on Hathor!) Even if due to the ‘women = mental, men = physical’ stereotype, men are generally less capable of being believed to suffer it, but it’s still understated for a lot of groups. People either over-estimate (IE: Divorce => Crazy Children) or under-estimate (IE: Verbal mockery means nothing, take it like a man/adult or ‘Why are you complaining about sexism? You’ve got a job.’) it. This ties into beliefs of culpability: if someone wasn’t physically forced into doing something, it must be their fault completely. That then ties into the discussion elsewhere about abusers coaxing children into sexual relationships. And, of course, the entire thing ends up tying to the feelings that a minority ends up having to deal with via subtle (or not so) general oppression being treated like a non-issue because it ‘isn’t real.’ Psychological issues/frailty/pain is really an understated thing for a lot of people, and I personally like/appreciate that you point it out.

    -Mecha

  66. Gategrrl says

    Why is it that the Worf triangles (involved in TWO of them? the guy gets around!) never felt ‘right’ to me. They were always clumsily written or acted. Like the actors couldn’t get into it…or maybe Michael Dorn didn’t ‘feel’ right in the role as a multiple love interest, you know?

    Come to think of it, almost none of the ‘ship episodes on Next Generation were very good. Except maybe for two episodes that stand out for me – both involving Capt Picard: the one with Picard and Dr Crusher linked together via their minds while escaping a hostile territory that settled that they were going to be Just Friends; and the ones with Vash – which I enjoyed. Why did I enjoy that one? (and I’m sorry for moving away from triangles, although Vash was involved with Q, too) Because Vash DIDN’T CHANGE TO A DOGOODER like Vala on Stargate. She remained the same incorrigible character, and Picard knew it, and never trusted her even though he liked her – aLOT.

  67. sbg says

    Bringing this topic up again to ask for clarification. I don’t watch Lost anymore but I’m a notorious channel flipper during commercial breaks. Last night, I flipped onto Lost midway through the episode and found Kate and Sawyer wrapped in each other’s arms. She flashed back to a time when she was apparently married, yadda. Flashed back to real time, and Sawyer said something about how she didn’t love him, did she? No answer, just an annoying kiss.

    I flipped back to what I was watching.

    Flipped back again at the end of the episode, and Kate’s on the radio, in the rain. She looks very tragic. I think Sawyer’s got a gun on him, and he’s on the other side of some bars. The person on the other end of the radio is Jack, who’s insisting she run like hell. She blubbers a bit and refuses to “leave you.”

    Now, my question is – was she talking about not wanting to leave Sawyer or Jack? Did she actually make a choice, or was this just more of the love triangle crap?

  68. Gategrrl says

    I fell out with LOST way back in the first third of the first season – I could see *exactly* where it was headed.

    Not that I ever liked Kate on LOST, but they sure aren’t painting her in the best of lights…unless, of course, she’s *meant* to be a “loose woman” in mind and body. Is she supposed to stand for the liberated twenty-first century woman/girl on that show? Fuck who she likes when she likes, when the guy she really likes is being threatened with death?

    I don’t ask that all characters behave or act honorably all the time (it would be very boring otherwise) – is Kate acting like a man in that same position, if there were a male character in her position? If yes, then it doesn’t bother me. If no, then yes, it does bother me. But in either case, I don’t think those writers understand how to write angsty romance, either.

  69. sbg says

    I was all what, what, what? I only stuck around during the very curtain!fic flashback because Nathan Fillion was in it – and was pretty disturbed to see Kate and Sawyer all nekkid and stuff.

    And then the end disturbed me too, because while I can understand loyalty to fellow castaways, Kate was made to look as though the decision to leave was breaking her into a million pieces and giving the impression (to me) that she wouldn’t leave Jack because she loved him. Only, since I’d just seen her wrapped in Sawyer’s arms…

    Ugh. I’m sorry. I have to go throw up now. The little wifey, woman-in-the-middle stuff is making me queasy.

  70. MaggieCat says

    I’m pretty sure that she was refusing to leave without Jack, since has to stay behind for his plan to work. If Jack is threatening them to make them let Kate go, presumably they’ll let Sawyer go too. (Jack only agreed to operate on The Others’ leader because they were going to kill Sawyer if he didn’t. Or because he came up with this nifty guarenteed to backfire plan, who knows.)

    Danny, the guy who was getting ready to shoot Sawyer, was acting in revenge since his wife died after being shot by Sun in the second episode of this season. Now immediately after his wife had died, he went and started beating the crap out of Sawyer while asking Kate if she loved him. She said she did, but later told Sawyer she only said that to get Danny to stop beating him.

    Of course then last night she slept with Sawyer, and begged Jack to do the surgery so they wouldn’t kill Sawyer (you’d think threatening Kate’s life would have been a more effective control tactic with Jack, but what do I know?) and then refused to run without Jack despite the fact that The Others need to keep Jack alive right now while someone actually has a gun to Sawyer’s head right this second.

