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Clearly, this was worth a post.

(Meant to post this last night, but the internet was ill-behaved.  Pretend it's still Valentine's Day.)

In honor of the holiday, Entertainment Weekly has posted a lovely photo gallery of Pop Culture's Best Couples: 26 True (Fictional) Lovers (a link which I'm redirecting to a repost on LJ for ease of a single page, although the LJ page is slightly out of order). As shipping squeeage is my specialty, I felt a need to go through and comment on said list.

1. Superman/Lois Lane
Er...yeah, I still don't get the allure of comic book superheroes.

2. Romeo/Juliet
Ahaha! Please don't make me remember that horrible 1996 bastardization of a movie ever again. And even aside from that, I recognize that they're like the ultimate cliche of romance and therefore it would be remiss to leave them off a list of classic couples, but...they're just so overdone, and they weren't that impressive in the first place.

3. Kermit the Frog/Miss Piggy
I was always creeped out by this relationship. I think I was bothered more by the fact that she was twice his size than the fact that she was a different species. Well, that and her tendency to be really scary and aggressive. That's not a good lesson to teach kids about love.

4. Han Solo/Leia
Awww. Okay, I have a little soft spot for this pair, despite my general disdain for Star Wars, just because when I was 10 years old and reading a novelization of "The Empire Strikes Back" (having only seen the first film), they made my heart all aflutter. As an aisde, I also remember being really relieved when Luke turned out to be Leia's brother, because that neatly solved my dilemma of liking her with both of them.

5. Lancelot/Guinevere
Breaks my heart in every context. Which is weird, because I'm generally in favor of proper marriages, and King Arthur is so delightfully heroic that I kind of just want her to shut up and love her husband. But then Lancelot comes along all full of angst and woe and destroys that particular notion of mine.

Of course, it's hard to think about this couple without also remembering the the horror of the 3-way in "The Mists of Avalon," which scarred me for life. *scrubs futilely at brain*

6. Buffy/Angel
Sarah Michelle Gellar? V.v. pretty. David Boreanz? Also v.v. pretty. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? *yawns* This blurb actually taught me more about the show than I've managed to absorb in my entire life to date. I simply cannot bring myself to care. Although I did always figure that if I WERE interested in this show, this is who I'd ship, for the pretty factor alone.

7. Ross/Rachel
Um, no, Monica & Chandler are the Friends of Epic Love. Ross & Rachel just...are.

I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on this opinion, because every time a couple with UST and/or longterm potential appears on a 30-minute show people immediately start comparing them to Ross & Rachel, but I never thought there was anything particularly epic or star-crossed about them. They were cute together, despite their incessant number of breakups, and I was happy they ended up together in the end, but that was mostly just because they had a baby and it was painful to watch them not be together during that time period.  They don't exactly make my heart flutter or send my stomach into somersaults.  They're just a couple of individual trainwrecks who managed to make their way to each other. 

8. Ron/Hermione
"Ron/Hermione fans still have scars from their online wars with the Harry/Hermione faithful"
Hee. It's funny because it's true. 

In all honesty, though, this is the first one I can give a great big thumbs-up to. My feelings on this trio are not unlike my feelings about the pre-Juliet LOST triangle, where they really could have swung it the other way and I'd have been cool, but the other way will always be second-string. Of course, part of my love for these two may have been due to the fact that there wasn't anybody nearly as interesting for Ron, whereas Harry had Ginny, and yes, I belong to the Cult of the One Big Happy Weasley Family...but it also stems from my longtime belief that Harry, with this great big metaphorical cross on his shoulders, was set apart from his friends with the beginning, and not as the Superman-type hero with a leading lady.

And, um, since I'm supposed to be discussing the actual couples on the list...because Harry was set apart from them, I always saw Ron & Hermione, in equal positions as his supporters through all of it (less a minor hissy fit in DH), turning to one another.

9. Rick Blaine/Ilsa Lund
Never saw Casablanca. Never will see Casablanca. Am incredibly prejudiced towards things filmed before I was born, but am especially prejudiced against things filmed before there was color.

