At the Untethered conference, one of the more thought-provoking presentations was from the founder of College Humor, who talked about how and why videos go viral. One of the major factors in encouraging someone to connect with and pass along a video is the “candy corn” factor- that common nostalgia centered on an object, moment, or common experience that you probably haven’t thought about in years.
I had a “candy corn” moment earlier today when I was thinking about tv shows that I saw early on which fed my interest in romance, specifically Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This was definitely one of my “romance foundation” shows, and I haven’t thought about it for years until the other day when the quote from the show popped into my head and I tweeted it later: “You can’t just walk into my life, hand me a package, tell me to give it to the man in the red hat, tell me you love me, & walk out again!”
Imagine my joy that the first season is available on DVD or via Netflix and iTunes.
I used to set the VCR to tape each episode as it ran in reruns at a time way past my bedtime. I figured out how to program the VCR, set it so it would use as little tape as possible, and fit nearly six episodes on each tape. I saw the first episode where they meet a LONG time after I found the show, and was shocked at how distant and rude Lee was to Amanda compared to how affectionate and eye-rolling tolerant he was in later episodes. Then once her family knew about him, it was a completely different dynamic compared to those early episodes where her even knowing him is a complete and utter secret.
The interesting thing about shows like Scarecrow, Moonlighting, Remington Steele, and the like is that they weren’t as satisfying for me once the couple resolved the tension and got together – “They Did It” pretty much killed the tension (and it jumped the shark) between Maddie and David, and it wasn’t as satisfying for me either once Scarecrow and Mrs. King emphasized that “and” between them. It was the little moments of tempting possibility that kept me watching – once her family knew about him and they were a couple, it wasn’t as … tense. And the reason to watch dissipated.
(Also, is it me or was it rather different at the time that Amanda was as single divorced mom heroine? I loved Amanda – she stood up for herself and followed her instincts and was unashamed and unabashed about being a mom, a housewife, and a smart woman. “Yes, yes, I’ll wait in the car,” and then she never did.)
Constrast that to my reading habits, where an extended series of will they-will-they-come ON ALREADY in a romance novel series drives me haywire batshit. I expect more resolution and faster development between protagonists in my romance fiction – which makes sense given the format differences even as I question my patience with television and my lack of patience with series that don’t develop as fast as I’d like. Maybe I’m too hard on my books.
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series worked so well for me, though, backwards and forwards, by which I mean that once I read the book that featured the greatest romantic payoff and solidified my suspicions about who Mercy would end up with, I went back and reread the previous books to read more into the sparse moments between those two characters. Once I know where the romantic thread is going, I like to see it develop again with – which is why I rewatched early seasons of the X-Files while referencing a “shippers guide” that has since been taken offline, so I could watch for moments in the series between Scully and Mulder that reveal that gaspy-oh-yes-it’s-true feeling.
Then there are those shows that followed a couple who were already together, like Hart to Hart. Did you like those shows as much where the “couple” was already together, or Was the tentative smidgen-by-smidgen romance part of the fascination? I was a big fan of secret-couple series, where the circumstances surrounding the partners require that their connection be kept a total secret –
Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Beauty and the Beast being the two major examples in my entertainment nostalgia-journey. I was damn near obsessed with those shows.
What shows fed your romance habit? I know we’ve talked about romance on tv and in movies before, and MERCY STUDMUFFINS did I spend money on DVDs after those threads, but in this case, I want to know which tv shows about slowly-developing romances were your candy corn, the ones you look back on and think, “OH, I LOVED that show!”
Also, does anyone else have the theme to Scarecrow & Mrs. King stuck in their heads? Because it’s been the soundtrack of my day for hours now. Oy. Wait, let me help. MWAAAAHAHAHAHA.
Is there anything hotter than flying Bruce Boxleitner with a beige sweater tucked into his pants? No. No, there is not.