It’s mid-February, which means it’s time for us to take a look at some of our favorite TV couples. (Cut us some slack – our site was down on the 14th.) This year, we’re focusing on those pairings that are having a bit of a rough time, whether they’re separated by zombies, hiding murderous pasts, dealing with infidelity, or moving way too quickly. We’re evaluating their chances of future happiness and offering advice – after all, we’re verified experts on relationships. One of us is a long-time married person and the other used to have an incredibly unsuccessful eHarmony profile that mentioned the Dharma Initiative.
Glenn Rhee and Maggie Greene (The Walking Dead) — On the one hand, these two have pretty much everything against them, seeing as they live in the Zombie Apocalypse. Should dating really be a priority? But that daunting obstacle may be just the reason we can’t help rooting for them to make it. It’s not always easy to recognize your true love when you’re both continually having to murder zombies and are constantly covered in a thin layer of grime, but Glenn and Maggie prove that love can conquer all. Currently, they’ve been separated in the wake of the Governor’s attack on the prison that sent our survivors scrambling in different directions, but we have to believe they’ll both carry on and make sure they find each other once again.
Tina Belcher and Jimmy Pesto Jr. (Bob’s Burgers) – Like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, these two kids come from feuding families. Their fathers are rival restaurant owners whose grudge goes beyond just trying to take one another’s customers. Tina’s parents are fine with her crush on Jimmy Jr. – Bob may not be thrilled about it, but he knows better than to stand in the way of young love. Jimmy Pesto may not even be aware of it, which is part of the problem. Other than when he had a rival for her affection, Jimmy Jr. doesn’t really notice Tina’s feelings. The kid is oblivious to most things that don’t involve his own dancing. Frankly, between Jimmy being a dumb adolescent boy and Tina’s erotic dreams about horses and zombies, neither of them are really ready for a relationship right now. But ultimately, we’d rather see Tina end up with Josh, the nice boy from the milk fridge. Set your sights higher, Tina!
Nick Miller and Jess Day (New Girl) — We’ve seen these two evolve from reluctant roommates to true “roomfriends” and into full on couplehood over the last couple of seasons. Anyone who says they don’t work as a couple clearly hasn’t seen their first kiss or the way they just sort of “get” each other. Both have some oddly complimentary quirks and we can see Jess inspiring Nick to break out of his malaise and really live up to his potential. I mean, she got him to open a real bank account and he got her to say she loved him. Well, technically, Prince was the real motivator on that one, but it was Nick’s initial declaration that got the ball rolling.
Charles Boyle and Vivian Ludley (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) – We actually had to completely rethink this one at the last minute, because this relationship is moving fast. The two met at a part just one episode ago, and by the end of this week’s show, they were engaged. The thing is, we want Boyle to be happy. They seem to be great together, and the older woman / younger man dynamic doesn’t get explored that often on TV unless the aforementioned younger man is, you know, really young. That said, they’ve established that Boyle has a history of moving too fast – they even call it “Full Boyle”. She might be perfect for him, but if you’re a person of moving too fast, it always seems like they’re perfect for you. Vivian seems just as into it, which means either that they’re meant to be or there’s no voice of reason in the relationship. Slow it down a bit, guys. Get your wits about you before you jump into anything. We’ve seen a lot of TV, and fast engagements almost never work. Especially with cops. If we’ve learned anything from Law & Order, Homicide, The Wire, and their ilk, it’s that members of the police force have something like a 95% divorce rate. And when they marry somebody they just met, that relationship won’t make it to the end of the season. We just want you to be happy, buddy. We’re asking you, as your friends, to pump the brakes just a bit. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Sterling Archer and Lana Kane (Archer) – Dating a co-worker is always a bad idea. It’s a worse idea when you’re both spies and a spat can get you (or all the passengers on a dirigible) killed. And it might even be a worse idea when you’re former spies turned cocaine dealers. It’s the worst idea of all when one of the people involved in this relationship is Sterling Archer. Add in the fact that they broke up years ago, and it seems like we can close the book on Lanarcher. (Sorry about that. We didn’t mean to go all Tumblr on you.) Still, there’s something there. The possibility is still out there that Archer is the father of Lana’s baby. (She claims it was artificial insemination, but we’re not convinced. Also, with the way Archer spreads it around, it could still turn out to be his sperm anyway.) And even if he isn’t, the most recent episode revealed that Archer is suddenly surprising well-read on the subjects of pregnancy and fetal development. The two of them even had a talk about the possibility of leaving it all behind and running away, a talk which Archer derailed by propositioning Lana. Still, it was as close to a declaration of emotion as anything we’ve ever seen from these two. It’s too close to call on this one – our gut feeling is that they’d be a complete mess as a couple, but this occasional sweetness sneaks in and warms our hearts. One thing’s for sure; either way, they’re headed for the… DANGER ZONE!!!!
Pretty Liz and C-Czar (Kroll Show) – Oy. These two. Pretty Liz runs a publicity firm with her partner, Liz. (It’s called PubLIZity. It’s based off their names.) She is… not especially bright or emotionally solid. She met C-Czar on an ice-skating themed dating show, and they began a relationship. Before we knew it, the former toilet baby from Alahambra and Liz were expecting. We really haven’t seen them interact much since they met, but C-Czar is clearly trying, even going to Dad Academy to learn how to be a father. Still, we wouldn’t trust these two with a fern, let alone a child. Hopefully they can get their acts together and make it work, but we’re more than a little worried.
