I hope all of you who celebrate the holidays had a very Merry Christmas yesterday and a Happy Boxing Day today!
The television landscape in 2014 was filled with complex, compelling relationships—from old friendships to new romances. This was a great year for “shippers” of all kinds, with kisses we all rewatched 100 times, weddings that made us cry, and romantic moments that filled our hearts with joy. It was also a great year for platonic relationships, with friendships playing an even more important role than ever on some of my favorite television shows.
For today’s installment of NGN’s Best of 2014 series, it’s time to take a look at my 10 favorite relationships that developed on our TV screens this year. After you’ve read my picks, I’d love to read yours in the comments section!
1. Emma and Hook (Once Upon a Time)
Is there anything better than watching a brand-new fairytale develop right before your eyes? That’s what Once Upon a Time is doing with the slowly-developing love story between a princess with a fighter’s spirit and a pirate with a hero’s heart. The beauty of this love story is its realism in the middle of a world of magical true love and soul mates discovered by fairy dust. It’s a story about two people who’ve been broken by love slowly learning how to open their hearts again to a sense of hope and happiness. That’s a kind of love story that’s easy to believe in and rewarding to watch—from first dances and first dates to emotionally-charged kisses and moments of quiet intimacy that highlight the fantastic chemistry between Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue. Emma and Hook’s relationship has made both characters stronger and happier, and their scenes together this year have been some of the show’s best and most beautiful.
2. Mindy and Danny (The Mindy Project)
In 2014, the best romantic comedy wasn’t found in a movie theater; it was found every Tuesday night on The Mindy Project. Through smart writing and excellent performances all year from Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina, the relationship between Mindy and Danny went from everyone’s favorite “Will they or won’t they?” to everyone’s favorite “They did, and it’s awesome!” Mindy and Danny’s relationship is an exploration of what happens after the ending of a romantic comedy, and it turns out the answer is even more great comedy and character growth. The chemistry between Kaling and Messina is electric, and it shows no signs of faltering now that these characters are in a real relationship. From a race to the top of the Empire State Building to a very revealing striptease, this relationship has found the perfect balance of heat, humor, and heart.
3. Leslie and Ann (Parks and Recreation)
Once upon a time, a beautiful tropical fish met a passionate, stubborn steamroller, and the two of them became one of television’s best examples of female friendship. This year, Leslie and Ann’s friendship took center stage as the latter moved away from Pawnee to start a family in one of the year’s most emotional episodes of any television show, “Ann and Chris.” That lovely episode paid tribute to the power of female friendship in a way that was touching and true-to-life. It’s a rare thing for a television show to let one of the great loves of a character’s life be their best friend, but Parks and Rec is a rare television show that honors the beauty of friendship as much as it honors romance. Leslie and Ann’s friendship is as genuinely supportive and healthy as it gets, and that’s such a wonderful example for people to see in the media. My wish for every woman is that she finds the Ann to her Leslie (or the Leslie to her Ann)—a friend she can talk to about anything and a friend who loves her like the first soul mate so many of our friends often are.
4. Castle and Beckett (Castle)
This was a year of highs and lows for Castle and Beckett. There were disappearances and memories lost, but there were also huge moments of personal growth, especially as Beckett finally put her mother’s killer behind bars. Through it all, though, their commitment to each other weathered each storm, proving that they were in this relationship for better or worse. They even faced an alternate universe in which they’d never met, which led Castle to make one of the most sincere statements of love on TV this year: “She’s better off with me, and I’m better off with her.” That idea of love making us our best selves ran through what was the most beautiful TV wedding of 2014—an intimate ceremony filled with love, light, and plenty of happy tears. This was a year that saw Castle and Beckett become partners in crime and in life always—and for the time of their lives. And if that’s not a reason for longtime “shippers” (like myself) to celebrate, then I don’t know what is.
5. Diane and Alicia (The Good Wife)
There are few things I like better as a television viewer than supportive relationships between female characters. And there was something wonderful about watching Diane and Alicia support each other through personal loss and professional changes this year. Their shared moments of mourning Will were some of the strongest single scenes in what was another fantastic year for The Good Wife as a whole. I’ll never forget their first hug after Will’s death. It was such a gorgeous moment of openness between women who needed that shoulder to lean on, and that openness led to what was one of my favorite twists of the season—Diane joining Alicia and Cary’s firm. Alicia gave Diane a chance at a fresh start, just like Diane gave her so much professional support over the years. These two women helped each other in ways no one else could this year, and it was so inspiring to watch.
