Visual Romance

So pretend for a moment you have no romance novels to read – Candy, given the multiple universes need to house your TBR pile, I know this is a bit of a stretch. But pretend you have no romances to read, and you’ve re-read everything in your keeper shelf a million times. The order you placed isn’t here, and you are a-hankerin’ for some romance, stat.

Where do you go? Well, fire up the telly: What tv shows and movies satisfy your romance-love jones?

TV:

X Files: I will mention this first because redwyne was kind enough to send me an X-Files desk wallpaper that about knocked my socks off. I love this show, and I love that my TiVo has six million episodes saved up, though Hubby is getting pissed that there’s not room for Quantum Leap. But I have to clarify: aliens? Conspiracy? Black oil? Do I care? Meh. I watch the episodes according to the relationship episode guide and check out the subtle ways in which Mulder and Scully interact with each other. I even have this theory that they were all kinds of hookin’ up after the first season or so, and we just never saw it on camera. But when it comes to nuanced portrayals of attraction, particularly attraction unfulfilled, the writers of the early seasons had it cold.

NCIS: Are you watching this show? I love this show. And again, crime? Murder investigation? Drama? Meh – not so much. But the weird mentor/mentee affection between Abby and Gibbs? And the sparring between Kate and Anthony? Oh, baby, baby, how was I supposed to know? Kate and Anthony particularly are great to watch for that attractive romantic spark because they walk that fine line – but never cross over into “I hate you,” ” NO, I hate YOU” bickering. They work together, he gives her shit, she gives him shit, but when the poop hits the oscillating air circulating device, they have each other’s backs, no question.

CSI: Crime? Guts? Gore? Meh. Grissom & Sara? Whoa. Seriously, I never even noticed until one episode hit me over the head with it, and I was all, “Huh? Seriously?” I googled “Grissom and Sara CSI” and holy hell did I miss that boat when it sailed. There were already comprehensive websites tracing the clues to their possible relationship. And it’s nowhere near as fun now that Sara keeps bringing it up. Sheesh.

Buffy: Buffy. Angel. Spike. Mrowr.

SportsNight: This show lasted one season, but mercifully it came out on DVD last year. It’s an Aaron Sorkin show, and if you’re familiar with the first two seasons of the West Wing, you know the rapid dialogue and verbal content of the show moves the plot and the character development – same with SportsNight. If you’ve never seen it, imagine a behind-the-scenes portrayal of a SportsCenter-esque show with cast romances. Marvelous – dialogue driven romance. Just the way I like it.

Cupid: Six years ago, there was the fantastic show that I liked. As a result of my saying out loud how much I liked it, it was cancelled. Cupid starred Jeremy Piven as Cupid, the God of Love, cast out of the heavens for his cynicism and only allowed to return once he’s matched 100 couples in true love. Marshall plays Claire Allen, the psychologist into whose care Cupid, or Trevor Hale as he calls himself, is released by the courts. And as luck would have it, Allen runs a lonely hearts group of people trying to learn to make romantic connections with other people. Each episode featured a short-term storyline of two people being brought together by Hale, and the series, as long as it lasted anyway, dealt with the attraction between Hale and Allen. Oh holy moly did I love this show. I wish it was out on DVD. Maybe I should stop doing all this blogging and just write letters to CBS all day.

Movies:

The Butchers’ Wife: Does anyone remember this? Demi Moore starred as some wackass chick from a rural island who interprets signs from above that a butcher who washes up on the shore of her island is her dream man, and marries him and follows him home to New York. And of course, they aren’t entirely meant to be, but once she’s in Manhattan, she meets the man who is her other half, and hilarity ensues. I don’t know why I love this movie, as it’s not spectacularly good, but I do.

Bull Durham: is this movie about sports, about sex or about love? I’d argue that it’s a romance, though it takes it’s sweet time getting there, and the lead characters are all over other people aside from each other. But the sparks between Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon – boo yah.

Sleepless in Seattle : OK, I know it’s hokey. But gosh I love this movie, specifically for the moment when Meg Ryan gets off the plane in Seattle, about to track Tom Hanks down, and he’s there in the airport dropping someone off, and sees her and looks like lightning hit him smack on the schnoz. Bam. Love it.

