So I decided to blog about some of my favorite romances in the realm of fiction. Here are my Top Eleven. Why top eleven? Because the Nostalgia Critic is back and I'll go one step beyond. Seriously, I was going to do ten but then I had an idea for one that I thought was just funny, I'm sure you can guess which one it is.
Honorable Mentions: Hunter/Dingo, Broadway/Angela, Aragorn/Arwen, The Monarch/Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Niles/Daphne, Beatrix Kiddo/Bill.
Very Dishonorable Mentions: Edward/Bella, Anybody/Betty Brant, Korra/Mako, Buffy/Spike, Gambit/Rogue.
11. Shredder & Krang
I've recently, for the first time in many, many, many years been re-watching the 1987 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and, trust me, I'll have some things to say about it on this blog in the near future. But what I will admire here is just how progressive it was. I do believe Shredder and Krang were American TV's first same-sex marriage. And look, they failed to bring about the downfall of society. If their love won't destroy the world, I think the two lesbians who live next door to me will be all right.
10. Clarence Worley & Alabama Whitman
This has got to be the ultimate wish fulfillment love story. But if it is, why do I like it so much? I give full credit to Quentin Tarantino's brilliant writing, Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette's endearing performances, and Tony Scott for making it all work. A down on his luck guy who works a minimum wage job at a comic book store just happens to meet a women at a Kung Fu movie marathon, they go for pie, tour his comic shop, she likes all the same things he likes, have sex, she reveals she was a hooker after hired by his boss to cheer him up, but she genuinely fell in love with him and they go to City Hall and get married the next day. Yeeeeeaaaaah... this never happens in real life (although she did confess she hated the Partridge Family afterwards). Thankfully, that's only how the movie starts up. How does it end? Well, frankly, that depends on if you subscribe to Tony Scott's happy ending, which made it into the movie, or Tarantino's tragic ending which appears as an extra on the DVD. Well, considering that Alabama became a thief and was at some point partnered with Mr. White before the events of "Reservoir Dogs," I subscribe to Tarantino's ending being the true canon. So why is it on here? Because I admire it for taking a concept so fucking ludicrous and not only making it great, but heartwarming. Execution is everything.
9. Demona & Macbeth
Yeah, I admit, this probably shouldn't be on here. It's not canon, and a lot of it is based on where I think these characters would ultimately end up after a couple more centuries of character development. So why are they here? Because there is still an intimate connection there. Because even Weisman admitted there was love there at one point, definitely on her side. Hey, Demona was their Shakespearean Lady Macbeth. They just have so much chemistry between them, and even if I am wrong they are still great fun to watch. So yes, I admit, this shouldn't be here. But call it an exercise in self-indulgence.
8. Guts & Caska
"Berserk" is such a great series that I would hate to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it or seen it. But this particular love story is about two broken people who get over themselves after years and get together... only for tragedy to strike and for them to get broken far worse than they already were previously. Their story is still not over yet, Caska is still shattered and Guts has only recently begun emotionally healing, if physically destroying himself even further. And yet, I just cannot see a happy ending here.
7. Lucifer Morningstar & Mazikeen
Okay, this isn't love so much as two twisted people who enjoy each other's company while playing a game for the cosmos, they're just on the same side (most of the time). If Lucifer respects anybody, it is Mazikeen. He's fond of her, but he doesn't love her. She is devoted to him, but not naive enough to believe he'll love her either. It's not that these two are using each other, even if Lucifer uses everybody, but two people playing a game with a prize being their own place in the universe. Of course, they end up going their separate ways.... but it was fun while it lasted, even if it could never have worked.
6. John Sheridan & Delenn
A lot of couples hook up saying they're going to do great things. Become stars. Stick it to the man. Sheridan and Delenn came from two different worlds (literally), but united with one goal in mind. To defeat the Shadows and save the galaxy. But as the Shadow War played out, and the stakes were raised beyond what they could see coming, they expanded their own goals as well. Sheridan and Delenn kicked the First Ones out of the galaxy, Delenn stopped asking her people for permission to form a union with a human and just did it anyway, and Sheridan toppled a fascist regime that arose on Earth... they stuck it to the man. Then they formed the greatest empire the galaxy had ever seen as President and Vice-President of the Interstellar Alliance... they didn't just become stars, they became legends... and then they became myth. It all came with a hefty price, however. Aside from the fact that they did have to work hard for this, their time together was brief. But that was they price they paid.