John and Mary (Sherlock) – These newlyweds and expectant parents ran into a bit of a snag this season when John found out that everything he knew about his wife was a lie and she was actually a skilled assassin with a dark history she’d kill to hide. However, their marriage was real – Mary really did fall in love with John. There wasn’t any sort of agenda there, and she only (nearly) returned to her murderous ways to take out a blackmailer and keep her marriage safe. John chose not to find out what she wanted to hide, even after she presented him with a USB drive full of information, and Sherlock killed the blackmailer as sort of a late wedding present. And you know what? We think these two are going to make it. In the course of a short relationship, they’ve weathered just about everything including their wedding reception turning into the site of an attempted murder. We like that John admitted the web of lies is a problem, but nothing they can’t learn to live with. Frankly, our biggest worry is what happens when Mary gives birth. Sherlock Holmes is going to be a terrible influence on that kid.
Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano (The Mindy Project)–These two OB/GYNs make each other crazy, but they’re also always there for each other. (Has anyone ever run as quickly to a friend’s side as Danny did when he found out Mindy was back from Haiti and in the hospital back in the Season 2 premiere?) They challenge each other and call each other on their crap, but they also support the heck out of each other. We were already on board with them as besties, but it was quite clear from their growing tension that there was more to explore. Danny resisted when a clearly intrigued Mindy invited him out for “some air” after he danced to a classic Aaliyah tune as her Christmas present. And it all came to a head on their recent plane ride back from L.A., just as Mindy had texted her estranged boyfriend Cliff a plea to get back together. Danny had a sudden realization, and went to find Mindy in the galley, where they shared an epic kiss. We don’t know exactly where they go from here, or if it’s worth them risking their friendship, but now that they’ve opened Pandora’s Box, they can’t go back.
Boyd and Ava Crowder (Justified) – Before we start, it’s worth noting that these two aren’t actually married just yet. They’re engaged, but they share the same last name because she, well, used to be married to Boyd’s father. But let’s get past that to deal with the major obstacle in their relationship: She’s currently in the state penitentiary awaiting trial for murder. And she’s totally guilty, for what that’s worth. Boyd’s really working to get her out, even killing one of the key witnesses; but given that a guard shanked himself and blamed Ava, the problems just keep mounting. But what we see is that Boyd will do anything for the woman he loves, including turning on a long-time ally. And Ava was just as dedicated to his well-being when she was on the outside. This relationship is basically bulletproof. However, it’s important to remember that Boyd and Ava are white supremacists running a heroin empire (with some prostitution on the side) who’ve made enemies all over Harlan. Their relationship will last as long as they do, but that might not be very long at all.
Rayna James and Deacon Claybourne (Nashville) —There’s no one better for each of these musicians than the other, but they’ve had so many things, people, drugs and alcohol in their way over the years that their happy times have been short-lived. And once they seemed to have finally figured it all out, a bombshell revelation–that Deacon was in fact the biological father of Rayna’s eldest daughter Maddie–sent him reeling and resulted in a heated argument in a moving car that naturally crashed. Luckily, both have been healing well from both the physical and emotional wounds they suffered, and both are currently seeing other people. Their companions are perfectly fine, but they just don’t have the heat that these two generate simply with a glance. We just know that this couple will find their way back to each other, and probably write a few more hit records in the process.
Juliette Barnes and Avery Barkley (Nashville) —This budding romance has developed slowly, starting with a brief backstage encounter when superstar Juliette was at her peak and Avery was a cocky starving artist. He was also an immature, petulant jerk who had a lot of growing up to do, and after getting put through the Nashville ringer, he’s come out the other side a changed man. He gave up a shot at stardom that would have required him to compromise his vision and instead decided to pay his dues schlepping equipment on Juliette’s tour. When she couldn’t charm him instantly, Juliette was intrigued, but when he played his guitar, she was impressed. They became friends first, songwriting partners and confidantes. Recently, they decided to act on their mutual attraction and seem destined for the long haul. Right now, with Rayna and Deacon still not settled, they provide the emotional heart of Nashville.
Joel and Julia Graham (Parenthood) — Once seen as the golden couple of the expansive Braverman clan, these two weathered the storm of adopting an older child after losing out on the newborn they were expecting to bring home, as well as career changes for both. While Julia worked full time, Joel had managed the home and taken care of daughter Sydney. When Joel got a golden opportunity and Julia opted to put her law career on hold to focus on their kids, the shift in dynamic was too much for everyone. Suddenly, Julia was leaning on another man for emotional support and her husband was, well, he was being kind of a dick. She admitted that her friend Ed had kissed her, but she’d stopped it there. For his part, Joel wouldn’t even go to one therapy session to see if their marriage could be saved; he just decided to move right out. Sorry, Joel, you had us and then you lost us. We’re on Julia’s side in this fight, and if you can’t come around and try to work stuff out, than we might call Ed for her ourselves.
The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (Venture Bros.) – These two have weathered plenty of storms in their relationship already. They came back from a big break-up to become one of supervillainy’s hottest couples. And while the Monarch’s obsessive of hatred of Dr. Venture once drove a wedge between them, Dr. Mrs. soon learned that without that hate, he wasn’t the man she loved. Meanwhile, the Monarch has started to prioritize his relationship over his career, so these two would seem to be in a really good place despite losing their house, headquarters, and most of their henchmen in a disastrous fire. The only thing we’re worried about is the way the season ended, with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch getting an offer to join the Council of 13 and be her husband’s boss. Workplace relationships are tough to begin with, and a guy who’s as prone to overreaction as you would imagine a butterfly-themed super criminal to be may have a hard time with going from being a partner in crime to being a subordinate. He may surprise us by simply being happy about his wife’s promotion, but we have to think they’re going to have at least one blow-out fight over it.
Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, folks! Trust us, we were thinking about you all day on the 14th. But not in the creepy way.