THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Who's deserting whom?

By Matthew Gilbert
Globe Staff / December 7, 2010

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Some people get into complex relationships — with their TV shows. We imagine what their desperate pleas for advice would sound like.

Dear TV and Sympathy, I really, really, really don’t want to go out with “American Idol.’’ I have no interest even in dating, to be honest. Reality TV can’t give me what I need — pretty words, fresh story lines. But everywhere I go, “American Idol’’ seems to follow me, bragging about how great it is to hang out with Steve Tyler or Jennifer Lopez. And everyone talks about “Idol’’ all week long, about who’s good and who’s pitchy. How can I get “American Idol’’ to give up and get out of my face? Signed, Simon Scowl

Dear TV and Sympathy: I started seeing “Arrested Development’’ back in 2003, and we quickly knew it was the Real Thing. It’s hard to describe exactly how we knew — we laughed together constantly, and sense of humor is, of course, always key. I was continually surprised by our interactions, they were never predictable. And we both were bananas for the music of George Michael. After a few months of being together week in and week out, we found a natural rhythm. But then, after a three-year struggle with cancellation, “Arrested Development’’ quietly lost the battle on Feb. 10, 2006, in the arms of our British housekeeper, Mrs. Featherbottom. I was devastated. To this day, I obsess over my DVDs and the reruns on IFC, unable to move on with my life. Every other sitcom I meet pales in comparison. I know I should let go, but it feels impossible. Will I ever find another “Arrested Development’’? Signed, In a Funke