While many romantic comedies are chided for their predictable plotlines, it was William Shakespeare who first created these well-know story arcs. So give chick flicks some cred, and check out how the ultimate wordsmith, the William Shakespeare, contributed to the genre through an analysis of four of his comedies.

I am a Shakespeare junkie for sure. When I backpacked through Europe, the highlight of my trip was seeing Much Ado About Nothing performed at the Globe. (My favorite play in my favorite place … I pinched myself at least seven times.) I also like romantic comedies (I searched for the bookstore from Notting Hill with earnest while abroad).

Apparently liking Shakespeare makes me intelligent and well-read, but liking romantic comedies makes me pithy and shallow. Woah now. I think one could draw a line connecting the dots between Shakespeare’s revered plotlines and the commonly mocked rom com stories.

Overall, Shakespeare’s comedies are predictable. The girl and the guy end up together and the whole story ends in a marriage. What makes the plays interesting is how this all comes together. (Sounds a little bit like why people love rom coms, does it not?)

This column will briefly analyze four of my favorite comedies Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night and their contributions to the genre.

Much Ado About Nothing:

In this crazy, mixed-up shenanigan of a play there are two couples Beatrice & Benedick and Hero & Claudio. Hero and Claudio are your classic couple. They fall in love at first sight, scandal rips them apart, but they are eventually reunited with little or no damage to their overall relationship. Beatrice and Benedick are the far more interesting pairing. The audience knows the two are made for each other by the way they spar for the first few scenes, but they are cunningly tricked into loving each other. In the end, both couples marry.

Story lines this has spawned: Lovers made for each other who are torn apart by scandal and misunderstanding before reuniting (Notting Hill?), and lovers who never expect to be tied down wind up together (The Ugly Truth? When Harry Met Sally?).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

Another four-some, Lysander & Hermia and Demetrius & Helena. Basically, the four run to the woods, because Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius, but she loves Lysander so they run off together. Helena loves Demetrius, so she joins the gaggle soon after. Though both couples are enchanted (literally) in various ways, and they all seem to turn on each other as the story continues, Lysander ends up with Hermia and Demetrius with Helena. In essence, everybody wins.

Story lines this has spawned: Lovers made for each other are torn apart by scandal and enchantment before reuniting (Ella Enchanted?), one lover who seeks another finally earns a fantastic partner she didn’t expect (Legally Blonde?).

The Taming of the Shrew:

The two sisters, Bianca and Kat, are very different. While Bianca is demure, Kat is crass and bold. Petruchio courts and eventually claims Kat making her a domesticated housewife, and many suitors fight for Bianca with her disguised tutor Lucentio eventually winning out. Both end up in happy relationships (and yes, if you have not read the play, this is the plot of Ten Things I Hate About You).

Story lines this has spawned: The woman who can’t be tamed is won by the man (Pretty Woman?) and the woman that everyone loves is won over by the man who actually deserves her (Bridget Jones’ Diary?).

Twelfth Night:

A shipwrecked Viola dresses as her brother Sebastian, whom she believes to be dead, and becomes a page for Duke Orsino who loves Olivia. Olivia has lost many family members, so the Duke woos her through Sebastian/Viola. Olivia falls for Viola as Viola falls for the Duke, and as an added twist, Sebastian isn’t really dead. In the end, Viola ends up with the Duke and Olivia winds up with Sebastian. (And again, yes, this is the plot of She’s the Man.)

Story lines this has spawned: The important person falls for the slave/lower status character (Hugh Grant plot in Love Actually?) and the page boy/lower status character woos the King with their smarts (Pretty Woman?).

Look I know these connections aren’t perfect and are kind of a stretch in some cases, but this analysis still manages to demonstrate that the story lines we now mock were created by the genius of men. So give rom coms some cred.

What connections did I miss? What is your favorite Shakespearian comedy? What is your favorite rom com?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?

Uh oh — fans of Nick and Jess aren’t going to like this news! Megan Fox is returning to New Girl in season 6 for a major arc.

Last season, Megan Fox stepped in to fill in Jess’ place while Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave. During that time, Fox’s character Regan grew quite close to Nick! They even ended up going to Cece and Schmidt’s wedding together and made plans for the summer. With awful timing too, since it seemed like Jess was just about ready to admit her feelings for Nick.

Now TV Line is reporting that Fox will be returning for a huge story arc in New Girl season 6. It’s believed that Nick will return home from his summer with Regan alone, but she will appear around the middle of the season. The timing of her appearance is due to Fox’s own pregnancy with her third child.

If we had to guess, we’d say that the writers will definitely be throwing some angst into the script. It always seems like either Jess or Nick is pining for the other while they’re in a relationship. Will Jess try to get over her feelings for Nick with someone else? Or will she just try to show him why they should be together? Fans will have to wait and see when the show returns!

New Girl season 6 returns to Fox on September 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET!

Are you excited to see Megan Fox return to ‘New Girl’?