Anticipation is important in a romance story but I am surprised at how many TV writers employ the “will they or won’t they get together” build up on their shows. I understand the need to create conflict and design the romantic push and pull that could last years, but it’s like the writers are the ones who are afraid of making a commitment.
According to this article, Sam and Diane from CHEERS was the original will they/won’t they couple. I never got into that storyline and I’m not sure why. It might be because they drove each other crazy, and not in a good way. I also remember the Maddie and David romance arc in MOONLIGHTING. When they finally got together, the ratings went down. Now writers today are afraid of the Moonlighting curse and they drag out the will they/won’t they longer than they should. (Creators of BONES, I’m looking at you.)
There are some will they/won’t they couples that didn’t get together. I think that’s great. I’m sure that sounds weird from a romance writer, but some couples shouldn’t be together. I’m glad the writers don’t always give in to the fans’ requests. Keeping some couples apart makes sense when dealing with a character’s journey and it ultimately makes for a better story.
So which couples are considered the top will they/won’t they storylines? The article listed:
Angela and Jordan from MY SO-CALLED LIFE
Blair and Chuck from GOSSIP GIRL
Bones and Booth from BONES
Carol and Ed from ED
Carrie and Mr. Big from SEX AND THE CITY
Cuddy and House from HOUSE
Dana and Fox from THE X-FILES
Daphne and Fred from SCOOBY DOO
Daphne and Niles from FRASIER
Dawn and Tim from THE OFFICE
Diane and Sam from CHEERS
Donna and Josh from THE WEST WING
Elliot and John from SCRUBS
Jennifer and Tony from THE SOPRANOS
Jess and Nick from NEW GIRL
Joey and Dawson from DAWSON’S CREEK
Kate and Jack from LOST
Kate and Rick from CASTLE
Laura and Remington from REMINGTON STEELE
Lorelai and Luke from GILMORE GIRLS
Maddie and David from MOONLIGHTING
Maeby and George Michael from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Maggie and Joel from NORTHERN EXPOSURE
Mary Ann and The Professor from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND
Miss Piggy and Kermit from THE MUPPET SHOW
Olivia and Elliot from LAW & ORDER: SVU
Pam and Jim from THE OFFICE
Rachel and Ross from FRIENDS
Rupert and Joyce from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Sarah and Chuck from CHUCK
Sookie and Eric from TRUE BLOOD
Ziva and Tony from NCIS
Which is your favorite?
My favorite will they/won’t they couple has always been Laura and Remington from REMINGTON STEELE. I don’t know if it’s because it was the first will they/won’t they couple I watched. The push-pull of that relationship drove me crazy, but never in a way that I wanted to give up watching. I also loved the Sarah and Chuck love story from CHUCK. I was worried about how they would handle the Rick and Kate relationship in CASTLE but I’m really enjoying it at the moment.
Also, Fred and Daphne from SCOOBY DOO? It wasn’t a question of will they/won’t they. I had already decided they were together. The same for MaryAnn and the Professor from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. Sometimes you don’t need to see it on screen. Even as a kid, you just know.