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Best TV First Kisses

9 Feb

You know those shows that you watch pretty much just so you can see the titular characters hook up?

TITULAR characters. Stay with me here.

I love a lot of shows for a lot of reasons, but if I’m not actively shipping two characters in said show, I start to lose interest, which explains why I hated Season 4 of Buffy so very, very much. (I mean, seriously, who was I supposed to root for? Harmony and Spike? Giles and Olivia?)

This?!

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not crazy. I love Doctor Who for the Slitheen and Star Trek: TNG for Wesley, and Battlestar Galactica for Saul Tigh and Caprica Six’s love child (I mean, who doesn’t love Liam?) But I need more.

There’s a lot of good stuff in my favorite shows, but as a culture I think we appreciate a good romance alongside our adventure, not one that waits in the wings. Which is why as long as you give two protagonists good chemistry, even our homophobic society will ship couples like Sherlock and Watson. Even without any noticeable romance, fans will project their own desires for makeouts onto main characters.

And then it gets weird.

So here’s my point: if you want to get into a show because there’s a good, slow buildup to a first kiss that blows you the fuck away, welcome to my life. Let’s be friends. Here are shows that got a great balance of buildup, unexpectedness and either sweetness or hotness. If you’ve never wanted to end a comfortable relationship so you could go have another first kiss like these, don’t watch these shows. Also, congratulations, you’re a much better person than I am.

I have every single type of first kiss you could ask for listed below; choose your favorite and get watching. These are all based on romance, passion and expectation, and they range from “Tender and Sweet” to “Welp, Time For a Cold Shower.”

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6 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couples That Should Have Happened

6 Feb

When it comes to “shipping” in television, I’m of two conflicting mindsets. Part of me is really a fan of shows that manage to portray a guy and a girl who are close but not romantically entangled. The other part of me, though, just wants to see literally everyone hook up. Just 24/7, Cory-and-Topanga lovefests all the time. And I prefer people to really know each other when they hook up.

This is still okay.

Gone are the days of the old Superman or Spider-Man where the attraction lay in keeping a secret from your sweetie. No one wants to see a couple hook up when they’re keeping secrets or lying to each other. What we want now are best friends, partners-in-crime, hero-and-sidekick kind of action. Rose and the Doctor, Sherlock and Watson, Harry and Sally.

Uh….no.

So here are some shows that displayed great potential for two equal, interesting partners to get con-sensual with each other, but chose not to. And they must be punished for their transgressions.

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Worst Sci-Fi Fantasy Couples

21 Mar

All right, we’ have the best sci-fi/fantasy couples, as well as the sexiest pairings known to televised censorship. What, though, about the worst couples? I don’t mean the couples that are purposely bad, or the couples that get together just to keep the True Love Pair from actually hooking up.

Their love was so misunderstood.

No, rather than talking about the Rose-and-Mickeys of the romance world, I want to talk about the worst couples that the producers and writers force-feed you. The ones that, for inexplicable reasons, you’re supposed to like and support. The people that are terrible but are pushed together through contrived banter and nonexistent chemistry, and that leave no satisfaction afterwards.

The McDonald’s of romantic decisions, essentially.

[*Editor’s note: This list contains neither “Bella and Edward” nor “Bella and Jacob”. Nor even “Edward and Jacob.” Yes, there is evidence that the author wanted any and/or all of those pairings to be viewed favorably. No, I don’t care.]

7. Westley and Buttercup, The Princess Bride

“This is true love. You think this happens everyday?”
“I sure hope not.”

It’s a wrench including this couple, it really is. But I have to, because for years when I thought of “true love” I thought of Westley and Buttercup: she waits for him loyally, he fights his way home to find her, they cover insurmountable odds and live happily ever after (except for the whole him losing 50 years of his life to Count Rugen. So I guess they live happily for like, five minutes.)

“I turned it up to eleven.”

Okay, but let’s talk for real about this couple. It starts out with Buttercup ordering him around like her little bitch. He always responds with “As you wish” which is code for “I love you” (hopefully not in a romantic way, otherwise the grandpa at the end of the story is going to jail.)

So what, either he gets off on being dominated or it’s just because she’s hot? Fine. Whatever. They fall in love. She learns to say please. Everyone grows as a person.

Then he leaves and apparently dies. She loses her shit and shuts down completely. But he’s not dead! He’s off becoming a pirate! Not just a slave to a pirate, but a head honcho pirate. He becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts and does piratey things! Like having a parrot, wearing a mask, plundering gold…oh, and probably raping and murdering. How attractive.

So does he send word to let his beloved know he’s alive? Nah. He waits five years to see if she’ll remarry. Then he kidnaps her, threatens to backhand her for lying, and taunts her about her fiance.

Also, that ponytail. God, that ponytail.

Let’s face it. Buttercup is useless (can’t even fight off an R.O.U.S, for fuck’s sake) and Westley is a douche.

My apologies for the destruction I just wrought on your childhood.

6. Willow and Kennedy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Kennedy, the only reason to open your mouth is that pierced tongue.

Sadly not the worst relationship to happen in the Buffyverse, Willow and Kennedy are still difficult for me to handle, mostly because Willow was the best thing to happen to relationships since crotchless panties.

Go ahead and imagine the two together. I’ll wait.

Willow was the first person in the series (including Giles, the grownup) to have a stable, committed relationship that wasn’t all about drama. She and Oz had a quiet, realistic coupling that still managed to be sweet and endearing and wonderful. Then they got rid of him, so he could go make shitty movies.

“No, I’ve made good life decisions.”

Then she slowly fell for Tara, a sweet, deep, mystical girl without a violent bone in her body. It was amazingly tender and thoroughly erotic. And then they got rid of Tara.

Enter Kennedy. Whiny, obnoxious, self-absorbed and spoiled, she was unapologetic about her egotism and completely wrong for Willow. They had nothing in common except that they were both lesbians, and Kennedy neither understood nor sought to learn about Tara or what made Willow tick. I was sad to see Willow end the series on that note. I would have preferred almost any other pairing.

YES.

5. Saul Tigh and Caprica Six, Battlestar Galactica

“I got an eye patch. Bitches love eye patches.”

There’s actually not much to say about this couple, since it was getting toward the end of BSG’s decent episodes and descending right into the chewy nougat center of their weird religiosity and bizarre hallucinations. Basically, Saul Tigh bones Caprica Six which, if you look at the two of them, proves that this is, indeed, a fantasy story. She gets preggers and there’s a lot of fuss about their child being the destined Cylon/human hybrid. Then the baby dies. Then it turns out it wasn’t even actually a hybrid, because of lazy writing.

“Shit, I was supposed to plan this?”

I can’t even talk about how stupid this couple is. Tigh is a decorated war hero who has every reason to hate the Cylons. Caprica Six is in love with Baltar and possibly her own clone, and who gives a shit if they have a kid? It’s a stupid plot point, it’s a lie to the characters, and it only seeks to tear jerk where the well is completely dry.

The same is probably true for Tigh’s well, if you know what I mean.

4. Merlin and Gwen, Merlin

The BBC show Merlin is not an especially feminist text. By that I mean that every female character is either mindlessly evil or blandly, one-dimensionally good. Sadly, no character is flatter than Guinevere.

Not literally.

Gwen loves everyone in the show, and I mean everyone. Arthur, Lancelot and yes, even Merlin. For a while in Season 1, the writers apparently thought it would be great to hint at a romance between the woman destined to be Queen of Camelot and the weird little wizard boy who looks like the bastard son of Chris Eccleston’s ears.

Dumbo may also have been involved.

Anyway, there’s a lot of awkward intimations and Merlin remaining staunchly asexual throughout Gwen’s fumbling hints at attraction. The whole thing is frankly embarrassing, and not worth the halfhearted effort the show made trying to get us to care.

