RA Challenge ♡ #5: Romance

Grah. Which idiot has come up with these questions??? I need more information in order to answer this properly! Are we talking about proper-bilateral and thus “happy” romances, or also unilateral, unhappy romances? And are we talking canon-only or also non-canon? Hmph.

Ok, let’s take it literally and canon.

Favourite Romance

Yes, Francis and Reba. Because this is mutual attraction, not one-sided, and mainly because of the redemptive qualities of the romance. I loved how the romance changed Francis, at least temporarily. He feels the power of love for the first time *cue Frankie Goes To Hollywood*, and for a moment it seems possible that he may separate himself from the Red Dragon. Reba has the purity that Guy looked for in Marian. This romance couldn’t be more romantic. It embodies the whole “love has the power to change everything” ideal.

Least Favourite Romance

Easy. If there ever was a romance that felt wrong from the get-go, it was Lucas North’s affair with Sarah Caulfield. I don’t know, maybe I am in CPM here (character protection mode), but it seemed wrong that a vulnerable hero was being betrayed in this duplicitous manner, and worse – I did not really see why Lucas fell for her in the first place. It wasn’t that she was an agent, or that she was American, or that she was blonde – it was the whole stereotype of the character. Sarah felt like such an unlikely love interest. And I just didn’t really buy it, when Lucas begged Sarah to take him with her in 8×06. (BTW, the latest romance – Daniel and Esther – somehow reminds me of Lucas and Sarah, too. Conclusion: don’t dip your fountain pen in the office ink, buddy!)

PS: You may be wondering why Guy-girl Guylty doesn’t cite Guy and Marian as her favourite romance. The truth is, I am on the fence about that one. Marian clearly does not love Guy, so it is not a mutual romance as such, and somehow unsatisfying to watch. Yet, if it hadn’t been for that unrequited love, Guy would not have been the multi-layered character he became… Redemption in the lack of romance?

What about you? Which romance did you like best/least? Why?

 

 

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60 thoughts on “RA Challenge ♡ #5: Romance

  1. I see Daniel/Esther differently to Lucas/Sarah. With L/S both were using each other at first. Lucas fell for her. She didn’t. D/E – there was lust (for the job) but not romance, it didn’t get personal. They both knew it. My fav romance Harry/Geraldine *sigh* Francis/Reba – it was beautiful and so full of promise of what could have been. A tragic *if only* romance.

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    • Those are good points you are making re. L/S and D/E. I guess neither relationship qualified as “romance”.
      Harry and Geraldine – sweet. Stuff of dreams.

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    • Exactly. That romance was pure romanticism. Even in terms of Francis organising that trip to the zoo. An “elegant gesture” – who would’ve thought that a man like Francis would be capable of such?

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      • I tend to read genres in bulk. The Red Dragon ended my horror jag. It’s not a genre I’ve returned to. Reading the book years ago drained me. It drained me again when I reread it. My only reason for watching ANY of Hannibal was Richard. The romance was very bitter sweet in the book, as well as on screen. So the fluff, or the possibility of a love story for him balanced out everything else for me as well.

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  2. Kudos to Richard for making us care about Francis, for allowing us to see his humanity. Never in my life did I imagine I’d feel sympathy for a serial killer, but his Francis made me think about the fact that the character was a victim first. With a background like his, how could he have stayed sane? Like it’s been mentioned, if they had met when he was a young man, maybe he wouldn’t have lost his mind. It’s a very sad and, yes, romantic story.

    As for Geraldine and Harry, I never bought the story. Maybe if the show had run for an hour instead of half, I would have believed that he’d fallen in love with her. I know I’m asking too much because it was a comedy, but still…the story had much more potential. Wouldn’t you have liked more episodes with them?

