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5. Zack and Kelly from Saved by the Bell

No other couple exemplifies the early 90′s quite like Zack and Kelly. Whaaaaat was going on here? Sometimes they were dating, sometimes she was dancing with older men at The Attic, and sometimes Zack was secretly making out with Lisa in her bedroom (what a bitch!). But then there were those touching moments, like when Kelly couldn’t afford to go to the prom because her father lost his job (could you not have borrowed something from Lisa’s closet, I mean reeeeally) and Zack and Kelly danced cheek to cheek by the picnic tables out back. HOW ROMANTIC. I am forever scarred that I did not experience a cheesy Saturday morning love affair like theirs in high school. And let’s not forget that the SBTB wedding in Vegas, was probably the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen on television.

4. Carrie and Big from Sex and the City

I sort of hate myself for including these people on this list, or any other, but come on! What a trainwreck these two turned out to be. He was suck a dick, that you couldn’t help but fall in love with him, and he was rich, and charming and rich and then there’s kooky Carrie Bradshaw yukkin it up in her studio apartment, writing her little sex column, learning lessons about love and life everyday, and breaking them down into cute little nuggets of wisdom to share with the world. I’m not sure what this says about me (or all the other people who LOVED it) but my favorite episode of SATC will always be the one in which Carrie cheats on douchebag Aiden with Big, oh, remember, they fight in the elevator! And next thing you know, it’s a full on affair. Let’s not forget that he essentially left her at the altar though, which was kiiiinda assholey, but I feel like she deserved it a little, she is ridiculous after all. Fortunately, he won her over in the in with a fuckin shoe closet. Way to possess any amount of self respect, Carrie.

3. Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years

Man, how crushed were you in the final scene of the final episode of The Wonder Years when we learn that Kevin and Winnie did NOT end up together? I guess we’re supposed to move on and accept that they were merely each other’s first loves, but for the love of god, HUMOR ME. It’s difficult to watch this show now, because I no longer relate to EVERYTHING Kevin is going through at an INTENSE EMOTIONAL level, and rather feel a little bit uncomfortable about how IN LOVE these middle schoolers are with each other. And remember, (see clip below) when Winnie was sick and Kevin “took care of her?” When I was 12, if some kid had come to my house and entertained me whilst I was ill in bed, I would have surely wanted to punch him in the face. Drop off my homework and get the fuck out of here already, I’m sick and would prefer to be alone. . .

2. J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing from Dallas

A lesser person probably would have chosen Pam and Bobby as the greatest couple on Dallas and those people would have been DEAD WRONG. Sure, Pam and Bobby’s love for each other is undying, but J.R. and Sue Ellen’s, is unadulterated. Theirs is a match made in HEAVEN. She a Texas beauty queen, he a rich independent oil man; he attracted to her good looks and well mannered persona; she attracted to his wealth and power. I assume they must have been happy together at some point, but not for long! He continued to womanize, and she couldn’t wake up without crushing bourbon, which made for incredible fights. And hate sex.

1. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy

Aaaahhhhhhh. Thank god I was not alive in the 50′s. If you think that the news of Brad and Jenn’s breakup was crushing, IMAGINE how absolutely devastating the In Touch cover with Lucy and Ricky torn apart must have been! “I DON’T Love Lucy!!!!” But, all the same, onscreen they were just the bees knees of couples (Fred and Ethel were pretty great too, I must admit), but something about her putting up with his bossy “do as I say” attitude, and his ridiculous accent and him putting up with her zany to the max slapstick antics makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. I also like that they maintained separate beds.

On a personal note, this is a very difficult topic for me. Not because of the whole “oh, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m single, everyone has love but me” (said in whiny Ricky Gervais voice) nonsense but because when I was twelve I had a little whiteboard and one day I spent hours devising lists upon lists of my very favorite TV couples. For real. Thank god blogs didn’t exist when I was a pre-teen or I would’ve had to name it “SHAME.”

5. Happy Days (1974 – 1984) Joanie and Chachi

The Soap Opera Effect

This is a legit thing. It’s practically scientific. The reason why your grandmother is obsessed with Days of Our Lives, Young & The Restless, General Hospital etc? Sure, there’s sex and drama and corny moments galore. But there’s also a very real, very visceral reaction to watching someone for years and years, especially when that someone started out as a child. You invest in that person without realizing it, you watch and watch and one day you realize they’ve grown up, right before your eyes. It makes you somewhat emotional, dammit, when they celebrate their Sweet Sixteen, learn to drive, get their hearts broken for the first time, graduate high school… and especially when they, in this case  Joanie “Shortcake” Cunningham, fall in love with the once goofy, gawky cousin of the super cool guy who lives above your parents’ garage. This video proves it. We love Joanie with Chachi mostly because we love Joanie AND Chachi. We watched them grow up, get together, break up, make up, get married. We saw it all, over the course of the show’s ten year run. (Also, it’s Scott Baio for God’s sake. That guy is ’70s, ’80s magic. That part’s not exactly rocket science.)

