5 Things: TV’s Best Couples

“5 Things” is a weekly column in which a writer, group of writers, or contributors may offer 5 facts or opinions related to all things television. We invite you to contribute your thoughts by submitting your own “5 Things” or leaving comment. “5 Things” runs every weekend on welovetvmore.com.

 

1) The Bromance: Troy and Abed from Community by Ricky Diaz (@rickylovestv)

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Troy and Abed pretty much are the heart and soul of Community. From the beginning of the first season, it seemed like the writers were going to pair Troy/Pierce and Jeff/Abed  together, but a couple of end tags between Troy and Abed seemed to be enough to change their mind. The characters have done a lot for each other. Troy seemingly able to be himself, not the jock character he first portrayed, and giving Abed a foil to bounce off and to better be developed. The thing about the two of them is that they have that childhood innocence that most people seem to grow out of – the blanket forts, the “swapping bodies”, they just “commit to the bits”, and the chemistry between the characters and the actors who play them is undeniable. I think what makes them work is that Abed is rarely expresses emotion, whilst Troy is at times, overtly emotional, they kinda cancel each other out in ways.

The thing about Troy/Abed is that they know they are “weird” and that their relationship can seem quite homoerotic at times, but they just don’t care, they like each others company, and care how the other is feeling, its quite the bromance they have going on.

But it hasn’t always been clear sailing for them, the first season ended with them falling out slightly when Troy wanted to move in with Abed, Abed realising that their friendship could suffer with them living together. They eventually do move in together, and maybe Abed had a point, with them eventually falling out and bringing the school into their “fight”. Season Four seemed to be the biggest test for them, with them drifting apart somewhat, with each of them getting into relationships, and with the news that Donald Glover is only having reduced episode number, this will mean a much more reduced Troy/Abed interactions in the coming season.

 

2) The Boy and His Dog: Jake and Finn from Adventure Time by Kate Humphrey (@thekatehumphrey)

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They live together, they eat everything burritos together, and they fight evil-doers hand-in-paw…It’s Jake the Dog and Finn the Human! After the cartoon phenomenon also known as the 1990’s, many networks have been struggling to spawn an animation renaissance; if quality children’s programming does become a trend again, everyone will remember that it started with Adventure Time and with the intense love of besties Finn and Jake.

The sci-fi-fantasy-surrealist spin on the classic boy and dog dynamic is perfectly aimed at Adventure Time‘s viewers: technology-saturated children as well as similarly plugged in, now-adult media enthusiasts thirsty for great shows like they knew growing up. Finn and Jake wear their emotions on their sleeves, almost always expressing some intensely genuine form of altruism. They are never too cool to share their love or cut the occasional ill-timed fart. There’s is a friendship of never-ending inside jokes, the utmost loyalty, and a few simple goals: adventure, snacks, and togetherness.

Of course I see a deeper reason why this show is so successful and why we all have/want a Jake to our Finn, or vice versa. As our world becomes easier to map, as the world’s conflicts become easier to consume, and as more resources reach our fingertips, the Land of Ooo (where Finn and Jake reside) takes that reality and makes it a paradise.

Fantastical ecosystems (for example, tiny bears living to party in a monster’s stomach) pop up in each episode, seemingly unrelated, unbound by any law of natural selection. Though we do follow the same group of characters with some soapy elements (relationships, histories, a developing mythology), there is still a distinctly bottled feel to each adventure. This keeps the horizon seemingly limitless while retaining a level of in-jokes and pointless knowledge essential to this era’s sense of entertainment.

Finn and Jake explore this special world regardless of fear or logic; no matter how many crazy things they’ve seen, they wake up every day ready for more. They rescue the village of tiny-building-people, delve into the hell-like Nightosphere, and infiltrate wizarding societies partly because it’s fun, but also because they have each other. Friendship that can weather the internet-generation’s taste for creepy humor and non sequiturs is a friendship built of the finest stuff.

 

3) The Fan and Her Obsession: Beckett and Castle/Caskett from Castle by Shana Lieberman (@evilapprentice)

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Kate Beckett fell in love with Richard Castle’s books long before she met him, so I could argue that Caskett is the best tv couple because it gives fangirls everywhere a beacon of hope.  An author’s books are your lifeline when you’re struggling to cope with your mother’s death, and then he becomes so enchanted by you that he uses his connections to weasel his way into following you around?  And then the two of you fall in love?  Yeah, that’s inspirational and all, but reducing Caskett to “fangirl snags object of her fangirling” would be a failure of epic proportions.  Such a story wouldn’t do justice to Caskett’s witty banter or undeniable chemistry, and it wouldn’t even scratch the surface on Caskett’s real emotional impact.

So, why is Caskett the best tv couple?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HahCvfC5eYY&feature=youtu.be

They’ve survived every roadblock put in their way:  from playboy reputations, to unloved boyfriends and ex-wives, bombs, being locked in a freezer, bullets to the heart,  secrets, lies, emotional walls, and even TIGERS.  They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so after everything Caskett has been through together, they have a bond that is indestructible.  They have beaten the odds time and time again, and I have no doubt that, no matter how troubling things may get in the future, they will continue to come out on top.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shGo4LF4cPw

And they have grown so much together!  Castle started taking life seriously and changed his playboy ways when he met Kate.  Beckett went from someone who was emotionally unavailable and had given up on happiness after tragedy struck at age 19 to much a more open, carefree individual.  Much like shadowing Beckett led Castle to want to become a better man, Beckett fought to break down her emotional walls — and even overcome PTSD — so she could be ready to dive into a relationship with Castle. Beckett’s journey to first admit to, and then act on, her feelings for Castle is an inspiration on so many levels.  It makes you believe in love.

So, whether it’s a fangirl actually having her favorite author fall in love with her, or surviving every life threatening situation imaginable together, or beating unspeakable emotional hurdles, Caskett delivers.  It doesn’t mean that they’re without their flaws (I could write a whole novel on their communication failures, much like I could write a volume of encyclopedias on why they’re the best if given the chance), and it shouldn’t mean that.  Relationships are messy, and it’s lovely to see these two battle through not only the crime drama together but also some realistic relationship hurdles.

Castle and Beckett balance each other out perfectly; they’re the ultimate yin and yang.  When they say always, they mean it.  They’re the real deal.  Always.

And I didn’t even mention the witty banter or sizzling chemistry!

 

4) The Misunderstood Romance: Anna and Bates from Downton Abbey by Megan Haas (@meggh11)

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While most couples on tv are racing around trying to manipulate each
other into take their clothes off, Anna and Bates could be described
as two people trying to keep as many clothes on. Beginning on the
morning the Titanic sank, Downton Abbey starts with Bates coming on a
train to start his job at Downton (but he is not the main character.
There are 20+ main characters). He arrives and is greeted by three
women, one of them being head housemaid Anna. Their friendship
develops first. Being coworkers, Bates now His Lordship’s Valet, these
two would never even consider a romantic connection because of the
jeopardy it puts their jobs in. Anna considers herself extremely lucky
for having such a respectable job at such a young age and from a
limited background. Actress Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, has said
in many articles that Anna is happy with what she has. She has ruled
out ever having a family and a relationship in her life. Downton is
her life. Then, Bates, having just gotten out of jail, a war, and is
now walking with a limp and soon-to-be-learned-estranged-wife still
devilishly in the world, the furthest thing from his mind is romance,
especially with someone so much younger than he is.
These factors (excluding the age difference) are what make this couple
so addicting. Having such a subdued romance only heightens the
ever-so-popular “will they, won’t they” sexual attraction. As it turns
out, two people don’t have to be sexually dancing around an idea in
order to have fans gushing at them. And while most couples are finding
their significant others extremely physically attractive, this love
goes further. Bates loves Anna for who she is without delving into
hipster-tumblr-picture territory

Having waited 8 years (the entire first season of Downton), Anna
finally confesses her love to Mr. Bates (you heard me) even though
“it’s not lady like.” It is painfully obvious that this humble man
adores this woman, but he has baggage, the most out of all the
characters, and doesn’t want to drag her down with him. But, love
stops at nothing and the two are up married in the second season. But,
it’s Downton Abbey and their happiness is limited because Bates’ wife
pokes her head in and “is killed” by Bates, which really means she
gets the award for the most insane jealous act when she eats arsenic
pie to assure that her husband would hang for his “crime”.  He is
arrested the day after their wedding and after his lawyer clears him
of the death penalty, is facing life in prison. Anna spends the
majority of Season 3 trying to get her wronged husband out of jail.
When she does, fans rejoiced because not only was this the worst
storyline for a rather boring season, but this only expanded the
prospect of this dream couple finally having their domestic fairy tale
ending. Season 4 will be airing in the UK in September and the US in
January. Rumors are flying as to what this new life will bring to Anna
and Bates, but fans will want to remain spoiler free to keep the
“standing on top of your chair screaming at your tv in awe” moments
alive in their viewings.

 

5) The Sexy Supernatural Romance: Eric and Sookie from True Blood by Blaire Knight-Graves (@BlaireLovesTV)

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I’ll keep this brief. If ever I were to be called a superfan, fangirl, or nerd about any couple on TV, it’d be Eric and Sooks. I know that the vampers are baddies, and I know that Sooks is pretty much just a big ol’ idiot when it comes to all things social, but if there were ever to be a good human and vampire match up, it’d be these two. Don’t get me wrong: I kind of hated all of the creepy Sookie is acting as Eric’s parent because apparently when he loses his memory he becomes a five year old, yet look! They’re having lots of sex and it kind of makes everyone feel uncomfortable!

Okay, maybe they’re not TVs best couple, but I’ve never rooted more strongly for a supernatural romance (save perhaps Spike and Buffy… maybe I just like blonde superheroes sexing blonde vampers? Who knows…).

Mostly, I just think that one of the world’s most powerful vampires being paired with a strong half-blood fae having viking sex on a snowy wolf pelt is kind of the definition of what you’ll get when you turn on HBO. Truthfully, they’re one of the two most functional relationships on the show… which isn’t saying a lot because no one on True Blood knows how to communicate. Like, at all.

If nothing else, everything that happens between Eric and Sookie is at minimum fun to watch. I’ll always be rooting for these two, even if Sookie has a weird thing for the half-vamp right now. Goodness, I hope that doesn’t go anywhere.

 

 

Who do you think is TV’s best couple? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @WeLoveTVMore!

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3 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Shana. Caskett is without question the best tv couple. The build of their relationship got us all hooked and now their everyday struggles keep us watching. Their chemistry is undeniable. Great review. I especially liked the two clips you chose. :-)

  2. I think Caskett is the clear winner. They’re the main reason (besides Stana Katic herself) that I’m so hooked on Castle. Amazing chemistry. Nice write-up, Shana.

    I’ll give points to Kate for the strange but original choice of Finn and Jake. Not a “couple” I expected to see on this list.

  3. Caskett definitely wins hands down — Best Couple on TV without question! Love the chemistry that has been undeniable from Day 1. The progression of their relationship has been and continues to be phenomenal to watch/experience!

    Great review Shana!!

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