Tonight is the night! After six years of idiocy and two years of cohabiting couplehood, Special Agent Seely Booth and Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan FINALLYYYYYYYYYY tie the knot. I thought I’d try something different for Media Monday in honor of these long-awaited nuptials. Instead of reviewing a single work, I’m going to fangirl about some of my favorite dynamic duos in current television. Note that I’ve used the word “pairs” in the title rather than “ships.” Some of these pairs are canon couples, some aren’t a couple in canon (YET) but I ship them anyway, and some have a platonic, familial bond that I love as is and wouldn’t want to turn into a romance. So, in no particular order of favoritism, read on, and do not disturb me tonight in the hour following 8pm/7pm Central on pain of death.
10. Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak
Show: Arrow, The CW
Canon relationship to date: Friends/partners
Do I ship: Nope
I liked Arrow when it premiered last fall, but it took me awhile to love it. Rather, it took Felicity for me to love it. As far as I’m concerned, Arrow is The Felicity Smoak Hour. But as much as I love watching Felicity awkwardly and shamelessly hit on Oliver, I don’t want them to be a canon pairing, and I don’t think Felicity does, either. She’s just blatantly acknowledging that her partner is a stud. Besides, we all know Green Arrow/Black Canary is endgame, and Felicity deserves sooooo much better than being the unwanted point on a love triangle. She’s a more interesting character than either Oliver or Laurel, imo. Felicity and Oliver are awesome as partners in crime. I hope the showrunners have the sense to keep them that way.
9. Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles
Show: Rizzoli & Isles, TNT
Canon relationship to date: ”LLBFFs” who joke about being gay for each other and play sports together and fall asleep in each other’s beds
Do I ship: Why else would I watch this show?
If you rewrote Bones and made Booth a woman, you’d have Rizzoli & Isles. That is all. No it isn’t. Writers, a word of advice: if you really want to portray a same-sex pair as just friends with no homoerotic vibes, don’t write them like an old married couple. You know who acts like old married couples in real life? Married couples. And people who openly or secretly want to be married couples.
8. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and Angela Montenegro
Show: Bones, Fox
Canon relationship to date: Bestest of best friends
Do I ship: Never
Brennan and Angela are, imo, a textbook example of how to write two women as platonic friends who don’t seem like covert lesbians. These women actually seem like chosen sisters. Heterosexual life partners, if you want the TV Tropes version. Except Angela isn’t heterosexual. She’s openly bi and had a serious girlfriend on the show before she married male coworker Jack Hodgens. And I still never get any kind of romantic vibe between her and Brennan. They love each other, not in a “Will you marry me and have my babies?” way, but in a “Will you be my
matron maid of honor and my baby’s godmother?” way.
7. Ichabod Crane and “Leftenant” Abbie Mills
Show: Sleepy Hollow, Fox
Canon relationship to date: The Two Witnesses prophesied in the Book of Revelation
Do I ship: Yes/No/Maybe
I think I’m the only Sleepy Hollow fangirl on the internet who isn’t violently passionate in my convictions regarding the status of Ichabbie’s relationship. The potential’s definitely there. I mean, depending on how you take the Revelation thing, even God ships Ichabbie. But I seriously have no idea where the showrunners are going to take this one, and I find myself feeling like it’ll be okay no matter what. Whether they end up as a romantic pairing or not, Ichabod and Abbie’s interactions are just so much fun to watch.
6. Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper
Show: The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Canon relationship to date: An official couple as per the Relationship Agreement
Do I ship: I called FedEx the moment I first saw them onscreen together
The Big Bang Theory‘s original premise was Leonard and Penny’s relationship. I like both Leonard and Penny as characters, and their relationship arc has had its moments, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. The beauty-and-the-geek thing is basically Ross and Rachel with enhanced contrast. Opposites attract? Every show ever. Please, writers, stop acting like it’s surprising or noteworthy when two :gasp: total opposites! end up :gasp: falling in love! This trope/cliche/deeply ingrained cultural mindset is so prevalent that the edgiest pairing you can write these days is a couple that is freakishly SIMILAR. Shamy is that couple. Amy and Sheldon do have distinct characterizations, different likes and dislikes, and conflicting sex drives. But the foundation of their relationship is that, at the core, they are more like each other than like anyone else in existence. They are Adam and Eve discovering each other in an Eden full of lower life forms. They are the male and female prototype of a new superhuman race, Homo Novus. I, for one, welcome our new Shamy overlords.
