Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Stories

I am no good at writing love stories.

In nearly all my love stories, at least one half of the couple ends up dead or turned into a monster.

It's not that I don't like happy endings. Actually, it is. I hate happy endings. At best I want my endings to be bittersweet. Happy endings make me want to puke a little. I don't know why. I can't stand romantic comedy films either; I've never ever seen a single one I liked. I guess I was absent the day God handed out girly genes or something. Although I am happily married, I don't like to see other people happy.

I like love stories though, as long as they end tragically. Even better, I like stories about people who are in love but can't be together for whatever reason. When the torment is palpable, I'm in Heaven.

Take my favorite TV show, The X-Files. For 8 years Mulder and Scully solved mysteries and chased aliens and gazed at each other longingly, and everyone loved it. Then they hooked up, even though they didn't tell the audience about it right away, and the show went down the toilet. I didn't even watch the final season, it was so bad (I admit I dragged my husband to see the movie that came out a few years back. It was awful, except for AD Skinner, who showed up near the end and did something sort of badass that I can't entirely remember).

I've already mentioned a couple of my favorite love stories in my "A Few of My Favorite Things" posts: The Persian Boy (dead) and Shogun (also dead). I'll also add Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Remains of the Day (and the excellent movie adaptation). It's of the 'tormented, unadmitted love' variety, and is an elegant, heartwrenching read.

I'm not exactly a Jack/Sam fangirl (Stargate SG-1), simply because I haven't watched the series religiously, but I always liked their understated relationship. I especially loved when the writers included an episode where Sam realizes, with no doubt, that nothing can ever happen between them; then, in the very next episode, Sam is hurt and Jack puts his arm around her. So not only did the writers crush the fangirls'/boys' hopes, they then taunted them about it.

Then there's Ghost in the Shell. It's one of my favorite anime franchises, and both the movies and television series give a nod to the unspoken affection between the kickass female main character and her almost-as-kickass right hand man. But they also make it clear it's never going to happen, which lends just enough anguish to make me happy.

Speaking of anime, I lied about hating happy endings. The manga and anime of Emma: A Victorian Romance, is happy. SHUT UP I'M STILL A GIRL. Even if I hate rom-coms.

Tonight the husband and I will do what we always do for Valentine's Day: sit on the couch, eat junk food, and watch the goriest, most violent movie we can find on Netflix. Happy Valentine's Day.

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