6. Sarah and Cosima (Orphan Black)
Throughout the course of Orphan Black’s second season, strong relationships grew between many of the clones. However, the most interesting dynamic was the one that developed between Sarah and Cosima—the two clones on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Where Sarah has always been skeptical and guarded, Cosima is warm and open. Instead of having those differences drive them apart, however, this show chose to focus on the fact that these two very different women need the balance they get from each other. When Sarah confessed that she didn’t want to lose Cosima in this season’s finale, it felt like one sister talking to another. More than any other pair of clones, Sarah and Cosima feel like sisters—they’re different people, but their love for each other runs deeper than anything else. And on a show about clones fighting for their agency, those differences and that choice to love each other is incredibly important.
7. Louis and Donna (Suits)
Genuine, platonic relationships between men and women aren’t often found in the media. But on Suits, that’s exactly what Donna and Louis’s relationship became this year—a mutually supportive friendship as healthy and warm as you could hope to find in a world as cold as the one these characters usually operate in. These two characters helped each other, confided in each other, and grew to truly care about one another. And that’s what it made it even more painful when Louis discovered that Donna had been lying to him about Mike. Out of all of Louis’s climactic confrontations in “This Is Rome,” the one between him and Donna hurt the most because we’d become so invested in their friendship.
8. Snow and Regina (Once Upon a Time)
Of all the many relationships on Once Upon a Time, the most complex and layered is the one between Snow and Regina. It’s a believably imperfect relationship—with plenty of sarcasm still coming from Regina and Snow still pushing a little too hard sometimes—but there’s a deep undercurrent of tentative caring to all of their interactions now. Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla bring such a sense of depth and history to their scenes together; underneath all of the pain, you can still see the two young women who once loved each other and wanted to be each other’s family. Snow and Regina’s story this year became one of forgiveness, healing, and hope. And it’s that sense of hope that Snow has shared with Regina that has helped Regina grow into a better version of herself.
9. Juliette and Avery (Nashville)
Juliette and Avery’s relationship is one that snuck up on me; I didn’t realize how much I loved it until it was happening, and now it’s my favorite thing about Nashville. Hayden Panettiere and Jonathan Jackson are two of the show’s best actors, and they ground all of their scenes together in such genuine emotion, which isn’t always easy on what’s essentially a nighttime soap opera. Avery and Juliette are simply better together than apart; that’s what this year proved. Juliette believes in Avery as a producer and as a person, and Avery has been Juliette’s biggest supporter as she’s worked to be better than her past. When they were apart, it was hard for me to watch the show, which is how I know this couple has a very strong hold on my heart. Needless to say, watching them have their lovely, intimate wedding was a true joy. In fact, one of my most-anticipated TV moments of 2015 is the birth of their baby girl.
10. Emma and Elsa (Once Upon a Time)
In case you haven’t noticed, I really love strong examples of female friendship on television. So it was wonderful to see Emma find a friend who helped her grow in exponential ways this year. Elsa and Emma bonded over their magic, but their friendship was about so much more than just relating to each other as women born with powers they never asked to have. It was about relating to each other as women who needed to learn to love themselves for everything they are. For the first time, Elsa was able to use the struggles she went through to be a source of hope and help for someone else. She helped Emma in the way best friends should help one another—she gave her a hand to hold and a comforting voice of belief and support as Emma struggled with self-doubt and fear. Only Emma could make the choice to believe in and love herself, but she was able to make that choice with Elsa’s help. Who knew the introduction of an ice queen would give us one of the warmest friendships Once Upon a Time has ever seen?
Great pics Katie! And now is when I get to thrown in some superhero relationships!!
Barry Allen and Joe West, ‘The Flash’. When Barry Allen was a kid, his mom was killed by a mysterious being (“red lightning”), and his father went to prison for her murder. Joe raised Barry along with his daughter Iris, and this foster father\son relationship that the two of them have is one of my favorite relationships on TV. Maybe a part of it is the fact that I love Jessie L Martin in everything he has ever done, but the show keeps finding ways to surprise me, and Martin can nail any scene he is given. There is the guilt Joe feels over until recently beliving that Barry’s father was guilty, to the added coplexity from the fact that Joe and Barry also work together (Joe is a cop and Barry CSI) and Joe is one of the few people that knows Barry’s secret identity. There is just so many layers to their relationship and I love watching it every week.
Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle, ‘Gotham’. Gotham is a very flawed show, and I only stuck with it because my boyfriend seems to like it. Its oppressively bleak, and the fact that the only two characters I find myself invested in are the only two children on the show, who barely get any screentime says something. But the dynamic between these two is enough to keep me from telling Sean he has to watch this show after I go to bed. Seeing the spoiled and privledged Bruce learn some tricks from streetwise Kat is always fun. And I have to give it to the kid who plays Bruce, he plays a kid with a major crush perfectly.
