Friday, March 28, 2008

The Buzz Factor: OTPs and Bees

This hasn’t been my best week. Three papers, a research report, a two-and-a-half hour presentation, and a mid-term exam. Plus rehearsal every night and work every day. Oh, and my beautiful cruise suntan quickly crisped into a not-so-beautiful post-cruise sunburn that itches like I’ve never before experienced. And it’s peeling. All over. Let me just say, I do not look good naked. Too much information?

Right now, I’m sitting at my desk with a bag of ice on the tops of my feet. How are you supposed to scratch the tops of your feet?

Anyway, this whole itchy, restless ordeal has me thinking about bees. I had a close encounter with a bee yesterday. I wasn’t stung, but I could have been. I’ve never actually been stung by a bee before, but I really don’t want to find out what might happen if I was. My dad once accidentally ran over a beehive with the lawnmower, was swarmed, and had a really scary reaction. Like, now he carries around an EpiPen just in case. And so nobody knows if the anaphylactic shock was because he had an encounter with, you know, dozens of bees or because he’s allergic. And if he’s allergic, then maybe I could be. Again, no use trying to find out.

Bees are scary. They’re not friendly, they’re not fun, they’re not cute.

So why do my favorite TV couples make them so damn sexy?

Three of my OTPs have had run-ins with bees, and these sticky situations all end up providing a honey-sweet romantic moment.

Just ask this bee right here:

Yeah, recognize that little bugger?

So do Mulder and Scully, who have that bee to blame for another three seasons of sexual tension.

Yep, in Fight the Future, my X-Files OTP (my firsts, bitches!) came ludicrously close to a kiss before being thwarted at the last minute by the alien corn virus bee. (Chris Carter would later say that the near-kiss plus the spaceship mouth-to-mouth resuscitation scene equated a kiss. I disagree. Try again, Mr. Carter. P.S. We’re not related. I come from the Chicago Carters, obviously, not the Outer Space Carters.)

I might be super-frustrated by that fake-out kiss, but I also really like the actual bee attack scene. First of all, it’s kind of funny. I mean, really? Bees in a “giant Jiffy-Pop popper” next to a cornfield in the desert with scary black helicopters hovering overhead? It’s ridiculous. But second of all, it’s one of those 17,000 times in the movie where we get to see Mulder save Scully. Seriously, I hope my future husband loves me enough to run into a swarm of bees for me, make deals with a creepy British dude, and, you know, trek to Antarctica and onto a freakin’ spaceship so he can literally carry me away from certain death by internal alien gestation. Is that too much to ask?

Bees obviously play a huge role in the mythology of the movie, but they also take on that element of romance for these two. Very strange.

Moving on to the cutesy Pushing Daisies bee segment, recall this:

Chuck and Ned can’t touch, obviously, so they have to come up with ways to work around such an intense limitation. Plastic wrap, plexiglass and rubber gloves, beekeeper suits...whatever works. After Ned frets about not being able to “catch” Chuck when she takes a spill, the two work out their neuroses by donning these beekeeper suits and dancing on the roof.

It’s very sweet.

Obviously, the suits are just another in a long string of creative ideas to come from the minds of the Pushing Daisies team. It’s just darling watching these two come up with ways to get close to each other. Whereas in The X-Files movie, bees were terrifying and fatal and ridden with an alien virus, on Pushing Daisies, the beekeeper suits add to the show's pervasive sense of whimsy.

Then there’s my favorite bee scene. I appreciate it for its sheer anvilitude. It’s one of those scenes similar to say, a trapped-in-the-elevator ordeal or a have-to-pretend-we’re-married episode. It doesn’t matter if it’s Mulder and Scully or Ross and Rachel or Luke and Lorelai or Josh Lyman and Amanda Peet on Studio’s always the same plot. It always turns out the same way.

::Wistful:: Oh, I’m strangely sad we’re being let out of the meat locker after having to spend the night there, Felicity Huffman!

It’s first-season Jack and Kate, back when they thought their only relationship issue was that Kate was a fugitive. Ha. Ha. That was fun. To me, they defy convention on a grander scale, but with them I appreciate the tried-and-true plot conventions. By falling into occasional traditional OTPatterns, Jack and Kate remind me of their relationship's inevitability.

So Charlie accidentally climbs onto a beehive (kind of like my dad did, only without a lawnmower) and after they swarm, everyone takes off running. Jack and Kate happen to run in the same direction, shedding their bee-covered clothes in the process. It turns out like this:

Yeah there’s a little checking-out action (and a joke about bees and C’s from Charlie), but the real ogling occurs later in the episode.

Either way, the bee swarm is largely a plot device to get Jack and Kate half-naked together. And let’s just say, neither of them has peely patches or a post-cruise food baby. It’s a nice little ship moment. When I made my Season One Chart of Jate, chronicling all of their scenes together and rating them on a scale of Jateness (Lord, I wish I was lying about this), I drew two hearts next to a scene I called, simply, “Clothes Off.”

Lost’s bee scene, I think, zeroes in on why bees seem so prevalent in my OTP repertoire. There’s something dangerous about the possibility of being stung and something inherently sexy in escaping that danger together. Bees teeter on the edge of going-to-sting-you and hey-I-make-honey. It’s pain and sweetness in the same tiny creature, and isn’t that basically what all my OTPs are about?

Taking the clothes off is just an added bonus.

One response to “The Buzz Factor: OTPs and Bees”

Francesca said...

holy cow I'd never noticed the bee thingy with M&S and J&K! LOL,nice catch!