iZombie Editorial: Why We Hate the Ravi/Peyton/Blaine Love Triangle

Since returning for season 3, iZombie has made some…curious decisions regarding a few of their main characters. Two of our staff explore that in more detail below.

Angela: For the first time since I started watching, this week I didn’t find myself looking forward to the new iZombie episode. This has everything to do with Ravi’s character trajectory so far this season, and in general the show’s terrible excuse for a love triangle.

In regards to Ravi’s behavior, Rahul Kohli’s tweets do a fantastic job establishing why Ravi does have some rights to act the way that he does. It’s understandable for him to be hung up on the Peyton/Blaine hookup and their growing romance. He does have a good point that, since he and Peyton weren’t currently dating, it’s not that big of a dick move of him to not return one phone call. Especially if he is still trying to sort out all of his thoughts and he doesn’t want to be an ass about it until he’s got it all sorted.

But that’s where it ends. By his own admission he and Peyton weren’t really dating, so he doesn’t get to act like they were. He doesn’t get to use that to excuse his dickish behavior but also to expect certain things from Peyton. It all fell apart most particularly at the “I love you” declaration in the morgue. Because feelings at that level are totally out of the blue, writing-wise. We haven’t seen enough of Peyton and Ravi’s relationship for that to be believable at all.

In fact, most of what we have seen of this relationship is either a) Ravi pining away for Peyton, or b) Ravi being super jealous of Blaine. We see them casually dating for an episode or two, but that’s it. Contrast that with several episodes of Ravi agonizing over either “a” or “b.”

Seasons 1 and 2 Ravi would never act like this. I miss him.

So that means that these feelings of Ravi’s are predominantly established on screen with either a sort of “nice guy” possessiveness, or jealousy. “I love you because I have pined for you for ages,” doesn’t give someone any say over another’s romantic (or otherwise) choices. “I love you because I am super jealous” is a horrible and unromantic claim. It’s in fact proprietariness masquerading as love. In neither case are we given real reasons about Peyton as a PERSON for Ravi to love her; we only have reasons about Peyton as a POSSESSION for why Ravi gets to have some sort of ownership or say over what she does.

I hardly need to explain why the last point is a negative. So let’s go into the jealousy angle a bit. I just do not have time for jealousy equaling true love. I hate it. Because it’s just another form of the aforementioned possessiveness. Done correctly in small doses it can be an effective part of an overall love story, but as the predominant method of displaying said love, it’s utter bullshit. And I’m not even calling Ravi as a character out for this – because until his rant at the morgue, he never expressed that jealousy to Peyton herself, as well he shouldn’t. But the NARRATIVE used it as the predominant way of telling the audience about Ravi’s feelings, and that is even more terrible.

Because it’s dangerous. Because the media using things like jealousy and possessiveness as the primary indicators of one character having feelings for another romanticizes those feelings. Romanticizing feelings like that is irresponsible, especially in a show on a network that primarily caters towards a teen audience. It could contribute to teaching viewers that this sort of behavior is romantic, as opposed to inappropriate, and, when combined with other actions, abusive (not that I am arguing it’s latter in iZombie’s case).

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