Monday, December 17, 2012

Triangles

I *think* I ordered this shirt online. Not sure *why* I did except that I've had a compulsion to read Archie comics since I was very little. My parents would never buy something as frivolous as comic books but my school chum, Mary, had PILES of them in her basement and in my most thoroughly bookworm-ish days, I'd lose myself in them during her parties... yeah, social skills probably weren't my forte at that stage.


So. Triangles. The Archie-verse is a good segue as there's the obvious Betty-Archie-Veronica example, followed closely by the Archie-Veronica-Reggie triad and the recently explored Jughead-Archie-"heterosexual female population of the world" hypothesis seen in Riverview High.

I'm a fan of triangles in general. They're naturally powerful and mysterious shapes. Might be a remnant of my Catholic upbringing or my Everything Irish Phase or the Drama Class where the visual importance of forming triangles on stage was drilled into us. BTW, yes, I also loved trig in high school. Want to visit the pyramids one day. Always like to put students into teams of three (especially since it's the easiest sizing to use in a class of thirty). As I gain life experience, I find the triangle of Life - work/play/rest - is a hard one to sort out satisfactorily. There's also the Logic/Spirtuality/Practicality trio... which is more of a Venn Diagram really. And wedding planning has taught me the fine tension between What You Want, What You Need, and What You Can Afford.  (Hmm... Yeah, I know I should probably have worked on that triumvirate earlier in life.)

Relationship triangles are useful narrative devices in television, movies and books that often further character and plot development, establish tensions and motivations, and provide opportunities for rivalry, cooperation, and betrayal. My current favourite television program is Lost Girl (despite the ridiculously long wait for Season 3 to start) and the show primarily focuses on the Dyson - Bo - Lauren entanglement, possibly the first mainstream television fully-realized bi-sexual relationship triangle. Correct me if I'm wrong.

For observers, well-written and developed relationship triangles are engaging because there's always someone to root for. Creating a third option (Cheryl Blossom, for instance) never amps up the tension because a tug-of-war really only goes in two directions. Add the third option and the centre of the conflict just starts to look fickle. And for those with a vested interest, there's usually a clear and obvious choice. 

Gotta admit that most of the hot new relationship triangles out there are beyond my sphere so please enlighten me to your favourite ones. What made it interesting? What made you lose interest? Are you a Betty or a Veronica? Team Archie or Team Adam? Angel or Spike? Xander or Oz? Can we please keep it Twilight-free?