While I was more preoccupied with Spencer and Tobey’s adorable reunion at the close of the episode, one of the big moments from last season’s Pretty Little Liars finale was Ezra’s appearance at the Masquerade, where he danced with Aria in front of all of Rosewood. The show’s creators even stamped the hashtag “#ezariaforever” in the corner of the screen to encourage tweeters everywhere to chat it up via social networking. My big question for the show is: how is this relationship still going on? Frankly, I never bought into Aria and Ezra as a couple and I’m past ready for their relationship to be over, especially since last season featured a whole bunch of hissyfits on Aria’s part regarding her parents’ disapproval of her older paramour. Here’s a look back at some of teen TV history’s teacher/student affair storylines.
TOP TEN ILL-FATED TEACHER/STUDENT TRYSTS THAT AWKWARDLY GRACED TV:
1. Pacey Witter/Tamara Jacobs, Dawson’s Creek
Pacey and Tamara’s relationship is one of the better handled student/teacher relationships in teen television–their affair and the gossip surrounding it resulted in a scandal that shook Capeside and resulted in Tamara’s leaving town. It was a fairly realistic portrayal of what could happen to such a couple.
2. Joey Potter/Professor Wilder, Dawson’s Creek
What I learned from this relationship is that exploring a relationship with your professor can be exceedingly dull. NEXT!
3. Kelly Kapowski/Professor Jeremiah Lasky, Saved by the Bell
This was probably the teacher/student courtship handled in the most casual way out of any on the list. The relationship was kept a secret at first, but after Kelly dropped Lasky’s class everyone found out and it wasn’t a big deal–to everyone but Jeremiah. He broke things off with Kelly, unsatisfied with a relationship he felt scared to be a part of.
4. Lux/Eric Daniels, Life Unexpected
The relationship between Lux and her teacher resulted in her being even more shrill than she already was. She and Aria throw similar bitchfits when their parents don’t deem their extracurricular activities to be on the up and up. It made me long for the days where Lux mooned over that Bug guy she was always talking about in the beginning of the series (“Bug” being his name, not some allusion to occupation or personality).
5. Ben Connor/Monica Young, Life As We Know It
Since this show had such an (unfortunately!) short run, this student/teacher mashup had a whole lot of screen time. Smart guy Ben has a crush on the hot English teacher. Their flirtation results in them making out in her car in multiple public areas, clearly the best way to keep a clandestine relationship a secret. The strain of the secret on Ben and the fact that Ms. Young fails Ben’s friend Sue as a result of her whacked jealousy causes Ben to break it off to pursue other interests (Go, Ben!).
6. Susan Knight/Mr. Rooks, Veronica Mars (“Mars vs. Mars”)
Veronica Mars was another TV show to explore a different facet of the student/teacher relationship–rather than show it as some sort of forbidden romance that ends poorly for the teacher involved, Veronica Mars brought us a school that showed Carrie Bishop attempting to avenge her friend Susan, who was knocked up by history teacher Mr. Rooks. The lesson of the story? Neptune High was more than willing to victimize the teacher and torture Carrie, who used real information from Susan and Rooks’s relationship in her attempt to get him fired. Susan probably would have faced a similar fate if she had done it herself.
7. Dan/Rachel Carr, Gossip Girl
Their breakfast meetings outside of school to work on Dan’s creative writing sparked rumors of an elicit affair on Gossip Girl. A picture of Dan comforting her is used as proof during Ms. Carr’s hearing and she’s fired, freeing her to bang Dan. But wait! She’s not fired–but for a short time she pursues Dan, hooking up with him in a costume closet during the school play. Dan breaks their tryst once he realizes that she’s just as manipulative as Blair, using Gossip Girl to get Blair’s acceptance to Yale revoked. Rachel goes back to Iowa to reflect on her life and her choices, ending their epic two episode relationship.
8. Serena/Ben Donovan, Gossip Girl
Since this almost relationship occurred when Serena was in boarding school, therefore before the show began, it was explored retroactively. Ben Donovan actually refused her advances when she was a student but a vicious plot created by Serena’s mother made it seem like Ben was guilty of statutory rape, sending him to jail. While this plotline demonstrated a fairly probable fate for a teacher in this situation, the resulting elaborate revenge scheme involving Ben’s crazy sister Juliet drugging Serena tends to dampen the reality a bit. Also, the fact that after all of the legal things were settled they chose to pursue a romantic relationship. I’m not buying that one. (Serena also dates her Professor, Colin Forrester, while she’s his student before all this Ben stuff crops up again. Girl doesn’t ever learn a lesson.)
9. Taylor Townshend/Dean Hess, The O.C.
This couple provided for an antagonistic force at the beginning of season three–their relationship was used to point out their corrupt, manipulative behavior. Seth, Summer, and Sandy are able to use this relationship against Taylor and the Dean, causing the Dean to overturn his decision to expel Ryan and leave the school in shame.
10. Brooke Davis/Nick Chavez, One Tree Hill
This romantic venture was built on lies–Brooke pretended to be a 23-year-old fashion designer named Peyton when she originally hooked up with the man she would find out was her English teacher (seriously?! Why are so many of them English teachers?!) at a bar. They’re just like Aria and Ezra–except they were more obvious in their behavior. Like, nuzzling and hair-smelling in class obvious. Brooke’s friend Rachel ends up telling the principal that Chavez is having an affair with a student, getting him suspended. Ultimately he and Brooke break up because he cheats on her, not because of the situation.
Some shows go for the more believable, whereas others just seem to go for slightly delusional when it comes to these types of storylines. I am personally hoping that the writers for Pretty Little Liars finally axe the Aria/Ezra plot point for good this season. That way we can move on to more important things, like devoting the show’s time to Spencer and Tobey. And oh yeah, who else is behind that “A” stuff. Right…