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Harry and Sally -- They Fight Crime!
I am having an issue with television lately. I like shows with nice ensemble casts -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Leverage, Castle. However. Could we have one without the romantic tension, please? It's not obligatory! I promise, I will still like witty dialogue even if nobody is using it to talk past each other for this week's angst-creating misunderstanding!

It's the angst I can't stand, really. Makes me want to shake people. And the repetitiveness; the whole male-lead-female-lead will-they-won't-they has been done to death. As a character arc, okay, but people actually do make decisions about these things, and change over time, and when the same two characters are in the same maybe-we-will-maybe-we-won't-let's-tease-the-viewers-a-bit-and-then-go-sigh-wistfully-in-entirely-different-places-that-line-up-neatly-for-the-divided-screen-effect for months and years on end it is aggravating. Have leads who think about it and decide they won't! If this is too complex, have leads who've never even thought about it! Make them siblings if you have to! Alternatively, established, comfortable relationships are fun, too. Nick and Nora Charles, from The Thin Man -- excellent romance, flirting, no tension. Works for me.

Buffy does fairly well here, actually; there's angst, but there is also change, and nobody pines after anybody for the entire series. Wash and Zoe on Firefly are an excellent example of a good, fun, established relationship, although both Simon and Kaylee and Mal and Inara make me want to throw shoes at people. (Eh, it only got a season, maybe they'd have fixed it.)

Leverage and Castle are both seriously starting to grate. We are about to get the next season of Leverage from NetFlix, and I am getting kind of trepidacious. I was really enjoying the subtle background bits with Parker flirting with Hardison and Eliot, and then towards the end of season 2 Hardison noticed and starting... angsting. Nate and Sophie are already obnoxious enough, I do not need more romantic tension in this show. Especially with Parker, sheesh. At least it won't be the both of them doing it, even if the writers do insist on going there with Hardison.

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If you like anime, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a good example of what you are describing.

Good example of resolving romantic tension in a reasonably quick time period, good example of friends without tension, or good example of established relationship?

A story with no romantic sub plots, and a good anime. Skip the second season though.

Yay no romance! Is the first season a proper self-contained story with an ending?

Yes, it ends and wraps up nicely. Honestly I was surprised that they even made a second season. Its not nearly as bad as Gunslinger Grills season 2, but... I just didn't like it.

To much with the cutsey robots I think.

I like the second season a lot, including the cutesy robots.

I watch Castle, too, and I'm surprised and dismayed that they carried the tension as far as they have. It's getting to the point where I actually hope the worst happens with this upcoming season-ending cliffhanger. At least it would be CHANGE!

We have just finished season 2, because we are poky slow DVD people. The end of season 2 is ridiculous. You mean the next season is worse? It's already so silly that the secondary characters are annoyed at them about it! They had a pool!

While I find the secondary characters thinking they should just get on with it cute, because I agree with them, I also find it particularly irritating as it indicates that the writers damn well know better. I don't like being able to see the writers doing things, instead of the characters doing things. Breaks my suspension of disbelief. :(

Yes, it's worse. So very very much worse. I like the show, I do, but I just want to punch the writers.

hmmm, if you are slow DVD people like we are, what about Criminal Minds?

We've seen four episodes so far, and it's a good police procedural, with a lot of interesting plot twists. No weird romantic Moonlighting stuff showing up yet (I saw a lot of it back in the old show Moonlighting, and it bored me to bits.)

It can be a gruesome show sometimes, because of the police procedural thing, so I'm still deciding if it's Suitable For Me to Watch, but it is interesting and fun.

and unlike NCIS, it doesn't make me downright cranky. As far as I am concerned, NCIS is fired.

Second this. I am so tired of this plot thread I could scream.

I think what particularly annoys me about it is that it's so clearly a writer thing. It's not that this is a story about two specific people who happen to have this particular sort of relationship, it's that the writers have got "and there's romantic tension!" in their concept of the show and won't resolve it because then the concept would change and advertisers/networks/etc. don't like that. I want to watch stories that grow organically from specific characters, darn it, not watch the same damn story played out over and over again.

With Castle particularly, if they want tension they can lean on the whole plot with Beckett's mom! There is no need to put romantic tension in the friendship when you have tension from this other thing already! Sheesh!

Right, well, the reason it's not a story about two specific people who happen to have this particular sort of relationship is that vanishingly small numbers of people have that sort of relationship past junior high. Mostly people do not do the will-they-or-won't-they game for years at a time in real life. They fish, or they cut bait.

(Heh. Ask me about why I should be laughing while making this comment when you see me at 4th St.)

Mostly people do not do the will-they-or-won't-they game for years at a time in real life. They fish, or they cut bait.


Ask me about why I should be laughing while making this comment when you see me at 4th St.

Eeeeeeee 4th Street! ::bounce bounce bounce::

Oh, Castle is going to drive you bonkers in the third season. *wince*

I think what's hard about castle is that it's still awesome around the "tension." I think the tension would set easier if it wasn't so blasted obvious. And I could still happily shoot someone over the S3 finale.

But oh my gods the awesome that is Castle. It may just be the awesome talking, but I think I kind of understand where everyone is /coming/ from season 3, they give some reasons why they aren't just jumping in. But I'm probably just drinking the Kool-Aid on that.

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I really like flashpoint but it's frustratingly hard to get here. :(

I have not seen either of those. Do they do the witty dialogue / fun puzzle thing, or are they more straight-up drama?

I feel like "Flashpoint" is very conscious about not passing the Bechdel test. They do stuff with having only one woman on the team, rather than assuming that of course life comes with token female persons numbering only one.

I love Castle, romantic tension and all. But if that level of tension bothers you, never ever watch Bones. Srsly. :(

Yeah, we've had that conversation. Cathy and I have shared some specific episodes but.... nope.

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