10. Jim Halpert/Pam Beesly
*muffles squee in order to interject something*

"That hot first kiss"? What? Who looks at Casino Night and goes "Yes, that was the hottest thing ever?" They do not have hot kisses. They have a couple of emotional kisses, but despite the implied passion behind them, they are highly innocent in nature. That is why they are the Puppy Love Ship.
And now that I've finished grousing about that, YES. They are so obviously perfection & soulmates & best friends that I don't know how anyone could ever argue with them. That's also why I come up completely blank on why people think that they're due for a breakup on the show before long. This is not your typical office affair; what it lacked in slown burn (let's face it, 2 seasons is generally not considered enough of a foundation to permanently satisfy angst-happy TV writers), it made up for with the sheer depth of their connection. This is magic so strong it sucked me in despite a deliberate attempt to hate the show. That doesn't happen very often.

11. Homer/Marge
Hah! I would never have thought of this inclusion, but it's totally true.

12. Robin Hood/Maid Marian
*snorts* Not according to the BBC's new version.

13. Aragorn/Arwen
*flails wordlessly at picture* Oh my God. Oh my God I love them so much. Especially in that scene. I have no words for how beautiful that scene is. No other portion of LotR got such repeat treatment.

14. Carrie Bradshaw/Mr. Big
...yeah. I get that there's sort of this epic quasi-fairy tale surrounding them (although, um, OBVIOUSLY MIRANDA & STEVE ARE THE TRUE LOVE STORY HERE), but I was never very fond of any of Carrie's boyfriends. My mom's still disappointed that she didn't stay with Aidan. I was ambivalent about Aidan for a long time, but the more times I watch his episodes, the more he grows on me (besides, he has a dog, so). And anyway, Chris Noth is much nicer on Law & Order. Mr. Big never stops being skeevy, even when he undergoes a partial personality transplant in the finale.

You know, when I started writing this commentary, I really thought there would be a lot more agreement going on. I thought I was so fond of canon couples. What's going on? Do I only like the background canon couples?

15. Rhett Butler/Scarlett O'Hara
See "Casablanca"

16. Heathcliff & Clair Huxtable
Meh. They were nice, yes. I loved the concept of The Cosby Show, and Bill Cosby's awesome, but I never really enjoyed watching it that much.

17. Apollo & The Midnighter
Um...WHAT. Not only have I never heard of these two or their comic book, see #1 for how I feel about that.

18. Luke & Luara Spenser
No. Soap operas FTL.

19. Lucy & Ricky Ricardo
Not for the first time, I start believing that these lists should come with certain time caps. I agree that this couple was great, but haven't they had enough homage paid to them over the years? I know this a list of all-time classic couples, but still, I wouldn't mind a few things from my lifetime.

20. Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy
Hee! *has soft spot for all things P&P related*

21. Annie Hall/Alvy Singer
Please stop listing couples I've never heard of. -.-

22. Mickey & Minnie Mouse
Getting...so...very...bored...

23. Gaius Baltar/Number Six
You know, even setting aside my general contempt for Battlestar Galactica and the fact that I've never seen it, if we're going to pull out sci-fi couples, I think we need to have the Doctor and Rose Tyler.  Their devotion to one another is off the charts.

24. Tony/Carmela Soprano
"The Sopranos" is made of fail. That is all.

25. Jack Twist/Ennis Del Mar, Brokeback Mountain
No. I refuse to admit that the ending may have made me shed a couple of tears, mostly because everything before it was so unbearable.  And I only read the short story.

26. Tony & Maria, West Side Story
That's just cheating. We already had Romeo & Juliet! Romeo & Juliet implies inclusion of all direct remakes of Romeo & Juliet!

CONCLUSION: Most of this list needs a massive overhaul.

Now, obviously, I could make a whole gallery out of my current ships, and most of them probably wouldn't fit the "greatest couples of all time" idea, but I do think they were remiss in leaving Mulder & Scully out of this gallery. Because, come on. Buffy & Angel weren't even permanent.

Also, if permanent and/or stable happiness isn't a requirement for making this list, I'm pretty sure Derek/Meredith should be on there. Their on-and-off-but-never-really-over-each-other status has become legend by now, even among people who've never seen Grey's Anatomy.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hehe! Thanks for pointing out this list and for the running commentary. I basically agree with everything you said (wavering on the H/Hr or R/Hr although I'm really past caring) but especially with: Am incredibly prejudiced towards things filmed before I was born, but am especially prejudiced against things filmed before there was color. ME TOO.

