Small screen, big hearts

TV Romance by Sean McQuaid

I’m not an overtly emotional humanoid—asked for her one-word first impression of me from when we met, my wife said “robotic”—but a surprisingly sentimental heart beats somewhere deep beneath my eerily lifelike exterior. As such, I’m a sucker for TV romances, especially relationships developed over time. With Valentine’s Day looming, I’m reliving my top ten favourite multi-episode TV love stories… 

10. Spock & Chapel
Star Trek/Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (1966–1969/2022–present)

Often a mopey lovelorn wet blanket on the original series pining for icily aloof science officer Spock, Nurse Chapel is much more fun in the SNW prequel series that reveals an early Spock-Chapel romance complete with musical numbers (see SNW’s superb “Subspace Rhapsody” episode).

9. Green Lantern & Hawkgirl
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (2001–2006)

One of the best inventions of the 2001–2004 Justice League cartoon was the slow-building, star-crossed romance between teammates John Stewart & Shayera, culminating in a tragic series finale. The JLU sequel series did the duo further justice, including a lively love triangle with new recruit Vixen. 

8. Luke & Lorelai
Gilmore Girls/Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2000–2007/2016)

For much of Gilmore Girls, the long-gestating romance of wacky innkeeper Lorelai Gilmore and grumpy diner owner Luke Danes was one of the witty dramedy’s most charming assets; alas, the show spent its last two seasons artlessly torching all that, though the 2016 revival made welcome repairs.

7. Chuck & Sarah
Chuck (2007–2012)

Watching awkward computer nerd Chuck Bartowski and frosty super-spy Sarah Walker grow as people while they grew closer together—Chuck toughening up and Sarah slowly softening as they evolved into a one-of-a-kind espionage duo – was the beating heart of this underrated action-comedy romp.

6. Veronica & Logan
Veronica Mars (2004–2007/2014/2019)

Noir detective masterpiece Veronica Mars, revived briefly twice since its original run, often broke the hearts of viewers and characters alike; and much of the breakage stemmed from the volatile romance between cynical-beyond-her-years girl gumshoe Veronica Mars and moody bad boy Logan Echolls. 

5. Kermit & Piggy
The Muppet Show and its many sequels (1976–present)

Can an uptight amphibian entertainment impresario and a violently unstable porcine scene-stealer find happiness together? Hard to say. Can they make generations of viewers laugh along the way? Absolutely. Here’s hoping for many more decades of the perfectly mismatched Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

4. Root & Shaw
Person of Interest (2013–2016)

Techno-thriller Person of Interest blended espionage, sci-fi super-computers, mysteries and more, often exploring personal redemption arcs—including ruthless hacker Root and ice-cold assassin Sameen Shaw, whose oddball, unlikely mutual chemistry evolved into something compelling and surprisingly moving.

3. Kira & Odo
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)

With the biggest, richest ensemble of characters in all of Star Trek, oft-overlooked gem DS9 had many watchable romances; the best being the late-blooming friends-to-lovers arc of first officer Kira Nerys and security chief Odo, two disillusioned yet diligent survivors finally finding some happiness.

2. Wanda & Vision
WandaVision (2021)

Rooted in Marvel Comics’ classic Vision and Scarlet Witch romance (1970–1989) and adapted for Marvel’s movies circa 2015–2019, the sweetly bizarre pairing of android Vision and mutant mystic Wanda Maximoff bore bittersweet fruit in the couple’s darkly quirky 2021 WandaVision streaming series. 

1. Luz & Amity
The Owl House (2020–2023)

All-ages animated Disney show The Owl House was packed with humour, heart, complexity, weirdness, 2SLGBTQIA+ representation and lots of romance. The “Lumity” pairing of young witches Luz Noceda & Amity Blight was a popular series highlight, adorably cute and funny but also handled with commendable tenderness, intelligence and sensitivity. 

Romantic runners-up: Jadzia/Worf, Wesley/Fred; Oz/Willow; Superman/Lois; Superboy/Ms. Martian; Marceline/Bubblegum; Sheldon/Amy, Harley/Ivy; Dani/Jamie; Velma/Hot Dog Water; Fred/Daphne and more.