From their first scene, you knew they belonged together. They weren’t so sure. Maybe they rubbed each other the wrong way. Maybe they were dating someone else. But their chemistry was undeniable. The sexual tension was unbearable. So you hoped, and prayed, and wrote fan fic. Their relationship remained unconsummated. You switched to writing angry blogs about how incompetent the show’s writers were. Then, finally, the television Gods stopped teasing you and gave you what you wanted.
Last week, it appeared House and Cuddy finally traded years of sexual banter for the real thing. This week, Brennan and Booth are going to do it, for real on Bones. In their honor, in chronological order, here are our picks for television’s most long-awaited couplings.
Remington/Laura Remington Steele
(February 17, 1987) This witty mystery series borrowed liberally from The Thin Man series of classic films. When Laura Holt (Stephanie ZImbalist), hampered by 1980s gender stereotypes, found it difficult to get clients to hire a woman private investigator, she invented a fictional male boss, Remington Steele. One day a man showed up and assumed Remington’s identity. Fortunately for Laura, he was played by Pierce Brosnan. The show wouldn’t allow more than flirtation, well aware that once a couple gets together the pairing tends to lose their appeal. So, the show waited until the last scene of its final episode to finally bring them together. Undercover in a Scottish castle, the two kiss passionately before heading for the bedroom. Fade out. Watch full episodes here. (Photo: NBC)
(March 31, 1987) “Bastard.” “Bitch.” For three years, America waited for Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) to get together. Nobody expected it would turn out like this. The creative, irreverent detective show was groundbreaking. It at times acknowledged it was a television show. There were black-and-white episodes and a parody of Shakespeare’s taming of the shrew. But it was David and Maddie’s chemistry that kept people watching. At the end of the third season, the duo got into a huge fight. Maddie slapped him repeatedly. They called each other bitch and bastard. And then they had sex. It was controversial, angering many fans who had hoped for something more romantic. Once they got together, the show fell apart marred by less inspired writing and back stage tensions. (Photo: ABC)
(February 8, 1996) Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) were a mid-1990s sensation. Though the couple got together relatively quickly by television standards, in the show’s second season, Ross had pined for Rachel since high school. The nerdy paleontologist was not the rich, popular Rachel’s usual type. They memorably consummated their relationship at the Museum of Natural History after hours. Suave Ross showed her the stars via the museum’s planetarium. They were the rare couple that weren’t ruined by getting together. They managed to remain popular through numerous break-ups, and marriages to other people, ultimately getting back together in the series finale. Watch full episodes here. (Photo: NBC)
Mulder/Scully The X-Files
(The Truth Is Out There) The paranormal detective show that’s responsible for the word ‘shipper’ never quite let Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) get together. Or did they? They had a baby together, thanks to ovum stealing aliens, but fans still debate when and if they had sex. After years of working together, smoldering glances, and occasional moments of flirtation, they finally kissed in season seven. Series star Gillian Anderson wrote an episode, “All Things” that showed Scully getting ready for work while Mulder slept in her bed. (Photo: FOX)
Pacey/Joey Dawson’s Creek
(February 7, 2001) Dawson and Joey (Katie Holmes) were supposed to be the teen drama’s star-crossed lovers. In fact, they ultimately got together. But Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Joey were the series’ best couple. The smart girl from the wrong side of the tracks and the screw up truly understood each other. Besides, nobody liked Dawson. After years of friendship, they finally got together at the end of season three. Since they were high school students, they managed to remain celibate despite spending an entire summer together on a boat. Months later, on a class ski trip, they finally let nature take its course in a sweet, romantic scene. (Photo: WB)
(May 1, 2001) Cultured, uptight psychiatrist Niles (David Hyde Pierce) was unhappily married to the never seen Maris when he fell for quirky physical therapist Daphne (Jane Leeves). It took seven years for he and Daphne to admit they loved each other. By that point he’d divorced Maris and married another woman who was all wrong for him. After whisking Daphne away from her wedding, the duo spent the bulk of season eight chastely dating. Finally, after a psychiatrist suggested that Daphne was anxious because Niles put her up on a pedestal, the two had a frank, hilarious conversation about everything they disliked about each other. They ended up doing it on the floor of Frasier’s living room. (Photo: NBC)
(April 29, 2005) For nine years, Harm (David James Elliott) and Mac (Catherine Bell) made sure military justice was served. Fans clamored for the two gorgeous military lawyers to get together. The show’s procedural structure focused more time on investigations than relationships. But there were a couple episodes each season that tantalized viewers with the possibility of romance. Finally, in the series finale, the two admitted they had feelings for each other. They kissed, then instead of hitting the sheets, got engaged. The series ended with a coin toss to decide which of the two would give up their military career so they could marry. Viewers never found out whether it was heads or tails. (Photo: CBS)
Josh/Donna The West Wing
(April 2, 2006) Donna Moss (Janel Moloney) started off as assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford). The two were quite obviously attracted to each other, but life in the White House didn’t leave much time for romance to bloom. As Donna’s career blossomed, their relationship intensified. He rushed to her side when she was injured in Israel. But it wasn’t until the series’ final season that the two appropriately consummated their relationship – twice, at that – on election day. (Photo: NBC)
(May 4, 2009) Brilliant, tormented Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) and hospital administrator Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) have been sparring partners since before the series began. She professed to be annoyed by House’s lewd remarks, but their attraction was clearly mutual. Last week she helped him detox from his beloved painkillers. She kissed the newly clean doctor. It quickly turned into a full-on make-out session that looked like it was headed for sex. This week, we learned it was all a drug induced hallucination. The writers are sadistic. Watch full episodes here. (Photo: FOX)
(May 14, 2009) It seems a man and a woman solving crimes together is a recipe for sexual tension. After four years, forensic anthropologist Brennan AKA Bones (Emily Deschanel) and government operative Booth (David Boreanaz) have kissed, but they’ve yet to achieve full fledged couplehood. The show’s creator Hart Hanson promises that the season finale will feature them having sex in a bed. He swears it won’t be a hallucination. Star Emily Deschanel reveals that there will be a twist that will put their relationship in jeopardy. Watch full episodes here. (Photo: FOX)