Romance isn’t dead, it’s just very hard to write well. Ever so rarely, TV gets it right. Here are my choices for the best TV couples of 2015.
15. Diane & Mr. Peanutbutter (BoJack Horseman)
I admit this is my wild card pick. Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter are hardly soulmates, but from a writing perspective, I can’t get enough of them. BoJack Horseman did something truly unexpected when they had Diane go through with marrying Mr. Peanutbutter instead of having BoJack successfully interfere with the wedding. In season 2, they continued being unique by showing a couple that is just trying their best. Moments like their reconciliation after their fumbled anniversary party and Diane deciding to move back in with Mr. Peanutbutter stood out and didn’t fall into any tired tropes.
14. Zoe & Wade (Hart of Dixie)
After four years, the final season of Hart of Dixie brought this couple to a satisfying ending. Ending a series with the main couple having a baby and getting married isn’t exactly original, but it worked with this charming, endearing couple.
13. Dev & Rachel (Master of None)
Master of None used the binge-watching format beautifully to portray a wonderfully realistic couple. In a traditional sitcom, the weeks where Dev and Rachel weren’t doing well might have frustrated viewers and made them lose faith in the couple. But, thanks to the binge format, their fights just felt like little speed bumps. This re-created the feeling of looking back at a mostly-good relationship better than any TV experience I’ve had previously. It wasn’t perfect, but the fact that I could actually relate made it satisfying.
12. Jessica & Luke (Jessica Jones)
Two messed up, world-weary people finding each other is a winning format for TV couples. Jessica and Luke were all about little moments, like Jessica letting slip to Trish that there’s more than one person she cares about.
11. Edgar & Dorothy (You’re the Worst)
Dorothy felt almost like an audience surrogate. While Edgar is usually treated as a disaster of a person, Dorothy saw what viewers have seen since the beginning: Edgar’s earnest sweetness is something truly rare. I never expected the show to let Edgar be happy, but I’m glad they did.
10. Jimmy & Gretchen (You’re the Worst)
Season two put Jimmy and Gretchen through the ringer and they came out stronger. From “you stayed” to “I love you too,” this season was filled with sweet moments.
9. Mike & Rachel (Suits)
Mike and Rachel have always been a sexy couple that felt fundamentally broken because of Mike’s secret. This season dealt with that problem head on by having Mike realize that he needs to make a major change if he truly loves Rachel. The show took some risks breaking the status quo and it paid off wonderfully, making Mike and Rachel’s relationship feel whole for the first time.
8. Jake & Amy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
A lesser sitcom would feel the need to throw conflict at its main couple or even needlessly break them up, but season three of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has given us Jake and Amy working together and building a stronger relationship with each episode.
7. Jessica & Louis (Fresh Off the Boat)
This is a fantastic sitcom marriage that reminds me of my beloved Lois and Hal from Malcolm in the Middle. Their chemistry is fantastic and they compliment each other beautifully.
6. Laurie & Travis (Cougar Town)
Cougar Town isn’t a plot-heavy show and the relationship between Laurie and Travis is really the one thing that’s changed drastically over the years. They’ve gone from Travis pathetically crushing on Laurie to the two of them raising a child together. That could’ve been a weird transition, but the show pulled it off and sold me on this couple.
5. Ellie & Andy (Cougar Town)
Ellie and Andy’s dynamic has always been a fun part of the show and that didn’t change in its final season. He loves her so much and she also loves him, to a lesser extent.
4. Jules & Grayson (Cougar Town)
They’re not just an incredibly sexy pair, they’re also a sweet couple that ultimately understands each other’s quirks, dreams and fears.
3. April & Andy (Parks and Recreation)
The final season of Parks and Recreation gave us a more mature version of April and Andy, but they didn’t lose their charm.
2. Bob & Linda (Bob’s Burgers)
Despite Bob’s Burgers being a cartoon, Bob and Linda are written in a more natural and subtle way than almost any couple on TV. They don’t have huge romantic moments, but they quietly understand and appreciate each other.
1. Leslie & Ben (Parks and Recreation)
Leslie and Ben’s courtship was the most satisfying I’ve ever seen and their marriage didn’t disappoint. I don’t know if any TV couple will ever top this one. I’m going to miss them.