Thanks for taking time out of your European adventure to share these picks with us, Shauna! I loved reading these because I know so little about both shows, but now I want to watch The Flash even more. I have been in love with Jesse L. Martin for a very long time. 😉
Yes! Love the Barry Allen/Joe West relationship. You see Joe truly love Barry like a son. I also appreciate that Barry’s relationship with Joe isn’t at the expense of the relationship with his (Barry’s) own father.
I like your list, I so agree on Emma/Elsa, Snow/Regina and Caskett, but I just disagree so much on your #1. I just think JM does nothing extra for there scenes and the writing does not help her. Hook’s whole world revolves around Emma and she’s on his mind pretty much 99% of the time. On the other side of that, I can’t think of a single occurrence of this season where Emma actually thought of Hook unless he came into her sights or someone else brought him up. He’s a total afterthought to her and this coming from an episode where they had a date! The fact there is no fallout from his lying to her the entire time backs up the theory. And in the last episode where Hook painfully tells Emma what Rumple wants her to hear, the mistake in the writing is it was clear that JM played that she KNEW something was wrong but again, no follow up and did we even get a moment of Emma hugging hook right after Belle stopped Rumple from squeezing his heart. I’m not a CS fan though I’ve tried. I just find out of all the relationships on this show they get the most screentime and supposedly romantic scenes, but it does NOTHING for me. I adore Hook and think Colin’s portrayel is awesome and pretty much the only reason I just don’t FF their scenes. I just wish JM would meet him at least halfway. I know, Mileage varies.
Different strokes for different folks. It’s a bummer that you don’t enjoy CS like so many of us do, but not everyone does, nor is everyone expected to. There are a variety of relationships on the show and each one appeals to differnet people. I would love to meet a person that was a hard core combined snowing, outlaw queen, captian swan, AND rumbelle shipper. I don’t think that person exists!!
The point is i like to say is Hook’s whole world is Emma. And i like to think rightly so especially loving her the way he does because she deserves that. And with Emma… by now i assume ppl know how Emma Swan is and works, she lets you know by actions rather then words. Yes sometimes words are needed. But Emma’s actions are what is counted the most.
As for the finale episode you are talking about… i assume alot of ppl had the same issue over it. And now rushed it felt but there is still half a season left.
You dont have to enjoy it or get invested in it. But just see why the work and what they bring to each other because thats how OUAT write their couples they are developing. And CS are the ONLY couple that is slow burn esp as its Emma’s romance and rightly so. 🙂
When it comes to the way we view relationships and characters on TV, it’s all a matter of opinion. I can understand not liking Emma and Hook, just like there are certain couples on TV that I just can’t get invested in no matter how hard I try. However, I don’t see any fault in Jennifer Morrison’s acting. Does she approach Emma the same way Colin O’Donoghue approaches playing Hook? Of course not, and that’s a good thing. Emma and Hook express their feelings differently, but I feel there have been plenty of times this season where we’ve been shown by Morrison and the writing how important Hook is to Emma (“I can’t lose you too,” Emma asking Hook on the date, Emma sharing the box with her past mementos with him, letting herself be a “tearful goodbye kiss person” with him…). And I do agree that it was disappointing for there to be no followup on Emma knowing something was wrong with Hook in the finale, but Morrison did use that moment to show that Emma cared enough about him to know that something was wrong.
Like you said, mileage varies, of course. The beauty of watching TV is the different ways we can all interpret the same scenes and characters.
My no1 is Emma and Hook too, i love their progression and that we are seeing step by step progression and the show’s slow burn couple.
Elsa and Emma were a pleasure to watch and see their bonding and someone for Emma to relate too etc
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! 😀
Don’t agree. And I certainly would have not put Emma and Hook at the top of the list.
At this point we all know you don’t like Emma or Captian Swan. Are there any relationships you did like? The point of the article is to talk about what we enjoyed in 2014, not try to convince others they are wrong for liking what they like.
I second this! Well said shauna 🙂
Also can you please respect this is nerdygirl’s own opinion and thoughts. Why dont you list what you liked instead of what you dont or dont agree. Because that was not the point of the post.
