Rambles About Kim and Ron V. Marco and Star, Contd.
I’m returning to the discussion about drawing parallels between Kim Possible’s So the Drama TV movie and the Star Vs episode “Bon Bon the Birthday Clown.” This compare/contrast discussion will continue as further episodes focus on and develop Star’s and Marco’s relationship.
Marco and Jackie Vs Kim and Eric
In So the Drama, Eric is a one-note character and plot device. He comes across as confident and self-assured. His straightforward approach is a breath of fresh air when compared to most of Kim’s other prospects that are too intimidated to approach her. When framing him as a thematic foil to Ron, he’s supposedly more mature and “grown up,” too. Eric’s “dream man” qualities are offset by a few scenes where he comes across as condescending and rude. When Ron crashes the prom, Eric doesn’t even try to disguise his contempt towards him. This only adds fuel to the fire for viewers to side with Ron and cheer him on in regards to winning Kim’s affections.
In Jackie’s case, “Bon Bon” only further emphasizes why she’s the dream girl. She’s calm, even-tempered, patient, and pretty straightforward about what she wants. Every time Marco bumbles in trying to ask her out or talk to her, she gives him her full attention and consideration. It’s obvious she likes the guy since he makes so many awkward, otherwise deal-breaking moves. Yet, it’s his sincerity and resilience that wins Jackie over. She even comments that she likes how despite how royally Marco can screw up or fail, he finds a way to pick himself back up again Chumbawumba style. In short, Jackie inspires Marco to be more confident and assertive.
While their romance benefits Marco more at this point in the series, viewers are endeared to Jackie enough they want to know more about her, too. What does their relationship bring to her as a character? What insights could this plot thread reveal about her? The way she’s written and set up, Jackie has the potential to become a more rounded, fleshed out character. She has potential to be more than just Marco’s love interest.
Jealous Ron Vs Jealous Star Butterfly
One of the key differences between Ron and Star is that Ron is consciously aware of his interest in Kim. He deliberately chose to shelve his interest and pursue other girls since there’s stronger potential for him in that regard. Or, at least, there isn’t the added caveat of a break-up shaking a long-standing and solid friendship. Eric edging in is enough to push Ron to reconsider this particular stance. He had comfortable space for stepping back and casually thinking about it before. Even when guys like Josh Mankey popped up, Kim still made room for Ron in her schedule, activities, and otherwise. When she becomes utterly infatuated with Eric, Ron gets pushed aside and stuck in an awkward third wheel role. He’s not only envious of Eric winning Kim’s affection, but also wrestling with the tension and resentment of someone stealing away his closest friend.
Star has been on-board with Marco and Jackie dating since season 1, even so far as offering to play matchmaker for Marco. Arguably, this is when they’re still fairly casual friends. If Marco had started dating Jackie at this point, Star would probably dump more energy and effort into pursuing Oskar or she’d hang out with Ponyhead more often. By this point in season 2, the Blood Moon Ball took place, Marco is Star’s closest friend, and she has a little crush on him. Marco was hesitating so much, the possibility of him getting together with Jackie seemed unlikely or at the very least, a far-off endgame. When Star is feet away from a happy and starry-eyed Marco and Jackie, the implication hits like an anvil. She’s now second priority in regards to who Marco will be spending most of his time with. She also gets hit with the realization “That could have been me!” or “That should be me.”
It’s a similar tug of war to what Ron feels when Eric enters the picture. Though, where viewers are given cause to dislike Eric and Ron gets comeuppance, Star faces the extra challenge of just how nice and friendly Jackie is. It’s not just her friendship with Marco at stake if she acts rash, but her friendship with Jackie, too. “Bon Bon” is the tip of the iceberg in regards to Star getting hung up on and obsessed over Marco and Jackie. From this point forward, she’ll struggle with keeping herself in check and backing off for the sake of her friends’ happiness. So, Jackie’s character role isn’t only benefitting Marco. Her role is also forcing Star to look over her situation and priorities. Considering others’ needs and emotions, then acting accordingly is a mix of empathy and maturity. Both are essential qualities for a future queen.
Ron’s feelings towards Kim bring up a few interesting character insights about him. So the Drama really is his story about coping with growing up and maturing. Kim Possible touches on how tense and uncomfortable being the close friend in one-sided love can be. It’s enough to hook viewers in and have sympathy for Ron. Enough to give meaningful weight to when he does get together with Kim. The intention here is strictly to strike up a fairy tail brand romance between the leads.
