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Top 10 Onscreen Couples July 11, 2009

My Aunt Brenda and Uncle David are celebrating their 30th (!!!) wedding anniversary this month. 30 years! They are an amazing example that true love and soul mates really do exist and are a real inspiration to me. After all this time, they are quite delirious about each other and still manage to embarrass their kids with loving displays of affection. Hooray for them! As their one-time flower girl, who was christened ‘Lampshade’ at the ceremony for my fantastic pink meringue-dress that I picked out myself, I wish them a very happy and beautiful anniversary. In their honour, here’s a list of my favourite onscreen couples from film and television:

secretaryMr. Grey and Lee Holloway – SecretaryMy Dad used to say; “For every old sock, there’s an old shoe”, meaning that there’s someone for everyone. Or, as an old friend said to me at a college party where we hid behind curtains in order to leap out and ’scare’ people; “I need to find a ‘curtain-er’ of my own”. There’s a shoe or curtain-er for all types. Lee finds hers in Mr. Grey. There’s something romantic and balanced in this unconventional relationship. He’s the S to her M. That he puts so much thought into her ‘punishments’ thrills her, particularly when her family treats her like a fragile piece of glass. Expressing affection can be tough, so when you find a way that works and someone willing to bring that out in you, no matter how weird to outsiders, you should fight for that. Even if it means relieving yourself at a desk and sitting there for 2 days straight in a wedding dress.


Marge and Norm Gunderson – Fargo: Marge married Norm ‘Son of a’ Gunderson and while there’s murders, stolen cars and Mike Yanagita afoot, she still makes time to hear all about the painting he’s going to enter for a stamp competition and he always gets up to make her breakfast. It’s not sexy, it’s not ‘hot’ but it’s true love – it’s a marriage. When everything has been solved and the bad people have gone to jail, Marge comforts Norm, who’s upset about his 3rd place in the contest and that his painting will only appear on the 3 cent stamp (”People always need the little stamps when the postage gets raised, Hon”) and they get back to what’s important; waiting for their baby to be born. They’re content with their lot and represent the happy ending that none of the other characters will find.




Turk and JD – Scrubs – Ahhhh, Bromance. The love that dare not speak its name but these guys don’t much care what anyone else thinks, they’re each others’ soul-mates and the ladies that come into their lives will just have to be content with runner-up status. They’re so adorable – GO bromance!




Laverne DiFazio and Shirley Feeney – Laverne and Shirley - On the flip side, there’s these two little belters who are doing it their way. I always wondered why they had so much trouble in the boyfriend department; they work in a brewery, they’re spunky, cute and fun and Laverne’s Dad owns a pizza joint. They should have men crawling all over them. Then I realized; it’s not the guys, it’s them – when you already live with your ‘other half’, any guy is going to have a hard time measuring up. Shameal, shmazel girls! (I loved Shirley especially when I was little because I thought she was really cool and we shared a last name so in my young head, I thought we were related.)



Ilsa and Rick – Casablanca - Before you cry ‘cheat!’ or ‘duh’, hear me out. This is a case of the romanticized relationship. Ilsa and Rick are a prime example of a convenient pairing; they met during wartime, alone, in PARIS – the 60’s didn’t invent the concept of ‘love the one you’re with’. Most people have had that Great Fling where you always looked amazing, said and did the right thing every single time and the chemistry just slotted into place, albeit for only a short while (The shortness of time is key). The other person never saw you on the toilet or with snot running down your face and you never stepped in dog-shit while walking hand-in-hand alongside them. It’s a ‘Bubble-Courtship’ – all eating, drinking, making-out, talking all night and sex, sex, sex. There’s NO bill-paying, money problems, sickness, nagging or farting in ‘Bubble-Courtship’ Land! Which is why most people are on holiday when this type of relationship crops up. There’s no realness, it’s a mirage. Perhaps Rick knew that it was better to give her up and keep the image of Ilsa’s softly-lit, crease-free face in pristine condition than ruin his ideal. It’s telling that their song is ‘As Time Goes by’, a song about perfect memories and how that can sustain an individual ‘no matter what the future brings’. Sometimes it’s better to wonder ‘what if?’ than find out for sure. But I hope everyone gets at least one of these deals cos they’re heaps of fun for about 3 weeks. Max.



