Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A V-Day Roundup of SF/F's Most Functional Couples

by Meghan B., Laurie K., Megan S. and Sara N.

We spend a lot of time talking about all the reasons love wouldn't work out in genre fiction. Homicidal tendencies outweigh a beautiful set of blue eyes (Damon Salvatore, I'm looking at you). Or perhaps our hero is a little too much of a family man (*cough* Jaime Lannister *cough*). Maybe a season of sweetness doesn't makeup for two seasons of crazy (Damon Salvatore, I'm looking at you AGAIN).

Today, however, we're looking at the couples in SF/F who are Doing It Right. They love each other, they connect on a deep (and sometimes disturbing) level, and they make each other better people (or monsters) thereby.

Morticia and Gomez Addams 
The Addams Family 

Every since I was a young and weird child, seeing Morticia and Gomez Addams on TV gave me unrealistic expectations for romance. From the darkly funny comics by Charles Addams, to the black and white TV show, the Hollywood movies and the Broadway play, Gomez and Morticia still have chemistry. You can tell they are both deliriously in love with each other. The way they look into each other's eyes, the way he goes mad when she speaks French and the way he kisses up her arm ... it's the most romantic thing in the entire world.

Seriously. Unrealistic expectations. Gomez and Morticia are who I think of when I think of love and romance. Cara Mia! - Meghan B

Jack Skellington and Sally 
The Nightmare Before Christmas

Again, cementing the weirdness of my childhood ... The Nightmare Before Christmas is still one of my favorite movies. I saw it in theaters when I was a kid and never quite got over it. Jack and Sally's romance is one of the most endearing parts of the film. Sure, the songs are catchy, and they try to steal Christmas, but there's something about the love story that gets me every time. Jack only realizes his love for the beautiful ragdoll toward the end, and when they embrace on the snow-covered hill ... it's just so wonderful. - Meghan B

Spike and Drusilla
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

These two star-crossed vamps from Buffy the Vampire Slayer aren't an obvious choice by a long shot, but I still find them shockingly romantic. Drusilla is downright insane and Spike has some anger issues, and yet they make it work (for a time, at least). They have also given us one of the most oddly romantic and loving lines I've ever heard.

Drusilla: Do you love my insides, the parts you can't see?
Spike: Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet.

(Clearly I have a bizarre idea of what is loving and romantic...) - Meghan B
The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
Venture Bros.

Okay, the Monarch is out of his mind and doesn't deserve Doctor Girlfriend, but their relationship is still completely adorable. They way he goes groveling back to her is frequently hilarious and he's oblivious to the fact that she runs the show. She clearly loves him, even though he's an idiot. Oh, cartoon romance... - Meghan B

Fry and Leela 

Fry and Leela aren't in a real, defined relationship yet. Futurama dances around the issue, showing alternative realities where they're married or glimpses of a future where they're happy together. Fry constantly tries to win Leela's love, from epic operas about her life, to little hopeful looks he gives her. Leela clearly cares about Fry, too, since the thought of losing him is enough to make her freak out. I hope you crazy kids finally make it official next season!
- Meghan B

Rohan and Sioned
Dragon Prince

These are the main characters of the Dragon Prince series by Melanie Rawn. When the mighty warrior prince of The Desert is killed by a dragon, his bookish son Rohan must claim his father's throne. Before the old prince's body is even cold, the Lady of Goddess Keep - the most powerful Sunrunner in the princedoms - makes a play for power by convincing Rohan to take one of her acolytes, Sioned, as his princess. Betrothed to a Sunrunner witch he's never seen, Rohan sets out to slay the dragon that killed his father. Upon his return, he meets Sioned and her escort on the road. The Fire blazes up between them the moment they lay eyes upon each other. Through political maneuvering, dire sorcery, and the terrible price they must pay to have a child, they remain the closest of friends, the most passionate of lovers, and the best of rulers for the rest of their lives. - Laurie K

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

For every time Sherlock is an unlikable git, John Watson is a good, kind-hearted bloke. He gentles Sherlock's sharp tongue, translates his unfathomable intellect into human-understandable words - and sometimes he just punches Sherlock in the face when he really deserves it. What's that, Watson? Not a couple? Oh, of course not.   - Laurie K

Wash and Zoe

These two are Firefly's best couple. They're such a mismatch: she, taciturn and tough; he, glib and chatty. But together, they just work, as is evident in this clip from "Bushwacked." (The pertinent parts are :48-1:57.)

For the purposes of our conversation today, let's pretend the movie never happened, all right? THE MOVIE NEVER HAPPENED. - Sara N.

Booth and Brennan (Bones)
Finally (FINALLY!) after six seasons of the will-they-or-won't-they game, everyone's favorite forensic anthropologist and FBI agent duo have become a couple.  Not only that, Booth and Bones are having a baby and moving in together!  One of the nicest aspects of their relationship is that they each make the other a better person.  Bones teaches Booth about the more academic aspects of life and Booth schools her about humanity.  I also enjoy that the two have a stable relationship.  The authors haven't thrown a needless monkey wrench into the mix as an easy source of drama.

PS: Brennan's BFF Angela and her husband Hodgins deserve an honorable mention as the other solid and supportive couple on the show.  - Megan S.

Willow and Tara
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Aww, Willow and Tara!  The two witches were the healthiest and happiest couple on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Sure.  OK.  There was that time that Willow altered Tara's memory so she wouldn't remember a fight they had and, yes, Tara died at the hands of Warren (Boo!  Hiss!) but this is Joss Whedon we're talking about.  No one comes out unscathed.  Let's concentrate on the happy times like when they played with Miss Kitty Fantastico.  Fluffy kittens make everything better. - Megan S.

Miracle Max and Valerie
The Princess Bride

Everybody assumes the greatest love story in The Princess Bride is that of Buttercup and Wesley.  Everybody's wrong.  Who knows how that one turned out?  The movie ends right after they kiss.  No, the best relationship in the whole movie is the one between Miracle Max and Valerie.  The two have been together forever and, while they needle each other, it obvious the old nudninks are still in love.
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  1. Yes, a thousand times yes! Gomez and Morticia are the perfect couple. No, it is not an unrealistic expectation of romance. If he loves you, he'll kiss your arm, and you need to learn French.

  2. Love the article. And now I need to go rewatch some Firefly...

  3. If I recall correctly, poor Miss Kitty Fantastico met a bad end. Man, Willow had some tough breaks.

  4. Dragon Prince! I loved that series! I need to purchase copies for a reread sometime soon.

    Oh and Morticia and Gomez totally rock the couple thing. I agree wholeheartedly.

    1. I loved that series so much. Sadly, the second series is not on Kindle yet. Did you ever read her Exiles series? Books 1 and 2 were amazing - and then she decided not to finish it. NOOOO. Gah. I'm still salty about that like 15 years later.

  5. I really enjoyed this article. I completely agree about Morticia and Gomez. I want someone who calls me Cara Mia and looks at me like Gomez looks at Morticia -- like he can't live without her and he can't wait to get her behind closed doors. It's nice too, that for all its incarnations, the couple have always been hot for each other.

    As for Melanie Rawn: I refuse to read her stuff again until she writes the last "Exiles" book.