The fam watched HOUSE last night - it was a really really good episode, and the dream sequences were fantastic - especially the takeoff on Busby Berkeley musicals with Hugh Laurie singing and dancing (although methinks he reminded me more of Malcolm McDowell in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE than Fred Astaire, but that's beside the point). got me to thinking, as I lay in my master's lap, about all the series with couples - and how consummating the romance proved to be their 'kiss of death'.
think about it - way back in the 60's we had GET SMART and I DREAM OF JEANNIE. Both were huge ratings hits when there were covert glances and innuendo of what might be between Maxwell Smart (MAXX's namesake!) and 99, and Jeannie and Major Nelson - the minute the couples married - CANCELLATION.
Fastforward to other shows wherein getting two angst ridden prime players together has turned out to be the KOD - take Moonlighting. we loved the witty repartee and the "will they or won't they" attitude between Maddie and David - the minute they got hot and heavy under the sheets, down went the ratings.
Sometimes the fans WANT the main characters to get together - as in the case of Amanda and Lee in SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. After three years of constant teasing, they finally got together, and married on a Valentine's episode! Ratings plummeted. However, that wasn't the reason the show was cancelled in its fourth season (Kate Jackson had health problems, and so decided to end the show). But it still enjoys a HUGE cult following and there are tons of sites devoted to fan fiction on Lee and Amanda - both BEFORE AND AFTER marriage!
Shows with families already in place do amazingly well - the Huxtables, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, etc. But when you put two main characters together with amazing chemistry, the secret to success has always been don't get them together too early - or at least not until you have enough shows to sell the series for syndication. HOUSE, despite the coupling of House and Cuddy, seems to not have lost one iota of its spark - if anything, the good doctor is EVEN MORE NEEDY than he was before - and in this case, that's a good thing. (Spoiler alert) They apparently broke up on last nights episode - we shall see. HOUSE is just one of those characters who can't be TOO happy - that's just not HOUSE. Another show with the angst ridden back and forth is another favorite of mine, CASTLE. These two have had more near misses than a hydrogen bomb. Would it spoil the series if they got together? Only time will tell, but maybe not. The writers on CASTLE do an amazing job of keeping all the storylines fresh and the characters "zesty".
Coupling does not have to be a KOD - but history shows they've got a better chance of surviving more seasons on the air apart than together. (I plan on doing future posts on these two hunks, NATHAN FILLION and HUGH LAURIE. I also cannot understand why Laurie hasn't won more awards. We'll campaign for this later, too.)
Just food for thought on a sunny Tuesday!