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Hottest Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couples

12 Mar

I learned something disturbing about myself while writing this. While some of my favorite couples in sci-fi and fantasy are based on affection and shared interests, the sexiest romances in my canon share two main traits: lust and violence. As we were all taught by romance novels and Wuthering Heights, the hottest couples are so conflicted that they’re always about two inches away from murder-fucking each other in the middle of a dinner party.

What, you thought it was just a chick flick period piece? Read the damn book.

So. There will be no soulful resonance in this list. No emotional safety. Certainly no romantic stares. Just two people who are designed to bone each other. Let’s see who they are.

*[Editor’s note: My top three picks change places depending on my mood, age, and how many times I’ve re-watched Buffy today. Keep it in mind.]

6. Jon Snow and Ygritte, A Song of Ice and Fire

“You think this is big?”

If your only experience with this medieval, sword-happy, incest-is-the-bestuous murderfest fantasy is the TV show Game of Thrones, then you probably don’t know what I’m talking about yet. You think that a sexy couple is Renly and Loras, or Dany and Khal Drogo or Littlefinger and the sound of his own voice.

Providing monologues over the sound of two women fucking since 2011.

You’re wrong, though. All of those relationships (especially the latter), are caught up, to some degree, in politics. In getting something out of the other person (gross.) Jon and Ygritte, though, have a fantastic chemistry outside the bounds of societal strictures that makes their coupling totally sexy. For Jon, it’s the forbidden. He can’t take a wife or sire children according to the vows he’s taken. For Ygritte, there’s the total freedom to do whatever the hell she likes. This amazing combustion of “Holy crap, no rules” and “Oh my god, this is so taboo” is what makes this couple so freaking sexy. There’s no thinking, reasoning, or scheming, just hormonal teenagers keeping warm the only way you can in the medieval equivalent of  glacial wastelands.

Which is basically Yukon Territory.

Best Moment: When she tries out her old “You know nothing, Jon Snow” catchphrase and then–bam–he introduces her to oral sex.

(I know it hasn’t happened in the show yet. Pick up a book every now and then, will ya?)

5. Malcolm Reynolds and Saffron, Firefly

Sometimes the special hell is worth it.

Malcolm Reynolds was a strong contender with several candidates for this slot. Everyone wants him to hook up with Inara (except for me, because I think they would make a terrible couple. More to come on that.) And he did have incredible sexy-time with the terrifying cat woman who looks like Angelina Jolie’s mom.

Porn music invariably starts up wherever she goes.

In the end, though, the best coupling involving Malcolm Reynolds is with Saffyobridge, the mysterious, psychotic con artist who goes from sweet and innocent to terrifying in less than a second. What’s great about this couple is that their sexual dynamic shifts as the show goes along, but no matter what, you always feel a resistance to them hooking up. It keeps the tension alive and kicking. First it’s because she’s so child-like, but then it’s because you’d rather have them fight than bang.

Or both. Both is good too.

Best Moment: The look on his face when she recites her wifely duties from the world’s greatest Bible.

4. The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour, Doctor Who

Ohhhh, yeahhhhh.

The problem with making Doctor Who as a serial television show is that, by his nature, the Doctor must always be alone. Sure, he has companions, but no one that sticks around longer than two or three seasons. He’s immortal and ever-changing and always in the process of leaving. They did a great job with the Rose storyline, but he had to really think about it and have a lot of conflicting feels, and there was nothing spontaneous or sexy about it because he never lets himself lose control.

Doctor: “That was a genetic transfer.”
Martha: “But you also grabbed my-“
Doctor: “GENETIC. TRANSFER.”

That’s why the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace” is so brilliant. Reinette is straightforward, collected, decisive and uncompromising. She sees the Doctor for the first time in years and does what anyone seeing David Tennant would do. She makes out with him. She gets behind his defenses and keeps him off-balance and smitten for the rest of the episode. He never gets the chance to act untouchable and god-like, or to set up barriers.

What does he have time to do? Slip her the tongue.

“Actually, I’m 945 years o–well, okay then.”