I don’t understand why you follow this blog and comment…
I sooo agree with your #1! Emma’s walls have really started to come down with Hook this year. I have to disagree with the person above, Emma called Hook to help investigate the ice wall, she talked with her son about him and then she actually calls out their relationship as an example of the happiness that Regina wants so badly to have. Emma and Hook aren’t the same person and they show their feelings in different ways. I’m looking forward to the continuation of this incredible love story (and reading your fantastic reviews)
Thank you! I definitely agree with you—I think we’ve seen a lot of moments this season where it was clear that Hook was on Emma’s mind. We’ve also seen her show way more emotion towards him and be far more emotionally intimate with him than we’ve ever seen her be with anyone else. Like you said, they show their feelings in different ways, and that’s what I love about Emma—when she has a moment of real vulnerability like she’s had with Hook many times this season, you know it’s huge for her character.
I agree with your takes on the list.
Leslie and Ann – what a friendship
And yes my #1 is Emma/Hook too. I love the build up and i love the instant connection and kindredness we got from the beanstalk episode as that was the episode that laid out the groundwork (thats how OUAT works). Its been lovely watching Emma heal from certain aspects from what she has been through and faced and felt, and also now opening her heart and letting love in, feeling and trusting that as best as she can. And Hook loves her so unconditionally and would die for her. So many lovely moments we have had in season 4A, i cant wait to see what we get in season 4B
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! It’s always a pleasure to find more people who love both Leslie and Ann and Emma and Hook. 🙂
I love this whole list. More than anything, I love the variety of relationships you talk about. It’s great to have amazing and inspiring romantic relationships but I also want to see familial relationships and friendships and even strong professional relationships with the added personal support as needed.
I started falling for Hook and Emma at the end of last year so it only makes sense that they would be one of my favorites this year. I loved watching Emma open up and let Hook in. I loved the moments of trust and unguardedness and the confession that she was afraid to lose him. I loved all the kisses and the hand-holding. I love what it’s done for my precious Emma to find something real again with a person who will pick her time and time again.
I’m so happy with the way Danny and Mindy’s relationship is going I can hardly stand it. Yes, i get mad at Danny when he does stupid things but if the theme of romantic relationships this year was being your best self, that is what this relationship does for Mindy. It makes her a better self than she knew she could be. This confident, self-assured Mindy is one that always had the potential to be there but was always hidden in the need for her romcom ending but with Danny she has found the freedom to put herself and her own needs ahead of her boyfriend’s desires. More than any of her previous boyfriends, Danny knows and accepts Mindy as she is and it’s done wonders for her. I know Danny will get to where he needs to be (and having her away at Stanford gives him plenty of time to realize he does want to spend forever with her) because this relationship has been handled so well so far.
You nailed everything that is wonderful about Leslie and Ann’s friendship. They will always have a special place in my heart and your description of them as soul mates is just perfect for them, my Leslie 😉
I love what Castle realized in “Time of Our Lives”. Meeting Beckett grounded him. It didn’t just give him personal success but it made him want to be better and more responsible. Even without the Nikki Heat books, Beckett would have changed him. And she was undeniably changed by Castle. I don’t want to think of an alternate universe where Beckett doesn’t believe in the possibility of magic and never got closure for her mother’s case and isn’t working the field that she loves so much. I love those characters that manage to break through the walls of my favorites and show them it’s OK to love and to trust and let others in. It’s been so satisfying to watch Castle be by Beckett’s side as the Johanna Beckett case was closed and to see them standing side-by-side as they promised to love each other forever.
The new arc on OUaT hasn’t even started yet and I need Elsa back. I need all the female friendships on TV that it will give me and theirs was so great. It was full of support and understanding and honesty and help through a difficult time. It was everything I wanted for Emma to have because it’s been so long since she’s had a friend like that.
Now onto the non-overlapping portion of my list lol. There wasn’t a better parent-child relationship on TV than Xiomara and Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin). Xiomara is an amazing mother who only wants what’s best for Jane, whatever that may be. She’ll draw attention to herself and embarrass Jane so that Jane doesn’t see her crush kissing someone else at her quinceañera. She’ll offer a warm hug and support when Jane is hurt and she’ll put her feelings toward Jane’s father aside in an attempt to let the two of them bond first. Similarly, Jane is a great daughter. She knows and understands her mother and wants her to be happy. She wants to see her singing dreams come true and to find a guy she can really be happy with. It reminds me of the best of Lorelai and Rory and there just isn’t a warmer relationship on TV.
There also wasn’t a more heartbreaking relationship for me than Severide and Shay (Chicago Fire). While I am extremely glad they made up in the last minutes of the s2 finale, their relationship this year has really been about the fact that those true and lasting friendships and the impact of those friendships don’t end with death. It’s been about Severide learning how to hold on to those memories and continue to move on with his life. It was one of the best friendships on TV and I’m still devastated that it and Shay are gone but her impact on him and his love for her will never go away.