5. Hawkeye & Black Widow
"Love is for children." I am using the movie versions of these characters because, quite frankly, this just about sums up every tryst or relationship I've ever had. These two are good together now, could be better for each other later, but they're not there yet. Will they ever be there? That's not what's important. What is important for them is the reality of now. And right now, neither one of them is the settling down and marrying kind. That's where I am now, and I thought it was very refreshing to watch play out on screen.
4. Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson
You know what? I'm still angry about these two. I am continually amazed at how hard outside forces have worked to destroy them; and I don't mean Green Goblin, Doc Ock, or Venom. I mean terrible editorial decisions or edicts from above, or terrible portrayals in just about every adaptation. Peter and MJ in the 90's cartoon? Terrible! Peter and MJ in the Raimi Trilogy? Disgraceful! I think what I like about them in the original comics is that these are the two people who shouldn't have gotten together, weren't meant to get together, but destiny pushed them in that direction. Sometimes the characters tell you what their story is and not the other way around. So when they did get together and get married, it felt like true organic growth. This is why Marvel's undoing of all this doesn't work, it wasn't organic or believable, it was a forced edict and a complete re-writing of their characters. This is why it didn't work in the two adaptations I mentioned, because MJ is there to be the love interest and nothing more. It wasn't love at first sight, they didn't share this connection when they were toddlers. They met as adults, went on a few dates, it didn't work out but they stayed friends while they saw and fell for other people, and time, tragedy and life eventually brought them together. It was an adult relationship. But Marvel doesn't want that, and the adaptations I mentioned can't have that.
3. Goliath & Elisa
The whole notion of beauty and the beast has been done to death long before "Gargoyles" came along, and yet I loved this relationship from the word "go." Once again, it's an adult relationship. While we don't know much of anything about Elisa's romantic past before meeting Goliath, when she meets Goliath he is, for all intents and purposes going through a very violent divorce. There are many reasons why these two should not have gotten together. Even if Elisa was a gargoyle, it wouldn't have made this relationship any easier. Gargoyles mate for life, the very notion that Goliath's mate can be out there without the two of them being together is almost an alien concept to them, likewise they don't take new mates after one mate dies. There are many reasons Goliath didn't think he should fall for Elisa, the two of them being different species being just one of those reasons. Likewise, Elisa had many reasons to deny and refuse to talk about the feelings she was developing for Goliath, although with her the species thing was the big one. This is a couple who love each other and respect each other. But they won't change for each other, and they respect each other so much they wouldn't eve dream of asking the other to change for them. But they still make sacrifices for on another, and in the end they both realized that normalcy's so overrated.
2. Rick Blaine & Ilsa Lund
If you love someone, let them go. I hate that phrase, but here it's true. You know this story, even if you haven't seen "Casablanca" you know this story. Two star-crossed lovers who meet during war, are torn apart only to meet again. The first time they met, Ilsa believed her husband, Victor, was dead... only to learn he was alive and organizing resistance against the Nazis, and she left to join him. When Rick and Ilsa meet later, on the run from the Nazis, they could get back together, almost do get back together, have Victor's blessing to get back together, but don't. They love each other enough to say good-bye because there things much bigger and more important than they are. During a time of war, everybody has to make sacrifices and for them, their love is a big one. But they do it. Lesson is, if you're going to break up a beloved couple this is how you do it. Take notes, Marvel.
1. David Xanatos & Fox
I'll be honest, as far as fictional couples go, these two have always been my idea for what a perfect relationship is. David and Fox love each other, respect each other, and admire each other as equals. For as much as he is the villain, David didn't want, well let's face it, he didn't want a Harley Quinn. Only a pathetic lowlife would want their own Harley Quinn. Nor did he want June Cleaver waiting at home for him. David wanted someone cut from the same cloth as him. Someone who could outplay him at chess, challenge him, and had ambitions outside of him. Real love and romance isn't all consuming obsession with the other, these two still live their own lives and have their own projects. They would do just about anything for the other, and neither of them ever make the other prove it. Like some of my other top contenders, these two are adults, and neither of them changed for the other, nor did love soften them. I suspect they'll both continue to scheme as they grow old together.