In case you were asleep for the past year, The X-Files is back! And guess what? Mulder and Scully have broken up! I'll give you a moment to stop sobbing and collect yourself.
When television isn't setting us up for unattainable relationship goals, it's breaking our hearts by setting us up for a happily ever after, only to say psych and then smash our hearts into tiny pieces. What happens is writers and producers think it's a great idea to take a strong platonic relationship and turn it into a romantic one. So they build up the will-they-or-won't-they tension for a good two seasons, and then finally the couple gets together. We all rejoice! Then we get bored after a season of happiness and the writers and producers start to panic so they break the couple up. We get sad and angry. They try to will-they-or-won't-they us again, but darn it, we don't care because we got our tension and release and aren't invested in the characters anymore, so we stop watching and find ourselves really into the new Rob Lowe show.
Hey people in charge of TV, not everyone belongs together! Sometimes it's ok for characters to just be friends. Let's take a look at some couples that weren't, and thank goodness for that.
Peggy & Don - Mad Men
The fact that Peggy and Don never got together is the most refreshing thing about Mad Men. It was such an obvious lob ball, but would have been so disappointing. Peggy and Don's love for each other was pure. It was part father/daughter, part mentor/mentee and part partners in crime. I spent seven seasons cringing and silently praying they'd never get together and sighed in relief at Don's meditating closing shot. Imagine a gushing proclamation of love from Don, or a heartfelt speech from Peggy. Her love confession to Stan felt forced, imagine if it was to Don -- blech!
Andrea & Dylan - Beverly Hills, 90210
While everyone was distracted by the Kelly/Brenda/Dylan love triangle, Dylan and Andrea were hardcore bonding on the downlow. Who was the only person Dylan trusted with his newly written manuscript? Andrea. Who could he talk to about Baudelaire and Poe? Andrea. Who was dramafree and chill to hang out with? Andrea. Oh, what could have been, but thank goodness we'll never know! Sure it would have been an interesting twist for half a season, but then what?
Benson & Stabler - Law & Order: SVU
For years (YEARS!) romantic tension had been building between Olivia and Elliot, and who could blame them. Not only did they work side by side, but they put their lives in each other's hands every day. They had trust, chemistry and opportunity, but the writers never got them together. Then Elliot started having marriage troubles and we all thought, ok this is it, they're finally going to at least have sex. But no! It never happened! Not once! Then Elliot left the show and we were all left bewildered. What class acts. The characters, the writers, the people in charge, all of them. They all avoided a cheap, predictable storyline, and for that we thank you.
Gina & Jake - Brooklyn 99
Thankfully Jake and Amy have finally gotten together, leaving the real dream team of Jake and Gina safe from romance. Their goofy, irresponsible and terrible-at-adulthood personalities are a match made in comedy heaven and I hope to god that's never ruined by dating.
Khloe & Scott - Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Sure they're "real" "people," not fictional TV characters. Or are they? We'll never know. After getting through their initial mutual intolerance for one another, the chemistry between Khloe and Scott is undeniable. They're partners in debauchery and get along better than anyone else on that show. Now if they got together, not only would that ruin a lot of family relationships, it would also ruin the fun schtick we've grown to love/tolerate when there's nothing else on TV.
Leslie & Ron - Parks & Recreation
The civil service dream team! I found Ben insufferable and thought Leslie deserved someone much better, but not Ron. Leslie and Ron's love/hate relationship was best left platonic. Romance would not have lasted and it would have ruined their friendship, and more importantly it would have ruined Pawnee.
JD & Turk - Scrubs
Scrubs wasn't really about doctors, it was about a friendship so intense it was always a second away from turning into a passionate love affair. But it never did, even if I think deep down it's what they both really wanted but never allowed themselves to express. What we're left with is one of the deepest friendships ever explored on TV.
Karen & Jack - Will & Grace
Sure sexuality was standing in their way, but what better pair is there than Karen and Jack? Karen's main skills/attributes were alcoholism and marrying into wealth. Jack's greatest skills were being delusional and spending other people's money. A perfect pair. They were funny, kooky and the backbone of the show. I'm not saying the writers would have ever entertained a love affair, but who knows what desperate lengths they could have gone to for ratings.
Sherlock & Molly - Sherlock
Love couldn't have blossomed of course, because Sherlock is impossible and about 90% robot. Plus Molly deserves so much better than Sherlock. But most importantly, their work is paramount and needs their undivided attention. They can't stop a seemingly not-dead Moriarty if they're always sneaking off to make out. Thankfully, Molly has found herself an imitation Sherlock to marry, so they can both keep their focus where it belongs - on solving crimes!
Jerry & Elaine - Seinfeld
We are very lucky that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David can do whatever they want, because think about how many network executives must have pushed for Jerry and Elaine to get together. Imagine the horrible, schmaltzy series finale where Jerry finally proposes (and this time it sticks, not like that other time) and Elaine confesses she's loved him all along. Boo! Hiss! Unacceptable!