The brilliant chemistry between this couple packs a three-punch wallop: Steven Moffat’s brilliant writing, the French people’s inability to hear the word ‘no’ when it comes to dancing or sex, and the fact that David Tennant was totally plowing Sophia Myles at the time.

Best Moment: Scroll up half an inch. There it is.

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The Best Couples in Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV

21 Jan

I’m going to warn you right now that this list changes drastically depending on my mood, whether or not I’m wearing pants, and the amount of time I’ve spent staring at pictures of Harrison Ford online.

Yet not even a picture like this could make me say that Buffy and Riley were a good couple.

Now, if we’re going to talk about the sexiest couplings that sci-fi/fantasy has to offer, we’ll end up with a different list, which I will provide for you at a later time. This list is about compatible, romantic couples. And you should just know that romance, to me, is more about this

sad

and somewhat less about this

Not a lot less, but…sorry, what was I saying again?

So. The List. And speaking of David Tenant’s beautiful face…

5. Doctor Who The Doctor and Rose Tyler

The Doctor and Rose get put at the bottom of this list, and I think we can all agree on the reason.

This.

The reason I love Rose Tyler (and I do love Rose Tyler,) is not that she’s brave or the slightest bit clever or particularly witty or even amazingly attractive. I love Rose Tyler because the Doctor loves Rose Tyler. And that’s the only reason anyone loves Rose Tyler. Want proof? A spin-off was greenlit after “Doomsday” called Rose Tyler: Earth Defence starring Billie Piper. Here’s a screenshot of the pilot episode.

The project was cancelled because Russell T. Davies felt that it would cheapen Rose’s last appearance, but I think the real reason is that no one would care about Rose without the Doctor, and that show would flop anyway. But that leads me to why I like this couple at all.

Usually I’m against “shipping” a couple when only one of the characters is interesting, but actually in this case they kind of make each other better. He’s bitter and angry and genocidal and lonely and she turns him into a romantic. She’s a small-town girl wearing too much make-up and an entire year’s worth of peroxide, and he makes her a badass. The whole point of the Doctor seems to be that he must always be alone and apart from humanity. This romance blew that right out of the water. It showed us a side of the Doctor that we don’t get ever again, and it was both beautiful and heartbreaking to see him so invested in a single human being.

Rose: “I love you.” The Doctor: “I know.” No, wait. That’s a different movie. Harry Potter or something, I think.

This romance is about as close as you get to a happy ending with the Doctor. You get a lot of beautifully devastated expressions from David Tenant, Billie Piper cries unattractively a lot, and you learn that a character not saying the words “I love you” can be the best damned line in a show.

4. Firefly, Zoe and Wash

Zoe and Wash are the couple that everyone loves, but no one really knows why. By all accounts, the relationship doesn’t make sense. She’s a tough, military-minded ex-soldier who could be categorically defined as “terse.” Hoban “Wash” Washburne is precisely none of those things.

No one wearing a shirt like that will ever be described as “terse.”

Okay, so we don’t ever get a really good reason why these two people are so great for each other, but that’s part of the beauty. Instead of establishing a will-they-or-won’t-they drama based on their differences and probable misunderstandings, Whedon introduced them as a loving, married couple.  That is so amazingly unusual in television, it deserves special recognition. Most of the time television makes it seem like getting married to someone you actually like is the most statistically unlikely event in the history of the universe. Then, once you’re married, you cease to be an interesting character with an interesting relationship, possibly because all TV writers believe that marriage is horrible and that an honest portrayal would lead to divorce (which you can never have.)

Unfortunately.

Zoe and Wash are both great characters, and their relationship is in no way diluted because of their stable commitment to each other. They’re unusual, intriguing and complementary. Joss “I’m a Filthy Liar” Whedon even said that Zoe and Wash were the one couple he would never ever break up. They are the couple that makes you want to just see two characters being happy together, instead of the traditional whirlwind romance.

Although I imagine that Zoe is usually the big spoon.

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