In Star’s case, Star Vs opted for a route that’s a bit psychologically damning and hard-hitting. Star is forced into a situation where there are very strong consequences attached to her delaying immediate gratification. Note that she approaches most situations with an “I’ll wing it and see what happens!” attitude. Generally, she can get away with flighty impulses. When envy gets the better of her, though, she has fewer reservations about using Queen Eclipsa’s dark magic. If she doesn’t get the proper channels to vent her anger and frustration, she’s bound to reach a mood where she’d gladly seek petty revenge if not worse. Star is going to be faced with “Marco and Jackie are dating” on a daily basis. Resentment and anger would build up quickly in those circumstances if left unchecked.
A few years ago, I stopped watching Adventure Time because I was sick of moody and angsty Finn. In retrospect, I regret shelving the series because so few cartoons take a risk and follow what happens after the lead does something especially damning or hurtful. Finn’s “smooch a bunch of ladies” phase pretty accurately reflects that desperate, yearning need to find physical affection or romantic attention after a break-up. He’s heartbroken. He greatly regrets what he did and he’d do anything to get his sweet, happy relationship back, but he can’t. So he does the next best thing by trying to find someone to replace Flame Princess or at least fill that gaping, empty void in his heart.
I didn’t really understand what the writers were going for until I experienced an intense break-up myself. Granted, I’m on decent terms with this fellow. We ended things pretty amicably. My point is that having Finn go through such a tense, depressing event opened avenues for how he’d cope and develop as a character from there. Viewers witnessed a very tragic, human side to him story-wise that very few cartoon characters receive as a whole. When done right, break-ups or jealousy can add a very meaningful dimension to an overall story. It’s a relatable story in regards to how a heartbreak can lead to someone pulling themself back up and working towards becoming a better person. It shows how a character becomes more mature or resilient where they may have been childish and gave up easily before.
By Star Vs taking the route they are with Star, she’s going to benefit greatly from what it’ll bring to her character development from that point and beyond. It’ll just be really tough to sit through.
“He’s not a horse, he’s a centaur!” said Lavender, sounding shocked.
“A gorgeous centaur…” sighed Parvati.
“Either way, he’s still got four legs,” said Hermione coolly.
Like okay…she has literally no right to call anyone tactless jESUS
I love Hermione but can people recognize she’s not perfect?? And has said fucked up things??? And Ron isn’t the only one of the group to say things like that???
Like seriously I obviously love her, but the fact that people will say Ron is rude and awful and then ignore her putting down a whole species – a species that clearly hate being called horses – and other rude stuff she’s said, is pretty awful.
Okay, so this is my opinion on the Dramione vs. Romione debate.
I get that the majority of people in the Harry Potter fandom seem to ship Ron and Hermione (imo this is just because it’s what was given in canon and canon ships aren’t generally questioned), but if you really dissect their relationship, they aren’t the greatest match. They’re on completely different levels both intellectually and emotionally (hint: “the emotional range of a teaspoon”), which, in my experience, makes for a very unhappy relationship. Ron wouldn’t be able to really understand Hermione or relate to her at all. They wouldn’t be able to have any deep, solid conversations, and honestly, the Ron we know can be pretty insensitive (even Luna, the most honest character in the series, makes a comment at one point on how he’s a rude person). Ron is also much too immature for Hermione, he prefers to focus on fun rather than real-life issues and we see throughout the entire series that he is very lazy, not at all like Hermione, and dislikes anything that requires delving inward or conversing about topics that go beyond the most basic emotions. Further, he ignores most of Hermione’s advice unless he’s trying to get her in a good mood, and though I hate to say it, he really does take her for granted a lot over the course of their time at Hogwarts and on more than one occasion was outright mean. Now I get it, your thinking ‘but wait! Draco was mean to her too!’ That’s the key thing. Draco had it ingrained into him from birth that people like Hermione (muggleborns, and on some level, Gryffindors) were the enemy, that they were dirt and were to be treated as such. This is WRONG of course, and I don’t condone his behavior all, but the point is that Draco didn’t know better and that he had the potential to change. I in no way ship Dramione unless Draco redeems himself, otherwise the relationship would be abusive. Now Ron on the other hand is supposed to be one of Hermione’s best friends. Any good friend should care for their friend’s needs and feelings and listen to them, but Ron mainly took Harry’s side in everything and treated Hermione like she was a nuisance- though this isn’t to say he wasn’t loyal when the times to defend her arose.
The thing is, really the only times we see Ron being genuinely nice to Hermione are when he wants her to do something- usually homework- for him, or the times from the beginning of DH forward when he started pretending to be more sensitive to her needs because he read a book on charming girls (which is completely insincere and NOT a good basis for a relationship, this makes the foundation of their dating dishonest flattery and is completely phony. If two people are in love, they should be able to be totally themselves around each other, not putting up masks to make the other person like them better. Hermione does the same now and again for Ron, even if only subconsciously, as the only times he’s ‘impressed’ with her are times when she’s breaking rules, being rebellious, or just in general being UNlike herself. But I digress). Even in the books, there’s a quote that says “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” (yes this is a real quote, look it up).
