I Don't Care About Celebrity Divorces, But I Do Care When Fictional Couples Split

Photo: Norbert Kesten/Rex/REX USA
It's not necessarily that I don't care about celebrity divorces. Ending a relationship you thought would last forever, and dealing with everything from the legal to the personal consequences — all in the public eye — must be incredibly hard. I wish Gwen and Gavin, Ben and Jen, and Blake and Miranda all patience and privacy. But those shiny couples' partings don't affect me emotionally. News of their separations didn't lead me to pronounce that love is dead, or to reconsider my thoughts on marriage or monogamy. News of Miss Piggy and Kermit splitting, however, is another story.

My attachment to the romantic relationships of fictional characters, played by actors or puppets, is near instantaneous and might be troubling to even the most rabid shipper. Waiting for the TV in my college common room, I caught the end of a single episode of what I've been told is the far inferior 90210 remake. In it, a young (high school? college?) couple wed, with the suggestion that the groom might be dying of some terminal disease. The plot was thin, the dialogue was crappy, and I had no intention of seeking out the next season. But I'd obsessively check the recaps each week, just to see if those crazy kids had beaten the odds.

CW dramas are meant to hook you with melodramatic romances, but my need to pair characters off, and for those respective pairs to stay together forever, isn't limited to attractive twentysomethings on TV. I was ready to walk out of Happy Feet if the message about being true to yourself and accepting difference didn't lead to an ultimate penguin-gets-girl ending. I just know the couples in diamond commercials will be giving each other dazzling jewelry heavy with meaning for years. I hope Angelina and Brad will really stay together 'til death, for their sake. But regardless of the actors' martial status, Mr. and Mrs. Smith will still be having passionate and very aerobic sex, and that's what's important.

The appeal of fictional lovers over real-life, red carpet romances is obvious. Even setting aside the dismal longevity stats for celebrity marriages, all mortal couples will eventually be separated, unless they die Notebook style. Even Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were parted eventually, but Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will be together forever. So, let the celebrity relationships fall; even if some pairings aren't meant to be, there's no changing their outcome. But everyone, especially The Muppets writers, would do better to leave Miss Piggy and Kermit alone.

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