    My favorite tragic story is John Standring’s, of course. Carol was too blinded by her love for that idiot in order to give John a chance. I felt sorry for her until she pointed a shotgun at his head. That was it! I cannot forgive her! ;D

    Last, but not least, I wanted to see John Porter and Katie ride into the sunset together. *sniff* Now, there’s a romantic story! He can rescue me from kidnappers any day. ;p

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    • You are touching on a really interesting point there, Violet, Richard being able to play a character in such a way, that he takes away the bias that may actually be incorporated in the character’s role in a piece. It’s always the little things he adds to his portrayals – the way the character moves, or speaks, or even just blinks. With Dolarhyde, RA really managed to make him almost ambiguous – there was the evil serial killer (the way he krept through Molly’s house was just hair-raising), the mad man (eating that watercolour – scary monster), and then the human (trying to resist love). I still think that his Dolarhyde is one of his really great works. In fact, I think his portrayal of Dolarhyde is even better than his Proctor.
      Yeah, Geraldine and Harry. I mean, of course I love the fantasy of it all. But in a couple as different as these two, I just don’t buy it. However, you are right – it would’ve been fun to see more of them. And maybe then it would’ve been more believable.
      As for Standring – he was on my list for least favourite romance. Not because I don’t like him. I do. I think he is sweet and good. But the fact that the romance was doomed from the beginning, just made it so bittersweet.
      For Porter I am totally spoilt by a non-canon, fan fic-based romance. I just loved Obscura’s pairing with her OFC Lindsay in “Recovery”.

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  3. Even though I am a Francis Dolarhyde fan from the first time I read the book & a Fannibal from Ep1, I SO disliked the Reba/Francis thing. They both annoyed me. She was way too chatty. I wanted to tell her to shut up. Annoys me as much as Hannibal/Alana from S2. Luckily with DVDs you can skip right thru the annoying part 🙂

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    • Aw dammit – I thought that I’d finally have a good argument here for you to like RA/one of RA’s characters… 😉
      Mind you, I do agree that Reba talked *a lot*. And that stood out even more against someone as monosyllabic as Francis…

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    • I probably had CPM (character protection mode) switched on and could never understand why Margaret so badly misunderstands Thornton, so their romance always left a bitter taste in my mouth. However, the kiss at the railway station is the gentlest, most romantic happy ending, EVER!

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  4. Favorite romance: Thornton. Maybe minus Margaret. (I’d be satisfied to just stare at Thornton.) Close second: Thornton and his mother. Don’t say “ewwwe.” That was a beautiful relationship: loving, affectionate, and much more real and satisfying than Thornton and Margaret.
    Least favorite romance: Harry, Vicar of Dibley. Not believable, and this fat fangirl felt toyed with. Good on Dawn French for hiring herself a hunk to play her love interest. Maybe if someone defies the usual conventions about body size, things might change…someday. And good on RA for playing Harry earnestly. But in real life, men who look like him don’t fall in love at first sight with women who look like her/me. They don’t even see us—we’re invisible. Redeeming factor: seeing RA in that horrible pink and black jogging outfit. If I tell myself the whole show was a setup for that visual gag, well then LOL!

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    • Hahaha, Thornton on his own? With “reader-insert” pairing? I know exactly where you are coming from, since I am not a fan of Margaret… Interesting interpretation re. Mother Thornton. I wouldn’t call it a romantic relationship, but I see what you mean. (I’d love to have such a strong bond with my own son…)
      And thanks for saying it as it is re. Harry and Geraldine. I’ve basically been tiptoeing around the elephant in the room *pun not intended*, but yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. There was just absolutely no realism in that relationship. I don’t think I have ever come across a RL relationship like that. But well, it was all fiction, and sure, we are all allowed to dream.
      LOL on the jogging outfit. Yes, it was really satisfying to see an attractive person being made fun of in that way. Payback?!

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  5. It’s interesting about Guy and Marian… that could have been my favourite romance if Robin Hood hadn’t been there to keep messing it up! … but then there would have been no show!

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    • Yeah, Forest Boy really was a disruptive element. But even with him out of the picture, Marian was still a rather duplicitous, headstrong character. But yeah, without this whole love triangle, the story would have been really flat – and Guy would’ve had less depth than he did as a jilted lover…

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  6. For Harry and Geraldine , isn’t it strange that we seem to find her falling for him at first sight more believable than him falling for her? I like to think that he found what was missing from himself …i.e. the extroverted bundle of laughs who takes care of everyone … and was oblivious to whatever package that might have come in. And different things attract different people at different times in their lives.

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    • It’s all based on prejudice, isn’t it? Making the assumption that an attractive man is irresistible, whereas a woman who does not conform to conventional beauty ideals can be easily resisted. And yet, in most of our experiences, that is exactly how things are. Sure, we all know that *inner* beauty is more important than outward attractiveness. Maybe that was the message of the show…

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  7. My favourite romance is still Thornton and Miss Hale. It is perfect. At first mutual aversion, then one-sided love. Then recognition of love on both sides. Obstacles which cause separation and longing. And then, driven by fate and chance, the happy end on the station….sigh…

    Second best: I regret that the relation between Porter and Kathy was not further developed, otherwise it could have been my favourite romance. The chemistry between the two was electrifying.

