The Long Road to Happiness: Will they or won’t they TV couples

Annie Bruce, Writer

It’s a television standard: Pair two people together with an insane amount of chemistry and play off the sexual tension for a couple seasons. When the viewers are practically begging the writers to put this obvious pair together, it inevitably happens. What happens next, however, is the interesting part. Fox’s “New Girl” is dealing with the aftermath right now. After having Jess share a smoking hot kiss, the writers have worked hard to make sure this development does not ruin the show.

Let’s see how other classic “will they or won’t they” couples have handled the post-kiss drama.

The too much back-and-forth couple: Ted and Robin from “How I Met Your Mother”

After painting Robin and Ted as the perfect couple in the pilot episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” Ted, of course, screwed it all up within a matter of minutes by accidentally blurting out that he loved Robin. Naturally it took this pair a little while to recover from that incident. By the end of season one, Robin and Ted embarked on an actual relationship. And then they broke up. And then they got back together. And then they broke up. The “How I Met Your Mother” writers took the whole “will they or won’t they” thing a little too far, and by the end, viewers became frustrated with the entire relationship.

The disastrous aftermath couple: Luke and Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls”

At the end of season four when Luke and Lorelai shared their much-anticipated first kiss, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, after the two got together, the writers messed everything up. They got engaged at a weird moment, broke up for stupid reasons and then Luke had a long-lost daughter pop up and didn’t tell Lorelai about it. There was never any doubt these two weren’t meant to be, but it took the characters until the series finale to find their happy ending.

The perfect transition couple: Jim and Pam from “The Office”

Jim and Pam are the cutest TV couple ever. When “The Office” first started, Pam is already engaged to someone else and turns Jim down when he tells her about his feelings. Once we get past these ridiculously stupid attempts to delay a Pam and Jim relationship, they begin dating at the end of season three. From there, the writers successfully kept the cuteness of Jim and Pam and turned it into a successful long-term TV relationship spanning six more seasons.

Results pending: Nick and Jess from “New Girl”

So far, the writers have done a remarkable job. The way “New Girl” handled the big kiss has been unique but not cliche, and entirely fitting for the characters on the show. They didn’t ignore the kiss and move on; it’s obvious both characters harbor feelings for each other they’re not quite ready to explore. Therefore, the ramifications of the kiss heard round the world are still playing out. If there’s a show on TV that can handle this delicate transition, my bet is “New Girl” can.