From Loveable to Questionable: TV Couples We Are Celebrating This Valentine’s Day

Adam Fay,

Love’s a funny thing. One minute blissful, the next complicated. Perfect one day, messy the next. This Valentine’s Day we’d like to celebrate all facets of relationships by taking a look at TV couples that either swooned or shocked us.

From loveable to questionable, these match-ups had us warm and fuzzy, or shocked and dismayed. No matter which it was though, we couldn’t get enough of them.

Join us as we look back and celebrate love in all its joy, complexity, warmth, wickedness and confusion….

Loveable

Bill & Frank from The Last Of Us

It was the episode that everyone was talking about. The Last of Us threw a curveball for its 3rd ep by pausing the mushroom-headed world of pandemic chaos it had carefully set up beforehand, to deliver what can only be described as a meticulously constructed, wonderfully written, old-fashioned love story.

Genius casting placed Nick Offerman’s Bill, a self sufficient doomsday prepper whose practical nature prepared him for almost everything (minus simple human interaction) and Murray Bartlett’s Frank, a sweet-natured romantic with an open heart…and fairly average piano skills.

Together, they shared a love story that was as touching as it was tragic, culminating in what many are considering one of the best television episodes of all time.

Questionable

Roman & Gerri from Succession

Ok. You wouldn’t call them a “couple” as such, but just what the hell is happening between these two? In the first 3 seasons of Succession, it’s abundantly clear that naughty rich boy Roman (Kieren Culkin) lusts after the much older Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron)

At first Gerri played along with his advances, even…*ahem*…”encouraging” them at one stage. That was until she put a halt to it, respectfully rejecting him and claiming that nothing ever happened between the two.

It’s complicated, dubious, and after mistakingly sending explicit images of himself meant for Gerri to his own father’s phone (Yeesh. Has there ever been a bigger cringe moment in a series?)…it’s now a complete mess.

They do seem to have a twisted affection for each other, but is this a healthy attraction between two consenting adults? or something else? Do we want them to get together? Or are we sickened by the mere thought? I’m totally lost.

One thing is for sure, this questionable relationship is going to face new twists and turns in the upcoming season. We couldn’t look away if we tried.

Loveable

Dustin & Suzie from Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a show with several great couples – Eleven and Mike, Max and Lucas, and of course the ‘will they/won’t they’ between Joyce and Hopper. But when it comes to sheer cuteness, one couple rules them all. Dustin and Suzie.

While not even sharing a scene in the same room together, it was that unforgettable long distance season 3 sing-along of Never Ending Story that had us in cuteness overload.

Sure, Suzie’s time-wasting and her insistence on having Dustin duet the 80’s classic in the middle of an extremely tense situation could have directly attributed to the death of a main character, the Russian imprisonment of another, and provided the evil Mind Flayer enough time to locate Eleven….but hey, what’s a bit of death and destruction? Totes worth it.

Questionable

Chris & Adriana from The Sopranos

Life pro tip: Entering into a relationship with a known mobster comes with it a certain amount of risk. You heard it here first. This information didn’t stop Adriana (Drea De Matteo) in The Sopranos and her devotion to Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli).

To her credit, Adriana grew up around wiseguys, and was no doubt aware of the risks involved. What she may have underestimated is the sheer brutality of the life, the vulnerable position she was put in when the Feds closed in on her as a potential informer, and the impact of drug addiction on her partner.

But love is love…and we definitely got the sense that Chrissy and Adriana had genuine love for each other in The Sopranos, despite the outside forces that made their relationship so dangerous and messy.

It’s true that Christopher was far from an ideal partner. His tendency to murder, maim, cheat and steal took some shine off his eligibility. All of which we could have forgiven him for, until he went and committed the most heinous of crimes there is…

I am of course talking about when he sat on Adriana’s pet dog in a drug-induced stupor, killing the innocent pup without even realising. He crossed the line that fateful night my friends.

R.I.P Cosette. Never forget.

Loveable

Jamie & Claire from Outlander

Perhaps one of the most passionate and enduring TV romances of recent years was the love between Claire (Catriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) in Outlander. It is a love that has endured wars, imprisonment, torture, and of course time itself.

They first met when Claire inadvertently travelled 200 years into the past. Eventually (and somewhat begrudgingly) they married each other to allow her freedom from a political loophole (how romantic). Only then did they discover the depth of their attraction. Claire and Jamie’s back and forth relationship is the sheer epitome of romance, and true Outlander tragics know only too well just how deep that love is.

Not bad for a pair who are born around 190-odd years apart. Claire from the 1900’s and Jamie from the 1700’s. This is a love that knows no barriers of time, and we can only guess what other obstacles they will have to endure in the upcoming 7th season. Can’t bloody wait.

Questionable

Villanelle & Eve from Killing Eve

For those not versed in the Killing Eve series lore, you may be surprised to learn that the show tells the story of two women who are somewhat obsessed with each other. Sure, the setup is that one is contracted to kill the other, and that cat and mouse game continues for most of the series, but it’s the underpinning story of deep, fervent love and desire between these two that really sets this show apart.

As the violence increases, so does the attraction. I told you…this is an unconventional affair, and essentially a very twisted take on the idea of soulmates.

It’s weird, it’s a little wrong, and it’s certainly questionable. But this recipe for love is served hot, with a dash of blood and violence.

Loveable

Fleabag & The Priest from Fleabag

Love conquers all…even perhaps a life dedicated to the cloth. That’s what we saw in season 2 of the unforgettable Fleabag. Andrew Scott plays The Priest (or better known now as “The Hot Priest”) to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s titular Fleabag. When they meet, sparks fly in one of the most talked about TV relationships of recent years.

This is no typical flirty courtship, but this is also no typical Priest. We see early on that he has the tendency to swear, drink and possesses a cheeky sense of humour. Despite the clear obstacles they face, we are rooting for them to make it work. They are just so perfect for each other. Perhaps Illustrated best when we learn that The Priest is the only other character in the show with the ability to break the 4th wall, several times noticing Fleabag talk to the camera and asking “..who are you talking to?”

Alas, it wasn’t to be…and as Waller-Bridge has put to bed any chance of a season 3, we may never truly know if this most loveable of couples ever crossed paths again.

Questionable

Cersei & Jaime from Game Of Thrones

Where to begin? When it comes to questionable relationships there are none more messed up than the twisted, incestuous shenanigans of Cersei and Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones. We cringed our way through 8 rollercoaster seasons with these two. Shouting at the TV, peeking behind our hands and shaking our heads at this most unnatural of relationships.

For Cersei (Lena Headey) we found some sort of twisted understanding of her choices…she is a psychopath after all, without much moral backbone. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) on the other hand was a harder pill to swallow. Sure, he had his faults, but we kinda liked the guy. We saw his kindness, his morality and his heroism…and yet, he just couldn’t shake this doomed desire for his sister.

We certainly can’t condone this one, but we also couldn’t look away.

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