Shawn and Juliet Psych USA Network 2006 – Present Played by James Roday and Maggie Lawson Winsome, winning and whip-smart, Santa Barbara police detective Juliet O’Hara has long been among charming ne’er do well and “psychic consultant” Shawn Spencer’s strongest supporters. Michael and Fiona Burn Notice USA Network 2007 – Present Played by Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar Former spy Michael Westen landed back home in Miami after some shadowy, sinister forces had his CIA record suddenly replaced with that of a genocidal lunatic.The two danced around their attraction to each other for almost five seasons, trading witty barbs and meaningful glances in between the comical crime solving, all the while staying determinedly platonic—even going so far as to become involved with the occasional other (Rachael Leigh Cook, Nestor Carbonell, etc.). “When you’re burned,” he says in his opening voiceover, “you’ve got nothing: no cash, no credit, no job history.

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Along with, no doubt, more of Shawn’s signature verbal shenanigans. Michael and Nikita La Femme Nikita USA Network 1997 – 2001 Played by Roy Dupuis and Peta Wilson The crazy chemistry of this covert ops pair was enough to heat up the screen from the very first frame. With their idyllic little town of Stars Hollow as a backdrop, full to the brim with eccentric denizens and some kind of festival or other almost weekly, Luke and Lorelai’s attraction—nay, —always simmered just below the surface, brought memorably to a head when a fictional self-help tape gave what I still consider to be one of the more cogent and revelatory monologues on TV, like, ever: TAPE: Whose phone calls or visits are never unwanted or too long? Who would you most like to have in your life to ward off moments of loneliness? When you travel, who would make your travels more enjoyable? When you’re in pain, who would you most like to comfort you? When something wonderful happens in your life, a promotion at work, a successful refinancing, who do you want to share the news with? and in the meantime, have also managed to carry on a hot, dangerous, tauntingly uncertain relationship vibe—yes, even now that they’re shacking up in an approximation of domestic harmony. It’s just sometimes hard to know if Fiona is going to be reaching for Michael or for her favorite revolver. Brian and Justin Queer as Folk Showtime 2000 – 2005 Played by Gale Harold and Randy Harrison Vain, selfish, arrogant, and shamelessly decadent, Brian Kinney was Pittsburgh’s hottest guy, picking up and discarding sexual partners as casually as others might Kleenex, caring about nothing more than his best friend Michael (Hal Sparks), his career in advertising, and his designer wardrobe.

Both of them in indentured servitude to the nefarious Section One, Michael’s raspy French accent and sleek economy of movement made him utterly compelling, while Nikita’s statuesque beauty and feisty disposition became a virtual template for all other such kickass-takenames covert ops heroines. But then he met the seventeen-year-old Justin, and spent the next five years being successively wooed, spurned, teased, tormented and loved beyond all reason by this young blonde Adonis, wise beyond his years, but foolish with his untried heart.

Their relationship was plagued by outside interference, internal politics, lies, betrayals, secret families and the occasional bout of brainwashing, but theirs was nevertheless a passion that would not be denied, and a love to conquer all. Through commitment phobia, multiple sex partners, insecurities, career shifts, political upheaval, friends, enemies, frenemies, illnesses, and the constant threat posed by the oft-reviled “straight people” and their abhorrent anti-gay agenda, Brian and Justin were always a dream given form (delightful, delectable form)— even though it was a dream that was crushed with increasing frequency... Crichton and Aeryn Farscape 1999 – 2003 Sci-Fi Channel Played by Ben Browder and Claudia Black When human astronaut John Crichton found himself adrift on the other side of the galaxy, at the mercy of sundry aliens (not to mention Muppets), one of his first encounters was with the fierce black-clad warrior, Officer Aeryn Sun.

and in the end, with something approaching finality. Dedicated but exiled through no fault of her own, Aeryn was forced to throw in her lot with Crichton and his fugitive cohorts about the living ship, Moya, and between eluding capture and battling pirates and provisioning themselves and meeting new and interesting aliens— and even vacationing on Earth for a bit—the two unlikely friends became somewhat less unlikely lovers… That was involving an identical clone version of Crichton which meant, oh no!

Recently in these pages, Natasha Carty gave us her Favorite 90’s TV Couples.

At the same time, I was putting together this similar-but-not-actionable post, and I was somewhat surprised to discover that none of the star-crossed lovers on her list made mine.

(Although, some of them do appear on this post’s little sister, My Top 10 Tempestuous TV Teenage Couples, coming soon. ) My Favorite ’90s couples, it seems—at least, my grown up ones—run a little differently…

Here they are, along with a bunch from almost every other decade of television: 10.

When he died they had to start the whole romance practically all over again.