Men are from Chandler, Women are from Christie

The odd couple is one of television’s go-to moves — and so is the idea that no two people are as mismatched as a man and a woman, especially a man and a woman with sexual chemistry. The whole Mars/Venus crap gets name-checked when a man and woman share the lead in a show: it’s heteronormative and reductive and can be excruciating to watch — but it’s also pretty revealing about mainstream cultural attitudes toward gender roles.

Especially when the couple teams up to solve crime. The result then is a pair of narratives in search of the Truth-with-a-capital-T: one short truth story, that starts with a body and ends with a killer and is solved over the course of a single episode, and one long one, that plays out as the couple learn more about each other and their mutual sexypants feelings.

Let’s start with the ultimate mystery romance show: Remington Steele.

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TVĀ TropeĀ #4873

I’m watching a DVD of the defunct cable show, Deadwood. Part of the storyline involves an uber-racist White man (as if MOST White men weren’t like that in America in 1877), who is also poor, White trash and an alcoholic, just so we make sure that only THOSE types of WP are racist. Said White man had almost tarred and featured and lynched a Black man (played by Franklyn Ajaye) visiting a relation/friend of his in the camp, a Black man named Hostetler who owns the local livery stable.

Witchsistah breaks it down some more