Glazomania Takes Us on a Tour of Every Community Pairing


Discussion by glazomaniac

in the commentaries on the first season dvds, dan harmon talks about how a large point of the show is throwing the characters together in different pairings and seeing what happens. he mentioned elsewhere in interviews after he was fired that the troy/britta storyline was not intended to be an epic romance, but simply a manifestation of the theme of exploring the various bonds between the study group. he said that the study group would always be friends, probably close friends, but that none of them would remain together romantically forever.

so along those lines, here's my thoughts on the various pairings present in the show:

jeff/britta: the central potential romantic couple of season one has evolved into one of the more endearing friendships of the group. when britta senses trouble in "horror fiction," she goes to jeff first for help, and he is aided by her in CI. their interactions have settled into friendly banter, and because of their history, they know each other very well. they're comfortable with each other. i don't think this one needs to evolve much more, but continuing to show the comfortable, laid back close friend sort of thing this has become would be great.

jeff/shirley: cherished perhaps more because of its rarity, this one is a favorite. they're both more mature (even if it doesn't manifest that way), and so their friendship is, with its history and their common bonds. they have an oddly similar worldview in some regards, a sharp judgment of others that reveals mutual perceptiveness. what would be interesting is seeing how jeff's deepening humanity bounces off shirley's christian morality. 

jeff/abed: another one that is deep but rare, these two have a similar love of/understanding/history with pop culture that is the basis for a strong friendship, stymied a little by abed's emotional remove. but as jeff says in CAP, he doesn't need abed to grow or change. they understand each other. more moments where the two share their bond would be great, so long as they keep it fresh.

jeff/pierce: this one has gone back and forth, of course, from occasionally fatherly in season 1, to antagonistic in season 2, to a little backgrounded in season 3. what i would most like from this is to see that moment from bio 101 pay off: jeff and pierce become more like equals, with the maturation of both characters acknowledged, perhaps with them helping each other open up more.

jeff/annie: the best outcome from this one, i think, is building on annie's admission in VSA that she's not in love with jeff. it would be heartening if the nods toward her crush in history 101 turn out to be a misdirect. jeff and annie have had some great adventures, but the romantic tension between them has stunted the potential for a strong friendship. they make a great team, as evidenced many many times, so why not let that crush of annie's develop instead into a yearning for a deeper friendship? i would love a moment where they come to an understanding together that their ambitions (which have different flavors, but similar ones) give them a strong basis for a deep and active friendship.

jeff/troy: they've been working on the butting of heads between these two for many seasons. i could see it coming to a full confrontation eventually, with the aftermath being better handled than the troy/abed conflict. as jeff mentions in paradigms, the endless cycle of pain that they are in continues to build them into an indestructible unit. a conflict between jeff and troy has the potential to tear them apart and put them back together again stronger than ever.

britta/shirley: a sorely underused pairing, i have a hard time putting my finger on how to describe it. they seem to be good friends with very different worldviews, but it doesn't remotely stop them. there's an assumed respect there that is revealed in how they've never had a full confrontation, despite numerous occasions where it would have even been warranted (annie's move comes to mind). there's never a moment you think they won't still be friends with each other, and that's heartening. i think rather than delving into that conflict, they should explore why the two are so unlikely to be driven apart. 

britta/abed: woo boy, this one could get tricky. now that britta is therapizing abed, i think the best course is to show how such a situation could be mutually beneficial to the two. the therapist/patient relationship can be deep and profound, but because of professional ethics, it should never be a friendship. instead of leaving britta as abed's therapist, i think it would be most sensible for the two of them to come to the realization that britta's role as his therapizer is more of one of a friend being there for another friend. britta becoming almost an older sister to abed would be fair, and i think it would also be significant that the relationship results in benefit to britta as well–it's not inconceivable that such a relationship would bring her competence in her field, at least in small ways.

britta/pierce: the most significant interaction between the two that i can think of is debate 109, waaay back when. other than that, she's mostly interacted with him in her role as his emergency contact, really. britta has an innate need to take care of others, and pierce seems to need a little help now and again. his fierce independence might make that difficult, and i think an interesting way to take that relationship would be making him realize it's all right to rely on others. honestly, this one needs more exploration.