When Harry Met Sally: It’s not that I have a thing for Meg Ryan. She more than annoys me. But this movie also charms me to no end, particularly because each character is so completely blind and oblivious to how they really feel, but still manage to have a fantastic friendship in spite of it. And there’s also that scene with the wagon wheel.

Categorized:

Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Beth says:

    OH MY GOD YOU REMEMBER CUPID!!!!!!

    I LOVED that show, why the HELL did they cancel it, Jeremy Piven was so FREAKING great and it was funny and clever and and and WHY did they cancel it???

    I love that you know this show. I thought I’d hallucinated it. Man, I miss it. Who do we campaign to get it put on dvd? Except I dunno if I want to see it again since I’d want it to continue, I mean I want to see those two getting together. I NEED to see it happen. I miss this show so much. *sob*

    Oh, and for my own personal tv romance quick-fix, I watch Gilmore Girls. I know it’s disgustingly girly, but I can’t help it. It’s that whiz-bang clever dialogue, and Luke and Lorelai? Together? Brill. Love it.

    Okay, off to google Cupid.

  2. 2
    Candy says:

    This is going to sound really, really sad, but I can’t think of a single TV show I like which I watched mostly for the romantic tension except for Cupid—you’re right, it was cancelled way too early. Moonlighting was good, but I only managed to catch a couple of episodes back in Malaysia.

    As for favorite romantic movies, these here are a few I love:

    - The Royal Tennenbaums: Luke Wilson. Owen Wilson. Gwyneth Paltrow not being annoying. A Wes Anderson movie. YAY!

    - Rushmore: Jason Schwartzman is so damn cute. The quirky love triangle is just a bonus.

    - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: I think this is probably one of the best love stories, ever.

    - Some Like it Hot: OK, maybe I watch this mostly to see Jack Lemmon in drag.

    - Grosse Pointe Blank: The part where he’s trying to kill someone while screaming out his love for Debi? Made me laugh, made me go “Awwww.”

    I’m sure there are more, but these are what came to mind.

  3. 3
    Beth says:

    (psst! Click here – I like Bitterbetter and Fame most.)

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    OK, first, I have a cool Grosse Pointe Blank story. Back in the day, I worked at a hotel in Evanston, IL, and went to Northwestern U. for a quarter. One night I got to my shift at the front desk and was told ‘some movie star’ is up in the penthouse and might call down for stuff to be sent up. Whatever.

    So an hour later, the phone rings. Hello, John Cusack. Fax things to us in the main office? Make copies and then bring those copies to the penthouse? No problem!

    I go stand by the fax machine – and the preliminary script for Grosse Pointe Blank starts printing. I make copies for all the dudes up there working on it, and of course I read it, and then send the copies up to the penthouse suite. For the rest of the night, they fax drafts to the main office from their computer, I make copies, and send them up. My shift ended before they stopped and when I came back they had all checked out. But there is my brush with greatness. Cool, huh?

    Now, as for Cupid, I can’t believe other people remember that show! EEEEEEE! If we were meeting in real life I’d be jumping up and down squealing like a little girl. I might even have to put my hair in pigtails.

    I haven’t seen Cupid on any portable media, and I keep looking for torrents of it, but sadly, none found. If you find anything, let me know!!!!

    I don’t know if Claire and Trevor would have gotten together, but I think they would have – I think he was the one sending her gifts that she thought were from her boyfriend. And I think she would have figured it out. But gosh, I miss that show.

  5. 5
    Danielle says:

    I should have known the Smart Bitches would be Cupid fans! And don’t feel bad, Sarah, it was really me & my husband that killed it. If we both love a show it’s guaranteed to get cancelled (see: Strange Luck, Millennium, Action, Firefly, etc).

    Jeremy Piven is wonderful – I wish someone would cast him as a straight romantic lead. I got sucked into watching that POS movie with Mandy Moore as the President’s daughter the other night, because he & Annabella Sciorra were in it as a secondary couple of Secret Service agents. God, they were adorable.

  6. 6
    Beth says:

    Okay, and my Cupid googlement has reminded me that Cupid couldn’t have sex or he’d lose his immortality. Talk about a GREAT internal conflict. Seriously, this show was brilliant. Great premise, all of it.

    But I think it was on opposite NBC’s then-unstoppable Thursday night line-up, so no wonder it’s dead.