4. Dawson’s Creek (1998 – 2003) Pacey and Joey

The Perfect Triangle

I just actually watched those clips and want to die a little. What were they thinking when they wrote this show’s dialogue? Why is Pacey calling Joey a “woman”? She is SIXTEEN. I don’t even call myself a woman now, for God’s sake. Anyway. Step aside from Dawson’s obvious shortcomings and focus on the show’s biggest surprise. Clearly, Dawson Leery was supposed to end up with little Joey Potter (tomboy, a modern day Jo March, literally the girl-next-door). The first season literally threw Joey at his feet as she climbed through the window of his room, after a year of angst that only a bunch of 15 year olds can muster. So then what happens? Dawson’s best friend falls in love with her too. And when that best friend (you can hear the call PACEY! over the blogosphere whenever Joshua Jackson makes an appearance in real life) is pretty much the Lloyd Dobbler of Capeside? Poor Cerealbox Head doesn’t stand a chance. 

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003) Buffy and Angel

The Beauty and the Beast

Well, so of COURSE the love of vampire slayer Buffy Summers’ life is a vampire. Of COURSE it is. Years before teenaged girls got sucked into the Twilight rabbit hole, before HBO had even heard of True Blood, sixteen-year-old Buffy developed the hots (it’s a ’90s expression, it works, leave me alone) for a 300 year old vampire with a soul. The show, in its smartest years, used Buffy and Angel’s relationship as a metaphor for the overpowering effect of first love (in maybe the most powerful example, Buffy decides to sleep with her boyfriend, for the first time, on her birthday, not knowing that the Gypsy curse of Angel’s human soul would be removed the moment he experienced a glimpse of pure happiness. So, yeah. Buffy wakes up the next day, all happy and in love… and her boyfriend has turned into a total monster. And you thought only Mormons could provide a subtle hint about the trouble sex can bring. Silly rabbit.)

2. The Office ( 2001 – 2003 / 2005 – Present) Tim and Dawn / Jim and Pam

The Kindred Spirits

Before there was Jim and Pam, there was Tim and Dawn. The settings may be slightly different but the stories started out the same- everyman Tim/Jim fall for their best office-mate, receptionist Dawn/Pam. Trouble is, she’s engaged to someone else. The beauty of how The Office plays what could’ve been a typical office romance is the dynamic between the two couples. Tim (it’s easier to stick with the first and greatest) is the Voice of Reason in this mad, mad world. He’s the one rolling his eyes along with us and wondering if everyone’s taken their crazy pills. S0, naturally he’s drawn toward pretty Dawn. She gets it. She knows everyone’s crazy. They speak the same language and in a world where you often feel like the last sane person on earth, this is crucial. It’s a lifeline. It doesn’t hurt when both of you are cute, funny, snarky and you let us all in on the joke. Of COURSE we’re rooting for you.

(Warning: this video will kill you)

(And the happy ending we needed)

1. The Cosby Show (1984 – 1992) Clair and Cliff Huxtable

The Perfect Couple

The following clip is ABSURD. Someone for Cliff Huxtable other than Clair? Please. TV has never gotten a pair more right than Brooklyn’s favorite Doctor/Lawyer duo. They’re smart, they’re playful, they fit each other like a forbidden hoagie with a bag of potato chips. There was no other way for The Cosby Show to end its eight year run than for Cliff and Clair to dance their way out of the studio. No other way.

Oh, 1993

All I wanted was to see the intro to “Phenom” and look at the gems I found instead (BRISCO!). Also, can they cram more familial discord into an opening than with Phenom? A downer brother, mounting bills, divorced parents, a kid who chose tennis over friends and a life, a buggy little sister? Brilliant.

Other notable mentions: Carlton Cruse (of Lost fame- what humble beginnings), a show about Hawaii with David Morse & Jenna Maroney? BRANDY on a show that isn’t Moesha? And Herman’s Head too.

It’s time to face facts, people. Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model have had their time in the sun. And that time has passed. As for Bravo’s meek attempts to recreate the shows, I say, “Nice try.” But Bravo will have to suffice for now being the home of cranky chefs and filthy rich, bored, bitter, out-of-touch housewives. And Jeff Lewis (LOVE).

Let’s move on, shall we? And why not go bigger? Why not go GAYER? You want bitches? You want clothes? You want drama? You want an endless stream of questions with no sign of stopping? Do you see where I’m going with this? Are you having problems following me?

RuPaul’s Drag Race. It premiered on Monday, Feb. 1 but I’ve TiVoed the first episode and am set to watch it tonight. Drag Race is the new Wednesdays, y’all. Don’t believe me? Even the website looks AMAZING.

Post-Grammy 2010 Notes

1. Why was everyone dressed like they suddenly remembered it’s 2010 and it’s officially time to start looking like the futuristic, alien versions of ourselves? In other words, LEATHER AND ROBOTS.

