The Best TV Relationships
It’s February and people sure like talking about luuuvvv in this short, cold month - and I am very, very, very into all of my TV streaming services.. as you know, if you’ve been reading along these last few months! Everything keeps coming back to TV. Sorry, not sorry. I thought I’d make a list of my favorite functional tv relationships.
Sorry for spoilers. But c’mon. Watch more television. ;o)
So here’s my list of Winners of Relationships!
Jake & Amy (Brooklyn 99)
Ben & Leslie (Parks & Rec)
Andy and April (Parks & Rec)
Jake and Boyle (Brooklyn 99)
Eleanor & Tahani (The Good Place)
Amy and Rosa (Brooklyn 99)
Hilda and her mom (Hilda)
Ron & Leslie (Parks & Rec)
Rosa & Amy (Brooklyn 99)
Eleanor & Michael (The Good Place)
So here is what I have learned from my list: Mike Schur comedies are wonderful for many reasons, and one is that they consistently have engaging, realistic, supportive relationships of all kinds!
So… what’s the deal with these relationships? Why are they so great? And NO it’s not just because, fictional. What do they do that makes them seem so wonderful? Here are the patterns that I see.
Not only do they treat each other with respect outwardly, they also totally respect and admire traits about the other person. Ben Wyatt is blown away by Leslie’s work ethic after knowing her for about 2 seconds. Jake Peralta completely adores Amy Santiago’s pursuit of knowledge and esoteric information. They know their significant other has value and they openly respect and admire them -- out loud and to other people. Jake says, “I have always
known you’d be my boss one day.” Ben is Leslie’s campaign manager. They respect their significant other to the point of actively helping them pursue their big goals. It works in both directions! Jake learns inane information at a barrel museum and immediately thinks to take Amy, and Amy is clearly catching up on all Die Hard movies and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cannon. Ben pretends to love a mini horse, Leslie provides the Iron Throne.
Even when they don’t totally get it, they are actively and verbally supportive of each other’s decisions and instincts. Take Jake and Rosa and their “1000 push ups” deal. They have a catchphrase based on, “trust me, support me.” Sometimes support is to stand silently by. Sometimes support is to lend a voice. Sometimes support is a one time big gesture, and other times it’s days of showing up. It’s going with their friend to have a hard conversation, and planning a big game night to show that their chosen-family will be there even when their relatives aren’t.
Humor and levity
Now maybe it’s because my favorite shows are all Mike Schur comedies, but also - I do believe that humor is a vital piece of relationships. We can only stay in deep and heavy for so long. We need light. We need levity. Healthy relationships involve a lot of reframing and a lot of putting-things-into-perspective -- and humor can be so helpful in taking something that could feel monumental and helping us put it into a manageable perspective.
Vulnerability and emotional intelligence
Every one of these examples has a time when they discuss their feelings. I think my very favorite example is every single time Boyle and Jake are on screen together (and can I just mention how freaking refreshing it is to see male friendships portrayed in such an exuberant, loving way??) Boyle is unabashed in his love for his friend, and in his own quippy way, Jake is too. In fact, I think that Jake and *Boyle’s* friendship is one of the reasons why Jake and Amy work together so well. Jake doesn’t have great relationship modeling from his parents, but he had great relationship practice and emotional vulnerability experience with Boyle! We do better in relationships with lots of practice in articulating our emotions.
I could write an entire blog post about the relationships in Brooklyn 99, and I probably will, sometime. They are seriously wonderful on so many levels. For now - here’s a fun little worksheet to add a little more lighthearted emotional vulnerability into your relationships!
This worksheet is designed to help you be a better partner! Love is in the details.
Q1. Describe the scene when you met your partner for the first time. Write down the scene - try to remember all the little things...music playing? The season? Who else was there?
Q2. What is something you’ve seen lately, maybe on TV or an ad on social media that you think your partner would get a kick out of?
Q3. Do you know your partner’s love language (touch, time, words, acts of service, gifts)? What are a few ideas of ways you can show/tell/remind them that you love them and are paying attention?
To sign up for my email list to get the full worksheet go here! I'll be sending the worksheet to the list about 2 days after this blog gets published! Make sure you sign up so you get the future worksheets too!