I’m not going to lie, this might have been the hardest article I ever had to write. As both a TV addict and a romance junkie, I have a laundry list of on-screen couples who I worship. Depending on the day or time, those couples fluctuate from, “Oh my god, I’ll die if they don’t get together,” to “Look at them kissing! I have so many feeeeeels.”
In the spirit of journalistic honesty, I’ve done my best to narrow down my top five (So. Hard.). Couples who just barely missed the boat include, Buffy and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl, Lee and Kara from Battlestar Galactica — I could go on and on.
So, from both canceled and current shows, here are my top five favorite ‘ships –- and my favorite book couple thrown in for good measure.
Veronica Mars‘ Logan & Veronica
Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a “LoVe” addict (that’s LOgan + VEronica for those not in the know). Yes, I cried when Veronica Mars was canceled way back in 2007. Yes, I gave money to the Veronica Mars Kickstarter that helped launch the 2014 movie — maybe even more than I, or my bank account, would care to admit. But from the first season of Veronica Mars, I was hooked on the insane chemistry between bad boy Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) and quirky teen detective Veronica (Kristen Bell). Here’s the thing: She was never supposed to end up with him. It was pretty clear that the producers favored the exceedingly dull Duncan (Teddy Dunn) as a love match for Veronica. But fans were steadfast in their love for Logan, even when he was sleeping with his friend’s stepmother or getting accused of murder, which happened with alarming frequency. These two are my forever couple — all good TV ‘shippers have one — and the fact that (Spoiler Alert!) they finally got back together in the movie, still fills my heart with rainbows and sunshine and, well, marshmallows.
Arrow‘s Oliver & Felicity
Maybe I’m just a sucker for couples who weren’t initially planned. But like Logan and Veronica, show runners had no designs to pair badass archer Oliver with his hacker-genius sidekick Felicity. But Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards had an instant chemistry that fans immediately picked up on, especially because the chemistry between Amell and his intended ladylove, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), was so painfully lacking. For the first two seasons, fans of “Olicity” lived on a hope and a prayer, analyzing every little detail between the two crime-fighting partners. It wasn’t until season 3 where we got our wish, and Oliver and Felicity finally acknowledged their love. It’s been a rocky road, though. Turns out, acknowledging is not the same as accepting. But the season ended (Spoiler Alert!) with the two riding off into the sunset. If “Olicity” wants to stay in my top five couples, next season better be filled with lots of secret-lair make out sessions, while Felicity makes adorable quips and Oliver wears green leather. Shirtless is also acceptable. Swoon!
The 100‘s Clarke & Bellamy
Sometimes you fall for that ‘ship that you know will break your heart. You try to resist. No one on this show is happy, you tell yourself. Everyone is covered in mud and blood and too busy fighting off mountain men to profess their feelings. But the chemistry will not be denied and neither will your heart. Post-apocalyptic The 100 proved from the first few episodes that no one is safe from a brutal death, not even the main characters. And love affairs on this show are slow burning, non-existent, or end with a knife in the chest — no, seriously! So I should know better than to pine after a Bellamey (Bob Morley) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) pairing, or “Bellarke” to us ‘shippers. But the chemistry, dahh! The heart eyes, swoon! They went from hating each other one season to relying on one another as fellow leaders in the next season. And that’s basically my ‘shipping crack. So I will continue to foolishly root for these two, even as they’re too busy getting tortured and/or killing entire villages to fall in love.
Misfits‘ Simon & Alisha
Give me a good time travel romance plotline and I’m pretty much sold. That’s exactly what this British superhero show did in season 2. From the start, it was always a fun watch; the characters are realistic and the premise is just the right amount of ridiculous. It follows five juvenile delinquents who are serving community service for various crimes when a lightning storm hits, giving them all superpowers. But, of course, they’re all still burgeoning criminals, and powers don’t automatically make them good people. The series is hilarious, but also gut-wrenching in the way that only British shows seem to be able to accomplish. I fell hard in season 2, when a mysterious guy kept helping the gang out of scrapes. Turns out he’s the geeky Simon (Iwan Rheon) from the future, transformed into a hot, bad-ass time traveler. He and the uber-cool Alisha (Antonia Thomas) are destined to be together — something she finds laughable with the present version of him. But it’s through his love that she gains depth and he gains confidence. They make each other better and their story is both moving and heartbreaking. This is time travel done right, producing a truly epic ‘ship.
Roswell‘s Max & Liz
I’m not an idiot: I am fully aware that Roswell wasn’t a very good show (though there are those who disagree with me!). The premise alone is more than a little ridiculous: three alien kids crash land in Roswell, New Mexico, get adopted by humans and have to hide their alien status from the other kids at high school. But there was also truuuue loooove! Max (Jason Behr) was smitten with Liz (Shiri Appleby) from the first second of the first episode. Despite loads of drama — including alien babies, forced love triangles and threats from both earth and outer space — he never stopped loving her. Seriously, they have one of the most devoted and epic love stories I’ve ever watched play out. Just ignore all of that young (read: rough) acting. And definitely ignore the alien baby.
Favorite Book Couple:
Outlander‘s Jamie and Claire by Diana Gabaldon (Dell Press, 1992)
Maybe this is cheating, since Outlander‘s Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are technically one of my favorite TV ‘ships as well. And I’ve become a bit of a broken record in my love for both Jamie and Claire. But it’s rare that you come across a couple as epic as these two. My love for their relationship has spanned decades at this point, from when I first read the books in high school until now, as I desperately wait for the next book to be published. Jamie and Claire complete each other in a way that feels realistic, but still romantic. He’s drawn to her maturity, her strength, her exceedingly practical nature. She’s drawn to his diplomacy, his strength and the calm way he approaches every new catastrophe they find themselves in. They make sense as a couple, and they’d choose each other over anyone or anything else – something they prove again and again in both the books as well as the show. This is the one to beat, as far as I’m concerned.
Are any of your favorite ships in this list? Are there any big ones we left out? Tell us in the comments.