2. Has Cry-Baby’s Hatchetface ALWAYS been a member of Green Day?

3. Anyone else think that this Green Day musical will be the self-important sister child of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”?

The Grammy goes to whoever waxed Lady's GaGa

4. Strip off the clothes, makeup and set-dressing and Lady Gaga is basically Christina Aguilera. Or, to paraphrase some dude on Twitter, “Lady Gaga is just Christina Aguilera if she had discovered Andy Warhol instead of assless chaps.” (I added the chaps part).

5. Why do rock and pop stars insist on massive set orchestrations? And why don’t country music stars realize they NEED massive set orchestrations if we’re not going to fall asleep? (In country music’s defense- they still do duets, which is just the level of cheese factor I’m looking for at an awards show). And, hey chick from Sugarland- unlike the rest of America, I don’t blame you for chiming in on Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” If it were me, they’d have to DRAG me off that stage. “I’m not going ANYWHERE. It’s like getting to sing at the top of my lungs at 2am at a Jersey wedding but instead I’m at the mo’f’ing GRAMMYS. YOU WILL MOVE ME OFF THIS STAGE OVER MY DEAD COUNTRY BODY.”

6. Taylor Swift? No. Just, no. (Stevie, this was beneath you. I was embarrassed.) All this nonsense about Taylor “writing her own songs,” as if that justifies her being a decent pop-country singer with FAR too many accolades to her name. I have a journal from 10th grade. If I make an album about it, will you shower me with awards too?

Hi, we're Kings of Leon and we don't know what we just won either.

7. Why are we still calling it “Record” of the Year? Because Grammy just can’t get over how funny it is when we ordinary folk at home turn to each other and ask, “Wait. Is record an album? A single? I don’t get it. Wait. It has to be a single. Right? That’s not the name of the album. Right? Oh, who cares. At least Taylor Swift didn’t win this one.”

8. I don’t care if Pink already “did this” at the VMAs. SHE IS SINGING LIVE WHILE UPSIDE DOWN. This is the performance-equivalent of Louis CK’s rant against people who complain about the Internet service on AIRPLANES. Jesus. Sorry she wasn’t thrown into a vat and re-appeared with dirt on her face. SINGING LIVE WHILE UPSIDE DOWN.

9. Really? CELINE DION? Really? Also, watching a 3D tribute in 2D? Lame. Unless that little girl in the rainforest suddenly pulled out a yo-yo. God, it’s like people have forgotten what 3D is all about. Is nothing sacred? (Best part of this is that Liz was convinced she had spotted Jennifer Hudson at Costco, in Chicago mind you, earlier that day. When she showed up on stage for the MJ tribute, Liz conceded it must not’ve been her. “People, I CANNOT perform at the Grammy’s without my Kirkland Almonds. Fine. FINE. I’LL JUST GET THEM MYSELF.”)

5. Roseanne “It’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” December 15, 1992

What in the hell kind of snowstorm hits so suddenly and instantly that adults in vehicles CANNOT travel mere miles across town to spend Christmas together? I mean, Judi and I know was well as anybody about the harsh Illinois winter, but no amount of snow could prevent me from a fun filled family Christmas, unless of course the place where I was “stranded” was flush with liquor. All I’m saying though, is if Nana Mary and Bev (at their age!) can walk around the parking lot, unload gifts from a car and make it back inside without breaking a hip then surely a former Lanford cop/truck driver could make it across town in a sedan. Also, where in the hell did David’s kid sisters come from?

4. The Golden Girls “Twas the Nightmare before Christmas” December 20, 1986

Alright, you got me, snow didn’t necessarily alter the plot of this episode, BUT COME ON! The final scene, when the snow is falling outside the diner as these four smiling seniors gaze out the frosty window to reveal falling snow IN MIAMI, is just adorable. And we all know that an olden timey diner is the ONLY place you can go during a snowstorm, especially after you and your three roommates whose flights to totally different locations were scheduled at the exact same minute, in the same terminal, at adjoining gates were cancelled due to inclement weather. Well I should say so! There’s snow in Miami, and if that doesn’t ground ALL FLIGHTS, then I don’t know what in the hell else would, besides David Caruso or course.

*The calendars Blanche gives the girls in this episode, actually feature REAL nude photos of different crew members. Ohhhh, on set pranks!

3. 3rd Rock from the Sun “Frozen Dick” March 26, 1996

Ya know, this show has so much potential, and then French fuckin Stewart comes on the screen and I remember why I hate it. Still, a snowed in episode is a snowed in episode, and this one is as kooky as it gets. Where are these aliens from again? This show is incredible in that its characters can arbitrarily know NOTHING about a given subject because they are ALIENS. . . HILARITY ENSUES!!! In this episode, we learn that our friendly human doppelgangers know absolutely nothing about WEATHER. