I realised that I didn’t touch on Regina and Robin in my episode reaction post. And there’s a reason I simply forgot - I don’t care. And it’s not that I think the pairing is a waste of space, or don’t like one or both of the characters, or that it’s not worth exploring… The show just hasn’t led me up to giving a fig about it. (I’ll admit that this is partly because I find the whole concept of automatic true love with a total stranger incredibly, unbelievably stupid, and have ever since I was a kid reading fairytale books in large print.)
Emma and Graham was the same. Emma and Hook is turning out the same. No groundwork to make me care, though at least Emma and Hook have a history of adversarial snark. I didn’t much care for Emma’s backstory episode with Neal, but they pulled off the chemistry - you could understand why she was with him, and what it did to her when he betrayed her ‘for her own good’. With hindsight, you could completely understand why Neal was drawn to her, and thus how their past complicated their present feelings. Two damaged people who hit it off immediately, and apparently grew closer while sharing a life of crime. Whatever. It’s enough to set things up. Snow and Charming… I just don’t care. As individual characters, as Emma’s parents, as rulers - bring it on. As a couple?? I do not care. I have no idea what they actually see in each other, after almost three seasons.
It makes sense for an ongoing drama to invest the most in the relationships that aren’t going to be consummated, or at least not soon; a happy couple is the stuff dull drama is made off. The will-they/won’t-they keeps things alive - keeps viewers tuning in to find out. But if I’m going to believe that two people love each other, let alone that it’s magical, mystical, all-powerful “twue wuv” with a near stranger, I want to see what two people see in each other.
Belle and Rumple clicked. You could see it, scant as their backstory is; they make each other laugh and smile, they talk openly together, they challenge each other, they’re both deeply weird in complimentary ways, and you can read between the lines (not too hard!) and see a physical attraction going both ways, too. That’s enough for a relationship established in the backstory, so long as you build on it if it comes up again. It’s nowhere near enough for a new relationship for a main character in the ongoing present day plot. And Regina and Robin Hood don’t even have that.
On the other hand, any opportunity for Roland to be on the screen. Because… Roland. <3
I agree with everything except I didn’t feel any romantic chemistry between Emma and Neal. But that last episode with Graham, as he was starting to remember, all of a sudden I saw that spark between him and Emma before his life was cruelly snuffed out. :(