Welcome to Pop Culture Throwdown, a weekly column where Mashable’s Entertainment team tackles the big questions in life, like what Star Wars movie is best and which superhero would win in a fight.
This week, we asked each other (and all of you, on Twitter): Who’s your favorite TV couple?
Bob and Linda Belcher, Bob’s Burgers
There’s no marriage I’d rather be a part of than Bob and Linda Belcher’s. Equal parts unbridled chaos and unconditional love, this animated romance offers an inspirational look at true partnership. Despite what other TV couples might lead you to believe, finding “the one” isn’t about lingering glances, moonlit strolls, and passionate embraces. It’s about dealing with crappy customers, parenting your weird children, scaring raccoons out of your crawl space, and still wanting to bone afterwards. Daaate night tonight! Gonna go out get some fooood! — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
Virginia and Bert from Raising Hope! @shannonwoodward . Thank you for such a great series. Binged it one time on a TV box thing and now bought it on Apple TV. Def in my top 5 for best shows ever! You all were fab!
— Laurie Bee Gee (@PistachioYaz) July 7, 2020
Simon and Alisha, Misfits
No one watching Misfits Season 1 could have anticipated Simon and Alisha’s relationship, which makes their love story all the more meaningful. Alisha’s surprise at finding out her personal hero is a future version of the ASBO squad’s nerdiest member and subsequent head-over-heels fall for his confident (and ripped) charms is only the first step in a romance that overcomes death, transcends time, and leads to one of television’s all time greatest love scenes. And yes, Iwan Rheon plays Simon and the terrifying Ramsay Bolton on Game of Thrones, but he’s really cute in this show! Promise! — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
Zuko and Katara, Avatar: The Last Airbender
Zutara may not be canon in Nickelodeon’s otherwise perfect animated series, but adult viewers (and there are a lot of us) find themselves being drawn to the unlikely couple more and more as we grow older. One one hand, you have Zuko, the disgraced Fire Nation prince who is more of an angst bender than anything else, and whose redemption arc deserves a lengthy monologue during any discussion about character growth. On the other, you have Katara — mature, caring, and patient, unless you’re her brother.
It takes all of Katara’s sometimes notorious supply of hope to trust Zuko, and even more to do so again after he betrays the gang in the Season 2 finale. Both characters lost their mothers and childhoods to the Fire Nation’s war and now want nothing more than to end it. Tropes are tropes for a reason, so this combination of forbidden love and opposites attract (literal opposites! Fire and water!) is more tempting than a sip of cactus juice in an endless expanse of desert. — Proma Khosla, Entertainment Reporter
Dwight Schrute and Angela Martin 100%
— Ethan Farber (@ethan1farber) July 7, 2020
Rebecca Bunch and herself, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I’ve never gotten too invested in TV couples. It’s fun to ride the Sam and Diane roller coaster, but just like those theme park standbys it’s often a fleeting thrill with no meaningful payoff. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a welcome exception with its brutally honest meditation on mental health, self-care, and human connection. Our time in Rebecca Bunch’s life starts in a tricky spot, with the entire series premised around her questionable decision to drop everything and move to California, seemingly in a pursuit for her childhood crush.
But stick with the magical reality in this comedy-musical series and the bigger picture becomes clear. We come to understand – in the midst of off the wall songs like “Let’s Generalize About Men” and “The First Penis I Saw” – that Rebecca’s relationship with herself is what matters most. Her arc across four seasons is terrifying, heartbreaking, hopeful, and hilarious in equal measures. It’s a riveting and deeply, perfectly weird account of how we learn and grow as people. I’ve never seen anything else like it on television. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter/Weekend Editor
Eric and Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
There are TV couples who get to have a happily ever after, and then there are TV couples who get to live the happily ever after. Eric and Tami fall into the latter category, with a rock-solid marriage that began years before we met them in the Friday Night Lights pilot, and presumably continued years after we said goodbye in the Friday Night Lights finale. Theirs is a relationship built on mutual trust and compassion and communication, and brought to life by simple and sincere affection: They’re just super into each other, whether they’re making each other laugh like old friends or flirting with each other like newlyweds. “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” isn’t just a football rallying cry — it’s also the guiding principle of the best TV marriage of all time. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor
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