Paranormal Partners: Five Onscreen Couples Whose Love Wasn’t Exactly Natural
By Owen Maxwell
What does Count Dracula do after a full meal of O+? Is he an aviation enthusiast? Closeted woodworker? What about the Tooth Fairy? She seems nice enough: attractive, giving, background in dental hygiene. Surely she has a husband, or at least a steady boyfriend who shares her affinity for strange collections.
For those living on the other side of the supernatural divide, life off the clock is as humdrum or exciting as they make it. KoldCast TV’s newest comedy explores the downtime of its titular succubus who’s graced British folklore, Bloody Mary. Rather than merely document Mary’s famed bathroom hauntings, the series follows her after the job is done, focusing on everyday drama that her and her ghoulish companions deal with – namely their love lives. Think Friends meets The Adams Family.
You are watching Episode 1 of Bloody Mary
Keeping the love alive isn’t easy, and problems are only compounded when an immortal, macabre wraith like Mary falls for a mere human, despite her peers’ strong oppositions toward inter-realm dating. Nevertheless, a handsome Irishman named Chris has won Mary’s cold heart and she’s forced to juggle the rocky relationship while keeping it secret from her prying friends.
Bloody Mary’s wry English humor is an entirely new avenue through which forbidden love between immortals and humans is explored, but the story has been told from as far back as Zeus’ fleshy affairs in ancient Greece. More recently we’re likely to point to Edward and Jacob’s lust for high school loner Bella, but regardless of the time period they take place, these moonlight trysts all exhibit the same challenges of fundamental incompatibility.
Samantha and Darrin Stephens (Bewitched, 1964-1972)
In an era when American families were just starting to break from their patriarchal, nuclear norm, 100-year old witch (but looking damn near-perfect for her age) Samantha forsakes her powers to marry the kind-hearted average Joe, Darrin Stephens. Bewitched really did leave audiences bewitched for nearly a decade as they followed Samantha’s meddling mother’s attempt to sabotage her daughter’s unconventional relationship.
In episode after episode, the in-laws would cast spells on poor Darrin, leaving him the fool at work, with his buddies, and especially back at home. In 2005, the late Nora Ephron created what the New York Times called “an unmitigated disaster” by reimagining the sitcom as a meta-farce with Will Ferrell playing Darrin, a failing and arrogant Hollywood actor searching for a costar to play opposite him in a Bewitched remake. His choice: an actual witch played by Nicole Kidman.
Sam Wheat and Molly Jenson (Ghost, 1990)
Perhaps best known as the movie that made pottery sexy, Ghost taught us that with a little faith and a lot of Whoopi, love never dies. The late, great Patrick Swayze plays Sam Wheat, a guy murdered by his colleague and friend after investigating his schemy financial dealings. Sam’s long-time girlfriend Molly Jenson (Demi Moore) is the next target and so Sam tries his damndest to protect her, even if he’s merely a translucent, incommunicable ghost.
The movie’s signature steamy scene is of a spectral Sam passionately helping a distraught Molly sculpt a hunk of clay with her pottery wheel. Though the two never speak, and Molly never directly acknowledges Sam’s supernatural presence, she knows he’s there. Then, a séance-savvy Whoopi Goldberg allows Swayze to take control of her body and profess his love for Demi from the grave.
Selene and Michael Corvin (Underworld, 2003-2012)
A movie franchise that just won’t quit, Underworld combines the plots of Twilight, Die Hard, and throws in a little Genetics 101. It’s the story of Kate Beckinsale’s Selene, a “death dealer” aka Lycan assassin (like werewolves, but much, much worse and uglier) who falls in love with a very special human, Michael Corvin. He’s a hot commodity, a rare breed of normal with dormant genetic code shared by both vampires and werewolves. You see, Corvin’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather was immune to a plague that wiped out practically everyone. He then had three sons: one bit by a wolf, another by a bat, and a third who was more careful. The first two spawned a society of vamps and weres, whereas Corvin’s human line descends from the third unharmed son.
While totally stalking Michael, Selene saves him from a Lycan attack, only to learn the leader bit him, ensuring his fate as a Lycan. Faced with the dilemma of duty versus love, Selene spares Michael’s life and eventually uses his new status to infiltrate the Lycan lair. They blow the lid off an ancient vampire conspiracy based on a very similar, forbidden love affair.
Bella Swan and Edward Cullen (Twilight, 2008-2012)
The defining human-monster love story, Twilight essentially took Romeo and Juliet, made the Montegues vampires, the Capulets werewolves, and threw Kristen Stewart and her ever-yearning expression right in the middle. Bella Swan and perpetual teenage vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, duh) begin a high school romance frowned upon by practically every supernatural species. It’s predicated on Cullen’s new age status as a vegetarian – that is, he only feeds on non-human blood. Bella finds his restraint (and the constant risk of being lunch) hot and falls for him. Their love affair eventually leads to an all out vampire-werewolf war, three sequels, and billions in box office revenue.
Zeus and Alcmene (Bibliotheca, First Century BCE)
The Greek god Zeus was no stranger to affairs with the subspecies. The divine philanderer was said to have sired over 50 illegitimate, mortal children during his reign as the ancient god of thunder. One of his most famous flings was with Tyrian princess, Alcmene. Described as one of the most wise and beautiful women of all time, Alcmene rendered the all-powerful Zeus helpless against her long legs and big dark eyes. Though it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Zeus disguised himself as Alcmene’s husband and slept with her under false pretenses, in the process conceiving demi-God Hercules who went on to become one of the greatest heroes of all time. So, a little home wrecking wasn’t all for naught.
Click to watch Episode 2 of Bloody Mary
Owen Maxwell is a Massachusetts native who graduated from St. Bonaventure University and forwent law school to move to Los Angeles and try to make it as a freelance screenwriter. Needless to say, his mother was thrilled…