‘Tis the (Break-up) Season!
Well people, the birds are chirping, the trees are starting to bud and the warm weather (periodically) seems to be here! From the Flatiron building here in Manhattan it looks like spring has sprung. Spring is lovely – I’m a big fan, I love the rainy days (it could be snow!), I love the brisk mornings (it could be freezing!), I love the way the sun finally stays out past 5:00 (it could be snowing in the freezing dark!). But the warmer weather also seems to lead right into another season – that’s right; I’m talking about break-up season. We survived the cold winter months with a charming someone to keep us company – and now, the candlelight has made way for real sunlight and it seems those cozy winter relationships might not make the grade. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there – and as Neil Sedaka so wisely wrote: “Breaking up is hard to do” (yep, that’s right, I had to google that, and honestly I expected it to be someone much more famous – or at least I name I had actually heard of).
As is often the case, we can see this real-life trend in some of our (my) favorite TV shows. (Spoiler Alert here for all New Girl, Mindy Project and Vampire Diaries fans – proceed with caution) Three of my favorite relationships have all gone the way of… something bad, since we’ve returned from March reruns and are building to May sweeps. Each break-up has given us a different perspective on break-ups, so let’s break it down.
The New Girl – YOU GUYS! Nick and Jess… I was bummed, shocked even that the writers took this bold move. The unexpected “will they? Won’t they?” nature of this relationship the sprung up at the end of season one and how it played out so well through season two help move this show from “sure it’s entertaining” to “must-watch” for me. Sure at the end of season two I was worried about where the show was going to go from there – and without the romantic tension, was it going to lose something? But season three has been bumpy on several fronts, but the Nick & Jess dynamic actually seemed to hold it together. So when the writers took the risk and broke them up, I was surprised, sad and curious. I will also say, this break up felt really honest. Two people realizing that something just isn’t right hit just the right note for me. Although I will say, I think the whole “still living with the guy you just broke up with” requires a serious suspension of belief, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few weeks – and in the next season.
It was a double whammy on the Fox Network – because from Nick and Jess, I went right along to Mindy and Danny – thinking, since they just had a hot make-out session in an airplane, we’d get some good romantic time for them. So you can imagine my surprise, when we all pulled a 180 watching Danny dump Mindy because he’s afraid. If Mindy had a sassy best friend, she definitely would have said “Sing it, sister! We’ve all been there!” This break-up also caught me off-guard, because it came so quickly on the heels of the previously mentioned make-out session. And I don’t know about you, but I’m still rooting for Mindy and Danny to have a real go at it.
So on to the one-hour drama break-up that was, predictably and by all accounts, much more dramatic. I will say, I didn’t see this one coming, but this also filled that “angry, unhappy, passionate, I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this” category of break-ups. Elena and Damon finally called it quits (then did a little making up, just to re-break-up). It was heated and unhappy – and unlike the two other break-ups I mentioned, it’s messy and ended with that terrible, gut-wrenching moment where someone says “I don’t want to see you anymore – and I don’t want to be your friend.” Of course, in the beautiful boy world that is the CW, we know this won’t actually last for these two, but there are definitely plenty of real life moments where you (or someone) has to force the full break – a clean cut. No goofy co-existing as co-workers or roommates here. This is heartbreak at its roughest.
So let’s take it back to the books, Swooners. Do you have a YA novel that deals with that treacherous and ubiquitous milestone of breaking up? How do you handle a break-up? How badly do you want Rainbow Rowell to write a break-up book? Comment below. And I’ll leave you with a slightly more recent lyrical reference for breaking-up, the new Ingrid Michelson song “Girls Chase Boys” sums it up nicely: “All the broken hearts in the world still beat, let’s not make it harder than it has to be.”