Hi to everyone here. Yes, I'm absolutely new and probably too late to join this but here goes nothing.Relationship between Jeff and Annie is (probably) the most complicated and realistic depiction of a romantic pairing on modern TV; with the possibility of being - a "beautiful love story" or a "romantic tragedy"
I became obsessed with the show especially due to the amazingly realistic characters and depiction of relationship these two shared. I literally read multiple analysis, Reddit posts, comments over YouTube videos, and over many amazingly good fan fics (started off withThere's only one girl in the world for you) to analyze the show and the relationship between these two better. I listened to few episode commentaries, lots of comments on posts etcetra.
After a lot of analysis I believe that these two have got to be the most realistic and complicated "couple" (if we can call them that) I have ever seen for a comedy series, given their characters and situations (possibly on television but that would be too bold a claim). Here's I think why-
These characters are exactly opposite of each other when they first meet. Jeff is a selfish bloke with a real easy attitude for his life and no seriousness (apart for his body). He sees the worst in people; while Annie is the ultimate go-getter with a sense of purpose to everything she does and sees the best in people no matter what. But even she has her flaws- sometimes trying too hard and behaving too much like a schoolgirl. Yet there is something in her that creates a soft spot for her in Jeff's mind (heart?) which he can't shake.
So he denies that part with him by going all parental on her at first and then blaming the mutual attraction by the end of Season 1- on her schoolgirl crush and his monumental lack of judgement. He shuts her off brutally (everytime) by casually denying they have anything in between whenever she tries to initiate any conversation to address that fact. So she eventually gives up on that.
When these two start their journey of character arc- We see Jeff starting to become more and more caring and Annie being more mature. We see that even though he behaves like he doesn't care or he's a selfish bastard, around Annie he chooses to go for the better "moral compass"- morally righteous choices; wanting to be a better man around everyone, especially Annie. By this time, he has channeled all his attraction towards her, in treating her like a child; so that he can keep her and his feelings for her at arm's length; to deny the fact that she is becoming more than a dear friend to him. She acknowledges and understands the fact that it makes it very difficult for him to act on it given how uncomfortable he is with age difference.
Although by the end of season 3 it is clear that it's not working. She thinks she needs to teach Jeff to love her and that she didn't actually love him but the idea of being loved, which at that time was true. She doesn't realize at that point, Jeff already has feelings, which over the course of the series, develops into love; just like it happens for her. Jeff falls in love with Annie because of who she is, not because she had to guide, convince or teach him. Their communication gap in this aspect (mainly due to Jeff) prevents them to know that. We literally see her popping up in his heart but, Jeff being Jeff, denies it. That's what he is capable of- To avoid any real feelings and deny them so that he can be that guarded person whom nobody can see through, as he believes that's the best way to never get hurt. But she sees through that. Amidst all the jerk persona and guarded personality of his, she still chooses to see the best in him and wants him to believe in that side of himself. Guy has real commitment and intimacy issues but we can't blame him for this entirely given his tough childhood. (Father leaving and Shirley humiliating him in Foosball).
We now see them partnering up in "cutesy capers" so that they can "address their urges in semi-acceptable scenarios". By the end of season 5 when he finally lets himself feel what he was trying not to feel for a long time (in Borchert's lab)- He realizes that he loves her. But now he thinks he'll hold her back. So he never tells her.
While that event in Borchert's lab in Season 5 were heartwarming, it is one of the major reason that leads to his misery in Season 6. Jeff can't maintain his lie to himself anymore. It's sad that Annie's "Winger speech" was so ironic in the way that they both want each other, but they don't realize that the other feels the same way and can't tell. She can't tell that because she knows he is marrying Britta, and he can't tell her because he believes he will ruin her life.
What started off as a schoolgirl crush, had developed into something real by now for both sides. This is also where age difference gets reduced to only a superficial factor, but he unfortunately can't get over the idea that he's not good enough for her and will only hold her back. He never thought like that when it came to Britta. Britta was always a means to cling to his past, something familiar that his consciousness/moral compass justified. Basic Sandwich is evidence of that. There is no future with Britta, and he knows that. That's why he proposes to her, because it allows him to hang on to the past without having to look at the future. He doesn't love her and he knows it'll end badly, but it's nothing he hasn't already been through. Annie is the future, the future he wants both figuratively and literally. With Annie, he sees that things could be better, that his past really wasn't all that great. Annie represents everything Jeff wants, but because of his personal demons and inability to overcome them, he doesn't believe he deserves her. He never really even considers the fact that she never believed in either of those views of his.
It's ironic that his first Winger Speech is what makes him keep his distance. He can see how great Annie is, but he can't see or admit that maybe he is good enough for her. By this time however it's just too much for her and, she finally starts to move on from him.
When she lets everyone know she's leaving, this is where his world shatters and he finally lets her know, because he has to. He obviously wants her to stay and even imagines him being married to her which is a big character leap for him given the fact that this is the guy who never believed in marriage. But no matter how much he wanted that, he doesn't try to stop her because he doesn't know whether this is what she wants too. He knows she's destined for so much better and bigger in her life and will probably never come back. So he let's his perfect fantasy go, no matter how hard is it for him.
