TV Couples of the Decade



1. Zoe and Wash, Firefly (2002)

Saffron: I thought... she didn't seem to respect you.

Wash: Not everybody gets me and Zoe at first glance.
Saffron: You love her very much.

Wash: Yeah. I never did meet anyone quite like Zoe.

- “Our Mrs. Reynolds”


“Short-lived” is barely an adequate adjective to describe this blink-and-you-miss it science fiction phenomenon. Clever and uneven (as many Whedon shows are, in the beginning), it gained a huge following on DVD and the internet.

Taciturn, tough Zoe and goofy, sweet Wash are an odd couple that are unexpectedly perfect together. We love them. WE LOVE THEM. Zoe is rarely openly affectionate, but small moments reveal how deeply she needs and loves her husband. Wash, on the other hand, is much more transparent and adoring with her.

They have realistic and understandable problems and disagreements (the scene where they argue about someday having children is very sad) but we really believe that these two will always be together.

And I’ll stop that thought right there.


2. Lily and Marshall, How I Met Your Mother (2005-Present)

Lily: Oh, does it make you kind of sad that we dont share the same last name?
Marshall: You know, in a totally evolved 21st century kind of way yeah, a little.
Lily: Oh, you know what we should do? We should come up with a whole new last name.
Marshall: Oh, thats easy. Lily and Marshall Skywalker.
Lily: Lily and Marshall Hasselhoff.
Marshall: I got it! You ready? You ready?
Lily: Yeah.
Marshall: Lily and Marshall Awesome. Have you met the Awesomes? Marshall, Lily, their son Totally and their daughter Fricking?

- “Something Blue”


This unusual take on the traditional hot-friends-in-the-big-city sitcom is surprisingly enjoyable, due to clever, non-linear storytelling and strong actors in the leads.

Jason Segel is cute as a freaking button and Alyson Hannigan gives him a run for his money. Together, they are just adorable. Both sort of nerdy and sweet, they play two characters that we truly believe found each other young (as freshman in college) and are perfectly suited for each other. They experiment with being apart, which only makes them stronger.

We know from the occasional flash-forwards in time that Lily and Marshall are together for the long run, which is exactly what we want.


3. Eric and Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights (2006-Present)

Coach Taylor: I have no idea what's gonna happen tomorrow, babe.
Tami: Well, you're gonna win. Or you're gonna lose. Either way the sun's gonna come up the next morning.

- “Underdogs”


At the heart of this troubled, network-switching drama are this married couple, who are also known as Mr. and Mrs. Coach, which I find amusing.

What a great pair. They are astonishingly realistic in their interactions and choices. Although imperfect individuals, we know that they are perfect for each other, and show a united front to the town and their children that takes courage and fortitude.

They are also really, really good parents. Tami's conversation with her daughter after she becomes sexually active was one of the most heartbreakingly loving things I've ever seen on television.

Everyone who watches the show loves them, and it's not just because of Connie Britton's hair. Which is very shiny.

And if you don't watch the show—hey, give it a shot. I really enjoyed it, and I still haven't figured out the concept of “downs.” If I like it, anyone would.


4. Jin and Sun, Lost (2004-Present)

Jin: I'm sorry.
Sun: I am too. You don't have to go.
Jin: No, don't you understand, Sun. I'm in this place because I'm being punished. I made you suffer. You don't deserve any of this.
Sun: Jin...
Jin: I have to go because I'm going to save you. Stay with Jack. He'll keep you safe.
Sun: Who will keep you safe?

- "Exodus, Part 1"


In a show that famously swaps out partners with very little prompting, it’s astonishing that this one couple has lasted all these seasons. It looked in the very beginning like the writers and creators of the show were looking to break them up—Jin was extremely controlling when they arrived on the island, and Sun had been considering leaving him—but, astonishingly, instead of dissolving, they somehow managed to mend and grow and become stronger over the years.

Stranded island marriage counseling. There’s an idea.

Not to mention, they have mad chemistry. We really believe that they are drawn together, and want to be together, and so we rejoice when they mend fences and are reunited.


5. Willow and Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

Willow: Can she go home now?

Doctor: Unfortunately, no. Hospital policy dictates we keep her for the night.

Willow: But does she have to? I-I can take care of her at home.

Doctor: She your sister?

Willow: She's my everything.

- “Tough Love”


Easily the most stable and sustainable relationship shown in the entire series (although, yes, there were rocky patches), Willow and Tara were deeply devoted. Interesting fact: clocking in at two and a half seasons, this is the longest-running lesbian relationship ever on network television.

Willow and Tara meet when they are both isolated and shy. Willow has always been nerdy and awkward, and has shown a history of sexual insecurity. Before Tara, she’s only had one serious relationship, with a boy in high school. Tara has already acknowledged her sexuality to herself, but she is deeply alienated from her constricting and hostile family, and taught that she was sub-human and unreliable.

When these two come together, though, they both blossom beautifully. Tara is almost immediately enamored of Willow, whose journey into the relationship is a little more hesitant and shy. Once they finally become a couple, it is one of the most passionate and epic romances in a show that contains, let’s face it, a number of passionate and epic romances.

I’m going to use the placement of this particular couple to transition to the next couple, who are in a different category.



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