Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Romances about New Beginnings: New Year's 2019

Romances can be grouped into two very general categories: discovery and new beginnings.

Discovery is finding the love of one's life. It can entail actual discovery, an exploration, or revelation. In "Sleeping Beauty," the prince has to make his way through dangers, dragons (movie version) and thorns to reach the woman of his (sometimes literal) dreams. In "Beauty & the Beast," the great love is discovered hidden within the beast.

New beginnings is about starting over, recovering from a broken relationship, the thought "I'll never love again," the death of a mate, the cessation of hope. Sometimes it involves a change of locations as well as a change of relationships. Often it involves resolutions.

The two themes often go together--with an emphasis on one. Moonstruck, for instance, is about Cher's character Loretta discovering her fiance's brother but it is more about Loretta reclaiming her life and future. Bread & Tulips likewise is about two people, who meet almost accidentally, beginning new lives for themselves and with each other.

Eddie & Jamie, Season 8 finale
Recognition is a key component in both categories. It operates in the second as a way to change the direction of a relationship--as with Jamie and Eddie's relationship on Blue Bloods. Okay, yes, we all knew it was going to happen eventually! But the characters had to undergo a moment of catharsis in order to jump-start their new beginning. 

Granted, Jamie and Eddie's relationship comes with greater optimism than the possibly renewed relationship between Erin and Jack. The audience has been able to watch how well Jamie and Eddie work together for several seasons now. Frankly, going right to the marriage proposal was one of the smartest things the writers could have done.

"Baggage" is the problem that haunts the New Beginning romance for couples trying to re-new their relationship. Jamie and Eddie are exceptions. Generally speaking, the New Beginning romance works best when the focus is on one character's personal catharsis or new understanding. Life is renewed because that character sees it anew. Scrooge with romance.

Martin on Frasier is a great example of a character who sees life anew as he recovers from the death of his wife, the damage to his hip, and his estranged relationships with his sons. In one excellent Frasier episode, Martin remembers life as a cop before he was forced to retire. Before he leaves for his current part-time job as a security guard, he kisses his surprised sons goodbye.

Ronnie completes the life Martin is reclaiming; she doesn't make it happen.

Great romance!