I never expected to fall for Eliza and Henry (Selfie) as much as I did. John Cho and Karen Gillan have fantastic chemistry and the development of their slightly unusual friendship to the heartbreak that Henry may not be able to take the risk of being with her has been so good.
I’m going to echo Shauna’s choice of Joe West and Barry Allen (The Flash). It is my favorite thing about the show, which is saying a lot because I really love it. It’s so deep and full of history and love. Joe will never replace Barry’s father but both he and Barry recognize that he’s been a good substitute. They fight and disagree like actual family but know the other is always there to help and protect.
Finally, if I go solely on emotional investment this year, Jaime and Brienne (Game of Thrones) have to make my list. They were in so few episodes together but what we learned about them was so rich. A lot of my feelings center around Oathkeeper, so I’ll save it for your moments post but even their small scene in the first ep when Brienne tells Jaime that he needs to step up and be the better man that she knows he is and Brienne’s admission to Cersei that Jaime saved her “more than once” and the shy smile that accompanied it say so much about her feelings toward him.
They probably don’t make quite make my top 10 but I just had to say that this was such a good year for Diane and Alicia’s relationship. It’s always a dynamic I want more of because Christine Baranski and Julianna Margulies are just so good together but we had so many great scenes between them. Everything related to Will’s death was outstanding – the hugs and the drinks and seeing his old office again.
Also in the honorable mention section: Juliette and Avery (Nashville), Patrick and Richie (Looking), Amy and Kieran (In the Flesh), Felicity and Barry (Arrow/The Flash universe), Jake and Rosa (B99), Cristela and Josh (Cristela)
I want to echo your pick of Eliza and Henry. The show didn’t last long, but one of the things I loved about it was that the show focuses on the faults of BOTH Eliza and Henry’s world view. They are both extremes, and together they balance each other and make both of their lives better. And we all know that love is about being your best self, and I thought this show represents that idea perfectly, despite being fluff on the outside.
Even after all that, I forgot about the one couple I’ve been dying to talk about and praise for ages. Maybe because all they did was make me sad this year but they did it so well.
Joel and Julia have been my favorite couple on Parenthood since the very beginning and Julia is by far the character I relate the most to so it was a rough year for me with the show. Watching the slow dissolution of their marriage hurt. Neither party was innocent (though arguably Joel was a little out-of-character) and both hurt the other. They stopped being a team and stopped working together when they found themselves in roles they weren’t as familiar with and in Julia’s case, not as good at. The midseason finale had them find their way back to the other, at least momentarily. I want them to have grown from the experience and learn how they let the other down emotionally and come back from this sad year as stronger partners.
I may not watch Parenthood, but all I want for your sake is for these two to find a happy place as the show is coming to an end.
First of all, Jake and Rosa and Jaime and Brienne almost made my list, too!
I absolutely loved reading your thoughts about all of the relationships we both love and the ones on your list that I don’t know about (or at least not yet). It’s been such a great year for love leading to character development for some of TV’s best female characters—from Beckett and Emma to Mindy and Brienne—and you touched on all of them so perfectly. Relationships that bring out the best in a person are the ones I always want to spend my time talking about, and I know that you feel the same way.
I also LOVE your choice of Henry and Eliza. This was a dynamic I never thought I’d love as much as I came to love them, and you know I like it when a show takes me by surprise with its sincerity. And you know that comparing a mother/daughter relationship to Lorelai/Rory at their best is a surefire way to make me even more curious about Jane the Virgin.
I definitely have Jane the Virgin on my shortlist of to-watch shows and your comments are only making me want to watch more! I can’t wait to see the wonderful mother-daughter relationship this show has. Also, ditto with The Flash – your comments only make me more excited to eventually start this show! These two shows are at the top of my to-watch list so hopefully I’ll get caught up eventually.
As always I love reading your thoughts on the characters that I’ve come to love. I’ve only just finished watching Season 7 of Castle up to episode 10. So here is my list:
Beckett / Castle (Castle)
After six and a bit years we finally have the wedding we wanted, kind of. I love how this relationship has evolved over time. There have been many obstacles and missteps, but at the core of this relationship there is a deep seated respect between the characters. It’s also telling that since they became an item at the start of Season 5 the witty banter between the characters has not stopped. The bedroom scene in Rise of the Machines had me in stitches, the valentines day gift of the draw was so perfect to the character. The scrabble competition was a continuation of the poker nights, both competiive individuals who have to win. What I also love about this relationship is the fact the bedroom scenes are not all about getting it on. We know they are making out, we don’t have to see it.