That kiss between them solidifies how both- in their moments of true selflessness- are just affirming their deep feelings for each other, and that there's hope for them in the long run for when/if Annie comes back. Because frankly, should anyone let go of something this real, this easy? Annie is moving on with her life and to Jeff that means the end of their chances. To him, it feels like a big mistake that he let her go, which is how he always thinks- Jeff is still very much cynical in approach. But Annie being Annie, still sees the best in everything and tells him that anything is possible even after Greendale. "Too many variables".
An excerpt from a good fan fic I read defines and justifies in a simple yet very meaningful way as to why they work so well, even though they both are so different-
"I think it's because I walk with purpose, whereas you slouch along, taking it easy," she says. He gives a 'hmph'. "But somehow it works." She glances up at him through her lashes, and quirks her eyebrows. "You go slow," she says, "and I go fast, and we arrive at our destination... together."
TL;DR: At first it was the age difference, then it was the fact that he cared too much for her that stopped him to act on it. In the end when his denial was over, it was this idea that he will hold her back, that stops him. However we see Annie never had a problem with any of those factors. We see that in their individual moments of selflessness, they both created something pure in between them, way too big to be simply dismissed as mere "attraction". The situations however, never allowed them to try anything.
And that is what it makes it so real and cruel at the same time, especially because they both work. She makes him want to be a better version of himself, someone who actually has a heart; while he comforts her, encourages her. He makes her slow down in life a little so that she can loosen up a bit and actually enjoy. That's why, the way it has ended, it has the potential to be either one of the most romantic/beautiful or a beautifully tragic love story.
If Annie doesn't come back, which is very realistic chance, it would be a tragic "star crossed lovers" story- two people who loved each other in-spite of so many differences, and never managed to end up together because of those.
If she does come back, or he finally sees his worth and leaves Greendale to be something/someone, it would be a beautiful love story- two people who loved each other in-spite of so many differences, and yet somehowmanaged to find each other.
And amazingly now it is up-to Jeff- Which way he wants their story to end up at? Because I'm sure Annie being Annie, won't let it end up being anything short of a beautiful love story she thinks (we all do!) they deserve.
Summary: Sometimes she feels like there’s a part of her trapped in amber. It’s like she’s the perpetual teeny-bopper-with-a-crush, even though her reflection in the glass tells her that she should be beyond that by now. (Annie with a splash of assorted others throughout all of season six)
Author’s Note: Part of the “Distant Voices” series. This is mostly a series of loosely collected short Jeff/Annie stories. Posted not necessarily in chronological order, hence the month and year in the titles.
This story is positioned in third place out of the five stories posted so far.
Click on the “Distant Voices” series link to access all of the stories.
Three chapters of the story have been posted so far.
Alison Brie did a TVLine podcast with Mike Ausiello about GLOW. Auseillo, being Auseillo, of course asked about Community
Here's what she had to say that was Community
-specific:paraphrased from some extensive discussion
) Brie pretty much admitted that the reason why she didn't take any pilots before GLOW was because she's being offered pretty much "Annie as an adult" roles in sitcoms. Since she was finding herself starting to get typecast as the "cute, funny Type A personality" she wasn't interested. Also, she was up for another role at the same time she was trying to get GLOW, one that, based on the discussion in the podcast, was pretty much a lock, but she turned it down in favor of pursuing her GLOW long-shot.
(direct quote from roughly 17:00
) I've just been really very lucky because we had this amazing chemistry with Community cast. I feel like that was just such a fun family and everybody's senses of humor clicked in a really amazing way. And with GLOW I feel the same with Betty and with Mark in that we have great chemistry with each other and you can't fake that.
(direct quote from roughly 32:30
) I hate to say it. I would not bet on there being a Community movie any time soon. I hate to say it
. I feel like we all try to play really coy like it might happen. [Mike: Why would you say no?] First of all, I feel like the chance that we would get Donald to be a part of the movie...[Mike:That window is closing!] (laughter) It just got slammed shut! Recently! And I feel like there's no movie without Troy, like Troy and Abed and that whole chemistry and relationship. And also there's just no sign of it. Like, I'm just mostly saying it because I don't hear any rumblings about it. I feel like, not to put any pressure on any one person...[Mike: Dan Harmon] It would be Dan that would sort of have to write a script and kind of like get it going and I don't know...I'm not sure if he's even interested in doing that or what.
Honestly, I'm not tremendously surprised by any of this.
The interview is 35 minutes if you want to give it a listen.
Link to the interview: http://tvline.com/2018/06/01/alison-brie-podcast-interview-glow-nudity-hair-perm/
Just wanted to let you guys know there’s a new podcast about the show called Fundamentals of Community Podcasting. I know it’s on iTunes and YouTube; not sure where else. This is the link to their website. Their stated goal is evidently to watch every episode (which they are already huge fans) and do a podcast per ep, every other Thursday.
Good luck to them!