Valentine’s Day is upon us– as you walk down the aisle of any drug store, your vision goes red and pink from all of the heart shaped box of chocolates and fluffy teddy bears holding stuffed hearts. On your drive home, every business seems to be advertising a couples dinner, massage or even both. You think turning on the television will let you take your mind off of love, but it follows you home too. Whether your experiences with love are from a real-life relationship or from binge-watching rom coms every Friday night, it is always around in one way or another.
Television has an especially sneaky way of integrating love in our everyday lives, even if we are lacking in Valentine’s Day plans or romance. Popular shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother would not be complete without the couples, love triangles and general sexual tension– even if they are just serving as plot device.
However, those who stay far away from the four letter word with a ten foot pole still usually find a soft spot for those cute sitcom couples. Everyone remembers the first time Ross and Rachel shared an intimate kiss or announced they were pregnant, or when Ted was once again standing at the bottom of Robin’s apartment clutching the blue trumpet in hopes of rekindling their flame.
Budding couples and happily married characters are sometimes the best part of a show, and we seem to invest a lot of our own emotions and hearts in a relationship that doesn’t exist in reality. Most of us can admit it is more fun to watch Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl scheme their way to loving each other or gluing our eyes to Netflix to witness Jessica Day and Nick Miller from New Girl finally hook up than it is to sit at a bar hoping to hit it off with someone.
If these long awaited relationships are your guilty pleasure, then you are not alone. Take Jim and Pam from The Office. Any Office fan can trace back their relationship to when they were just friendly co-workers. How could we forget when Jim stood at Pam’s reception desk as he leaned over to tell her the prank he just pulled on Dwight? Or the time Jim did not want to leave his seat in the conference room because Pam was peacefully dozed off and resting her head on his shoulder? How about when Jim finally told her he was in love with her, and shortly after had to wipe away one little tear from his eye when she said she couldn’t? All of these little moments told us that they needed to be together.
Waiting for Jim and Pam was like slowly ripping off a band-aid, and the wound was sticking onto it the whole time. The bandage was eventually free from the clingy wound when Jim unexpectedly barged into the conference room and asked Pam to dinner. Most Office fans felt the same way as Pam did; we teared up and forgot what she was talking about before Jim’s adoring interruption.
Before the two became one and turned into everyone’s relationship goals, they both had to witness each other date the wrong people (multiple times) and live without each other, or just as friends for a while. It became increasingly annoying when the two love birds would not admit they were dating to the documentary film crew or to their co-workers, but at long last, they admitted they were dating to the camera and reassured the world “That it is going really great.”
Even though their marriage (yes, of course they got married) faced looming struggles toward the demise of the show, it finally seemed like a possible real life scenario and it felt like television did love justice. Watching them patch up their relationship in the last season was like getting cut in the same place as the previous wound, and putting Neosporin on it every day as it slowly healed itself. Thankfully, the end of The Office did not mean the end of Jim and Pam.
Many of us would like to think that love in the real world could replicate what we see on television. This is romantic thinking and could be true in some aspects, but waiting on that special someone could be just as gratifying as ripping off the Jim and Pam band-aid–you just have to be ready with the Neosporin. With hardships at the beginning and at the end, everything in between was worth it and love prevailed. In the wise words of Michael Scott, “You can’t stop love, and frankly I don’t think you should ever even try.”
By ALLISON KRIDLE / Interning Writer