It’s a predicament of being a TV watcher in a post-Grey’s Anatomy age that now, every time one character on any show casts a sidelong glance at another, our mind jumps right to, “hmm, are they going to become an item?” And with more than half of our favorite shows these days featuring so-called platonic relationships between plucky women and their masculine bosses (Peggy and Don of Mad Men, Liz and Jack on 30 Rock, Betty and Daniel on Ugly Betty, just to name a few), this phenomenon is beginning to seriously mess with our heads. Witness last Thursday’s “Galentine’s Day” episode of Parks and Recreation…
In case you didn’t catch the meaningful exchange between deputy director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), it went something like this: When Leslie couldn’t quite put her finger on why her boyfriend Justin (guest star Justin Theroux) was annoying her, Ron gave voice to her frustrations, explaining, “Basically, Leslie, he’s selfish and you’re not.”
So maybe it was just notable because Ron is usually such a hardass (Vulture called the possibility of their romance “some season-four shit”), but maybe, just maybe, the writers were laying some kind of groundwork? We googled it, and people, Ron/Leslie *shippers are out there.
Some have argued that The Office has never quite been the same since bringing its central will-they-or-won’t-they couple together. Watching 30 Rock‘s platonic pairing theoretically provides an antidote to that problem — that is until we start to think of a Jack and Liz coupling as a real possibility. (See: Liz telling Avery Jessup that she doesn’t know what she’d do without him.)
What’s a fan to do? Part of us, still reeling from past ill-advised hookups, wants to scream “Noooooo!,” and indeed, Television Without Pity has already made clear that several of these couplings would traumatize them. But then there’s the other half of us (the half that still watches Grey’s Anatomy), which tends to think, “OK, let’s just take these flirtations to their logical conclusion.”
Check out a very special Jack/Liz shipper video below that’s set to “Hungry Eyes,” and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
* “Shipping, derived from the word ‘relationship’, is a general term for fans’ emotional and/or intellectual involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction… People involved in shipping (or shippers) assert that the relationship does exist, will exist, or simply that they would like it to exist.” Thank you, Wikipedia.