Sarah / Cosima (Orphan Black)
Can’t add anything else to your comments. The scene of them in bed in the loft was so powerful.
Felix / Alison (Orphan Black)
Everything Felix does is amazing. He’s become the defacto big brother for the Clones, but it’s his relationship with Alison that is amazing. The moment he walks into her life to babysit you know there is something magic happening. Asking Oscar if he wants to dress up like a little girl and the joy when Gemma says she’ll dress up as a boy. Felix is the big brother that Alison never had and a confidant. The Intervention episode when she locks herself in the bathroom and will only speak to Felix and the triumphant look on his face when we pushes past all her friends congregated around the door. The speech about eating humble pie and then when Alison stands up for herself, showing a little backbone, you can see the smirk on his face in the background.
Cosima / Delphine (Orphan Black)
This relationship owes much to the incredible writing. Often same sex relationships are introduced as a plot device or a convenient way to appeal to a demographic. The focus of this relationship is not that they are both girls, it’s a joining of two independent highly successful individuals who find they have many things in common and fall in love. There are no cliches with this relationship. They fight, there’s betrayal and there’s the realisation that this other person is someone they care about and will do anything to protect.
Kira / Helena (Orphan Black)
Kira is an amazing kid, and I’m hoping in Season 3 we see a deeper exploration of Kira’s importance to the Clone world. The scene with Helena in the alley was heartwarming. Helena is a killer, shows no remorse for her actions. All her life people have abused her made her doubt her worth and torn her down until she has become this feral animal that has only one purpose, to kill. Yet one simple touch Kira changes her. You see the acceptance on Kira’s face, the melting of Helena and the affect of this exchange as the series moves on.
Ryan / Esposito (Castle)
These two characters share a special bond that has been tested with fire and has endured. They are brothers in arms, and there is nothing that one wouldn’t do for the other. They share some great banter and also many touching heartfelt discussions. When Ryan steps in to tell the story of how Esposito proposed to Lannie, you see the partner backing up his buddy.
Espositio / Lannie (Castle)
It’s so obvious these two should get together. Their banter has been a highlight this season, but I was a little dismayed when they agreed to cool things down at the end of episode 10.
Castle / Alexis (Castle)
From season one we’ve known that the relationship between Castle and Alexis was something different. Alexis copped some criticism for her treatment of Castle during the Pi arc, which I shall say was unjustified. Alexis has always been written as a girl with a special bond with her father, yet all teenage girls at some point express their independance and do things the parents don’t agree with. It’s called growing up. The Pi arc allowed Alexis to grow and transition from the world of a cute 14 year old to a young independant woman. The change was true to life. Yes we hurt the people closet to us because we believe they are holding on to tight or they are acting out of character. As a parent you want to protect your child, but you finally realise they have to step out into the world, make their own experiences, fail / succeed on their own terms. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop loving them or supporting them.
So there you have it. I’d like to thank you and everyone else for making this blog one of the happiest experiences of the year. I look forward to reading everyones comments and am constantly amazed at the depth of the discussions, the passion you all have for the shows and characters and the relationships. The fact this is all done in an atmosphere of caring and support and acceptance of other people different opinions is amazing and something that makes this blog unique.
All the best to everyone. May 2015 bring great joy as we follow the characters and shows we’ve grown to love, and may we discover new shows and relationships to nerd over.
Thank you so much, Mark! I’m so happy you enjoy reading all of our discussions, and I’m always thrilled to see comments from you on my posts.
I love all of your picks, and I have nothing to add to your wonderful analysis of these relationships except to say YES to all of it. I’m especially glad you brought up Helena and Kira because that relationship brings so much to Orphan Black, and every scene those two share is an emotional high point.
Best wishes for a great 2015! 🙂
[“At this point we all know you don’t like Emma or Captian Swan. Are there any relationships you did like? The point of the article is to talk about what we enjoyed in 2014, not try to convince others they are wrong for liking what they like.”]
Because I disagreed with the addition of Emma/Hook to this list, I’m trying to change people’s opinion? It never occurred to you that I was simply expressing my own opinion?
Yes, you were expressing your opinion, but it would be nice if you could share a positive opinion with us every so often. It doesn’t need to be about OUAT or any of its characters, but, as far as this post goes, there had to be some relationship you watched develop on TV in 2014 that you enjoyed. This post was written to celebrate those relationships that made us happy, whether or not they’re in agreement with what I posted. As you can see, people are sharing their favorites from plenty of other shows, too. No one is asking for you to agree with anything, but I would ask once again for you to respect the tone of this site and its comment section in general, which is a place of positive discussion.