I think they should definitely have included more modern TV show couples on there .... I mean I could never get into The X Files but I'm pretty sure Mulder and Scully should have been on there. And Alias' Sydney/Vaughn was pretty epic ... not to mention all the ships around nowadays.

That picture of Aragorn and Arwen is so fricking beautiful.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 15th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
I always feel like such a bad, spoiled child when admit to not liking old movies, considering the way people look at me in horror when I do so. I'm glad I'm not the only one with this opinion!

Ooh, yes, I agree with Alias too...mostly because that's another one of those shows I never really got into despite seeing a few random reruns, but I was still pretty invested on how her storyline with Vaughn turned out.
proudofthefish
Feb. 15th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
I'm totally with you on number 5 because there was just to much angst.
eleigh
Feb. 15th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Um, no, Monica & Chandler are the Friends of Epic Love. Ross & Rachel just...are.

Ditto. I love Monica & Chandler 10 times more than I like Ross & Rachel. It helps that I love Matthew Perry a lot.

Never saw Casablanca. Never will see Casablanca. Am incredibly prejudiced towards things filmed before I was born, but am especially prejudiced against things filmed before there was color.

Does this mean you don't watch things made in the early 80s? No Ferris Bueller, Back to the Future, or Ghostbusters? No Evil Dead or Karate Kid? BLASPHEMY. Omg, no Raiders of the Lost Ark? I could go on.

*snorts* Not according to the BBC's new version.

Don't get me started. *grumbles*
rainbowstevie
Feb. 15th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
I'm more of a Courtney Cox fan, but Matthew Perry is good too.

Does this mean you don't watch things made in the early 80s? No Ferris Bueller, Back to the Future, or Ghostbusters? No Evil Dead or Karate Kid? BLASPHEMY.
*whistles innocently and looks at the ceiling* Hum-de-dum, twiddling my thumbs...

stunt_muppet
Feb. 16th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
2. Ugh. I'm sorry, but every time I hear someone refer to Romeo and Juliet as a "classic couple" or a "true love story" I vomit a little on the inside. I don't want my classic epic true love story to involve petulant, histrionic prepubescents, thank you very much. Also, Beatrice/Benedick FTW.

Never saw Casablanca. Never will see Casablanca.

But...but...but but but...but Casablanca is the most wonderfullest movie ever made with the possible exception of The Godfather! And Ingrid Bergman is really pretty!

*adopts determined stance* I got you into a sci-fi series, woman. I'll make a convert of you yet. < /joking>

21. Didn't they break up at the end of the movie? I thought they did. *goes to check*

Also, this list horribly neglected the epic romantic saga of That Action Hero and His Token Love Interest in That One Movie. They are therefore MISINFORMED and WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 16th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
People, namely my film studies professor, also tried to tell me that Citizen Kane and a number of Alfred Hitchcock movies were among the most wonderfullest movies ever made. So you'll forgive me if I choose not to take your word on that. (Even if you did perform the feat of the century by getting me into a sci-fi series.)

Also, this list horribly neglected the epic romantic saga of That Action Hero and His Token Love Interest in That One Movie. They are therefore MISINFORMED and WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING.
Heeeeeeeeeee! YES THEY ARE.
kimberkatie
Feb. 17th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
7. Ross/Rachel
Um, no, Monica & Chandler are the Friends of Epic Love. Ross & Rachel just...are.


Gotta agree with you there. Ross and Rachel had the whole "he wants her/she doesn't want him" thing going on, but after a while it got nauseating and annoying. Chandler and Monica, though ... that was true love, and they were incredibly cute the whole length of their relationship ... drunk sex, flirting, relationship, marriage, babies, and all. Very cute.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 17th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Most of my knowledge of Friends has been through blocks of reruns - I'd never even seen the show prior to 2000 - so I didn't experience the back-and-forth enough for it to really annoy me. They just didn't really click for me in the episodes they were together. And Chandler & Monica, like you said, went through all the steps and managed to be funny and heartwarming by turns.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 26th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
Cool post.
thanks much, guy
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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