  7. 7
    Sarah says:

    Oh man, Jeremy Piven makes some seriously crap ass shows worth watching. That HBO show “Entourage” that isn’t really about anything except four obnoxious guys with way too much money? Totally watched it every time to see Jeremy Piven chew on the scenery as the slimy hardball agent, Ari. LOVE him.

    And oh gosh, Danielle, I am right there with you. If I like a show, it is destined for the dustbin. It’s awful. It’s to the point where I won’t even discuss shows I like because voicing their name reknits the Fabric of the Cosmos and suddenly I’m in a world where that show doesn’t exist anymore.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    YES! Cupid did get moved up against NBC’s Thursday night Must-See-TV lineup, and I clearly remember watching NBC from 8-9, then changing to Cupid from 9-10, then back to NBC for ER. Back when I watched ER. Which I don’t know. Because it got so ever-loving stupid. One of my friends, Iron Lesbian #2, pointed out that it got dumb the minute the stories were more about the individual characters’ lives outside of the hospital, as opposed to their lives IN the hospital, and the lives of the patients in the hospital that episode. But don’t get me started on ER and it’s mad, spastic shark-jumping.

    OH, and the no-sex thing. I totally forgot about it. And wow, yes, it was brilliant. Seriously, if I ever have my own cable network, I’m bringing back Cupid.

    And the early seasons of La Femme Nikita from USA-Network.

  9. 9
    Wendy says:

    Movie that satisfies the romance jones: Out of Sight.  The scene in the trunk is second only to the scene in the bar.  I know there are a lot of J.Lo detractors, but when this movie was made she was still Jennifer Lopez.  So, there’s that, and my great love of the book.  I dig the movie.  Cannot pass it up.

  10. 10
    Jonquil says:

    FarscapeRemington Steele.  (I’m assuming my TV has a time machine attached.) Early Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  11. 11
    sybil says:

    Oh I completely agree with wendy, Out of Sight was great.

    Tequila Sunrise is a 80s movie I have great love for.  This should shame me cuz it is cheesy but the hot tub scene makes you really not care.

    I was and still am a complete xfileswhore.  I loved mulder and scully.  I am one of those shipper people ms giggles hates.  The only thing currently on air that I watch is Deadwood.

    I have never seen cupid, is it on dvd?  It seems everything is these days.

  12. 12
    Jo says:

    I’m right with you on the X-Files, too.  Only, it’s my slashy heart that goes pitter pat.  Not that I don’t like the Mulder/Scully thing.

    For movie romance, I love The Terminator.  “I came through time for you, Sarah.”  ::sigh::

  13. 13
    white raven says:

    I adored The Butcher’s Wife.  It remains one of my all-time favorite films. 

    They had at least three romance plots going and interwove them beautifully.  Movies like Love, Actually could have taken a few cues from that film on how to transition seamlessly from one plot to the other without sacrificing character development.

  14. 14
    Sarah says:

    YES. “Terminator” had about the fastest “first we meet and two hours later we’re in bed” scene ever – but you totally bought it because he’d been in love with her for eons. Gosh, I’m going to have to dab my brow with a Kleenex.

    And I have to add another old-school show that I loved: “Anything But Love” with Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis. The first season when they danced around their attraction to each other, oh my, oh my. Great.

    And, don’t flame me too hard, but for uber-cheese hard core saccharine romance: “Beauty and the Beast” – the tv show with Linda Hamilton and that furry guy. Vincent. Mrowr!

    I even had the tape where he read poetry. I swear. I had it baaaaad.

  15. 15
    Darlene says:

    TV shows—The first season of Remington Steele, Firefly, Beauty and the Beast, BBC Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton, A&E’s Pride and Prejudice, and while it’s not truly romance, A&E’s Horatio Hornblower.

    Oh, and my boys used to call me when they were watching Highlander: “Mom, he’s taking off his shirt again!”  Smart kids know what mom likes.

    Movies—I like the classic B&W flicks:  Casablanca, Cluny Brown, The Scarlet Pimpernel (Leslie Howard/Merle Oberon version), The Quiet Man.

  16. 16
    Candy says:

    Oh yes! I’d totally forgotten about Remington Steele. Ohhh, I used to love that show as a kid. Damn. Is THAT out on DVD yet?

    Oooh, oooh, just remembered: Northern Exposure had some good romantic tension going on, and I LOVE that series.