    My least favourite couple is Harry & Geraldine. I watched the show for only 15 minutes and detested it immediately…Totally implausible pairing and I couldn’t even laugh about the jokes. Sorry!

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    • The NS romance has all the ingredients for a great love story. I guess it is not my favourite because I never really liked Margaret very much. I always found her condescending and apathic. But I do agree that there is huge satisfaction in the ending…
      Agree with your verdict on Harry and Geraldine. Not my cuppa, either.

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  8. I also don’t particularly like Margaret, but love the relation with his mother! I’m not a fan of poor Francis, great acting but I cannot feel anything for that character. The scenes with Reba were nice, but I never felt the need to see them again, while I can watch forever the train station kiss from N&S, imagining … a girl can dream 🙂 My favorite romances: Guy and Meg, it is short but I really like their interaction, followed by Lucas and Lisaveta, troubled and not really a romantic relation but I like it. I don’t like Marion, Geraldine, Sarah, Maya and Esther, but I have some sympathy for Carol.

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    • You know, I have never rewatched Hannibal either – but that is really because I am STILL waiting for someone to create a RA fan cut (without all the horror scenes involving other characters…). I’d watch Reba + Francis again, because I did like the drama of this romance.
      Guy + Meg – I can see where you are coming from. Mind you, I always thought they cut this particular pairing too short. I was not really sure whether Guy had developed any real feelings, or whether he was just being nice to the dying girl who had attempted to save his life. Mind you, that makes for a good romance already…

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  9. My most favorite is still John Thornton and Margaret Hale. I didn’t care much for Margaret early on in N & S. She slowly changed my opinion however, as she began to realize the value of what she had previously tossed aside and tried to win back Thornton’s affection. She redeemed herself at the train station imo when he took her hand and she raised his hand up and kissed it. A beautiful prelude to their now famous lip-lock. The simplicity of that scene is one of my romantic favorites.
    My least favorite romance was Lucas and Sarah. That woman was snarky and I didn’t get his attraction to her.

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    • The final scene in NS is masterful romance – both in the literary source, as well in the cinematographic representation. And despite my dislike of Margaret, I will admit to having watched that scene over and over again, many times.

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  10. My favorite romance is the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor. Even though John had been unfaithful, he worked at winning his wife’s affections back. Even though life’s circumstances destroyed their lives, they were able to find they still passionately loved each other. Theirs was like many marriages that last a lifetime, there are ups and downs and ultimately if they love each other they will find their way back to each other. That passionate kiss before John died showed how much they still deeply felt about each other.

    The Worst Romance…all of them. Not really, but the man can never catch a break, The one that breaks my heart the most is John Standring and Carol. He wanted so much for her to love him, but it didn’t look as if she had it in her. I wanted to smack her every time she went running to Andrew. I keep hoping that now Andrew is dead they might have a chance. but Carol needs lots of therapy!

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    • That’s really well-argued, Dele. I have to say yes, the Proctors are another bittersweet romance – difficult at first (I can never forget how she winces and withdraws when he tries to be tender with her), and then so passionate and life-affirming. It really makes the heart ache.

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  11. Ich liebe den Kuss zwischen Margaret und John Thorton und mittlerweile (nach vielen Betrachtungen) kann ich Margaret sogar recht gut leiden.
    Harry und Geraldine machen mir ebenfalls viel Freude, auch wenn ihre Beziehung hier teilweise angezweifelt wird. Ich habe im weiteren Bekanntenkreis ein sehr ungleiches Paar und den beiden geht es trotz der Verwunderung ihrer Umwelt ganz ausgezeichnet. Die entspannte Art und die Begeisterungsfähigkeit von von Harry finde ich einfach erfrischend. Warum sollen sich immer nur wunderhübsche Frauen in “ungewöhnliche” Männer verlieben? Das geht auch umgekehrt.
    Was ist eigentlich mit Thorin und Bilbo? Das Buch beinhaltet keinen Hinweis auf diese Beziehung, der Film und die Darstellung von RA und MF haben Fans zu wunderbaren Geschichten und Videos inspiriert. Ich selber wäre nicht auf die Idee gekommen, fand aber einiges davon richtig gut.

