Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day, no one! And to those of you who don't actually watch 30 Rock, Happy Valentine's Day! Instead of getting bitter and vitriolic about real-life love on this sugary sweet day, let's instead celebrate some of our favorite fictional couples, shall we?
So, without further ado, I give you my ten personal favorite Television Couples.
X. Alex and Haddie, Parenthood
Is this a little too new a pairing for me to give my love to? Perhaps. But hell if they are not a really adorable, sweet, honest young couple. It's complicated because she's 16 and he's 19 and he's a recovering alcoholic but they want to be together so badly I can't help but love them. I respect the show for touching on the fact that they are an interracial couple, but by no means does it direct their storylines. I will pretty much root for them until the end.
IX. Buffy and Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Oh, the dysfunction of Buffy and Spike is paramount. Some people prefer Buffy and Angel, but there is so much material in Buffy and Spike's relationship that I lean more towards them. Even though they had their ups and downs, by the end of the series there was a true sense of solidarity and mutual understanding between them. Seriously, that speech? Oh, my wounded heart.
VIII. Brittany and Santana, Glee
Are they really a couple? Not right now. Do I care? Not at all. These two were designed to be their own little unit, and I love them for it. The show's kind of gotten a little wander-y in their romantic development, but it's all there. There is no Santana without Brittany, and no Brittany without Santana. They both know that dolphins are just gay sharks.
VII. Sun and Jin, Lost
So there came a point on Lost when really all I cared about were a handful of the couples, all of which you will find on this list (sorry). Sun and Jin started out as such a stereotypical representation of a Korean couple, and turned out to be the most loving, honest, heartbreaking relationship. I won't spoil anything, but you know the moment in Season 6? If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. Well, when I was watching that, I bawled like I have never bawled at anything fictional ever before.
VI. Eric and Donna, That 70s Show
It's been forever since I watched this series, and unfortunately it was affected a lot by many of its cast members prematurely left the show, but Eric and Donna remain as one of my favorite TV couples. I mean, I cannot hate on any couple who sing and dance to ABBA in their driveway. I just can't.
V. Chandler and Monica, Friends
I really just love that Chandler and Monica weren't a planned couple on the show (it was originally supposed to be Joey and Monica) and yet they turned out to be so perfect together. They didn't have all the fanfare of Ross and Rachel, and I loved them so much more because of it.
IV. Sawyer and Juliet, Lost
Sawyer and Juliet were so unexpected yet so lovely. They were kind of thrown together amidst really crazy circumstances, and stood by one another through thick and thin. A pairing of equals, he always had her back and she always had his. Their reconnection in the Lost series finale is pretty much the only thing I truly loved about that episode - they have my heart completely.
III. Jim and Pam, The Office
I defy anyone to watch the early seasons of The Office and just not absolutely fall in love with these two. I really can't describe them in any way other than just... adorable. Because of the show's documentary style, we only get to see a few Jim and Pam moments here and there, making them all the sweeter. Watching their relationship progress from office flirtation to marriage and a baby has been one of the show's core appeals.
II. Desmond and Penny, Lost
Penny and Desmond have so little screentime together, and yet they functioned quite honestly as the beating heart of the show's later seasons. They were separated for so long, by time, and distance, and disapproving families, and bad timing. Wishing desperately for their reunion fueled many of the fan's interest when the storylines were spiraling into complication, mine included. The scene at the end of "The Constant" remains perhaps the best the show ever put on our screens, and every single YouTube version has disabled embedding, so if you want to watch it, go here.
I. Cory and Topanga, Boy Meets World
Okay, if you were born in the 80s and this isn't one of your favorite couples, then I daresay you've just never seen an episode. True, the show sometimes strays into schmaltzy territory, but the fact of the matter is that this teenage relationship was treated with all the conflict and gravitas of any mature, adult relationship on any other show not part of ABC's TGIF lineup. They endured moving away from one another, dealing with issues of both fidelity and commitment, questioning the nature of marriage, and learning how to be adults - together. For that, I have the utmost respect for the relationship and how it was portrayed. And also, I grew up with it. I'm a little biased.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Instead of focusing on your real-life relationships - or lack thereof! - just watch the ones on TV. They're better, anyways.