This is my third attempt at a blog post today. I started one and it fell apart after one paragraph. The second took less than two sentences to do the same. So I figured I’d do what I do best: rehash something I’ve already written about extensively but take a slightly different tack.
Here is an abridged list of some of my favorite TV couples. These are the couples whose relationships I find refreshingly functional. They have their hiccups, their miscommunications, and their occasional deadly consequences. But these couples are generally content with each other and the loving partnerships they maintain.
Two notes before we begin:
1. Here come some spoilers!
2. I chose to go with series I’ve seen from end to end, thus the absence of The West Wing’s Jed and Abby Bartlet and any couple, however major or minor, on The X-Files.
Bernard and Rose Nadler, Lost
I would argue (and I think it would be a pretty solid argument, if I do say so myself) that more than any other couple on Lost, Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) and Bernard (Sam Anderson) excel at ducking out of the supernatural to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. They’re undeniably older and most likely wiser than just about everyone who survived the Flight 815 crash, and the story of their relationship feels more familiar than more tumultuous and unusual fare. They remain largely unaffected by the existence of apparitions, alternate timelines, and the concept of the constant, and I maintain that their reunion midway through season two is one of the sweetest, most satisfying moments in the show.
Karl “Helo” Agathon and Sharon “Athena” Agathon, Battlestar Galactica
I get that Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) once grappled with the idea of falling in love with a Cylon and, at some point, shooting her in order for her to be born again. Really, I get that. But I also get that through all the chaos that comes with living in the BSG world, Helo and Athena (Grace Park) were able to stay relatively stable together. Even as they defied death on a near-daily basis and saved the life of their daughter time and again, they never fell out of love.
Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin, How I Met Your Mother
I’ll flatly state this: no one else on How I Met Your Mother is good at relationships. While I do think that HIMYM is, as far as sitcoms go, excellent at portraying the friendships of 20- and 30-somethings in a realistic way, it’s undeniable that Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) is a semi-unstable sex addict, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) has unhealthily unrealistic expectations for relationships, and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) tends to fail spectacularly, no matter who she’s with. But Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) help me to forget all that. No matter how many times one disappoints the other, they always come out stronger for it. Though the title of the show has so far been one giant six season tease, as long as Marshall and Lily are around, I don’t care how Ted met those expressionless kids’ mother all that much.
Hoban “Wash” Washburne and Zoe Washburne, Firefly
It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: I don’t love Firefly as much as the rest of the world seems to want me to. That said, I do love Wash (Alan Tudyk) and Zoe (Gina Torres), two members of the Serenity crew who, under the circumstances of being space cowboys or something of the kind, couldn’t possibly be a more normal couple. In general, their sensibilities are remarkably different. Wash is defined by goofy charisma and a knack for making light of unquestionably dark situations, whereas Zoe treats everyday struggles on the ship as vitally important military-style missions. In some cases, this may force them to oppose each other. Instead, they’re mature enough to balance each other out, recognizing the good in each other’s attitudes and working from there.
Stay tuned for next time, when I write something new and different and maybe even not in a list format! (Maybe.)