Saturday, April 08, 2006

Do it, already!

(This post contains spoilers for season seven of The West Wing. Stuff v.3 advises reader discretion.)

"Do It, Already!" is a great article over at Slate by Kate Aurthur on tv couples who take forever to get together. It's inspired by the fact that on recent episodes of The West Wing, Josh and Donna have finally got together, after six and a half seasons of excruciating unresolved sexual tension (UST). The Kiss, when it finally happened in the episode The Cold, was wonderful and had me shouting in girly delight at the screen (you can see pictures of the monumentous event here). The (evil) writers then left us hanging for two weeks before Election Day, when everyone's two favourite non-lovers actually become, well, lovers. I thought it was a fantastic episode, although I had the same question that the West Wing Continuity Guide did - what happened to the scar on Josh's chest from when he got shot?

In her article, Aurthur ponders whether Josh and Donna's ridiculously long period of 'wooing' has been bettered by any other show, and can come up only with Daphne and Niles on Frasier as potential competitors. Ross and Rachel took forever to get together for good (ie. the last ever episode), but I'm not sure they should count in this discussion because they originally started going out in season two. Of course, the King and Queen of UST in my mind have to be Mulder and Scully, who smoldered through several seasons of The X-Files before that stupid bee put an end to their first kiss in the X-Files movie.

As Aurthur points out though, the problem with resolving that unresolved sexual tension is what you do 'the morning after', or in the case of television, in the next episode. She uses the very good example of Moonlighting, a show which floundered badly after David and Maddie got together. I think the only reason that Josh and Donna have been 'allowed' to resolve their UST is that the show will be no more at the end of this season. The writers only have six or so episodes where they have to worry about the fall-out, before it's left up to the imaginations of the fans to picture the two living happily ever after... which of course they will. We've spent over six seasons mentally filling in the gaps between "The Art and Artistry of Alpine Skiing" and "TOBY: Josh was hit. DONNA: Hit with what?" and "If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights." and "What about Donna?!" Maybe that's why people switch off after their favourite couple finally becomes an actual couple - after years of speculating, it's no fun once it actually happens.

...but that doesn't mean I won't be grinning like an idiot every time the two of them appear on screen for the rest of the season! Yay for Josh and Donna!

(yes, I'm a pathetic fangirl. Get over it - it's been six and a half seasons people, I have the right to be excited!)

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