You can’t have a best list without a worst list.
Okay, you can, but sometimes it’s fun to compile both.
When it comes to triangles, though, what makes one triangle
better than the other?
Personally, I think it comes down to popularity.
A successful triangle has people on both sides rooting for different
configurations within the triangle.
An unsuccessful triangle is one that there’s no doubt about
what the outcome is going to be.
So, what are the worst triangles in television and movies?
10. Lex, Lana, Clark (Smallville): This triangle had trouble
written all over it from the get go. Let’s get this out of the way right at the
start, Kristin Kreuk is a poor actress. Poor. I mean really poor. The best
thing that ever happened to ‘Smallville’ was Lana Lang leaving town -- too bad it didn't happen years before it did, but I digress. Before
that, though, Lana spent some time torn between bad boy Lex and good guy Clark. The problem
is, fans knew they could never invest in Lana and Clark because of the Superman
mythology and the introduction of Lois Lane. Fans also knew they didn’t want to invest in Lex and Lana because,
well, even though he was a sociopath, Lex deserved better than Lana. Is my Lana hate
9. Brooke, Lucas, Peyton (One Tree Hill): This triangle was
stacked to one side from the beginning. The writers of ‘One Tree Hill’ set up
Peyton and Lucas as a great love story from the initial minutes of the
long-running show. Sure, Lucas hooked up with Brooke first – and he dumped her
for Peyton pretty quickly. When that didn’t work out, he decided he loved
Brooke (even though Peyton was pining for him). Brooke finally let Lucas back
in only to find Lucas and Peyton sneaking around behind her back again. The
thing is, Brooke was never really a consideration for Lucas. They were great
friends – but he never truly loved anyone but Peyton.
8. Ted, Robin, Barney (How I Met Your Mother): This is one
of those triangles that never even should have been suggested, let alone
tried. First of all, the appeal of
Barney is that he is an unapologetic ladies man. He’s also loyal. He would
never go after his friend’s ex-girlfriend. It’s just not in his nature. Sure, Barney told Ted about his feelings and asked if it was O.K. to pursue his feelings for Robin -- but the truth is that Barney would never have asked the question to begin with. When
you couple that with the fact Robin just isn’t worth Ted or Barney’s affections?
Yeah, it’s one of primetime’s most ill conceived triangles.
7. Rory, Dean, Jess (Gilmore Girls): I was never a big Jess
fan. Okay, that’s not true. When Jess came back –especially in season six – he was
a changed character that showed a lot of growth and warmth. When he was first
introduced, though, and during his run in seasons two and three he was a little
punk. The reason this triangle didn’t work is that the Dean character was
sacrificed on the Jess altar – and it just wasn’t fair. Dean wasn’t portrayed
as a genius in the first season – but he was certainly dumbed down the minute
Jess came to town. Jess was portrayed as this misunderstood loner that could be
changed by the power of love. The problem is, when he finally got Rory he still
mistreated her and left town. Now, I don’t believe for a second that Rory was
going to end up with either of these jokers, but this triangle should have been
dumped early on.
6. Zack, Kelly, Slater (Saved By the Bell): This triangle
didn’t really last long (it only felt like it – I promise). The problem is, as
far as characters go, Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Zack had so much more charisma than
Mario Lopez’ Slater that it wasn’t even funny. Sure, ‘Saved By the Bell’ was a
kid’s show – and continuity was never something the writers on the show did
well – but I know a lot of people in my age bracket that were crushed when Zack
and Kelly broke up. Thankfully, that misguided college season of ‘Saved By the
Bell’ did one thing right – it reunited Zack and Kelly. If only it could have
done the same thing for Slater and Jessie.
5. Ross, Rachel, Joey (Friends): I liked all of the “friends.”
I really did. I didn’t dislike a one of them. However, when Joey first
developed a crush on Rachel I thought it was out-of-place but harmless. After
all, Rachel could never reciprocate those feelings for Joey. The problem is,
the writers had her reciprocate the feelings – and one of the most
uncomfortable triangles in television history was born. I don’t think there was
any ‘Friends’ fan that ever though Ross and Rachel wouldn’t end up together. So
the Rachel and Joey coupling hurt relationships between Rachel and Ross and
Joey and Ross. Thankfully, the writers killed the couple pretty early into the
final season. Otherwise, fans would still be complaining.
4. Meredith, Derek, Addison (Grey’s Anatomy): I like all
three actors involved in the triangle. Okay, I like Ellen Pompeo as a person
and not an actor, but still, I don’t hate her. Either way, though, this
triangle seemed to come out of nowhere. First of all, Derek not telling
Meredith he was married seems wildly out of character for his “white knight”
doctor. Second, Addison is a woman that stands on her own two feet. Stalking
the guy that walked out on her doesn’t exactly seem like something she would
do. In most triangles, the writer has to try hard to make sure one person isn’t
too unlikeable. The problem with this triangle is that all three characters
3. Blair, Chuck, Dan (Gossip Girl): Penn Badgley is the
second most vapid 20-something in to grace the small screen in recent years. He ceded the title -- just barely -- to
co-star Chace Crawford. That’s a whole other rant, though. The Blair and Dan “romance”
not only came out of nowhere – but it was built on absolutely no
chemistry and forced contrivances. Let’s face it, ‘Gossip Girl’ is never going
to be award-winning programming. It’s only claim to fame is the Blair and Chuck
relationship. Luckily, the ‘Gossip Girl’ head honchos realized their mistake
early and harpooned Dan and Blair without a second thought. In the final season of 'Gossip Girl' all fans cared about was the reveal of the narrator's identity (totally boring) and the reunion of Chuck and Blair.
2. Edward, Bella, Jacob (Twilight): There’s never any doubt
where this triangle is going. Forget the fact – for a second at least – that these
are three of the most vacant characters in movie and literary history. Bella
never even remotely pretends that Jacob has a shot. Heck, she and Edward were
dating like two weeks before he dumped her and she went to bed for five months
and gave teenage girls everywhere a bad name. None of the actors in this
triangle are talented – but there have been plenty of actors that have launched
successful triangles without being talented. This triangle fell flat from the
very beginning. It had nowhere to go but up. It just never went up.
1. Han, Leia, Luke (Star Wars): Listen, this is my favorite
movie franchise of all time, but this triangle is all sorts of uncomfortable.
First of all, Mark Hamill really doesn’t have any charisma – so why anyone
would chose Luke and his phallic weapon over Harrison Ford’s Han and his
roguish charm is beyond me. Second, I think the fact that Leia and Luke kissed –
twice (thankfully only once on the mouth) -- is proof that George Lucas just
threw that Leia and Luke being twins things together at the last minute when he
was planning ‘Return of the Jedi.’ Either way, you can’t have a viable triangle
if two corners of it share DNA. Blech.
What do you think? What are the worst love triangles in