overthinking the idiot box

June 5, 2006

A modern woman's perspective on TV's take on love, sex, and everything in between.

Love Is On The Air
State of the Romance

Or, I Feel Better About My Life Now

by Jill Weinberger

My fellow viewers, it is that time of year. The time when there's nothing on TV, and a girl has a lot of time to reflect on where the recent season finales have left her favorite star-crossed lovers, and if there's anything she can learn from them. And so I bring you the First Ever Annual State of the Romance Address. Not a comprehensive review by any means — we'd be here 'til fall — but merely a look at some of the more significant developments to hit some of TV's crazier couples as the sun set on them for the summer.

(Warning: Spoilers herein. I'd like to think you can figure that out for yourself, but I don't really know you, and I don't want you to come crying to me because you rushed through the intro and got the ending to your favorite show all ruined for you. Save that drama for your mama.)

Grey's Anatomy
Meredith "You don't get to call me a whore" Grey snuck off with her married ex, Dr. McSleazy, to have sex in an exam room while their respective significant others wandered around the hospital's "prom," being clueless and enjoying punch. In other news, heart patient Denny got a new heart thanks to the highly illegal actions of his love interest (and doctor), Izzy. And then he died anyway. Oopsie.

Lesson: Heart patients are not extraordinarily good romantic prospects. And it really is all right to call Meredith a whore. (I prefer to think of McSleazy as a Double Whore with Cheese.)

After a whole big mess of trouble and more leaps in logic than you can shake a completely useless MP3 recording at, Jack Bauer finally saved the day and was reunited with his lady love, Audrey. Then, called away for a phone call from his daughter Kim, Jack told Audrey, "I'll be right back," and was promptly kidnapped by the Chinese.

Lesson: Dude, did you not see Scream? You never say, "I'll be right back." Never. Ever. Other lessons learned: Even off-screen and used as a ruse, Kim Bauer is a pain in the ass. And the Chinese really know how to hold a grudge.

What the...? Years after the series seemed to have dropped the ball on their supposedly mutual attraction, CSI wound up the finale by showing us Grissom and Sara getting their loving domesticity on. Since the only thing believable for me about their attraction in the first place was that they both had way too many issues to ever act on it, I'm certainly hoping that next season brings with it some sort of justification.

Lesson: I honestly have no idea.

CSI Miami
At first I thought this was just confusing because I don't watch the show regularly, but no. See, Eric had this supermodel-looking sister who was terminally ill with cancer. She and Horatio ended up in a romance. I guess she's not bothered by excessive use of sunglasses and conversational pauses. Anyway, what with her being inches from death and all, they decided to fast-track their relationship and get married. Only then, all of a sudden, she was in remission. There was no explanation for it; she just didn't have cancer anymore. So they got married and then she got shot by some Mexican gang member who had it in for Horatio and she died. Oh, well.

Lesson: It doesn't matter how pretty you are; if death wants you, he's coming for you. And marrying a craggy redhaired guy nine times your age who likes to stand with his hands on his hips a lot and call everyone by their first name eight times in every conversation isn't going to change that. Not one bit.

Gilmore Girls
Oy. After a season of making the character of Luke insanely unlikable for no apparent reason, the writers had written themselves into a corner, and the only way out was apparently to make the character of Lorelei just as inexplicably, stupidly vile. Fed up from months of being shut out of Luke's new life with his new daughter and his new whatever Sherilyn Fenn is, Lorelei snapped one evening and poured out her heart to guest therapist Melora Hardin. Well, it would seem like Melora's not a very good therapist, because, while we didn't see her advice, the end result was Lorelei stomping up to Luke and screeching, "I won't be put off anymore! Marry me this second! It's now or never! Don't care how, I want it now!" And then, of course, when Luke didn't immediately throw on his tux and say, "You've never been more irresistible to me," Lorelei continued to exercise her massive good sense by running to her ex, Christopher, and sleeping with him. Ah, well done.

Lesson: Always use condoms. And don't listen to Melora Hardin

So, uh, General Zod, right? He's this super-evil Kryptonian who got trapped in the Phantom Zone by Jor-El (Superman/Clark's dad, duh), and he's got this evil morphy multiplying droid minion guy, played by Spike from Buffy. And Spike's hooked it up so that Lex — who recently got together with Lana after Clark dumped her because he could never tell her his Super secret or some crap like that — Lex is going to be the Vessel, the human body that Zod takes over so he can be free of the Phantom Zone and be all corporeal and Earth-destroying and whatnot. So THEN, Lex gets abducted by the Black Ship (also employed by Zod), so that his body can be made all Super in preparation for Zod entry. Then he gets back and goes to Lana and is all, "Look at me, I'm Super," and she's all, "That's pretty damn disturbing but also kind of hot," and he's all, "If you still care about me, even though I'm Super, meet me on the roof of the LutherCorp building tonight." MEANWHILE, Spike sends this really nasty Kryptonian virus into Lex's computer, from which it infects the infrastructure of Smallville, Metropolis, and eventually all of earth, shutting down everything and causing rioting and killing and such, even though the power's only been out for, like, an hour. So Clark has to run off and stop Zod from getting into Lex, and Chloe says, "I don't know if I'll ever see you again," and she lays this big goodbye kiss on him (go Chloe!) and then he runs off and she runs off and when last we see her, she's being mauled by an angry mob in the street. Oh, dear. So back at the Kent farm, Lex drops by, intending get all Zodified and kick Clark's ass. WHICH HE DOES! But not before he tells Clark, "Ha, ha. Lana still loves me, even though I'm Super. I told her my secret, and she was all, 'That's hot.' So there! How do ya like me now, BEEEYOTCH!?!" Then, with Clark all heartbroken and disposed of (off to the Phantom Zone himself, bummer), Zod-in-Lex runs off to Lana — though apparently not before stopping off at Evil Outfitters to pick up his regulation Very Bad Guy black leather trench coat. And then he and Lana share a dazzling rooftop kiss, backlit spectacularly by the burning ruins of a world gone mad.

Lesson: If your boyfriend starts being impervious to bullets AND wearing black leather trench coats, it might be a good time to ask for a little space in the relationship. And if you don't know if you'll ever see someone again, a kiss is nice, but hot pre-apocalyptic sex in the broom closet is better.

Finally, what would a review of romantic entanglements be without...

Desperate Housewives
Just when you thought Susan and Mike were going to make it work, something came between them. Gabrielle and Carlos were on the verge of losing their marriage forever because of infidelity. Lynette and Tom faced new challenges as a couple, but eventually found a way to get through it together. And Bree attracted the attention of a genteel-but-homicidal suitor.

Lesson: I'm not sure... but I have the weirdest sensation that I've reviewed this lesson before.

So there you have it. From condoms to black leather trench coats to vengeful Chinese tricksters, a complete life primer from just a few hours of viewing pleasure. And people say television has no redeeming value. You're welcome!

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Return to Season 2, Episode 18.