I really want a Happy Ever After (HEA) everywhere I go to be entertained – in my reading, in my movie watching, and TV.
I know life isn’t all that happy sometimes, that’s why I want a little escapism. In the reveal shows on TV, I’ll fast forward to the new kitchen, the new bath, the new restaurant. I want to see the delight and the wonder on the participants’ faces.
I like most contestant shows because, although someone loses every week, there’s always an ultimate winner. That’s why I watch The Next Great Baker, for example.
When I read I have to be emotionally invested in the characters. When I watch TV it’s the same way. I cry when I see other people crying. I root for the person I like on cooking shows. This emotional investment is also one of the reasons I can’t get into shows like The Bachelor, for example. I don’t like the premise. Ergo, I’m not fond of the participants. I don’t care about them. Same with the Real Housewives or the Bridezilla shows. If I do watch them, I’m rolling my eyes most of the time.
But when I think I won’t be getting an HEA when I expected one, I find myself getting antsy.
Or I do what I did the other night.
I was reading the first book in a new series by an an author who’s been a little iffy to me. I loved the first book in another series he wrote. The second book ended with the hero (who, up until this point, I really liked) having three-way sex. Okay, that just turned me off. A hero, in my mind, doesn’t do that. Call me a fuddy-duddy. Call me a Southern Belle. Whatever.
In this book in the new series, there’s a succubus or an incubus, or one of the buses that comes onto the heroine, then transforms and comes onto the hero (you can gather the book is a paranormal). When the succubus is banished, it says something like, “But you like girls, too, right?” to the heroine.
After the succubus leaves, the hero turns to the heroine:
“So, it’s true that you bat for both teams?”
“Yes, I’m bisexual. Is that a problem?”
It might not be a problem for the hero, but it was a book ender for me.
NOT because the heroine was bisexual. It’s not my place to pass judgment on anyone else. But when I read, I read for an HEA.
With a bisexual character as the heroine, I know I’m not going to get my definition of an HEA. Maybe we’ll have the hero, heroine, and another woman walking into the sunset and that’s just fine if that’s what you expect and want.
Me? I want the hero and the heroine walking into the sunset alone, knowing they’ll be faithful to each other. The HEA is so important to me that it stopped me from finishing the book.
To the author’s credit, he didn’t bill the book as a paranormal romance. I guess I just thought of a book where there’s a strong male and female lead as a romantic setup. It’s my fault for not digging deeper.
But what do YOU think?
Do you want an HEA in all aspects of your entertainment?
Is there any situation that would stop you from reading a book – knowing that you won’t get your HEA?
Or are there TV shows you won’t watch because you know they don’t end well?