5. Frankie and Mike Heck
Show: The Middle, ABC
Canon relationship to date: Married
Do I ship: Yes
There’s a fine line between imperfect and dysfunctional. Patricia Heaton’s last long-running sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, was way over the latter side of the line. The Middle stays on the former. Frankie and Mike Heck are an imperfect couple raising imperfect children in an imperfect household. But at the end of the day, they’re a team. They genuinely like each other. They’re evenly matched in intelligence, competency, and looks. They both mess up, and the other is always there to help clean up the mess. For all their hilariously realistic shortcomings, the Hecks may actually be one of the most functional families in domestic sitcom history.
Show: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC
Canon relationship to date: Adorable two-headed monster. I think the heads technically have their own names? Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons?
Do I ship: With me
They are super-cute British tech geniuses who work for S.H.I.E.L.D. and their name is Fitzsimmons and they are always together and I just want to squeeeeeeeeee!!! whenever they’re onscreen and that’s pretty much it.
3. Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito
Show: Castle, ABC
Canon relationship to date: Work partners and BFFs
Do I ship: That seems unfair to their canon significant others
Putting Castle and Beckett on this list would be way too easy (though not inaccurate). Half the fun of Castle is the bromance between Beckett’s flunkies/Castle’s fanboys. I’m satisfied with Ryan and Esposito as just friends. Sometimes you get a crush on a friend but don’t really want to do anything about it and it passes and you and the friend date other people and maybe even marry other people but stay friends. And bi guys do sometimes end up with women. Which I think is the most logical interpretation of Ryan and Esposito’s relationship. I’m fairly certain the showrunners gave them girlfriends, and in Ryan’s case an eventual wife, to reassure the audience that they aren’t gay because apparently it’s 1993.
2. Myka Bering and Helena “H.G.” Wells
Show: Warehouse 13, SyFy
Canon relationship to date: Officially friends; Myka has said she loves H.G., but not to H.G.
Do I ship: I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP, AND I WON’T PUT MY HANDS UP IN SURRENDER
There are crack slash pairings, and then there are pairings where the writers just can’t not be doing this on purpose. Where subtext is long gone and you’ve entered the realm of text. Myka and H.G.’s relationship is the definition of the latter. We know H.G. is bi. That’s canon. She’s said it. And while, yes, we’ve seen Myka have a small handful of romantic interactions with guys, she has never said that she’s straight. Of course, even if canon did establish Myka as gay or bi, that in itself wouldn’t be enough to go on. Two queer women can have a platonic friendship the same as a straight man and straight woman can. But a platonic friendship is not what’s being portrayed between these characters. If one of them were male, there would be no question. There is no question as far as the actresses are concerned. Will the writers go ahead and make it canon now that Warehouse 13‘s next season will be its last? A fangirl can dream.
1. Mulan and Aurora
Show: Once Upon a Time, ABC
Canon relationship to date: A loved one…we shall see
Do I ship: I loved them at once the way I did once upon a dream
If I were writing this post a week or more earlier, I wouldn’t have included this pair. Not because I don’t love them, but because I have had such a love/hate relationship with them. They’ve had amazing chemistry from the first scene they shared. I’ve loved watching them obviously fall in love and hated the network for the fact that their love dare not speak its name because, again, apparently it’s 1993. I mean, when Mulan literally won Aurora’s heart and gave it back to her in an absurdly suggestive scene, the writers followed it up with Aurora saying, “Hey, let’s go find Philip because we’re both totes straight!” In last Sunday’s episode, Mulan said she needed to tell “someone” of her love before it was too late. She then went to talk to…Aurora. Not Philip. Aurora. And left in tears when Aurora told her that she was carrying Philip’s baby. So accustomed to queerbaiting was I that at this point I was yelling “HOW THE HELL IS THIS NOT CANON, YOU IDIOTS?” at the screen. (Sorry, neighbors.) I fully expected the showrunners to claim it wasn’t. Not until I checked for news on the series later in the week did I dare to believe what I had seen with my own eyes. It was canon. It wasn’t subtext. It was a real, actual thing. A Disney Princess was about to declare her true love to another Disney Princess. Mulan, the girl who could never pass for a perfect bride or a perfect daughter, who if she were truly to be herself would break her family’s heart, had found a girl worth fighting for. Showrunners, now that you’ve officially made Sleeping Warrior canon, please handle this ship with care and bring honor to us all. I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss.