With You’re the Worst, Master of None, and Love (to name a few), television has seen an influx of smart takes on singlehood that are moving away from some of the tired tropes of the past. Not all the way away — those tropes will outlives us all — but when you watch those shows, there’s a thread of realism and it’s not as teeth gnashingly frustrating.
With other shows, however, the single person’s struggle still unfolds as characters fumble through an oft unrecognizable existence of exaggerated loneliness and despair or fall in and out of impossible love stories with great frequency. And while this may all be in the name of entertainment, no one wants to see a boring or wholly unrealistic caricature of their existence. Especially not when a choice is made to reject originality and relatability and churn out a “safe” rom-com that adds nothing to the conversation. So, with that in mind, we decided to look at some of television’s past and present rom-coms to highlight some of the most egregious misconceptions about single life in the faint hope that we all might wince when we stumble upon them in the future.
You are probably not embroiled in a love triangle.
The love triangle is a well-trodden trope in sitcoms and dramas alike. Sometimes a person’s reason for singleness is simply that they cannot choose, you guys! (Cue eye-roll.) While people on television may be lousy at making choices, chances are, in real life, two beautiful people aren’t vying to win your heart at the same time. No offense, that kind of stuff only happens on TV.