Now, all of this might be excusable if it was just a simple friendship, but in a ROMANTIC relationship, this kind of behaviour is just unhealthy and toxic. Even JKR admitted Ron and Hermione were a bad match and would have needed marriage counselling. It would’ve been a very unbalanced, almost mother/child relationship, with Ron doing things behind Hermione’s back and being over-indulgent to their kids and her being in a constant state of exhaustion and impatience. And despite that this is the model society has taught us to accept as normal, that is NOT what a good marriage should look like.
(I realize this is really harsh toward Ron, but I’m stating facts here and trying to be honest. I apologize to any Ron-lovers I’ve offended.)
Now, let’s look at Draco. I think we all can acknowledge that Draco got a pretty shallow, let-down ending considering all his character development. There’s all this building up, all these hints that there’s more to him than what Harry can see in his limited, biased perspective, and yet we get no redemption and he ends up marrying some random woman who isn’t even a character. This, I believe, is most likely due to JKR’s black and white perspective on dark and light identities in this series, even though she wrote “the world’s not split into good people and Death Eaters” and shows multiple times that ‘good’ characters can have faults and ‘bad’ characters can have light areas. She blatantly admits to hating Draco and shuns anyone who dares to see potential in him, though clearly he’s going through some massive changes and questioning his beliefs in the last two books.
The ending we got for the series, furthermore, was quite frankly predictable and boring. The relationships formed as 17 year-olds all work out and turn into marriages, and Harry’s two best friends, naturally, end up together, whereas the “villain” (Draco) is shunted off to the side. Gryffindors marry Gryffindors, Slytherins marry Slytherins. The end. Honestly, I find this a pretty childish ending considering the maturity increase of the books by this point. Even Harry and Ginny’s marriage is unrealistic, though I’ll admit I do ship them because they at least complement each other and understand each other, having similar interests and mindsets and both having experienced being possessed in some way by Voldemort. But Ron marrying Hermione… no. That just wouldn’t work out. Even if they did date, the odds of anything between them lasting long-term are slim. Hermione would need someone who’s on her level academically, someone with complex emotions (like hers) who she could really talk to and have healthy debates with, someone who’s her opposite in personality (e.g. warm and open vs. cooler and hesitant to express feelings) and her opposite in background, but on the same ground mentally. (Think Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, or Belle and the Beast). Someone like Draco.
Now, there really wasn’t much in the way of ‘epic romances’ in HP, other than possibly Remus and Tonks or James and Lily, and though the theme that ‘love is the strongest magic of all’ is constantly pushed, the only unbreakable, earth-shattering love we get to see in the series is between family and friends. In the ‘other’ type of love, the books are severely lacking. Draco and Hermione, had JKR chosen to put them together, would’ve had that ultra strong, ground-breaking love. They would have had to. They couldn’t have dated casually, considering all they’d have to overcome just to be together. It would’ve broken down barriers put up by years of blood prejudice, sort of how Romeo and Juliet defied their feuding families because they realized love was more powerful than hate, and it would’ve allowed redemption for Draco and given us some diversity in relationships (the ones we get in canon are pretty flat in terms of the couples being on the 'light side’ or 'the dark side’ with no intermingling or second chances, and despite that the theme of house unity kept being hinted at in GOF, the idea was dropped after that and we never saw any Slytherins reconcile with Gryffindors or Muggleborns reconcile with Muggle-haters).
Hermione’s also got a thing for seeing the best in people, like in HBP when she absolutely refuses to believe that Draco is a Death Eater. She really could’ve helped bring Draco to the light and clear up his doubts, and honestly, who could’ve done that better than her anyway? If anyone could out-argue Draco on moral and social levels, it’s Hermione. They just could’ve had such a great romance; they’d have been an incredibly badass, intellectual, sophisticated couple, and they would’ve really challenged each other and brought out the best in each other, and that is why I ship Dramione and not Romione.
(side-note: several of the arguments/points I used in this rant have been brought to my attention by others, so some of the credit for this goes to the various wonderful Dramione debaters I’ve come across in the past :P)
i mean, honestly, i’d say that the most important relationship in harry potter (other than the obvious harry/lily) is harry and ron like that friendship was honestly so important to everything major that happened in the books and it’s so well written because they don’t just feed off each other, they fight occasionally and have their own problems but at the end of the day they always come back and ron’s family takes harry in and harry is never condescending or rude to ron (other than when harry’s Angsting™) and ron supports harry through all the shit he gets despite the fact that ron’s standing popularity-wise isn’t really all that high and he might be more “cool” if he stopped defending harry and honestly they make me so emo