Studio 60: JorDanny Part 3

Part one and part two of my problems with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

I really didn’t intend for this to turn into a series, but I am apparently incapable of looking away from a television show that’s turning into a train wreck. Yes, all of the perfectly logical reasons that Jordan had for not responding to and actively avoiding Danny’s “romantic” pursuit of her have fallen by the wayside because darn it, it’s true love.

This week’s episode was the conclusion of last week’s, which found Danny and Jordan trapped on the roof of the studio in that tried-and-true romcom cliché. (Note to the writers: actually saying out loud what a cliché something is does not make using it any less of a cliché.) It started out all right, with Jordan actually asking him to promise her that this was not intentional (can’t blame her for being suspicious) and still seeming fairly definite that she did not want to date him. But the longer they were stuck there, the more she couldn’t let it go. She asked when he fell for her, asked if it was a physical attraction (and got offended when his response was that she’s “as big as a house”, which- no she’s not, even pregnant), tried to use the AA reasoning that you aren’t supposed to get involved in a relationship during recovery, and eventually came around to the fact that it doesn’t matter because even if she was interested his previous divorces imply he’d just leave her too eventually.

And here we are at the REAL reason she’s been so resistant to dating him- it’s not that she’s his boss, or that he’s been creepy and obsessed and stalky- it’s because she’s scared! (I have to point out that any rational person would be at this point, but for different reasons.) There was more back and forth about her having to explain to her child why he/she’d just lost a second father, and that he wouldn’t do that, blah blah blah, but I sort of glazed over at this point. After they were finally rescued, she headed off first and after a few moments Danny found a slip of paper tucked into his watch band (she’d been doing magic tricks to pass the time..) which read “I’m crazy about you!” Well, I’ll give her partial credit on that one. He chased after her, and thought she’d driven away… but of course she was waiting for him to follow her (safe bet, that) and in the parking lot the show got its big romantic kiss.

So what have we learned? If you’re interested in a woman who has not only shown no interest in you but has asked you directly to stop chasing her, PAY NO ATTENTION. She’s just a woman and therefore incapable of knowing what she wants. If you keep at it, eventually you’ll wear down her completely rational resistance, strong arm her into seeing just how committed you are, and bend her to your will. Awww, isn’t that sweet?

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    Your last paragraph neatly sums up why this is so damn ugly. The whole fantasy here is that you can avoid responsibility and still win the prize. She doesn’t need to overcome her fears! He doesn’t need to overcome his addictive behavior! He can just transfer his addiction onto her, and suddenly, it’s sweet! She can lose her fears for no better reason than she’s been vanquished by someone more obsessive than she is!

    This is exactly where those really, really dysfunctional relationships you see on Jerry Springer come from.

  2. Maartje says

    Uh, is there any evidence given in the show of her having a mental disorder? How else could they explain someone willingly dating a stalker?
    Oh right, it’s not stalking if it’s True Love.

    True Love has a LOT to answer for!

  3. MaggieCat says

    Beta: That’s the problem I saw coming the second Danny gave the “I’m coming for you” speech. That was their last chance to bow out gracefully and salvage both characters- anything after that would imply that stalking works or that the only reason to back off is because if you do she’ll come to her senses and come for you. (The other reasonable option- having them NOT get together was never a real possibility.)

    Maartje: Nope, she’s supposed to be a competent network president, and she’d have to be pretty damn good to get to where she has at her age despite being a woman.

    Oh wait, you were being sarcastic.

    The writers were apparently being sarcastic too when they said Jordan was intelligent and sane. You can see where I might get confused. ;-)

    And True Love has a hell of a lot to answer for. I was reading the classic version of Sleeping Beauty the other day (the cool one with the ogre-mother) and found myself involuntarily recoiling from those words. A lovely concept ruined by television dramas. *sigh*

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    You know, I can’t vouch for this from personal viewing, but I’ve always heard that the famous Luke and Laura pairing that was so huge on General Hospital began with a rape. He raped her, and they got letters from women who wanted to see them as a couple, so they wrote it that way.

    Again, I don’t know if this is an accurate or complete view of what happened on that show. I DO know it’s been tossed around in the industry as “proof” that the (female) audience WANTS things like rape and stalking to morph into true love, and therefore that’s what TV and movies should give them.

    Now, I get that people have rape fantasies (which are not inherently unhealthy), and TV is about fantasy, and maybe there IS a desire on the part of viewers to see this stuff played out on film. But I also know that women have fantasies of being heroes or huge successes, and we don’t see those played out on TV. Interesting how they pick and choose.

  5. MaggieCat says

    Answers.com and my mother both confirm that is the case about Luke and Laura. The only good thing my mother has to say about it is that they never tried to say it wasn’t rape. They couldn’t force it to make sense, but at least they didn’t do the “it never happened” routine. (Also, apparently both of my parents were watching GH at the time, as I was about 7 months old during the L&L wedding. Which is totally irrelevant, except for the fact that my dad watching soaps is the funniest thing I’ve heard this year. *hee*)

    And according to the Answers entry, it did come back later when their son found out about it:

    “Early in 1998, Luke and Laura were forced to revisit their past again when Lucky learned of the long ago rape incident at the disco, from Nikolas of all people. Luke and Laura were estranged from Lucky for months, as their son’s romantic illusions about his parents had been shattered. Lucky did not know which was worse, the idea of his father raping his mother, or the fact that his mother had lived with her rapist for all of these years “

    I don’t watch soaps, but from what I do know they seem to play by different rules than anything that’s claiming to approximate real life. But weirdly, by not pushing that under the rug, they’re doing better than more serious shows. Using a 26+ year old incident to support the idea that rape/stalking can ever become romantic is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. And S60 is not supposed to be that far into the fantasy realm.

  6. Jennifer Kesler says

    And S60 is not supposed to be that far into the fantasy realm.

    Well, that’s certainly true.

    Thanks for the GH info there. I do find it interesting that they never denied the rape and in fact revisited it. Sometimes soaps do show strange points of enlightenment mixed in among all the other tropes you see over and over.

    If Studio 60 had gone with the standard Harlequin romance plot where everything is so fantastical you know it’s just a romp, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this. But it certainly sounds like Jordan’s been deconstructed in the standard anti-feminist fashion: “sure, she looks like a career gal with good sense, but she’s really just a scared little thing waiting for a big strong man to march in and sort her out.”

  7. SunlessNick says

    This week’s episode was the conclusion of last week’s, which found Danny and Jordan trapped on the roof of the studio in that tried-and-true romcom cliché. (Note to the writers: actually saying out loud what a cliché something is does not make using it any less of a cliché.) - MaggieCat

    Indeed, I would contend that saying how cliché a clichéed situation is has itself become a cliché.

    So what have we learned? If you’re interested in a woman who has not only shown no interest in you but has asked you directly to stop chasing her, PAY NO ATTENTION. She’s just a woman and therefore incapable of knowing what she wants. If you keep at it, eventually you’ll wear down her completely rational resistance, strong arm her into seeing just how committed you are, and bend her to your will. Awww, isn’t that sweet?

    Sickly sweet, like the smell of rotting foliage.

  8. MaggieCat says

    I am genuinely beginning to believe that television writers are using a special dictionary that the rest of the world has never seen. One that defines ‘meta’ as the opposite of ‘cliché’, lists ‘sarcasm’ as a synonym for ‘funny’, and where ‘midwestern’ and ‘ignorant’ share the same page.

    Sadly, the printer completely left out the entry on ‘subtlety’ in most editions.

  9. SunlessNick says

    Perhaps they are also using a special thesaurus where “love,” “obsession,” and “intimidation” are synonyms.

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