Rebcake (rebcake) wrote,

What's for old marrieds?

I keep working on an essay about love, but every time I think I'm getting close to posting, something happens and I can't. Earlier this week lots of people were posting about love, so I thought the time was right. But now? No. I suffer from post-block on the subject or something.

Anyway, I was thinking about the type of love stories that appeal to me, and I realized that they often don't end with "falling in love". The stories about what happens after that are rare, but they can be awesome. Some examples:

1. The Palm Beach Story (1942), directed by Preston Sturges, starring Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea, along with a cast of the best supporting characters ever seen on screen. (I wouldn't kid you about a thing like that!) This story begins when a wife decides that she is a burden on her beloved but struggling husband and resolves to help him out by obtaining a divorce. He disagrees most adamantly with her thesis. Wackiness ensues.

2. The Incredibles (2004), directed by Brad Bird. All Pixar movies are wonderful, but this one is still my favorite. What happens in a relationship when one of the parties is beaten down by life and the other cannot adequately comfort them? What's most important? The individual? The relationship? Pride? The kids? Life itself?

There are more, of course, in books, TV, and movies. What I consume most these days is fanfic, though. These are some examples of stories that deal with the difficulty of sustaining a relationship:

1. brittanyxo 's Bittersweets series. This is an look at a relationship that ebbs and flows for centuries. Things get bad. Then they get better. Then they get bad again. Like life, only more epic. (God, I hope my life never gets that epic!) Love is not for the faint of heart.

2. penny_lane_42 's Infinitas Infinitio Infinitus. Author's summary: Learning to live is a lot harder than learning to die.

3. Pretty much anything in the Barbverse by rahirah, who has specialized in the story of what happens after you find love.

There are loads of other stories that dip into this particular pool. Some are hilarious, some are touching, and some provoke the thinky thoughts. st_salieri, for example, has some excellent tales in all of these categories.

But the majority of fic writers, like the majority of storytellers in other media, focus on the birth of the romance between their characters, and that is often wonderfully done and very entertaining. It makes sense that there would be more stories about relationships beginning than continuing, because more relationships begin than endure. But not in the same proportion that we see in stories. So I cling tightly to my beloved "being in a relationship" stories. I think it's why I've written so much Spike/Dru.

Last night, I found a new TV show that suits my tastes. It's Undercovers by J.J. Abrams. It's about a married couple who quit the spy game a few years back to focus on their "real" life together, but are now called back into active duty. They are pretty, they are snarky, they are loving but do not sublimate themselves to the relationship. They are multi-lingual. They  are smart. The main characters are people of color, which makes it a rare treat on a whole other level. The writing's not bad. It meets the Bechdel Test, barely. And, the wife got to wield the bazooka in the first episode! Gotta love a gal with a bazooka, amirite?

Every other new show I've peeked at this week, I've turned off in minutes. Glee was terribly awesome, though. It was the bullying episode — even more so than usual — and hardly anybody got away unscathed. Castle was entertaining. That's about the extent of my "keep it positive" media watch. What did you like this week?
Tags: recs, tv party

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