Blog Topic – Waitress, Are we normalising toxic relationships?
For this blog entry, I felt encouraged to explore a slightly different topic that was brought up within our morning meetings when it came to the Waitress, and that was relationships and if we are normalising Toxic relationships. Relationships are often depicted as being the end all and be all and if you’re not in one, something’s probably wrong with you. But when it comes to relationships, in reality, are they really all that cracked up to be?
Within the Waitress, I think we get our answer on relationships as a whole, whether intentional or not. And in the eyes of the viewer i think relationships have become simultaneously a big joke and something we as humans put on a pedestal and treat it as if it’s the ultimate goal, to find Mr or Mrs Right, the other half of us, the Ying to our Yang, The Moe’s fingers to Curly’s eyes… too far? Well personally i quite like the last analogy so deal with it.
The reason I’m claiming that relationships in today’s society are seen as something that is overpraised and quite frankly not taken as seriously as they should be is from looking at the divorce rates within America with some researchers going as far as claiming a 40%-50% divorce rate. 40-50%!? That’s tremendous if someone asked you to get a surgery where the mortality rate was 40-50% How many people do you think would actually go through with it? Now while I can’t accurately check those numbers, and it may be hearsay, it’s still a terrifying number to think about.
Now your probably thinking “Ok, so what does this have to do with the Waitress?” Well within the Broadway adaptation think back to Ogie. Now personally. I don’t like this character, but I understand why and I don’t think you’re meant to like him either. Think about who he is as a person. Someone who meets a girl for a FIVE MINUTE DATE, becomes absolutely obsessed and follows her back to her place of work and refuses to leave without seeing her. Does this sound healthy to you? How about we look at some of the lyrics from his song “Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me” I mean the title alone is enough to know this guy is a creep.
“I’m not going, if it seems like I did I’m probably waiting outside”…
“I love you means you’re never ever ever getting rid of me”
“She (A stray Cat Ogie found) played hard to get hissing while she scratched me, what she was trying to say was Ogie come and catch me!”
“Wherever you go I won’t be far to follow”
After reading these lines it should be setting of alarm bells in your head because holy crap they are creepy. Now I’m fine with having a stalker character, nothing wrong with it. But when this character is presented to be a lovable guy who’s just “quirky” there’s something seriously wrong with how we perceive relationships and the idea of romance. The fact that this character is praised, rewarded and cheered on by the audience, in all honesty, makes me feel extremely uneasy.
Saying this I can separate the performance from the message, and the actors did one hell of a job, Waitress was extremely well put together, the songs and scene transitions were top- notch and there wasn’t a single second where I was bored during the play.
I have to give Waitress Seven “Hey, your pretty good” Pies out of Ten. I deducted two because the way Ogie was represented still makes my skin crawl, and I also ate one of the pies…