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    • Ja, Harry und Geraldine sind echt kontrovers. Sieht so aus, als gäbe es zwischen “ein einziger Traum” und “total unrealistisch” überhaupt gar nichts. Die Ausnahmen mögen die Regel bestätigen. Aber ich muss zugeben, dass ich zu denjenigen gehöre, die sich von der Konstellation eher verarscht fühlen. Ich kann an einem Finger abzählen, wie oft sich ein so attraktiver Mann für mich interessiert hat. Aber gut, vielleicht bin ich ja auch zu gut aussehend *bruhahahaha* (NOT!)
      Und Thorin und Bilbo – weia, damit machst du hier aber ein Wespennest auf, in das ich jetzt erstmal nicht reinstechen werde. (Das kommt dann erst bei #19 😁)

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      • Na ja, leider wachsen derart hübsche Männer ja nicht gerade auf Bäumen. Wenn du einen an deinem Finger abzählen kannst, dann herzlichen Glückwunsch 😉
        Wespennest… “totalunschuldigguck”
        Du stichst rein und ich bin sehr gespannt, was passiert. 🙂

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        • Höhö, das mit dem “an einem Finger abzählen” bezieht sich auch nur darauf, dass ich da noch nicht mal einen kenne!
          Wie gut, dass es noch 14 Tage bis #19 sind…

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          • 14 Tage,hmm… da bleibt dir genug Zeit, den Stich sorgfältig vorzubereiten.
            Die Thorin / Bilbo Sache hat mich so neugierig gemacht, dass ich die Welt der Fan-Fiction entdeckt habe und das war die Aufregung schon wert.

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            • Das scheint Generationensache zu sein. Bei Thorin und Bilbo hat mich das gar nicht mehr hinter dem Ofen hervorgelockt. Mein Aufweckungserlebnis war schon vorher jede Menge Guy-Slash. Ich fands auch aufregend 😁

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              • Ja, der Guy… Das war halt noch vor meiner Zeit 😉
                Bei Thorin schlägt halt meine Vorliebe für Mittelerde und Tolkien voll zu. Ich habe Geschichten über Thorin in allen möglichen Variationen verschlungen. Es gibt erstaunlich gut geschriebene und langsam entwickelt man einen Blick dafür, welche einem gefallen könnten. Erstaunlich ist allerdings, dass ich sie nur auf Englisch lesen mag. Deutsch klingt in diesem Zusammenhang nie gut…

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                • Das kann ich nur bestätigen – auf Deutsch gefallen mir fan fics meistens gar nicht. Manchmal beschleicht mich allerdings auch das Gefühl, dass das evtl. mit einer inhärenten Distanz zusammenhängt: Auf Englisch bleibt bei mir immer noch ein kleines bisschen ironische Distanz vorhanden. Damit lässt sich fan fic irgendwie besser verdauen. (Oder rechtfertigen?????)

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  12. Wow. Reba and Francis. I don’t even think of that as a romance; just an episode of sickening needs-fulfillment …

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  13. Favorite romance? Thornton and Margaret hands down. When they finally realized they loved each other. When John went South to see the world Margaret came from. When Margaret came North at last. I’ve watched that railway scene countless times. I also love Dolly and Reba, Harry and Geraldine, Proctor and Elizabeth. But the romance of North and South trumps all.
    Least favorite romance? It’s a toss up between Guy and Marian or Sarah and Lucas. Guy was besotted with Marian but she just used him. We have a term for that: prickteaser. As for Lucas and Sarah, she was bad news from the start. Hard looking, no compassion, and that horrendous nasal accent. Lucas let his dick do the thinking on that one and was betrayed for not using his brain.

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    • I have to admit – the train station scene is probably the most romantic thing I have seen, too. If it only weren’t for the lead-up to it… But yeah, I confess I have watched that over and over again, too…
      Prickteaser – such an accurate term. She really got what she wanted. And in the end, she got what she deserved…

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  14. i think i am almost, almost with you there 🙂 it is my 2nd favourite, though i don’t know them all yet 🙂
    I haven’t watched the Geraldine one yet, i will but not that drawn to it.. it’s just so unrealistic that it could never pass by the feeling of irony, which i think is only natural in the show. And somehow i find those slightly more believable in the Miranda sitcom versions, or simply more my cup of tea…

    But i am with you on all arguments about Reba and Francis, i was even able from time to time to block out what i knew about him and i thought it gave us a very convincing glimpse of what could have been had he not been that damaged and gave him an insight into what love can be. It was well done and convincing and sad and lovely in parts. It certainly was mutual and really romantic until sadly it fell apart as he couldn’t escape what he had become.