    I can’t even put my finger on exactly why this storyline is so aggravating because the whole thing sucks so very much.

    (And I originally made a typo that said ‘we went and started beating the crap out of Sawyer’. Wish fulfillment? You be the judge.)

  71. Jennifer Kesler says

    Ugh – just reading this is making me cringe.

    And, off-topic: does every show have to have a Jack, a Dan/Danny/Daniel and a Sam/Samantha? Is this some rule that’s posted somewhere? Okay, yeah, I know not all shows have all three names, but I bet 90% of them have 2 of the 3.

  72. Gategrrl says

    Yeah – I get SO CONFUSED when folks on my flist carry on and on about Danny and Jack, or Sam and Danny or what have you, and *don’t specify the goddamn show* on their LJ entry! Bugs the heck out of me. It’s not really the LJ writer’s fault that every show seem to have a limited name pool, but really – put the name of your goddman fen show up on the title or something!

    *ahem* Okay, this rant belongs more on LJ. I shall transfer it there.

    Thank you for your time.

  73. Patrick says

    My friends keep telling me to watch Lost, but everything I’ve seen and heard leads me to believe that the writers want you to think the show is going somewhere, but really they’re making it up as they go along, and all the cryptic stuff is there to make you think the show is deeper than it really is.

    I can’t stand that kind of thing. The only show where I could handle cryptic stuff with no actual meaning was Twin Peaks, because I knew that the ultimate explanation was not “David Lynch wants you to think he is a genius,” but was “David Lynch is a madman with a midget fixation.”

    I expect Lost will go through the same thing that the X-Files did, where they try to tease things out for so long that by the time they decide to explain anything, the audience has left because finding out wasn’t worth the effort.

  74. MaggieCat says

    If they were writing her as someone who sleeps with whomever she wants, when she wants, I wouldn’t have as big a problem with her as I do. One of the worst problems with what she did last night is that she’s making me feel sorry for Sawyer. 2 weeks or so ago (which is what- a day and a half in Lost time?) she said she loved Sawyer (under duress, yes) and then told him she didn’t mean it. Then she slept with him last night, and when he asked her again about whether she loved him, she didn’t answer. Either she does in which case okay, I can go with the non-verbal response if nessecary. More likely is that she doesn’t love him, or doesn’t know- in which case not answering is jerking him around, especially considering that right after that he said he loved her. And then Sawyer had to listen to her refuse to leave Jack behind while someone held a gun to his head. Now I would subscribe to the ‘leave no one behind’ mentality myself whenever possible but someone’s life is at stake right this second and it’s NOT the person she’s refusing to leave behind. That’s a lot of very mixed messages from one tiny person.

    Unless the writers are trying to make her look like a useless, heartless, weak willed, indecisive cliche. In that case, well played.

    I never trusted the producers when they claimed to have a plan, I already got burned with Buffy and The X-Files that way. I was fine with that as long as the characters stayed interesting…. which- yeah. Not so much. I think at this point the only thing keeping me watching is that I feel like it’s turned into a grudge match. Well that and the hope that more people will start dying because at this point I’d kick myself for missing that. There are only about 4 characters left that I don’t want to punch.

  75. MaggieCat says

    Names go through popular/unpopular cycles in real life so I don’t mind it too much on tv. I’d just appreciate it if people would stop naming dogs ‘Maggie’. ;-) (Current offender is a Petsmart commercial in heavy rotation. At least that one’s a very pretty great dane.)

    To be fair, I think part of why Lost-Danny was named what he was might be because it’s common. One of the other Others (jeez, even talking about the show is starting to sound like nonsense) we’ve seen a lot of is named Juliet, and since it looks like they’re trying to put some sort of romantic tension between her and Jack they seem to have cribbed that directly from the ‘star crossed’ entry in their dictionaries.

  76. S. A. Bonasi says

    Have you ever watched Nip/Tuck? It has it’s own problems with sexism, but I was particularly impressed with the central love triangle. Rather than it be about Julia having to choose between Sean and Christian, the Sean/Christian angle was always emphasized. In the fouth season (which just ended in the U.S.), has Christian getting engaged to a woman named Michelle. Sean is jealous, but there is not, as you would say, any Sean/Michelle angle. And at the end of the season, Christian breaks up with Michelle to follow Sean across the country. The portrayal of woman on the show could still be better, although I enjoyed Julia leaving all her male love interests in order to have her own life, and Michelle wasn’t too bad.

  77. sbg says

    LOL, seven months later…I tried watching Nip/Tuck a couple of times but was often too troubled by it to continue. I think I might have posted about it here.

    For the record, I still hate 95% of all love triangles.

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