(From the Feb. 1-14 issue of The Fortnightly)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
The best pairings on TV develop organically over the course of just a few episodes, or when required, a few seasons. Some of the best couples seemingly have nothing in common, but are surprisingly perfect for each other, nonetheless. Here are some unlikely but beloved couples or pairings:
Homer and Marge (The Simpsons)
We’re often reminded of the spouses’ improbable but thriving relationship. Despite Homer’s insensitivity and monumentally idiotic antics, Marge loves him just the same. He feels incredibly lucky, and often attempts to become the better person she deserves.
Barney and Robin (How I Met Your Mother)
One of the show’s most affecting arcs was the exploration of the unique bond between Barney and Robin; the unapologetic lothario and the lovable Canadian news anchor made such a cute couple, both changing profoundly when they realized feelings for each other.
Michael and Holly (The Office)
Michael’s had strange relationships (he’s often the odd one in them), but he easily hit it off with HR rep Holly, who’s exhibited similarly weird behavior around him. She’s way smarter and more sensible than him, but they share a rare and undeniable rapport.
Ian and Mickey (Shameless)
Ian, a secretly gay teen, and Mickey, a notorious bully, hated each other. They came to blows, which led to a surprising discovery: Mickey’s secretly gay too, and has the hots for his enemy! They don’t label their relationship, and are immensely enjoying each other’s company.
Buffy and Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
The monster-hunting Slayer and the noble vampire were initially allies, but they became more than that for a time. Champions on separate missions, Buffy and Angel inevitably parted ways, but will always consider each other special.
The Doctor and Rose (Doctor Who)
The immortal alien Doctor and his human friend Rose were time-traveling companions for many months. They realized feelings for each other, but major obstacles prevented them from pursuing a formal relationship. She eventually ended up with a more expressive mortal version of the Doctor.
Glenn and Maggie (The Walking Dead)
Like in the source comic book, zombie apocalypse survivors Glenn and Maggie came from different worlds, and found each other amidst less than ideal circumstances. Their pairing inspires optimism, one of the few good things that resulted from a series of tragedies.
Jenna and Matty (Awkward)
Jenna and Matty are secret lovers, only exchanging meaningful glances at school because they belong to different cliques. The friends-with-benefits situation gets complicated when she starts longing for him, and when he can’t seem to decide on what he really wants.
Promiscuous Brian initially didn’t believe in love, but later realized that he was falling for Justin, a much younger man. The on-again, off-again relationship taught the pair various lessons, and they mostly remained close during difficult times.
Veronica and Logan (Veronica Mars)
It took time for the bad boy jock and the sprightly teen detective to really like each other, so it was pleasantly surprising when they finally recognized mutual attraction. The volatile relationship ended, but he’s still protective even after they moved on.
Ned and Chuck (Pushing Daisies)
Ned the pie-maker has the power to temporarily resurrect once-living things with his touch. He revives his childhood friend Charlotte, a.k.a. Chuck, but they must avoid skin contact; his lethal touch can abruptly end their new and promising relationship.
Dexter and Lumen (Dexter)
After the brutal vigilante discovers and frees a serial killer’s captive, they become unexpected partners, and eventually, lovers. Dexter and Lumen helped each other survive some of their most harrowing ordeals.
Chris and Jal (Skins)
Khal Drogo and Daenerys (Game of Thrones)
He’s the leader of a nomadic warrior tribe; she’s the exiled princess who had no choice but to marry a powerful stranger. But she later found herself loving him wholeheartedly and embracing his culture, while he began respecting and appreciating her more.