Today I am going to share a secret with you. A dark and shameful secret. Ready?
I am a shipper.
Chances are that if you are a sensible, well-adjusted adult you’re now imagining me in a boat. If only.
Actually, in Internet lingo, a ‘shipper’ is someone who gets overly invested in fictional relationships on TV shows. And as a fully-fledged boxset addict, I have a pretty major shipping problem.
I should point out here that I’m not as bad as some people. Like, even *I* am shocked and appalled when I come across things like THIS on the Internet:
(Just as an aside don’t ever Google Image Search pictures of Sam and Dean from Supernatural. Based on the fan art you’ll find, some people really need to rethink their idea of what’s appropriate for brothers to do, while not wearing shirts).
That said, because there’s no problem so shameful it can’t find a friend on the Internet, today I’m sharing with you my all-time, top ten best TV couples. And I’d like you to know that I’ve put some serious hours into researching this topic.
Shipping isn’t just about who’s hot – otherwise Claire and Jamie from Outlander might be top of this list. It’s about the extent to which people like me get sucked into the story, the drama of the relationship. Shows like these? Are the reason I don’t get out more. The best TV couples are the ones you get completely sucked into, and gasp when something dramatic happens.
Go on, tell me who you think are the best TV couples in the comments. I cannot be the only person reading with Shipper Shame.
Top 10 Best TV Couples of All Time
10 – Jim & Pam, The Office
I feel disloyal bringing this up, but the American version of The Office is so much more fun than the British version. Jim and Pam take around seven seasons to get together but the slow burn is so much fun to watch – especially their joint pranks on the hapless Dwight. Seriously – how is this not the PERFECT partner?
9 – Tami and Coach Taylor
If you haven’t watched Friday Night Lights yet, seriously, go watch it.
Not only is it one of the BEST written TV shows of all time, but Tami and Coach Taylor are basically #RelationshipGoals. And every time Coach Taylor tells his kids, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” I want to high five someone.
I love that this couple argue and are challenged and face tragedy – and they do it all as best friends. And the story always shows that they need to sacrifice and make compromises for one another. It doesn’t hurt that Kyle Chandler is pretty hot.
But the moment where Coach Taylor agrees to drop his contract and move to Philadelphia because Tami has spent years supporting his career and, “It’s your turn, babe”?
Oh, it makes my heart melt.
8 – Felicity and Ben, Felicity
When I was 21, Felicity and Ben was EVERYTHING that I felt about young love.
If you’re not familiar with the show (I’m not sure it ever aired in the UK?) it’s about an overly intense nerd called Felicity who doesn’t speak to her high school crush, Ben, until he signs her yearbook at graduation. So Felicity does what all 18-year-olds would do, and drops her place at Stanford to follow Ben across the country to NYU. You say stalker, I say romantic.
Felicity is over-intense and overthinks EVERYTHING and Ben mutters a lot and struggles with – you know – feelings. But this show tells you that sometimes the smart thing to do is not go to Berlin with that guy who ended up being a spy in Scandal, and instead go on a mad road trip with a really hot guy who has commitment issues. Because you’re young and – why not?
7 – Chuck and Blair, Gossip Girl
Let’s get real – Chuck and Blair were basically the only reason we kept watching Gossip Girl as long as we did. Separately they were utterly toxic, but together it just worked.
Obviously, ‘worked’ is a relative term here considering it’s outrageously camp soap – Chuck tried to sleep with Blair’s nemesis Jenny B, and he once traded her for a hotel. I think he might have killed his father, but you know – details. Meanwhile Blair gets engaged to a Prince and accidentally sleeps with Chuck because the lights were off. (huh?)
But heck, they’re hot, so I’m going to go with it.
6 – Angel and Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The couple that slays together, stays together. Unless one of them is the undead and the other is the chosen one, destined to kill monsters.
I re-watched the entire Buffy box set a couple of years ago, though, and it’s still just like a flashback to every tortured teenage fantasy I ever had. That scene where they first sleep together and Angel says, “I love you. I try not to, but I can’t stop,” is basically like catnip to me. Also that scene where they go on a date at the ice rink is bizarrely cute – up until Buffy has to kill an assassin with the blade of her skate.
Seriously, I love this show so freakin’ much.
5 – Pacey and Joey, Dawsons Creek
One of the trickiest parts of growing up for me was realising that real boys are not Pacey Witter.
Now, I will admit with hindsight that Pacey’s haircut in Seasons 1 and 2 was seriously questionable, but that’s not the point. If you didn’t swoon a bit at the scene where Pacey recognises that Joey is wearing her Mother’s bracelet because she told him about it in passing six months earlier, well, you don’t deserve that heart in your chest.
It still gets my every time when Joey says, “You remember that?” and Pacey whispers, “I remember everything.”
4 – Angela and Jordan, My So Called Life
I have 3 things to say about this particular ‘ship. First, this is the most realistic teen show a mainstream network has ever aired.
Second, Jordan Catalano, as played by Jared Leto, is ridiculously beautiful. And third, the ridiculous way that Angela Chase moons over Jordan and says crap like, “I like how he’s always leaning”? That’s exactly how daft and pointless a proper crush is, and I love it.
I almost feel wrong for putting them on a list of best TV couples because they’re BARELY a couple. But actually, when you’re 15, I think ‘barely’ still counts. Doesn’t it?
3 – Veronica and Logan, Veronica Mars
I am conflicted about this one, because Logan is unquestionably bad news, what with the frequent fighting, drinking, sexual misconduct and the like. But that scene where the completely inebriated Logan declares his love to Veronica at a party gives me ALL the feels. And that’s the point about shipping a TV couple – it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you want REAL life to be like – it’s what you want to watch on TV, right?
Logan: I thought our story was epic, you know. You and me.
Veronica: Epic how?
Logan: Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined; blood shed. Epic.
Veronica: Come on Logan, ruined lives, blood shed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?
Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
2 – Rory and Jess
Dear Netflix, if these two don’t end up together, you and me are going to have Issues.
Teen Jess was – let’s be frank – a bit of a dick, but he was smart and passionate. Throughout Gilmore Girls, Jess is the one who challenges Rory, who calls her out when she’s being a pratt and not seizing opportunities and being true to herself. What’s more romantic than that?
1 – Damon and Elena, Vampire Diaries.
Oh God, the shame. I have YouTube playlists devoted to the Vampire Diaries. It’s one of the few box sets I can watch over and over and not get bored of. I can FEEL you judging me so hard right now, and I don’t blame you.
But honestly, when Damon and Elena have a completely inappropriate (she’s dating his brother) make-out session against a motel ice machine, it’s a-ma-zing.
They’re top of my list of best TV couples because it’s the perfect illustration that:
a) nothing is hotter than forbidden love
b) sometimes a bad boy can still be a good man
In other news, I might be just counting down until Flea’s old enough to watch Vampire Diaries, so I can watch it all over again (like I haven’t already).
So that’s it – let me know what additions you’d make to my Best TV Couples list – and maybe who you’d strike off the list completely!