  17. 17
    Candy says:

    OK, I’m going to pull some fairly obscure shit on you guys: Anyone remember Something is Out There? It starred Maryam D’Abo as an alien trying to track down this crazy shapeshifting killer alien called a xenomorph, and her partner is this tall, dark, cranky cop. I loved it, but I was also all of 12 years old when I watched it. Don’t know if it’ll be still as good if I see it as an adult.

  18. 18
    Sarah says:

    YES – Northern Exposure had some excellent sexual tension – and couples in various stages of romance if I remember correctly. Oh, the tension between Joel and Maggie. *sigh*

    And A&E’s Pride and Prejudice? Now I really am going to faint.

    Oh – and the Mrs. Peel years of “The Avengers.” The original series, too, not that God-awful movie. Talk about not-so-subtle innuendos in the opening credits. She shoots the cork off a very foamy bottle of champange that Steed is holding…in front of his crotch. 

    But I never saw Something is Out There? Was it on in the US?

  19. 19
    Candy says:

    Yes, Something is Out There is American. From the IMDB search, it seems as if it was a miniseries that was then turned into a very, very short-lived TV show. More info at this here website.

  20. 20
    Jaci says:

    CSI – Not just Grissom and Sarah…but also Warrick and Catherine. Oh yeah..that sexual tension is there…and it’s not spoken about.

    Grosse Pointe Blank – God I love this movie. Nuff said

    My shameful little secret? You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Smarmy met-on-the-internet romance. Can’t help it. When he says “Don’t cry, Shopgirl,” I lose it every time. I’m so pathetic.

    Jaci

  21. 21
    Ankah says:

    Can you believe I don’t have cable? Not even basic. On a good day, I can get the God Channel, which oddly enough, comes in clear as a bell, even w/o the rabbit ears at full extension. I don’t remember any romance watchin’ since my 3rd grade Days of Our Lives experience, where I watched and waited and rooted for Steve and Kayla to get together.

    Anyway, I agree with Candy: Eternal Sunshine has got to be the most touching love story ever.

    Right next to True Romance, French Kiss, Sabrina, and Run Lola Run.

  22. 22
    Candy says:

    Oh, I can’t believe I forgot True Romance and Run, Lola, Run. I just watched True Romance last weekend, actually. The love story is sweet, but really, my favorite parts are when Gary Oldman gets to chew scenery as Drexl the pimp.

  23. 23
    Jennifer says:

    Firefly –
    Loved that show.
    Why did they cancel it, why???

    The Experts –
    OK – it can be gruesome, but it has some hot actors and the tension is pretty high.

    Smallville –
    It just keeps getting better.

  24. 24
    Danielle says:

    Jennifer: the Firefly movie is coming out in the fall, yay!

    I don’t remember Something is Out There. My preteen TV love was Bruce Boxleitner (stop laughing. No, really, STOP IT.) from Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

    There are obviously some Cusack-lovers here, so I can’t believe no-one’s mentioned Say Anything yet. Lloyd Dobler ruined me for actual high-school boys.

  25. 25
    Wendy Duren says:

    Yes, Lloyd Dobler. **Sigh** Highschool boys didn’t stand a chance after him.

  26. 26
    Candy says:

    Ugly confession time: I haven’t watched Say Anything yet.

    *ducks rotten tomatoes*

  27. 27
    Wendy Duren says:

    Say Anything…but that Candy. Duck those rotten tomatoes on your way to Blockbuster.

  28. 28
    sybil says:

    I shall go stand in the corner with candy.  I haven’t seen Say Anything either.  But I did love Grosse Pointe Blank.

  29. 29
    Bron says:

    A&E’s Pride and Prejudice is a definite classic. I can’t think of many other romantic movies or TV shows though off-hand that I loved. I don’t get out much ;-) The Year of Living Dangerously comes to mind – not strictly a romance, and I’ve read the book so many times that I may be confusing bits of movie and bits of book, but I loved the relationship between (a very young) Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver.

    And, still thinking of that generation of Australian productions which probably no-one else has seen, the Helen Morse/Bryan Brown mini-series of A Town Like Alice was good too – it was released in the US, I think, but under a different name.

    Oh, and Hornblower is definitely a romance. Me and Ioan, with a HEA, every episode ;-)

  30. 30
    Bron says:

    Wire in the Blood – almost forgot it! The developing relationship between Tony and Carol is just beautiful. Don’t know if its on in the US, but if it is, Watch. It.

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