Do you ever wonder why fictional characters are together?

I’ve been re-examining some shows I watch and the thought occurred that in some cases there doesn’t appear to be a good reason for some characters to be in a relationship other than for the benefit of us, the viewer. The prime example for me is on The Big Bang Theory. Why would anyone live with Sheldon let alone be friends with him? The show is hilarious because of him and the constant monkey-wrenches he throws into things, but doesn’t that mean he’s more of a plot device than a character? And even if that’s the case, does it matter?

Then there are the couples on Modern Family. Of the three, none of the relationships seem obvious to me. Claire and Phil…why? He’s a child. What is it about him that she finds attractive? Cam and Mitchell both play neurotic to such a degree that I feel that relationship should just implode. Not even sure about Jay and Gloria. The age difference is huge.

I don’t have any answers here, and I fully recognize that these shows are insanely popular which is why I’ve been studying the characters and their interactions. It seems, at least in these two cases (both being comedies) characters as plot devices instead of actual characters not only works, but excels.

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