    Glad you brought this back and on the general romance theme i always feel a bit stumped with his characters… it’s frustration more than anything else LOL BUT i was never frustrated about this pairing, quite the contrary 🙂

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    • I am really glad I am not the only one who enjoyed the *potential* of the Reba-Francis pairing. Sure, it is a total case of ignoring the bad and adjusting the truth to fit my needs. But hey, that’s how fiction works. It definitely also helped that I believe that Francis is one of RA’s strongest performances. He was truly frightening – and yet he got the nuances of the tender moments, too.

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      • i think it was one of his strongest roles too! it was very complex and interesting in many ways and apart from some of the gore a fascinating watch, at least for me. It will be hard to find roles of that complexity on screen… i am still hoping in a silly way he might get a shot at the new Les Mis adaptation which has at least 2 great characters in it but my brain says very unlikely..

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        • Yeah, those roles are hard to come by. Mind you, I think he has built up a bit of a reputation for being the go-to man for the nuanced acting of fairly extreme characters. (Or is that merely a reputation for being the go-to man for scowling frowners?)
          Les Mis adaptation? Again???? (You are not mixing this up with La Cage aux Folles???)

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          • No, and it is not again, it is an adaptation of the books! I never liked the musical in any of its shapes and we are finally set to remind people behind all that silliness there is a really good book 🙂 The adaptation for screen is written by the same author who wrote the famous now Pride and Prejudice and the recent and excellently done War and Peace; it will also be the same production company as the latter. I have hopefully justified very high hopes 🙂 Hugo will be grateful to be remembered 🙂 The other exciting project currently already shooting is McMafia but it’s already known who is in it and i suspect that will also live up to its promise. Soo much more interesting than.. oh well i better not go there, as i suspect he isn’t interested in any of this anyway. I am just always newly frustrated watching TV here that is so much better than anything he’s been in recently apart from Hannibal that is.. and so much more mainstream at the same time. C’est la vie..

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            • Oh, now that you are mentioning it, I remember you had talked about it before. Yeah, sounds interesting – as do the other projects. Who knows – it appears as if Mr A is wrapped up in Berlin until the end of August. (ooooh, does that mean we’ll get a Berlin birthday party for him???) So no time for projects til then. I am always, always excited for him to get new roles – the suspense and surprise of the actor’s movement from role to role is really exciting to follow.

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  15. oh and i absolutely like him and Esther together.. if their lives and job weren’t that cynical i think they would be a great pair, and in many ways they are 🙂 It really works for me!

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    • I am somehow on the fence with Daniel and Esther… I think there would have been great potential – two characters of the same status; or possibly with the woman of higher status. That makes for interesting dynamics, not to mention the backstory. I am sure that some of that will be maintained in season 2.

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      • I would hope the thing continues, it was one of the few things that made it interesting, but i guess we’ll have to wait and see… At least it is something that we will be able to see one way or another.

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  16. Ich stimme den anderen voll zu 🙂
    John thornton würde ich sofort reinzerren, die Tür abschließen und nie wieder rauslassen falls ich je die Gelegenheit dazu hätte. Und auch Harry hätte ich nicht vor der Tür stehen lassen, als er mehrmals klopft um das mit dem küssen zu klären. Solche Männer gibt es in der Realität leider nicht 😦

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    • Och, ich würde den Thornton wohl auch nicht abweisen. Zwar würden wir uns erstmal ziemlich in die Haare kriegen, was unsere wirtschaftspolitischen Ansichten angeht, aber dafür ist das Vertragen danach dann umso schöner…
      Harry – ok, klar, abblitzen lassen hätte ich den auch nicht, schon gar nicht wenn es um so einen Haudrauf-Flirt geht. Das macht ja schon Spaß… Och, doch, klar gibt es solche Flirt-Helden. Nur sehen sie meistens nicht so gut aus wie Harry.

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