I’m sure you already know that I agree with you about Emma/Hook so I want to talk a little bit about Emma/Elsa. I really, really loved that Emma got to just have a FRIEND for a little while. I’m still kinda iffy myself on the plot line of Emma being afraid of her magic/afraid of hurting people with it, but it brought so many wonderful bonding moments between those two. For a woman who hasn’t really had many friends at all, seeing Emma open up to someone who is not a parent of her boyfriend was a real treat. It’s easy to forget that magic is very, very new to Emma – she grew up in a world without it, after all, and it was only EXTREMELY recently that she was able to use it herself, so having someone there to understand what it’s like to have something that not everyone else does (magic) made me so, so happy for her. I was so sad to see Elsa go because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Emma’s friend yet.
I’d also like to add another vote in for Barry Allen/Joe West from The Flash – I literally only watched that in the last few days but it’s an utter delight of a show. It’s already got a strong “found family” vibe but Barry/Joe is like the icing on the cake – Joe didn’t have to take Barry in, he didn’t have to raise him as his own son, he didn’t have to accept his kid’s newfound superpowers and deep need to help people, but he did all of those things. I just about cried when Barry acknowledged that while Joe wasn’t his blood father, he did all the things that raising a son entails, so that makes him Barry’s father. That’s such an important message and the show bears it out in all of Joe and Barry’s interactions. It even keeps that message intact when Barry is dealing with his biological father, who is in fact not a murdering criminal and a guy falsely accused. There is no attempt made to demonize either of these guys; they’re just men trying to do the best they can for this kid they love. Anyone who is thinking of giving The Flash a try, I say try it and see! It will be worth it.
“I was so sad to see Elsa go because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Emma’s friend yet.” – You and me both, Nic.
Emma and Elsa’s friendship was wonderful to see develop for so many reasons. One of the biggest reasons was because if there was ever a character who needed a friend, it’s Emma. And we came to learn that if ever there was another character who needed a friend, it was Elsa. These two women spent so much of their lives alone, and then they came to accept love from their family (Emma with her parents and son and Elsa with Anna), but it’s a totally different thing to finally find a friend you’re not related too and, even more importantly, a friend who can understand a part of you that no one else can understand.
That friendship was also so important because Once Upon a Time hasn’t had a lot of well-developed female friendships since the days of Snow and Red. Female friendship was a kind of love sorely lacking on this show since Megan Ohry’s departure, and I hope the fondness people showed toward Emma and Elsa’s friendship means this show will take more time to develop more female friendships in the future. (Please let them involve Belle!)
I’m also happy to see another ringing endorsement of The Flash on here! Looks like I have another show to add to my ever-growing to-watch list! 😉
I agree with everything you said here. I actually rewatched season 1 recently and while I love Snow and Emma’s mother/daughter relationship, I do miss the days when they were friends. There are things that you can’t talk about with someone who is your mother, after all. And while the occasional Snow/Regina moment is nice, I would kill for Emma to have a friend that’s just her own. Belle is perfect for it – it would also give Belle things to do outside of her storyline with Rumple. I hope Rumbelle being broken up for a bit opens up space for Emma/Belle to happen at least a little.
And I do heartily endorse The Flash! It’s very comic book so if that’s not your thing, it might not really be up your alley, but if you’re okay with that then please do give it a try 😀
I love reading all of your 2014 lists, and this one was especially interesting to me because there’s so many great relationships on TV that I was curious to see your choices!
Both The Mindy Project and Parks and Recreation are shows I still need to catch up on, but your favorite relationships listed here are already some of my favorites as well. I’m so glad to know those two pairs continue to be awesome together.
Castle and Beckett continue to be one of my favorite relationships on TV as well, and their support of each other throughout the years has been a beautiful thing to watch. That they got to solidify that relationship into a marriage this year made me so happy for them. I will always love the way they are equal partners who respect, love, and support each other while pushing each other to be their best versions of themselves.
The few episodes I watched of The Good Wife had some excellent Diane and Alicia scenes, so even without watching the whole show I would second your choice of these two for one of the best relationships of the year. You can tell how awesome they were that they made an impact on me even just through the short amount of time I saw them on screen! It’s one of the reasons that despite not really being into law-based shows, I am seriously considering watching all of The Good Wife someday.
Snow and Regina has been a fascinating relationship to watch develop and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot as well! I too love the complexity of their history together and the way you sense that history when they interact; Lana and Ginnifer have done a great job with these characters. One of my favorite scenes of 4A was probably when Snow and Regina had that talk about hope and happy endings while they were searching for Emma, and I hope we continue to get those small scenes throughout 4B that show this relationship’s continued growth.
