I recently finished rewatching the TV show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It’s a spin-off of the show Once Upon a Time, but I don’t think you would need to be familiar with that show to enjoy the Wonderland version. It only lasted a season, but they gave it a nice ending, so it’s pretty satisfying.
Unsurprisingly, it’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but it happens when Alice is grown up, going back to Wonderland and searching for the man she loves, a genie named Cyrus who has been wrongfully imprisoned.
Now. Cyrus is exactly the sort of character I should have a fictional crush on. He’s kind and sweet and thoughtful and has a tragic backstory that has helped him grow and has the tall, dark, and handsome thing going on. (Actually, I guess he’s not all that tall. But the vibe is there.) He’s just adorable and regularly makes me feel all melty.
But… the fictional crush isn’t there. Or it’s minuscule. He and Alice are just so happy together and so cute that it didn’t develop.
The lesson to be learned from this (you know, for the many TV show writers who read my blog…): Stable relationships are interesting, too.
Many TV shows (and movies and books and what have you) seem to think that relationships need constant fights, on-again/off-again, will they/won’t they to keep the audience interested. Personally, I find it obnoxious. It’s much more satisfying to watch a couple loving each other and working together and supporting each other as they deal with problems.
Not that the relationships have to be perfect. But they can be stable without being perfect.
So, all you TV show writers, go watch Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. And take notes on how they handle the relationship. Copious notes.