I talk pretty regularly on this blog about my discomfort with certain relationship tropes – unhealthy ones, mainly. Let’s be clear: I don’t hate to read/watch unhealthy relationships play out. I think it can be interesting or funny depending on the tone of thing. What I can’t stand is when such a relationship is represented to us as the most romantic thing. I find it difficult to tolerate stories that tell us that it’s okay if they treat us really badly, because deep down they love us.
To that I say two things.
- *Loud, exasperated sigh*
- Go look at Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram, in which this subject is discussed at length.
I bet you weren’t expecting that second one.
So, to continue the ever evolving discussion of things that make me uncomfortable, here are some famous OTPs that have made me awkward-squirm.
Gossip Girl – Chuck/Blair
This may be the most controversial of the bunch.
Gossip Girl was one of those shows I devoured when it first appeared on Netflix. Throughout seasons 1 and 2 my love, much like Chuck and Blair’s, was fun and surprising. Three words, eight letters: That’s how I felt about Gossip Girl.
Then Chuck ‘sold’ Blair to his creepy brother in return for a hotel, and things turned somewhat sour. That’s just not good boyfriend behaviour. And yet the will-they-won’t-they continued for several more seasons. The whole thing left a decidedly bad taste in my mouth.
Blair changed from an independent, driven – and yes, vindictive and evil – woman to someone who’s entire life revolved around her relationship with a man who treated her horribly but refused to let her go.
Blair and Chuck’s awfulness combined with my deep hatred of Serena made the last few seasons of Gossip Girl pretty hard to sit through. Sometimes the only thing that kept me going was the beauty of Chace Crawford’s face.
(That and Blair and Dan’s moment. The destruction of that relationship broke my televisual heart. Even now, I just can’t even talk about it).
Scandal – Olivia/Fitz
I hate it. I hate the music that accompanies every scene with them, and that face Fitz makes when he wants Olivia to know that he feels like a sad puppy. I hate every over-dramatic kiss and I don’t want to see any more sex in the Oval Office. No amount of assassination attempts, kidnappings or public declarations of love will make me care about this couple.
When the professional killers your father sends to have sex with you are more attractive than your actual boyfriend, you really need to re-evaluate your life.
The Originals – Klaus/Cami
Okay, setting aside the obvious attempt to recreate the dynamic Klaus and Caroline had in his Mystic Falls days – which is super annoying – what really bothers me about this relationship is the balance of power.
Klaus has all of it.
In the beginning Klaus controlled Cami by stealing her memories. When he wasn’t doing that he was using her grief and emotional damage to manipulate her. Their entire relationship is one in which her function is to soothe his pain.
There’s this bit in a Sarah Kay poem I love, The Type, where she says ‘sometimes he will want to hold you up like The Answer/You are not The Answer/You are not the problem.’ I want to sit Cami down and tell her this.
What I loved about Klaus and Caroline’s relationship is that she refused to take any of his shit. Whereas Cami? The girl is drowning in it.
I hoped Cami turning vamp might provide a solution to the issue but so far it hasn’t. I dislike her more than ever.
Are there any OTPs you just can’t stand? Or, do you disagree with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts!