Pop-Ed: Our Favorite TV Couples

couplesheader

On the most romantic day of the year the staff of Pop-Break.com looks at their all-time favorite couples to grace the small screen.

Luke Kalamar – Marge and Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

The marriage between Marge and Homer Simpson is far from perfect. Throughout their 25 years on our television screens, we have seen these two heads of the Simpsons clan make an incredible amount of mistakes. Homer’s especially have become the core backbone of the show. He’s an ignorant, lazy drunk who has on more than one occasion put the lives of his entire town in danger, let alone his family. Marge, the ever patient matriarch whose full-time job is maintaining the household, has repeatedly thrown Homer out of the house and has even left him at times. She isn’t without her flaws though. There has been more than one occasion where Marge has very nearly cheated on Homer (something Homer has almost done before too) for example. Marge’s sisters Patty and Selma don’t believe Homer is a good fit for Marge either.

homer-marge

Yet despite all the flaws and the outside forces working against them, Marge and Homer’s marriage has survived both the context of the show and its overall series lifespan. They do this simply by forgiving each other for their mistakes to see the undeniable love at their cores. For me, this is what makes Marge and Homer my favorite TV couple. No relationship is ever perfect. Couples will fight, argue, and make repeated mistakes. The ones that survive are those who can forgive and that’s something these two have in spades. Marge and Homer set the standard for animated TV couples that many programs (specifically those created by Seth MacFarlane) have copied to great success. The sheer longevity of the program gives this relationship a weight that no other show can reach. For the viewer, it’s a marriage that has lasted for 25 years and is still going strong, a fact that an unbelieveable amount of real life couples can’t claim.

Lauren Stern – Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano, The Mindy Project

Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews/FOX
Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews/FOX

After two seasons of toying with viewers’ hearts The Mindy Project creator Mindy Kaling and her excellent team of writers finally gave us what we were all waiting for: A kiss between Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina). Yes, on the last episode, Danny went right up to Mindy on their flight home from California and planted one on her, causing the show’s fanbase to scream and jump for joy. It was one of the best moments of the show so far and possibly tied for the best scene this season (Danny Castellano dancing to “Try Again” by Aaliyah for Mindy can never be trumped).

I know what you’re thinking “Just because they kissed doesn’t mean they are “officially” a couple.” But I refuse to believe that. I know in my heart (and through some hints in interviews) that Kaling isn’t going to beat around the bush anymore. This kiss is going to turn Danny and Mindy into a thing. Maybe not right away, but definitely before the spring season comes to a close. And there’s nothing more exciting than seeing more adorable moments from these two. NOTHING!

Dan Cohen – Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, Boy Meets World

There’s only one answer to this question. While everyone was all about Ross and Rachel on Friends, I said screw that…what about Cory and Topanga! They were my TV couple of the ’90s. Unfortunately, Boy Meets World is riddled with continuity shenanigans. I’m still waiting for Cory’s 8th and 9th grade years to be explained. It’s one of television’s greatest mysteries. But whether they fell in love when Topanga kissed him in the first season, or you want to believe Cory’s explanation of them falling in love as toddlers on the playground, at some point they fell in love, alright! And that’s all you need to know. I could go on all day about my favorite Cory/Topanga moments, but I thought it would be fun to track all the major events in the couple’s relationship up until their big wedding in the final season.

To the best of my knowledge, I present to you the tumultuous on again/off again relationship between Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence! Just think of it as a history lesson from Mr. Feeny…

BoyMeetsWorld_900600

*Boy Meets World Spoilers all over the place*

Season 1
–First Kiss: Never dated, but Topanga kisses Cory at his locker!
Season 2
–Never dated, but impending relationship strongly hinted at…
Season 3
–Becoming a Couple: Shawn dates Topanga, but only so he could set her and Cory up
–Break Up #1: Mutual break up due to relationship being in a “rut”
–Back Together: Cory and Topanga reunite at Disney World
Season 4
–Pittsburgh: Relationship threatened when Topanga’s parents move to Pittsburgh. All is well when Topanga is allowed to stay with her Aunt Prudence
Season 5
–Lauren: On the senior field trip to the ski lodge, Cory becomes infatuated with Lauren…and they kiss!!! Cory lies to Topanga about it…
–Break Up #2: Topanga finds out about the kiss…they break up
–Back Together: After Topanga kisses pretentious art guy Ricky, she realizes she loves Cory…they get back together!
–Yale: Topanga gets into Yale, threatening their relationship yet again…
–Proposal: Instead of going to Yale, Topanga proposes to Cory at Graduation!!!!!!!!!
Season 6
–Eloping: To spite Cory’s parents, Cory and Topanga run off to elope, but can’t go through with it…but they remain engaged.
–Divorce: When Topanga’s parents get divorced, the wedding is called off
Season 7
–Break Up #3: After her parent’s divorce, Topanga gets all disillusioned, and completely breaks up with Cory
–Back Together: Thanks to sage like advice from her mom, Topanga and Cory get back together!
–Married: Despite Shawn being all emo, Corey and Topanga are finally married!!!!!!

Marla Pachter – Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

When Adam Scott and Rob Lowe were added to the Parks and Recreation family at the end of the second season, they almost instantaneously added a level of perfection to the show I never thought possible. After seeing Leslie Knope’s character evolve from basically a dumb and enthusiastic punchline to a smart, motivated, kickass woman, able to accomplish literally anything (with just a touch of that classic native Pawnee ignorance), it was only fitting that a worthy love interest should enter the arena.

parks-and-rec-leslie-and-ben-wedding

And oh, what a worthy love interest she got. Ben and Leslie are seriously the world’s best couple. THE WORLD’S BEST COUPLE. They have a dynamic that virtually anyone would want in a relationship. They both are ridiculously dorky in their own ways, but with enough social awareness to stop the other from making a fool of themselves. They make each other better, with ideas that work in tandem to create greatness, and an affinity to encourage the other to push forward when they’re doing the right thing, and discourage the other when they’re doing the wrong thing. Ben and Leslie are spontaneous, constantly surprising each other despite knowing each other inside out.

As a motivated, ambitious, dorky lady who cares above and beyond about the people in her life, I strongly identify with Leslie Knope. And I can say with great confidence that Ben Wyatt is the man of my dreams. Plus, he has the best butt.

“I love you and I like you.” Ben and Leslie 4EVA.

Ann Hale — Xander and Cordelia, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I spent my teen years like most teenage girls in the late ’90s, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While most girls were obsessed with the Buffy and Angel relationship, I hated it. In fact, I never really liked anyone Buffy was with. Spike was certainly my top choice but even he didn’t seem good enough.

So, while I turned my nose up at every Buffy suitor, I was in love with the strange relationship between Xander and Cordelia.

Xander-Cordelia-buffy-vampire-slayer-relationships-1295503-248-338

Xander and Cordelia spent their whole lives hating one another. Cordelia was the beautiful and popular one, too cool for the likes of Xander while Xander was a school loser who was the Vice President of the We Hate Cordelia Club. For a year and a half, we watched as they bashed and hated on one another to the point of attraction. When they finally kissed, it was so wrong that it was so right and I was instantly a fan. It was as if their supreme hate for one another turned into an unavoidable sexual tension.

What I love the most about them is that the dynamic of their relationship didn’t change once they started dating. Every now and then you would catch a glimpse that they were in love but they mostly just bashed on each other. They loved each other for exactly who and what they were. To me, that is perfection.

Bill Bodkin: Tim Bisley and Daisy Steiner, Spaced

Before Simon Pegg became a member of the U.S.S. Enterprise or killed a whole bunch of zombies, he wrote and starred in the greatest sitcom of all-time, Spaced. Airing in the UK for two seasons in 1999 and 2001, Spaced was a classic “will they, won’t they” sitcom. But it was so much more — it was a celebration of pop culture — crazy clever references to movies, television, comic books, video games and Pegg’s overwhemmingly negative view on the Star Wars prequels. Produced and shot in a highly caffeinated, cinematic way, thanks to director Edgar Wright and remains one of the most innovative comedies known to man. (I’m not at all biased or speaking in hyberbole).

spaced1-1inside

Our heroes, comic book artist Tim Bisley (Pegg) and struggling writer Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) are absolutely perfect for each other. Daisy is a flighty, super-positive yet self-deprecating hipster before hipsters were cool. Tim is a sarcastic, cynical, geek before being a geek was cool. The two are slackers, they have no real purpose in life outside of their lofty artistic goals, but yet it’s the other who inspires them to eventually chase their dreams. What I love about them as a couple is they’re best friends first and foremost — they bust each others balls, they call each other out when needed and they love just hanging out at home on the bean bag chair watching TV. The show brilliantly slow builds their romance and when the two finally get together, it’s one of the best payoffs ever.

Marla Pachter: Peralta and Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Let me start by saying that I never ever in my life imagined Andy Samberg as a compelling love interest. But I dunno, somewhere between the time he left SNL and joined Brooklyn Nine Nine (you know, like a whole month or something) he turned into a complete and utter stud. I think a lot of that has to do with his chemistry with Melissa Fumero. Detectives Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago don’t have the most interesting or original dynamic, but you just can’t help but root for them.

Peralta has a lot of growing up to do, but you can see the way a real relationship with the right person would be the thing that helps him along. Santiago is ambitious and has her professional life in check, but her personal life is bland and she’s kind of a mess with men. Clearly they are meant to be together and then both their lives will be perfect. It may not be how life works, but it’s certainly how TV works! True story: When these two finally makeout my life will be complete.

Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX
Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX

Logan J. Fowler – Jesse Pinkman and Jane Magolis, Breaking Bad

While it would make more sense to highlight Walter White and Jesse, I have to discuss a relationship that partially defined character of Jesse. So much so, that Jane’s character never left the mind of audiences, even after her death in season 2. Jane initially rejected Jesse in the beginning, but eventually gave into him, and the two enabled each other in the worst of ways. No one person would appreciate this in real life, but ultimately, Jane looked out for her man, and we loved that Jesse was happy. When Walt tries to double cross Jesse, Jane blackmails Mr. White for the cash Jesse’s owed.

See? That’s love. With that, Jane propositions to Jesse that they run away, which he agrees to.
But a celebration infused with drug usage creates trouble for Jane. As Walt tries to make amends with his partner (who is in slumber) he accidentally knocks Jane onto her backside as she’s sleeping. Suddenly, she starts to choke on her own vomit due to overdose. Walt, thinking Jane is a problem to his meth operation, lets her die. He confesses this to Jesse in one of the final episodes of the season, which places a lot of importance on how Jesse never got over her. We, the viewers, never did either. Jane offered Jesse his only real escape, and it was cut too short. Just like their love. Damn you Walt. Jesse and Jane forever.

image

Al Mannarino – Christopher Turk and JD, Scrubs

What describes the perfect couple? Love? Devotion? Or is it the inability to be without each other for one moment? If that’s the case then there is no other love that truly represents those things then the bromance between Dr. Christopher Turk (Donald Faison) and Dr. John Dorian (Zach Braff) from Scrubs. Their love for each other wasn’t created overnight. Throughout eight seasons (the ninth season really doesn’t count), we watched their bromance grow from a couple of med school buddies getting a job together in the same hospital to giving each other sneak hugs, pretending to be Siamese twins, and even performing a heartfelt duet entitled “Guy Love.”

The greatest thing about their relationship is that it’s not just a fake TV romance. These two are best friends in real life and they do things like cover “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and have hilarious conversations over Twitter. They’re not just the perfect television couple; they just might be the greatest couple of all time.

Photo Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC via Getty Images)

Matt Haviland – Don and Megan Draper, Mad Men

When Don flickers through family photos for a stunned audience of ad-men and Kodak executives, we see him in a white tuxedo carrying Betty in her wedding gown. “This couple doesn’t exist,” he tells his copywriters, five seasons later. “Anything matrimonial feels paleolithic.” But there he is smiling, with Betty in his arms, coming through the door. Click. Don passed out with his daughter on the couch. His son smiles from a plastic revolver at Betty or maybe nothing. Click. Mad Men season one was about the gray spectrum of romance. So was season six. As Don clicks through his Hawaiian vacation with second wife Megan on a snowy New Year’s Eve, we enjoy another haunting assortment—Don as the best man at a beachfront wedding, looking detached and strange. Megan crouching in her bikini like a hotel advertisement. A surreal upside-down shot of both of them on the beach before a washed-out sky. Unconscious with their eyes open.

Later in season six, Don hallucinates Megan at a California party. He smiles with unfiltered warmth. She tells him that she lives in California, rubbing her belly and speaking of second chances. She leads him by hand through sweltering, psychedelic keyboards and a ghost crowd on loan from The Shining. Then she disappears. Don and Megan rarely share warm moments. In another, Megan speaks to Don after a crushing defeat for her husband’s ego. Her voice drains from the picture and Don grimaces. His grimace holds the relief of a man on a buoy who sees a ship. There is warmth. Not in Megan’s silent chatter or Don’s expression, but somewhere between them. Don and Megan struggle through so much cold anguish that their scenes of splendor feel monumentally sincere. When love takes on conditions, it stumbles and suffocates, while lovers stand there wondering what happened. Love cannot support conditions, because it is infinite. Mad Men allows love to wither, appear to die, and lay there for hours so we can feel 10,000 volts of electricity when the sweaty corpse takes another breath.

mad-men-hawaii-beach-megan-don-draper-jessica-pare-jon-hamm-

Mallory Delchamp – Ross Gellar and Rachel Green, Friends

As Valentine’s Day approaches I have found myself enjoying the same TV show I do every year around this time-Friends. Now I am a little biased in writing this article but I truly believe Ross Gellar and Rachel Green are two of the best TV characters to date. And, when they are together its TV at its best! What I like most about the iconic Friends couple is just how believable their relationship truly is. They begin as platonic friends, they fall in love, they break up, they have a baby together, and they reunite. Similar to real-life scenarios Ross and Rachel experience all of the ups and downs of romantic relationships.

