As I was watching Castle this past Monday I started thinking about television couples. Not because Castle and Beckett have one of the best slow burn romances (as in, it’s been three seasons and they’re still not a couple thought they inevitably will be and it’s not frustrating), but because the case they were working on was at the set of a soap opera and they thus had a conversation about shippers. Now, though I often emphatically (and probably falsely) deny the fact that I’m a fangirl I must admit that the occasional squee has escaped my over excited lips. And there are definitely TV couples that I’m… sort of a fan of. So I decided to list a few couples from current tv that I find oh so adorable and sometimes restore my faith in humanity.
Grace & Rich
I’m fairly sure that I have explained Skins, but just in case you don’t read every word I write with baited breath I’ll give a short refresher. Skins is a British show on the channel E4, which pretty much means it’s another show for the younger set. It’s about teenagers in sixth form, college, or what would be the last two years of high school. Once these characters go through these two years they are no longer on the show and we get a whole new “generation”. So far there have been three. The third generation debuted this year with all new stories and all new characters. It’s ratings aren’t as good but I think it’s pretty solid. First there’s Franky, the androgynous, teased, new girl, Mini, the popular princess, Liv, the partier, Nick, Mini’s boyfriend and soccer star, Alo, the farm boy who does way too many drugs and spends half his time masturbating, Matty, Nick’s conflicted brother, Rich, the metalhead, and Grace the dreamy ballerina with a penchant for fairytales and Shakespeare. I could tell before it started that Grace was going to be my favorite character, but I’m not entirely sure why. She liked a lot of the same things as me but was also into lucid dreaming and cutesy stuff, or so said her profile. When the series started she was the first to accept Franky into the group, along with outsiders Rich and Alo, and was even willing to let go of a long friendship if she needed to make the choice. In the second episode she embraced Rich’s counterculture while trying to teach him how to date a girl rocker who worked at the library, and eventually showed him that his nonacceptance of her world was the same as her friends not accepting his. They started dating at the end of the episode and became the central couple in this group of friends. Two worlds apart they were the cutest thing ever.
When the fifth series of Doctor Who started last year and we were introduced to the Doctor’s new companion, Amy Pond, she came with a little bit of baggage; a fiancé named Rory. Like all boyfriends that get left behind while their girl goes traveling through time and space with a pretty remarkable alien it seemed like Rory was not long for this show. It didn’t help that he was relatively confused, unable to stand up for himself and that he didn’t seem all that likely to start saving the world any time soon in the first episode. Nor that when Amy went off in the TARDIS with the Doctor it was the day before her wedding and she didn’t seem to be all that prepared to get married. But then a few weeks later they picked up Rory and brought him along for a little time and space travel. I wont get into summarizing the entirety of series five but after a few ups and downs and each of them dying at least once, finally at the end of the series the two were married. Of course the reception wasn’t even over before they both trundled off back to the TARDIS for more adventures. Now they’re both sharing in the Doctor’s adventures with Arthur Darvill’s name present right behind Matt Smith’s and Karen Gillan’s. I think this sort of rocks. There have been companions in the past who have left their adventures off because they wanted to get married. It was always as if there was one or the other and no one tried to do both. But… why not? Okay, so in the recent Red Nose Day Comic Relief sketch there was an incident that involved Amy’s skirt, Rory, and the glass floor of the TARDIS that led to a tiny mishap, but that all got worked out soon enough. It’s true, there’s a lot of their relationship that we have to take for granted, since we don’t see much of what happened before the Doctor’s arrival when she was twenty two years old, so we pretty much have to fill in the blanks and it depends on each viewers abilities to do so. But he’s kind of clumsy, somewhat bumbling, and just a tad spastic. So I understand the attraction. Together they’re a somewhat unlikely couple that just seem to have a good time laughing, and that’s something I really get.
Yeah yes, it’s Pretty Little Liars again, but I couldn’t rightfully leave Aria and Fitz off a list of my favorite couples right now. Everyone loves a good forbidden love story, the problem being, of course, that there’s not much that’s forbidden these days. Families don’t carry on decades long feuds involving sword fights in the street, and if race is an issue… you can always move somewhere it’s not. These days all our forbidden romances come in two forms; human with supernatural creature or pupil with teacher. Aria and Mr. Fitz are clearly the latter. I would imagine this would be about the time Aria would ask me to please call him Ezra, but I really can’t do that since I think the name Ezra is about as attractive as that hideous plaid shirt he wore in the season finale. Aria and Fitz met at some sort of coffee/bar place where they immediately hit it off only to realize when school began that he’s the new English teacher. They try to cool it for about an episode, but then, inevitably, they start dating in secret. It’s rife with the typical melodrama and angst that comes along with forbidden love. When she finds a photo of him with a former girlfriend who happens to be wearing an engagement ring she flips, but he has to ask if what’s really bothering her is that he once gave another girl a ring or that they can’t take a picture like that. There’s the dramatic scenes and nerve wracking scenes and the funny scenes, but the scenes I love them for are the ones where they’re just watching TV and eating Chinese food, because even though you know how wrong this really is it just seems so incredibly normal. In the finale episode Fitz gets a job at the local university and hands in his resignation, so they’re all sorts of glad that he’s not her teacher anymore. They can go public! They can be seen together while not pretending to have a conversation about To Kill a Mockingbird! Um, he’s still twenty-three to her seventeen (hello, she’s not even legal) and he’ll always have been her English teacher. I’m not sure anyone in town will be okay with that. So yes, this relationship is more than likely doomed but I can’t quite help always being on their side.
When Torchwood first started up and one of the lead characters, Gwen Cooper, showed up attached to a sort of oafish fellow named Rhys Williams I didn’t think there was a chance in hell that this relationship would move forward. This was a show about a secret organization protecting Earth from alien threats, after all. There were bound to be casualties and it seemed like Rhys was probably created simply for that purpose. It made sense, he wasn’t a lead but the audience was attached to him enough to cause an impact. His death wouldn’t really change much of anything plot wise. And, not to be rude, he didn’t really seem all that capable of fighting them off when the aliens inevitably followed Gwen home. He was a periphery character who was generally expendable. But then something strange happened. In the episode of their wedding the creatures that were lying eggs in people and ripping out throats didn’t get him, and when the co-worker Gwen had been sharing a flirtation with showed up she didn’t call if off. Instead they both said “I do”. And just like that all the drama and various hookups that could have been were circumvented for something so much better; less random sex, more plot, and a couple that actually work well together. She works late, he likes to cook, he cracks jokes and she enjoys them, she saves the world and he helps. The combination of them as a couple helps ground things, I think. Because whatever else is going on in this somewhat fantastical world these characters have each other. So sure, she’s a knockout and he’s a goofball, but he’s definitely the marrying kind.