Lois and Hal – Malcolm in the Middle – The opposite of Ilsa and Rick, they’ve both seen the other at their absolute best AND worst and when all else is chaos, they are devoted to the knowledge that there’s nobody else in the world for them. These two keep having kids because they can’t keep their hands off each other. Lois needs Hal to keep her from spontaneously combusting all over the place and Hal needs Lois to need him. She’s so proud that she’s got a reliable, creative, loving goof for a husband and he’s chuffed that he doesn’t have to tame the beast, because that’s what he digs about her. ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ is how you do ‘un-P.C.’ P.C. TV, complete with couple who actually get busy.

(Really bad quality clip but it was the best of a bad lot – what starts the fight is the clown calling Lois ‘Wide Ride’. Fantastic)



Karen Sisco and Jack Foley – Out Of Sight – Classic ‘Good Girl meets Bad Boy’ but it’s the pillow-talk in the trunk of the car that he shoves her in (and then gets in with her, Foley is not a man to let an opportunity pass him by) on their first meeting that makes their attraction unique. They spoon, trade names and discuss films – it’s their first ‘date’. He makes sure she knows he’s single and brags about his prowess at robbing banks; (”you’re real easy to talk to”). She tells him that she’s not falling for it when she kinda is; (”you’ve got to be kidding”). He makes her laugh despite herself. She impresses him with her calm and cool attitude. They’re already finishing each others’ sentences. It’s a hop and a skip from there to jumping into the sweaty, grabby, perfectly-lit, naughty-naughty sex.



The Doctor and The TARDIS – Doctor Who – I know it’s my umpteenth mention of  the  ‘Doctor Who’ dimension in a relatively short space of time. (I’m not apologizing; I just wanted to get the words ‘Dimension’, ‘Relative’, ‘Space’ and ‘Time’ in there.) The Doctor’s true intimate relationship is not with his various companions but with his sentient time and space traveling machine, which he refers to as female. See, the thing is, ages ago; The Doctor was a renegade among his own species. He liberated the TARDIS from the scrap-heap on his home planet so he could nose around the cosmos. In return, she takes him when and where he needs to be, regardless if he’s set those exact coordinates or not (How very like a woman). When she’s ’sick’, he can sense it and when he’s out of commission, she doesn’t work properly. For 44-plus of our Earth Years, they have traveled the universe and beyond together.  As fond of them as he is, Companions come and go but the inseparable duo of The Doctor and his iconic Blue Box is forever. (In England during the ’90’s, the Metropolitan Police took the BBC to court for copyright infringement regarding the Blue Police Call Box and the BBC won. The judge ruled that more people associated it with ‘Doctor Who’ than the cops, so even real-life law acknowledges the connection. Who says the justice system doesn’t work?)  There are other examples of boys and their toys; MacGyver and his Swiss Army Knife, Thomas Magnum and his Ferrari, Michael Knight and KITT, Jayne and Vera the Gun – the list goes on and on. I’m sure many women have shaken their heads at the unconditional love that binds a man and his gadgets and/or car. You can shake your head all you like – just never, ever try and come between them. You will lose. (I once asked a motor-mad boyfriend of mine why men named their cars after women and he said; “Because if you treat her right, she’ll purr and take you wherever you want to go and if you don’t, she’ll leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere”. We’re not together but he still has his 1966 mint-condition cherry-red Mustang named Ella!)



So you know I’m not totally playing favourites:

(Mac wants his knife back)


(Thomas Magnum and his ride – ‘Dans le role de ‘Magnum’)


Knight Rider
(Michael Knight and KITT)


(Jayne and Vera)



Diane and Sam – Cheers - A little story about Sam and Diane. She’s a hoity-toity intellectual waitress who uses 5o cent words and he’s a bar-owning, recovering alcoholic ex-ballplayer with street-smarts. They spar and fight for the upper-hand, so you know they’re gonna end up smooching. And smooch they do. Unlike ‘Moonlighting’ though, the chemistry didn’t fall apart once they had, because they still had so much to spar and fight about that it was always fun watching them make up.



WALL*E and EVE – Like any good love story, theirs starts out with her trying to kill him. In nature, there’s a bird called the Bower Bird and every mating season, the male will construct his nest with cool things he’s come across; feathers, bright stones and berries, shells; in the hope that a Bower chica will also find these things interesting, think that he’s interesting too and decide he’s the one for her.  (If another male is more successful with the ladies, a less studly Bower will sneak into his nest and wreck the joint. Researchers believe the Bower is the most ‘human-like’ of all birds.)  WALL*E’s little store room isn’t much different than a Bower nest. He’s so excited upon meeting EVE to share all his treasures with – stuff humans have abandoned.  When outside forces try to keep them apart, WALL*E single-mindedly does his best to keep his girl, protect her and get her what she wants. (He’s the ultimate new man; her first priority is her directive so it becomes his too – and I like to think that there’s something in WALL*E which tells him that these people, who dreamed up Rubik’s Cubes and ‘Hello Dolly!’ and sporks, are worth saving.) As EVE and the other, more sophisticated robots learn from him, sometimes you’ve got to roll outside the lines to get what you want. It’s incredible to me that the love story between two robots is more heart-felt than the majority of live action romance films of the past 10 years. Pixar People, I bow not only to your animation abilities but also your insanely brilliant story-telling.



Had some emails from ladeez regarding “where’s the ‘girl version’ of boys and their toys?” so I’m breaking the usual ‘Top 10′ rule with…

Carrie Bradshaw and Her Shoes – Sex And The City – Never mind Big, Aidan, The Russian or any other bloke who traversed in and out of Carrie’s life, her real love affair is with men called Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik and Christian Dior. Why spend $400 on a pair of shoes? Because they make her feel special, beautiful and she had room on her credit card. The reason? There is no REASON!!!! Reason does not enter such fashion choices. 95% of women are shoe hungry savages – and not just shoes; there are purses and dresses and tops and Tiffany and scarves and hats and jackets and…I’m gonna have a heart attack…When you boys wonder why we need to spend $200 on our hair when a tenner at the barbers would do you, please remember that we see you buying those rims for your car or an amp or a sub-woofer or 10 thousand million video games. In truth, we’re all just 5 year-old girls at heart, wearing Mommy’s Shoes – except now they’re OURS. Even the tom-boy girls would run around in a ‘Princess Dress’ with a tiara on their head every now and again and I know this cos I am one of those chicks (I confess; I even have an ‘I bought new shoes’ song. It doesn’t have lyrics but it does have a tune you can dance to). Carrie loves her shoes no matter if they pinch her feet or trip her up because the majority of the time, they keep her upright and eye-to-eye with the world. Hey, whatever armour helps keep you running towards the battle that is ‘life’ is good thing. (I’m no longer with the guy in the 1966 mint-condition cherry-red Mustang but I still have the shoes I was wearing when I met him – they’re jet-black velvet-covered Mary-Janes and have served me well over the years)



Have a great anniversary you two. Here’s your song. Love, ‘Lampshade’:

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Brenda Burnley July 12th, 2009

Thank you Erin

That was very moving. Love you lots. May you always shine brightly !!!

Lily July 12th, 2009

what a romantic list!

Sam Tweedle July 13th, 2009

Some very interesting choices. My personal favorite on-screen couple is William Powell and Myrna Loy, who appeared were paired in more films then any other pair of actors ever – most noteably as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man series. Everything they did was truely golden.

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