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Worst TV Couples Ever (Looking at You, Sam and Diane)

by Sharon Knolle, posted Jan 7th 2010 4:15PM
Ugly BettyOn hearing from the Ausiello Files that 'Ugly Betty' creator Silvio Horta is steering his leads -- sweetly dorky Betty (America Ferrara) and her womanizing boss, Daniel (Eric Mabius) -- toward romance, our first reaction was "Nooooo!" Although that exact hookup takes place in the original telenovela, that's one romance we just can't -- or don't want to -- picture.

Which got us thinking, what other TV romances were so wrong on so many levels, they've brought down entire shows?

Exhibit A: The classic "will they or won't they" pairings of 'Moonlighting' and 'Cheers' that proved chemistry killers once the leads finally got together. Exhibit B: Numerous bad romances that were so ill-conceived, we're still shuddering in horror. We can only hope that no more of our most dreaded hook-ups come to pass. Let this list of romantic roadkill serve as a cautionary tale to TV writers everywhere.

10. Connor and Cordelia on 'Angel'
Why was it so creepy when Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter hooked up with the boss's son, Connor (Vincent Kartheiser)? Because once you've held someone as a baby, it's just not right to jump their bones, even if they matured at super-speed in an alternate dimension. We get that Joss Whedon had to explain Carpenter's real-life pregnancy, but on a show about the supernatural, couldn't she have been knocked up by someone -- or something -- else? (We kinda still get the h.j's watching Kartheiser on 'Mad Men,' even though he's 30 by now.)

9. Nate and Lisa on 'Six Feet Under'
Let's face it, the Fishers always were a self-obsessed, whiny bunch, but once Nate (Peter Krause) decided to marry Lisa, an ex-girlfriend he (and we) couldn't stand after a one-night reunion left her pregnant, the self-pity reached a whole new level. Lisa (Lili Taylor)'s shocking murder wasn't the end of the drama as Nate's drawn-out guilt trip killed what sympathy we had left for the guy. When he goes out to provoke a fight after learning of her death, we would happily have stood in line to land a few punches ourselves.

8. Fran and Max on 'The Nanny'
A perfect example of killing the romantic tension by taking your leads from flirty fun to full-on couplehood. After five seasons of batted eyelashes and brassy banter, over-the-top Queens gal Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) took her oh-so-refined British boss Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaugnessy) to the altar in a lavish ceremony. Ratings lagged for the sixth, and final, season, while the newlyweds dealt with in-laws and pregnancies and largely took a backseat to another odd-couple romance, that of Niles and C.C.

7. Daphne and Niles on 'Frasier'
We'd grown so used to Niles (David Hyde Pierce) in a relationship with a woman we never saw (the elusive Maris), it was a little hard to wrap our heads around the fact that he finally was dating a live one, namely Daphne (Jane Leeves), whom he'd secretly pined after for years. Or maybe it was that when one character obsesses so intensely about another, the relationship can't help but feel one-sided when it's finally consummated. Since we know writers save this kind of thing for near the end stretch, we're more than a little jaded about these late-blooming romances.

6. Gil and Sara on 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'
Sure, there were plenty of Geek Love fans who were dying to see Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara (Jorja Fox) get together, but even they were thrown for a loop at the way the hook-up finally happened. Or, rather, didn't. Six seasons in, we learned that Grissom and Sara had already gotten together ... two years ago! We were spared any awkward morning-after regrets, but fans felt cheated and the words "jump" and "shark" were definitely thrown around. Although Petersen is now gone and Fox is an occasional guest, CBS has promised an eventual Grissom-Sara reunion, no doubt, timed for sweeps.

5. Joel and Maggie on 'Northern Exposure'
We loved the screwball quality of the near-romance between city doc Joel Fleischmann (Rob Morrow) and bush pilot Maggie O'Connell (Janine Turner) in quirky Cicely, Alaska. The suspense lasted for five seasons before they gave into their long-denied attraction and, as these things often go, the show lasted only one more season. We can't blame the demise of the show entirely on their hookup, however: Morrow wanted to leave the show since season four. By season six, when a new doc came to town to take Joel's place, we'd stopped caring.

4. Sam and Diane on 'Cheers'
Snobby Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) and working class Sam Malone (Ted Danson) were one of TV's most-celebrated proof of the "opposites attract theory." They got together, broke up, dated other people, and then he proposed about a million times. In the end, Long wanted out of the show and Sam struck up a new delayed-satisfaction flirtation with her replacement, Rebecca (Kirstie Alley). When Diane showed up on the series finale and nearly got back together with Sam, we were honestly relieved when they both realized it would be a terrible mistake.

3. Maddie and David on 'Moonlighting'
This witty detective duo offered old-fashioned repartee like we used to get with Hepburn and Tracy, plus they solved crimes, just like Bogie and Bacall. Those classic pairings were just a few invoked in describing the delicious sexual tension between Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis). Sadly, while their initial romp on the floor of her living room sizzled, the relationship -- only the foundation on which the entire show was built -- fizzled. A fourth-season reunion was horribly botched: Maddie was also seeing someone else, got pregnant and had no idea who the father was -- hardly the kind of mystery we wanted to watch these two solve. We're not even going to get into the dream sequence featuring the baby-that-never-was.

2. Joey and Rachel on 'Friends'
Rachel and Joey? Can we just pretend this one never happened? Occurring in the 10th and final season, it felt like a last gasp, "Gee who haven't we hooked up yet?" gambit by the writers. Even Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) wasn't totally sold on the pairing: During her first official date with Joey (Matt LeBlanc), she slapped his wandering hands as they began to make out. Joey was confused: Were they on or weren't they? Turned out, not so much. This ill-fated match was mercifully short-lived and served mostly to convince us that the writers had simply run out of ideas.
1. George and Izzie on 'Grey's Anatomy'
George (T.R. Knight) and Izzie (Katherine Heigl) made great friends, but "Gizzie" ruined both characters. It wasn't just that they had no chemistry (as the characters themselves finally admitted), but he was cheating on new bride Callie -- whom, Izzie loudly insisted at every opportunity, he never should have married. And we never got why Izzie decided that George, not dear departed Denny, was the love of her life. Thankfully, this hookup crashed and burned, but during its brief run, we'd grown to hate Izzie. Poor George was left with no love interest and no screen time at all. It seemed right that these two would exit the show at the same moment, but Izzie survived to make another man (hubby Alex), and us, completely miserable.

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HAVE to totally disagree about sam and Diane fron Cheers ,to a lot of people i know they are one of the most amazing couples in tv screen history and the chemistry that ted and shelley ahd in their roles was just amazing.I think to be honest if it wasn't for Sam & Diane's amazing chemistry Cheers probably would not have survived in early years and that would have been a tragedy as it is one of the best sitcoms ever.

December 21 2012 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HA! Sharon didn't forget; Eric and Calleigh are one of the HOTTEST couples on TV right now and the fanbase is huge!....Like Vanessa said "Thank God" the fanbase is huge! Their chemistry is through the ROOF! EC FOREVER!.......I will say that this list is a little off because the "nanny" and "frasier" relationships worked.

December 20 2010 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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