Gary & Charlotte: The Most Important TV Couple There Ever Was
(Disclaimer: While I realise this may be odd publishing a story like this the day after Valentine’s, it is because I am a slovenly man — I originally wrote up the first draft of this back in May 2016. I just needed to be reminded it was sitting in my mobile phone notes. )
(Disclaimer II: Gary and Charlotte’s relationship also ended terribly, with Charlotte leaving the show due to an ectopic pregnancy while Gary played silly buggers on Ex on the Beach, disseminating weird opinions in his column in the Daily Star. At no point should you read this as a “this relationship was good”, “they should get back together” or “Gary isn’t terrible for what he did throughout their on and off relationship”.)
Readers, it’s that time again for us to make a few circles. I’m going to make a point, you’re going to call me stupid, and then I’ll explain it and you’ll (hopefully) call me less stupid, but (hopefully) a lot more weird.
Right here goes: Gary and Charlotte off Geordie Shore were the most important 21st Century TV couple and they should be probably used as a case study when teaching sex education in schools.
Not Luke and Lorelai. Not Jane and Michael/Rafaelle. Not even Jim and Pam. Gaz and Charlotte.
Gaz and Charlotte mattered because it was every single bad relationship you can have in the 21st century happening simultaneously, played at hyperspeed for a MTV audience.
It was the one night stand struggling to make it work long term.
It was the two flatmates who end up banging and it gets awkward.
It was “boy clearly loves girl but can’t give up the playboy lifestyle”.
It was the “girl can’t quit boy even though she absolutely deserves better and should dumphim.jpg.”
It’s even found space to fold in the “we temporarily came to our senses and dated other people but oops here we are again” story too.
A ex-girlfriend of mine once commented the general conceit of the Gaz-Charlotte relationship, the fundamental flaw, was that “Charlotte loves Gary. Gary loves Charlotte. But Gary is annoyed he didn’t fall for someone “hotter” and he struggles to reconcile that”.
(Disclaimer III: That is not to say Charlotte isn’t attractive. She’s a special angel of a person who you should regularly remember has one of the fastest selling DVDs in UK media history and used her TV money to sort out her family with a house. She’s a good egg. There’s just a certain type of man who strives to date a certain type of woman as a means of self validation. Less dating to love and be loved, and more dating so your male friends are envious of your arm candy. It’s love and sex being used as power in male friendship hierarchies.)
There’s an amazing scene early on in their story when Charlotte wets the bed. Now, this isn’t particularly novel. This happens when you’re in twenties. You have one too many turbo shandies go to bed and whoops.
Charlotte wakes up expecting Gary to kick off at her and then he does… nothing. He totally takes it in stride. Someone once described love to me as when you find yourself doing things you would never do for someone for reasons you cannot ever explain. Gaz took Charlotte wetting the bed with such a nonchalant “Ok, let’s sort out your hangover and then we’ll get your bed sheets sorted” that you have to think they were in love. At an equal measure that made the relationship rewarding to both people. At least at one point.
What makes it all so compelling for us on the outside is shit relationships are meant to end. You’re meant to grow wiser. You’re meant to leave your hometown, or the University city where you did all your stomping. You’re supposed to reach a point when you realise you search “Is First Dates on tonight?” into Google more than you type your exes name into Facebook. You move on. Most people get this shit all worked out at University, or through some sort of three year period. You get into a shit relationship. You break up. You go watch some movies and listen to some records. Maybe if you have a bit of money you go travelling or take up a hobby that helps with a bit of soul searching.
You go into the 18–26 years old period — aka the key “figuring out who the fuck am I?” years, the years where the part of the brain that’s responsible for decision making is finally about ready to complete growing, and you’re meant to come out of it more aware of the bad means you rationalise irrational decisions that you know will hurt you.
It’s the period where the Arctic Monkey’s line “Now that we’re here, we may as well go too far” goes from making loads of sense, to just being a fun line in a song.
Something is supposed to happen so when the next shit relationship comes along you can recognise the red flags and go “NOOOOPE”.
But because of Geordie Shore constantly throwing everyone back in the house series after series Gary and Charlotte kept bumping into each other, turning everything into a sort of volatile pressure cooker. Going through the same motions. We watched them deal with the same feelings they’ve had since they were in their early 20s washing in and out like a tide and eventually it took something awful to make it stop.
(Disclaimer IV: Charlotte is LOADS better off without Gaz. Just nip that Stephen Bear thing in the bud.)
Before one season of the show kicked off, Gaz was in his kitchen with his mum and dad, getting a pep talk. Gaz stood all nervous as his Dad said, in that special voice Dads put on when they realise the off-handed comments they told a child at 14 have left them damaged at 24, “I just don’t want you to keep messing this girl around. She clearly cares for you, so just do right by here.”
And then Gaz shrugged, went back into the Geordie Shore house, and now he’s off to do Spring Break with his granddad.
I’m going to keep doing these blogs on a weekly basis in an effort to kind my writing pen sharp while I look for a job. If you like my writing and would like to hire me, I can be found at carlanka.me
If you like my writing and want to pick my brains about something else, including what you’d like me to write next, hit me up on Twitter — @Ankaman616