It’s the storyline that keeps people HOOKED … the crux to almost every romantic comedy ever made … to every long-running TV show … and pretty much the CW’s only plot card to play.
It’s Ross & Rachel, Buffy & Angel, Nina Dobrev and that hotter guy from “Vampire Diaries”, Bert & Ernie … ok the last one’s a joke, kind of.
I’m talking about the classic … will-they-or-won’t-they-freaking-bang-hook-up-get-married-shoot fireworks-outta-their-asses-already!!!!!
For some reason, we as a society are super interested in this concept … i.e. the idea of watching two people skirt around a sexual tension SO thick you couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw even if you tried … for weeks, months or even years.
In fact, the notion is so popular that MOST producers, studios and show-runners demand there be a “long-term love arc." That way, even if the show sucks, people will keep watching (or reading) just to see if it ever happens. Hello "Pride & Prejudice" and the entire “Twilight” series, I’m looking at you.
But the question is WHY? What is our fascination with rooting for two people to get it on? And then hanging on by a thread every time there’s a near miss? Oh no! He was JUST at that coffee shop, GO BACK GO BACK!! Tell him how you REALLY feel!
What’s the big deal? Is it because we think these two people are perfect for each other? Deep down we want to believe in soul-mates? We just want them to be happy? Or is it that we all just have a sick obsession with hoping it would happen to us?
Here’s the thing, in real life the “will they or won’t they” scenario isn’t all that fun, or romantic, because you’re never actually sure if it will be reciprocated. In fact, it’s usually full of uncertainty, insecurity, anxiety and questions. Oh so many questions.
In the land of Hollywood, we as the audience KNOW the love-birds … er … love each other -- so of course it’d be great if they’d finally man up and work it out. But back here on earth, we don’t know jack.
So a “will they or won’t they” could be a … “oh look you’re in love with someone who gives two shits about you” ... or even “hey your good friend has a huge crush on you and now it’s totally awkward, oops, sorry no more hanging out.” Neither of which are ideal.
Of course there is the off-chance, it will work out: in the once-in-a-lifetime-kind-of-scenario where you wake up one day and say, “Oh shit, this is it.”
So maybe that’s why we watch. That’s why we hope. We’re just holding out for the 1% chance that the greatest person in the world has been right there in front of us the entire time. Lucky us.
Either that … or we’re all just a bunch of delayed-gratification sex freaks who like watching people bone.