The couple is also responsible for some of the hit ‘90s TV show’s funniest moments. Must we not forget the moment Rachel laughs every time Ross’s hands slide down her backside as they are enjoying a passionate moment together or the scene in which Rachel jumps on top of Ross’s back to prevent him from listening to a drunken voicemail she had left him the night before. And, of course Friends would not be Friends without the hilarious episode in which Rachel gives birth to baby Emma. A relationship ten seasons in the making, the story of Ross and Rachel is so unforgettable it is worth re-watching on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year for that matter!

Fran-and-Maxwell-fran-and-maxwell-24116370-2113-2560

Allison Lips – Fran Fine and Maxwell Sheffield, The Nanny

Everyone knew Fran and Maxwell were going to get married from the first episode. Max wouldn’t have hired a door-to-door cosmetics saleswoman with no experience as a nanny, if he wasn’t attracted to her. They had absolutely nothing in common. Fran was a Jewish girl from Flushing. Maxwell was an uptight, rich British Broadway producer, who had several flops under his belt. Physical attraction was the only thing they had until his kids became a part of her family.

Once they got past the culture clash, Fran and Maxwell clearly wanted each other badly. For years, they tried to dance around the sexual tension. Even before they were officially dating, Maxwell and Fran almost had sex on several occasions, but he still hadn’t gotten over being a widower. He was also too much of a gentleman to use Fran that way, which only made her want it more. Fran knew what she wanted and eventually got the man of her dreams. Maxwell found a woman, who forced him to lighten up, and a loving stepmother for his kids.

Megan LaBruna – Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls, Veronica Mars

Veronica and Logan. Their names are synonymous with fire and ice as far as their personalities go. According to various interviews with the leading man, the original plot didn’t anticipate the Veronica/Logan pairing; however, after only just a few episodes viewers couldn’t help but notice the undeniable chemistry between the two. The brooding bad boy tries so hard to make himself a better person for Veronica, but something always gets in the way causing them to walk a fine line between tension and passion – the definition of their relationship. Season 3 ends with Veronica dating Stosh “Piz” Piznarski, and it appears in the previews for the upcoming Veronica Mars movie, the pair are still together. He’s the man, logic dictates, Veronica should be with.

veronica-logan

What is it then that makes Veronica and Logan so mesmerizing, that fans still root for their relationship despite its constant failings? It’s because no matter what happens, they’re always drawn back to each other. Veronica and Logan are honestly a couple that shouldn’t be and yet always find a way. They’re a beautiful contradiction, and I’m sure “Marshmallows” everywhere will be rooting for the pair to rekindle their romance on the big screen this March.

Jason Stives — The Doctor and River Song, Doctor Who

Not every relationship in television makes sense and you need look no further than any love story in science fiction. Nothing is linear and nothing is in a straight line as romance is often separated by species, time zones, sacrifice, and parallel worlds. Doctor Who in its revived format has tended to float around all these ideas but of any of the Doctor’s relationships there is one that rises above all acts of love and is truly unique and no I am not referring to his relationship with Rose. From the moment she was introduced during the end of the Tennant Years, River Song was an anomaly to behold but it was her interactions throughout the Matt Smith years that solidified her place in the series and showed a romance like no other.

River-and-the-11th-doctor-river-song-26507267-624-352

For those unaware the Doctor and River keep meeting at different points in eachother’s time streams; her past and his future to be precise. Without having to draw out diagrams needless to say this is a strange love life that never gets it right but with two unique characters like the Doctor and River this is okay. We have seen the beginning, the marriage (I guess that’s the middle) and we have seen the gut punching end that is only put into perspective much later on in the show’s run since everything is out of order. In last year’s series finale “The Name of the Doctor” we saw an echo of River aide the Doctor in his pursuit of his final resting place. The whole time we are thinking she is a ghost he can’t see but at the very end he reveals he can and he always has because accepting the truth of her absence would be too much to handle. This is the Doctor at his most vulnerable and the moment we accept this strange love as something beautiful that is tough to come by in science fiction. I believe greatly in strange love so watching two of my favorite heroes in television display such an act is so rewarding.

Laura Dengrove — Eric and Sookie, True Blood

Eric and Sookie are my favorite TV couple because to me they show the ultimate love. No matter the flaws that both of them possess, they always manage to bring out the best in each other. Even with the terrible things Eric has done in his lifetime, Sookie manages to overcome her disapproval of his misdeeds and begins to care for him. She sees the good in him that not many can, and he does the same for her. He never looks at her as food, which her other lover Bill Compton has, and to him she will always be the girl in the white dress. Eric manages to be almost human for Sookie and has always watched out for her, and no matter how hard Sookie tries, she can never get Eric off of her mind. Even though their love was short lived, their love to me will be the most powerful one I have ever seen on TV.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

Comments are closed.