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Television’s All-Time Greatest Will They, Won’t Theys

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One of television’s most widespread, and most welcome, recent trends is the rise of the genuine romantic comedy — a show that doesn’t simply build up to two characters’ relationship, but follows it as it deepens and develops. Still, television has excelled at long-running romantic plot lines for years, just in a slightly different incarnation: the Will They, Won’t They, in which a love connection develops (or doesn’t) over a period of years, with lots of tension and mishaps in between. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are ten of the trope’s most iconic examples, from the ’80s sitcom to the modern antihero drama.
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‘Weekend with Bernie’: Young Artists Mobilize for Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism

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“Tonight, with what appears to be a record-breaking voter turnout,” Bernie Sanders told an elated crowd in New Hampshire last evening, “because of a yuge voter turnout — and I say ‘yuge’! — we won — because we harnessed the energy and excitement that the Democratic party will need to succeed in November!” Exit polls from the historic primary victory drive home Sanders’ point; Clinton, who has (until recently) campaigned on the strength of the party establishment, was overtaken in nearly every conceivable demographic and political category, even those in which she once held an outsized advantage. Meanwhile, Sanders’ youth numbers are staggering: 83% of voters ages 18-29 chose him over Clinton.
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Is the Critic a Parasite? On A. O. Scott’s ‘Better Living Through Criticism’

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“Our drive to create originates in — and compensates for — a primal feeling of alienation, of lostness in the universe and confusion about our identity,” New York Times film critic A. O. Scott writes in Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth. If the title here implies self-help (and it wouldn’t be the first such book inspired by Rilke’s final injunction in “Archaic Torso of Apollo”), the tone of the above suggests pop psychoanalysis. Scott goes on: “Frequently aligned with that sense of our original inadequacy is, somewhat paradoxically, a perception of our subsequent decline.”
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