Full disclosure: this is a long post, because I got a bit carried away, but if you want to read something interesting, rock on. If you don't, then go log on to disneychannel.com or something and continue being a moron.
I realize this may seem a little, well, crazy, to put it mildly, but you know what? It needs to be said. Winnie Cooper, Kevin Arnold's long-time off-again, on-again, once and future love on that awesome compendium of all things glorious and uncomfortable, The Wonder Years, is a walking piece of monkey shit.
It seems like a harsh judgment, but as a kid watching the show, almost exactly the same age as Kevin was supposed to be, I couldn't help but find myself fascinated with not only his misadventures, but also with her, the object of his misplaced affections. I mean, I reveled in his moments of triumph with her, and felt every stinging disappointment when his finely crafted plans to ensnare her fell apart time and time again. However, as an adult, I see this torturous relationship for what it is: an evil, malicious little girl twisting a foolish young boy into knots, simply because she can.
Now believe me when I tell you, while not exactly a point of pride with me, I think I've seen just about every episode of this show and could make a lengthy argument for what I'm about to say. However, I'm going to try to offer the abridged version, if only to keep reader interest as high as I possibly can while grandstanding about a show that's been off the air for 14 years.
So anyway, here we go.
As I said, as a kid, she was a wraith that haunted both my and Kevin's thoughts. A dark beauty, I could see why he liked her. She was a friend, familiar and close, and he grew into her, as often happens with young love. She was always close, and smelled so good (I'm taking his word for it), what wasn't to love? But she was with him for a while, then broke it off, and dated assholes (don't they all), only to come back to him, justifying his infatuation. Then they break up again, with her being hot and cold and hot again, all the while dating, you guessed it, assholes. Kirk McCray? Come on. That guy was a class-A douchebag, and everyone knew it. Yeah, they finally get back together near the end of the show and are together for a while, but even then, she's fucking with his head, and then she gets that job at the country club in the 2-part series finale and makes out with that lifeguard... Christ, I'm boiling just thinking about it.
It's been airing on this cable channel twice a night. I've been DVR'ing it and catching up. As an adult, I see so much more than I did as a kid. I have dated girls just like Winnie. Sweet, pretty, nice... and pure, unadulterated evil. Granted, Kevin didn't exactly play every hand like a Texas Hold 'Em champ either, but we're not talking about the folly of young male affection here. I have some choice words for him too, but that's for another post. We're talking about that black-hole-in-knee-socks Winnie Cooper.
Kevin had some serious babes ready to rock, but he kept passing them up time and time again to be disappointed. Yes, I know, he dated some of them, but he never enjoyed it as much as he could have, because the idea of Winnie was festering like an open sore in the back of his mind, each day at school like salt in a wound, her smiling fiendishly as she rubbed it all in. I was watching an episode the other day, where I think they were in 9th grade, and this superfox Madeleine wanted Kevin for like 6 episodes in a row, and he kept blowing her off, and believe me, she was out of control. He could have been King Pimp if he succumbed to her feminine wiles, but NOOOO, he had to pine away for some ice queen who couldn't even admit she liked him. Finally something happened where he foolishly tried to make her jealous by dancing with this other girl and Winnie runs out of a party all upset, and Madeleine says something about "I don't know what the big deal with Winnie is anyway" and this idiot blows his stack and leaves, instead of being like, "Seriously, babe... wanna make out?", which he was absolutely in a position to say, with no fear of retribution or rejection.
I could go on for hours, (sadly) but that's the gist of it. I think some of you may see where I was headed with this, and before you recommend psychiatric help in the comments section, think about just how prescient that show was when it came to understanding relationships... if you were in an age group close to mine and watched it.
Let go, Kev. Let go.
Of course, as an adult, I can see things differently.
I guess I can't harbor those feelings forever, right?