britta/annie: OVM showed that britta sees annie as someone who can be turned to in a time of need, and it also showed how britta has a lot to offer annie in regards to wisdom about the ways of the world, in some ways. these two also need more time together–they sorta got the conflict out of their systems in psychology of letting go, and that sisterly bond needs more exploration.

britta/troy:obviously, while i don't mind their being together, i don't think they should remain a couple. the lovey dovey honeymoon phase won't last forever, and a brief exploration of how the two handle a more serious relationship could be very interesting. i don't want abed to be the source of their breakup, though, even though the show has hinted at this. i think an exploration of how a serious relationship in a group of tight knit friends plays out would be fascinating, and the most status quo-protecting end to it is their realizing they work better as friends, i suppose. there might be a better way to do it, though.

shirley/abed: their moment together in messianic myths remains one of my top ten moments of the entire show. shirley and abed don't have a lot in common, but i think there's a lot of room for exploring their mutual admiration. finding a way for the two of them to find more common ground, or have a deeper understanding of each other, would be a really nice continuation of messianic myths.

shirley/pierce: there's a lot of room for conflict here, as we've seen. i think if the show wants to really show the depths of friendship between the various members of the group, they need to give pierce and shirley an episode where we see them work their sandwich shop together and get past their conflicts completely. let ITF be the springboard for a really strong episode between the two.

shirley/annie: another crack pairing. they tend to "aww" the same things and science of illusion showed they have deeper similarities, so there's a lot of common ground that i think is largely only briefly touched upon. i would love to see a hang out episode with these two, but i'm not sure where their relationship needs to go beyond that.

shirley/troy: they have promised us an episode of them together this season. i have no idea where it will take us, but i am eager to find out.

abed/pierce: another pairing that we don't have a lot of history for. abed's love of pop culture tends to sit in the last few decades, and pierce's is largely oblivious to it. the lost tag for DEP would have been one of the only moments of bonding between the two, and i am very sorry we lost it. DEP did subtly show that there are ways the two can bond, though.

abed/annie: VSA seems to have been the culmination of annie understanding abed, and of abed opening up to annie. i think living together is an interesting dynamic between them, and that it might be interesting to see more of how they learn to live with each other. abed's got a lot of quirks, for a lack of a better word, and annie's personality could be pretty troublesome in a roommate. there's room for more minor conflicts, and as long as it doesn't get odd couple cliche, i think it would be fun.

abed/troy: they really need to draw from the ending of P&B more, show how it really affected their friendship. i don't think there should be a gulf between them because of it; i think they need to show how it matured their friendship past a mutual love of pop culture and troy's worship of abed's genius for adventure. i don't know HOW to show this, though. 

pierce/annie: their last great interaction that i can recall is celeb pharma (why does my spellchecker think those are real words?), and i think there's room to build from that. pierce certainly has capacity to offer fatherly wisdom to annie as much as he did jeff–indeed, also to troy, really. annie has always been pierce's favorite, and that deserves more attention as well.

pierce/troy: pierce and troy's friendship started with mutual bonding over juvenile humor, and it has grown little since except that pierce became more of a villain. in RCT, troy had a moment with pierce (though not in the prime timeline) that deserves to be revisited. like annie, troy bonded with pierce over their need to prove themselves independent, and i think it would be nice to see a mirror to pierce's role for jeff in season 1 done with troy.

annie/troy: the most fertile ground to explore their friendship is their living situation. troy seems to put a lot of energy into taking care of and basically playing games with abed, and annie has been seen to make efforts into cracking into that bond. so far, it's been her playing inspector spacetime with abed in VSA, mostly, so i think we're due to see her try to break into that bond via troy next, especially now that she's long ago given up her crush on him.

and of course, the two shared that moment in mixology. what i'd most like is to see a similar revelation not between two characters, but amongst the whole group, at some point. not a rehash of mixology, of course, but something more subtle, perhaps. basically, they've become very close, and i think a moment that shows just how deeply they know and love each other would be the perfect culmination of their journey.