I loved Emma and Elsa’s friendship this season and I’m so sad to see Elsa and Anna go. They might just be some of my favorite characters this show has brought in, and I wish we could’ve had more time with them to see more wonderful female friendship scenes. Since Emma discovered Snow as her mother and Ruby’s been gone, we’ve been lacking in scenes with Emma having a female friend, and my hope is that Operation Mongoose will at least make steps towards Emma and Regina having a closer friendship. (Also, I appreciate the pun in that last sentence! A+ pun game ;))
Some of my favorite relationships this year that aren’t on your list are Jo and Henry from Forever, Joan and Sherlock from Elementary, Abbie and Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow, and from Rookie Blue Andy and Sam, all the ladies of RB who share a bond (especially Andy and Traci), and Oliver Shaw and the rookies (he’s sort of like a big brother to a lot of the characters and is so supportive it’s wonderful). I’m probably forgetting someone since I usually do forget when I do these things off the top of my head, but those are a few of my favorites from this year!
First of all, I love that Jo and Henry from Forever made your list because I’m trying to catch up on the show now, and I’m falling in love with it all over again. I also love the relationship between Henry and Abe.
I cannot wait for you to catch up on Mindy and Parks so we can talk about everything! 🙂
I would also strongly recommend watching all of The Good Wife someday because it’s probably the least “legal-show-feeling” legal show I’ve ever watched. It’s much more about the characters and their complex relationships, with some interesting cases (and very fun judges) from time to time.
I 100% agree that OUAT has been lacking in the female friendship department ever since Meghan Ohry left the show and Snow and Emma discovered their real relationship. That’s what made Emma and Elsa’s friendship such a treat, and I do hope that they continue to develop both Regina and Snow’s dynamic and Regina and Emma’s in order to continue to give more depth to the non-familial female relationships on the show. Also, can we please get Belle some friends now, too? I would especially love a Snow/Belle friendship! (I’m also very intrigued to see what the dynamics are like within the Ursula/Cruella/Maleficent trio of villainy. I’ll take any and all female friendships I can get—heroes, villains, heroes and villains…)
So now that I’ve finally come out of the haze of the flu and actually have an attention span to read. I adored this list, the overlaps in the comments and the differences! I want to co-sign on everything Heather said about Jane and Xiomara on Jane the Virgin. By far this is my favorite duo on television and quickly becoming one of my favorites all time. It is what ultimately prompted me to start Gilmore girls over the winter break.
I loved what you said about Diana and Alicia. How they’ve come together in the run up and after Will’s death has been a masterful full circle of these two characters. I am reminded when Alicia in earlier seasons seeks Diane out as a mentor and to see how they came together around a potential merger and the immediate understanding in the wake of Will’s death as the two women who loved him most has been one of the most rewarding pay offs of that storyline.
For me picking up off The Good Wife — two of my favorite relationships are actually Alicia and Eli. Where they started and where they are to me is so marvelous. I feel like Alicia is the one person Eli truly cares about and respects on all levels. His ambition lies in Peter, but Peter is an ends to a means. He protects him to protect the political power. Alicia is someone I feel like he simply protects because he truly values her. We see it in all sorts of small moments, none more powerful than the phone call about Will’s shooting. Their relationship can go from poignant to hilarious on the turn of a phrase and I can watch it endlessly.
My other favorite relationship on The Good Wife is Alicia and Cary. I love where they started to where they’ve landed. That hug when Cary is finally released from County was everything. They’ve gone from competitors to one of the most genuine relationships on the show.
And because I marathoned it over my flu sickness, I am going to put in a plug for the relationship between Daryl and Rick on The Walking Dead. Independent of the post apocalyptic setting, the character stories of survival are very similar to what I loved about LOST and Daryl and Rick are my Sawyer and Jack.
First of all, I’m so happy you’re feeling better!
I had big plans to start Jane the Virgin during my holiday time off from work…and then The Americans happened. 😉 Hopefully this summer will give me plenty of time to fall in love with that show the way I know I’m going to once I start.
I absolutely loved what you had to say about the relationships between Eli and Alicia and Cary and Alicia. They especially feel relevant after this week’s powerhouse episode. I was fascinated by Eli’s handling of the practice debate situation, and I feel like so much of that comes from the fact that he wants Alicia to win because he genuinely cares about her and believes in her—much more than he does with Peter.
I’ll be very interested to follow along on your journey with The Walking Dead because it’s not a show I think I could ever get into, but I do love the passionate discussion that seems to surround the show.