Everyone wants someone to love. Love is a simple word, but packed with a lot of meaning. Love can be as beautiful as it is complicated. It can make your heart flutter or it can rip it to shreds. In spite of what love can do to people, we can’t really live without it.
Love doesn’t happen to just the beautiful and perfect people of the world. It happens to every self-proclaimed geek, weirdo, outsider, and misunderstood person as well. Television has spawned some really great couples, where one or both individuals are not the prom queen or the smooth operator. Instead, they have qualities or traits that make them charming and loveable to the ones who take the time to really get to know them. How else does someone fall in love with another person if you don’t take the time to find out what’s hidden behind the surface?
For Valentine’s Day week, I selected my five favorite couples from television who have elements of being a geeky couple or where one person fell in love with the labelled “outsider” or “misunderstood.” Love comes in many forms and even the misfits and geeks of the world deserve to be loved too. These couples also give me hope that there is someone out there for everyone. You just need to find the right one for you. Here are my picks:
1. Fox Mulder & Dana Scully of The X-Files. TV’s most widely known sci-fi couple doesn’t get any geekier than agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mulder is a brilliant mind at the FBI, but he is a misunderstood agent whose obsession with all things paranormal and conspiracy theories have landed him his own office in the basement and the nickname “Spooky” Mulder. Scully being the only agent willing to work with Mulder on his strange cases known as the “X-Files” is sort of an outsider agent at the FBI by association to Mulder. Scully can probably be pegged a nerd in her own right, as she spends most of her time in a lab studying samples or performing autopsies. Together, they’re two partners taking on the search for the truth which often puts them at odds with those who don’t believe in their cause or want to make sure they don’t uncover anything they shouldn’t be.
Nine seasons have allowed fans of the show to watch the progression of Mulder and Scully go from partners to friends to eventual lovers. Watching these two reach the point where they become a couple felt so right. In many instances you thought, “It’s about damn time!” You have the opportunity to see these two grow as individuals as well as two people who have come to rely and trust in one another. If they were reluctant to be paired up in the beginning, it’s now unthinkable for Mulder and Scully to be apart. What’s better than seeing two people who felt they’ve been misunderstood their whole lives finally find each other who just get one another? The best kind of love are the ones where two people are naturally in sync with each other.
2. Cory and Topanga of Boy Meets World. Boy Meets World has always been a long time favorite TV show of mine growing up. The first time I watched Cory and Topanga talk to each other as friends, I didn’t really think that these two would become THE canon couple of classic ’90s television when someone felt nostalgic about old TV shows, but they are. Reflecting on the show now, I’m glad they did become the ideal love fantasy––childhood friends who fell in love with each other. The couple had their share of ups and downs. They got together only to break up with each other, except the breakup wasn’t permanent. Cory and Topanga found their way back to each other again and this time it was for keeps.
I read a really great article that lists reasons why this couple is so great, and it made me remember why I always rooted for them. As cheesy as this sounds, these two young lovers were meant for each other. Most breakups would mean the permanent end of a relationship, but it only gave these two time to realize there’s no one else for them except each other. Their breakup was a test to their relationship and it only proved that their relationship is true. This kind of love doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you know you have something special. It’s made even more perfect by the fact that Cory, as the unpopular kid in high school, fell for the weird girl who turned out to be a beautiful swan later in life. Who needs to be the jock getting with the cheerleader when the ones labeled as geeks or weirdos end up surprising you later? Cory and Topanga forever!
3. Sabrina & Harvey of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Navigating high school is tough enough, let alone when you’re trying to fit in and find your place within the hierarchy. Sabrina has to deal with normal teenager problems, while also getting a handle on her new found powers as a witch. When Sabrina meets popular but sweet jock Harvey, she wanted more than anything to be seen as more than the girl he occasionally runs into in the hallway or has a few classes with. After a few hiccups with magic and getting the upper hand against mean girl Libby, Sabrina and Harvey become a couple. Luckily for Sabrina, Harvey had a little crush on our charming blonde witch for quite some time too.
Being another long running show from the ’90s, Sabrina and Harvey split after a complication with Harvey reaching the maximum amount of times Sabrina can cast a spell on him to forget any magical strangeness he bore witness to, allowing him to keep his memories. Being unable to deal with the magic and the longtime deception, Harvey walks out on their relationship. The breakup has seen Sabrina in and out of relationships during her college years until she finally settles into a serious relationship that almost sends her down the altar.
By the end of the series, Harvey realizes he still has feelings for Sabrina and her own feelings for her first love never really faded. In true happily-ever-after fashion, Sabrina calls off the wedding with her fiance and rides off into the sunset with Harvey on the back of his motorcycle. This is another instance of some loves being meant to be. It was the perfect way to end a magical TV series and a huge wish fulfillment on my part to see Sabrina end up with her high school sweetheart. Their love has a chance at making it because Harvey knows and accepts her for being a witch. I really can’t see Sabrina’s marriage working out with the other guy if she has to keep her magic a secret. Relationships have a better chance at lasting when there’s honesty and open communication.
4. Max & Liz of Roswell. Max Evans is an alien from another planet who has loved Liz Parker from afar for as long as he can remember. Knowing who he really is, he voluntarily keeps to himself and becomes the school’s most handsome but antisocial outsider, who only talks to his sister Isabel and his closest friend Michael (both also aliens themselves). When a life and death situation hits Liz at the diner she works at, Max rushes in and saves her, which sets off a chain of events that causes Max’s life and everyone else around him to be way more complicated than he wanted it to be. Max’s efforts to stay unnoticed may not have lasted until the end of high school like he would have preferred, but saving Liz’s life gave him the opportunity to pursue the one thing he has wanted his whole life––to be with Liz. Toss in a feeling of Max and Liz being star-crossed lovers of intergalactic proportions and you have a love story that burns as brightly as a star.
Their love story isn’t exactly the easiest. In fact, theirs may be more painful than the ones I’ve listed previously on this list so far. It’s equal amounts of joy, pain, sadness, and sacrifice. No one ever said love would be easy and sometimes the love that’s hardest to endure are the ones worth fighting for. I doubt Max ever thought a lone outsider like him, who made it his job to be invisible in school, would have a chance at being with the girl of his dreams. It gives you hope that maybe not everything is impossible as it first appears to be.
5. Xena & Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess. This relationship can be interpreted however you want it to be. Some can see it as an epic friendship or others may see it as true love between two women. However you look at it, their relationship transcends every single idea or meaning you’ll ever have about love.
Xena has always been the intimidating but beautiful badass woman, who went around trying to atone for the sins of her past by fighting for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. When Xena first encounters sweet and naive village girl Gabrielle, let’s just say Xena wasn’t interested in taking along a sidekick, especially one who could potentially get herself killed. Try as Xena might, Gabrielle’s sweetness and upbeat attitude grew on our favorite steely faced Warrior Princess.
What made the show as successful as it has been during its run on TV was the friendship between Xena and Gabrielle. You saw both women grow and evolve together, and Gabrielle learned how to hold her own in a fight without needing to be saved. Both women have had their share of great loves with men and those that were not meant to be.
When the final season of the series aired, the interpretation I took away from the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is that there is no definition for it. They loved each other as friends and it transformed into something much more. Love doesn’t always need to be defined in the same ways we normally view it. Love is love at the end of the day. Not even death can really break their connection to each other and that’s a beautiful message to take away from the entire series.
Do you agree with my top picks? Who are your own favorite romantic couples from television?