We've envied their chemistry. We've cried when they split up. We've rooted for them to reconcile. Take a look at primetime's top 10 (technically 11) couples we think are most memorable:
The Teen Idols:
Zack and Kelly, Saved by the Bell
Who didn't swoon when Zack set up a picnic outside of the high school prom when Kelly couldn't afford to go? Despite their ups and downs, through Zack's many girlfriends and that slimy, college boyfriend of Kelly's, the fans always knew the high school sweethearts were meant to be together. As far as Zack and Kelly shippers are concerned, they're still happily married (thank you, wedding in Las Vegas) and had lots of babies.
The Impossible Couple:
Buffy and Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
He's a vampire. She's the vampire slayer. By all logic, these two should have never even lived to see a romance, but Angel was cursed with a soul that caused him to develop an affection for the slayer. What followed was a romantic and tragic love story. Angel's return to soulless Angelus following a night of pure happiness with Buffy was heartbreaking. Like a one-night stand, Buffy was crushed and thrown aside by her boyfriend. In the end, it wasn't the horrible things that he'd done that drove Angel to Los Angeles, but his inability to give Buffy a normal life. That kind of sacrifice is love.
Doug and Carol, E.R.
Doug was a sly playboy. Through the years, he had numerous girlfriends and one-night stands. There wasn't much he was committed to except for his work as an E.R. pediatrician. It was through that work that viewers were treated to a more sensitive and caring side. Out came a deep passion for helping children, a passion that he shared for only one woman, Carol. Tapping into the desire of many women, Julianna Margulies
' Carol made Doug a different, better person when he was with her. When he was without her, although he'd never admit, he was a wreck. Never was an E.R. ending more fulfilling than when Carol realized Doug, the father of her twins, was her soulmate and went to Seattle to be with him.
Pam and Jim, The Office
There's a beauty to Pam and Jim when they're together. They bring out each others' true selves. Being friends first has given them a level of comfort and familiarity with each other that produces a deeper chemistry. Whether they're teaming up to play a prank on Dwight or teasing each other, they are two peas in pod and at ease with each other. Isn't love all about loving someone for who they truly are, flaws and all?
Ned and Chuck, Pushing Daisies
A little no touching rule won't stop Ned and Chuck. They've already found plenty of barriers, including plastic body bags, saran wrap and bee suits, to kiss and dance through. A mixture of sweet innocence (they sleep in separate beds for fear of touching and killing Chuck) and subtly implied naughtiness (plastic barriers, come on!), Ned and Chuck are a throwback and a modern couple at the same time, facing regular relationship issues outside of their touching problem. Lee Pace
and Anna Friel's
chemistry is wonderful. Just the sight of Chuck causes Lee Pace's face to explode in a delighted, joyful smile.
The Sworn Enemies:
Veronica and Logan, Veronica Mars
When the show began, Logan was Veronica's former friend-turned-antagonist. After siding with her father in the case of her best friend Lilly's murder, Veronica became the social pariah at Neptune High. Logan, who was Lilly's boyfriend, made her life hell. Slashed tires and name calling were the order of the day every day. But thanks in part to Jason Dohring's
passionate performance and the writers' unraveling of Logan's troubled past, the character became more than just the "obligatory psychotic jackass." Forced to rely on Veronica's P.I. skills to track down his mother, Logan and Veronica formed a tentative truce and grew closer. What followed was a roller coaster of a relationship with plenty of secrets, trust issues, break-ups and reunions.
The Odd Couple:
Fran and Maxwell, The Nanny
Teasing and torturing viewers as it not so subtly stomped around the idea of a romance between Nanny Fine and Mr. Sheffield, "The Nanny" managed to sustain itself for years on the playful banter and denial between its two leads. The road towards Fran and Maxwell's get together was painfully sweet as the show stretched out the viewers' anticipation by playing into the obvious flirtation and attraction between Fran and Maxwell and then denying the viewer through the characters' own obliviousness.
The One No One Saw:
Ryan and Taylor, The O.C.
Not only did no one see the oddball, but delightful pairing of Ryan and Taylor coming, but sadly, very few people saw the actual romance during "The O.C.'s" ratings-challenged last season. Their romance played like a screwball romantic comedy, revealing a lighter side to Ryan and "The O.C." With Marissa gone, Ryan slowly emerged from the doom and gloom of seasons past and began to smile every once and a while. The cause of said smiling? Autumn Reeser's
funny, neurotic Taylor Townsend. Although extremely different people, Ryan and Taylor complemented each other. She dulled his edges while he calmed her eccentricities.
Tami and Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights
& Allison and Joe Dubois, Medium
These married couples prove that relationships on TV aren't all about breaking up and getting back together and breaking up again. Sometimes, being together and just fighting through the trials of married life is just as gripping. And if you think that married couples aren't sexy and fun, then you obviously haven't seen Tami and Eric give the younger cast of "Friday Night Lights" a run for their money. Even when they're having a spat, these couples exude deep love and support for each other. At a time when relationships falling apart seem to be the norm on TV, it's refreshing and heartwarming to see people hold on to each other.
The Couple That Isn't:
Daniel and Betty, Ugly Betty
Daniel and Betty's friendship is so wonderful and genuine that I hope they never cross the line into something more. Supporting and calling each other out on their errors in judgment, they do what friends are supposed to do. They stick by each other and help bring out the best in each other. The friendly affection that Daniel has for Betty showcases a different side of the screw-up playboy.
Story by Vlada Gelman
Starpulse.com contributing writer