a rant on tv relationships

Okay, I just need to rant on here for a moment. I tried watching True Love today, which is a 2012 BBC series in five parts about people and their romantic relationships that made me move to Nopeville. The cast looked promising and there was even a lesbian romance so I said ‘Yay, I need to watch this’. The five episodes are supposed to more or less stand alone, the first featured David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), they are celebrating a birthday and all is well until DT’s characters old flame returns to town and they have an affair and ugh.

Infidelity. I hate relationships in which one partner cheats on another one. It’s not fair to the person you cheat on and it’s also not fair to the person you’re cheating with. (I’ve been on the latter side by extension for a couple of years as my Mom was someone’s stupid affair.) Here, I’ve never been in a situation like that and it gets complicated but I do want to believe that it doesn’t have to be this stupid. I do want to believe that people can keep it in their pants when they’re committed to someone and claim to love them. What I hate most of all about infidelity is all the secrecy, the not-speaking. Not using their words is a plot device that makes me insta-hate characters. I’m not claiming that everything can be dealt with by talking but it’s still a hell of a lot better approach than to pretend like everything is alright. USE YOUR WORDS. It’s that simple. And don’t cheat.

After that I decided to skip episode two and go straight for the lesbians in episode three in the hopes this would make me happier but no! Another couple of widely known British actors, Billie Piper (also Doctor Who) who plays Holly and Kaya Scodelario (Skins) who plays Karen. Holly is Karen’s teacher and of course they fall in love. Ugh.

Another instant turn-off, pedolationships. Karen is 16 years old, I get that you can have a crush on your English teacher, that happens but shouldn’t we be able to trust the teachers, the so-called  adults, to not act upon such things? She is a minor and in my opinion this is not cool. I get that there are relationships out there with huge age differences. Just look at Ellen and Portia but they are both consenting adults! This is also the reason why I don’t like the movie Loving Annabelle.

Student-teacher-relationships and infidelity, ugh, all such clichés, I want to vomit, seriously. You could argue that I am acting like a prude here but no, I am not. These are just the relationships I hate to see on TV, to read about or to encounter in real life.

After that I gave up on the series, because it just made me to rage-y. None of these two supposedly true loves made me swoon. Instead I went all Snark Squad on them. The issues I listed above are not just some minor mishaps in my opinion, they are serious business and yet the series treated them as such. It was okay for Karen and Holly to fuck each other, even though one isn’t even allowed to vote yet. What’s so wrong with age-appropriate love? Nothing! And cheating is okay, as long as it’s with your long-lost first love of your life?

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  • EmilyHornburg

    UGH this makes me so sad. How can David Tennant and Billie Piper go from their Doctor/Rose beautiful love to this? (OK… I know how… it’s acting.) But just, I’m with you. I hate TV shows and movies making relationships like this an okay thing. THEY ARE NOT OKAY!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      THANK YOU! Yes, they are absolutely not okay and I was so disappointed by the writing of these two episodes.

  • Jessica

    I’ll voice my sometimes unpopular opinion about this- we have to teach kids and young people the difference between fantasy and reality. I don’t watch tv for realism. It doesn’t bother me as much to see the teacher/student relationships because it is a legit thing that people fantasize about. People fantasize about reconnecting with their long lost first love. Tv gives them an outlet for these things that doesn’t ruin their lives. I agree we can do a better job, but I think it is okay to portray things on tv that we wouldn’t do in real life. Tv doesn’t always have to be teaching us a lesson.
    I think we place too much stock on stories to reflect our moral compass. If my daughter grows up to think it is okay to date her teacher, it isn’t the fault of tv. I have failed her along the way.
    There is a fine line- I don’t think television/movies should just be a free for all. Well, I take that back- I guess I do. And then we as consumer have the right to choose from anything we want. I actually think we could learn a lot from the porn industry. We don’t have to like or approve of everything. We just look away and find something that better suits us :)
    I’m probably not conveying this as well as I could. I’m typing on my iPhone as I wait in a cold barn full of smelly horses, but I hope the core of my point shines through.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Don’t worry about voicing unpopular opinions, it’s okay. Who says my opinions are right, right?!

      I guess what mostly annoys me with the infidelity plots are that they’re done so terribly. Full of clichés you know the minute something happens how it will play out because you’ve seen it a millionty times already. I mostly can’t stand the not talking about things leads to much more trouble.

      Of course it’s okay to fantasise about rekindling with an old flame or to fantasise over your teacher but these stories are done horribly a lot of the times. I do understand personal preference also comes into play here. And you’re right, if your daughter thinks running away with her teacher is the way to go, you failed her. TV is not adequate replacement of a parent and it shouldn’t be.