Sunday, January 17, 2016

Characters we thought would hook up but never did

Sexual tension is a heck of a way to add drama to any story. Whenever you have a male and female lead in a show or a movie and it seems like there’s any spark between them, the audience will be following along to see if that moment happens when they finally get together and we can vicariously enjoy some fictional celebrity lovin’. But some shows like to make you twist in the wind a little and will string you along forever as the characters you’re sure should get together just somehow never do. Like these ones!

Joey and Phoebe on Friendshttp://img2.looper.com/img/gallery/characters-we-thought-would-hook-up-but-never-did/joey-and-phoebe-on-friends.jpg

This one is almost too perfectly predictable, which is maybe why it never happened. Friends was a monster success for its run and while the central “will they or won’t they” storyline was very much centered around Ross and Rachel, once the show paired off Monica and Chandler, it left one male and one female cast member standing on the sidelines together: Joey and Phoebe. It was only natural to wonder if the two of them, the show’s loveable, kind of dimwitted fools, would end up getting together as well. But for whatever reason, and maybe because it was just too obvious, the show never goes in that direction.

For what it’s worth, in a 2015 interview with Lisa Kudrow and Matt Leblanc, the actors stated they actually pitched the idea to producers suggesting that Joey and Phoebe could have been having casual sex the entire time, and they’d reveal it by recreating iconic moments from the show, but at different angles to show things like Joey and Phoebe sneaking out of closets in the background together. The producers said no.

Jerry and Elaine on Seinfeldhttp://img3.looper.com/img/gallery/characters-we-thought-would-hook-up-but-never-did/jerry-and-elaine-on-seinfeld.jpg

Watching reruns of Seinfeld now, this one seems like maybe somehow Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David knew people would wonder about why they were never a couple, so they sneakily built the show around the idea that Jerry and Elaine already had gotten together in the past and now are just friends. Despite that, the pair are so good together on screen, and in fact do dabble very briefly with the idea of getting back together, or just being friends with benefits, that it gave the audience at the time hope. And of course in the show’s final episode there’s that moment when it almost seems like Seinfeld will cave in and do a serious emotional bit with Elaine and Jerry professing their love for each other—but then it never happens. Because if it does, it wouldn’t be Seinfeld. And maybe that’s the point; no one on Seinfeld is ever meant to learn a lesson or grow as a person. If Jerry and Elaine have a real relationship it would ruin the show’s dynamic.

Benson and Stabler on Law and Order: SVU
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For over a decade, detectives Benson and Stabler are partnered up on Law and Order: SVU. Their chemistry is so good that even though Stabler has a family and Benson seems more like his best friend and sister, as time goes on you just have to start wondering. The actors really sell the fact these two people would do anything for each other, so it’s only human nature to wonder how far that relationship could extend.

However, despite always being there for each other and a number of hugs, glances and thoughtful conversations, their relationship never truly crosses any lines. Not that the idea is never there; even Stabler’s wife believes they’re having an affair at one point. But to the credit of the show’s writers, they made this pair of partners rock solid in their professionalism while just barely masking the idea that both feel something more for the other.

Daryl and Beth on The Walking Deadhttp://img1.looper.com/img/gallery/characters-we-thought-would-hook-up-but-never-did/daryl-and-beth-on-the-walking-dead.jpg

This was a fast burner that died just as quickly as audiences came to the conclusion it would be an awesome idea. Watching The Walking Dead, it’s likely no one predicted back in season three that Beth and Daryl should hook up. However, after the prison goes to hell at the hands of the Governor, and Daryl and Beth end up on the run together, it just seems like a natural pairing. Beth acts as an emotional center for Daryl, and Daryl in turn starts helping Beth become the survivor she needs to be to last in this dangerous world. It’s like they’re two halves of a whole. Isn’t that special?

Naturally things don’t work out as Beth gets kidnapped and later on after she’s found again…well, things go from bad to worse. If The Walking Dead has proven nothing else, it’s that happiness is in short supply. And just because you’re a cast member doesn’t mean you’re going to live to see the next episode. As such, Beth doesn’t make it back to join the others and she never will. Daryl’s kept his hairy greasy in memorial ever since.

Picard and Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Jean-Luc Picard is clearly the best captain the Enterprise ever had, and don’t let any Kirk fans tell you differently. Part of what makes Picard so badass is not just his smooth voice and commanding presence but the fact he, unlike Kirk or Riker, is way more choosey with the ladies. He’s no fly by night playboy hooking up with any green-skinned honey. He’s a discerning man of character. As such, when he chooses to get frisky with the ladies, you know it’s a big deal. And no one in the show’s seven year run worked with that idea and created more chemistry than Dr. Beverly Crusher.

We know that Picard and Crusher have a past together, but on the show everything is strictly business, which maybe gets tested once or twice in a few episodes thanks to unpredictable space shenanigans that cause everyone to lose their inhibitions—space travel can be dangerous that way. The relationship is sold perfectly thanks to the fact that Patrick Stewart is just a fantastic actor. So when his normally straight laced and serious Picard does crack and show a softer side, it’s an attention-getter. Unfortunately for fans, however, it really was limited to teases in a few episodes and nothing more ever comes of it.

James Bond and Miss Moneypennyhttp://img3.looper.com/img/gallery/characters-we-thought-would-hook-up-but-never-did/james-bond-and-miss-moneypenny.jpg

The manliest man in all of fiction, James Bond has been crushing it for decades. Articles and theses have been written on the character as an icon of misogyny, a juvenile fantasy, an allegory, a parable, and anything else you can think of. He’s been dissected philosophically and critically and still, to this day, he’s basically just a really smooth Englishman with a sketchy moral compass who always gets the lady. Usually several ladies.

Maybe because the franchise’s filmmakers felt Bond is so unbelievable—or maybe for just a light garnish of comedic balance to the entire James Bond universe—the character of Miss Moneypenny has always been in the background, somewhat immune to the charms of 007. She readily flirts with him but just as readily shoots him down. Yet all their interactions are stunningly brief and result in very little more than Moneypenny offering Bond a tidbit of information he’ll be able to use later on. Despite all his many conquests, perhaps Bond just has a soft spot for Moneypenny. Or, more likely, because she knows his history, Moneypenny just doesn’t want to touch that with a ten foot pole.

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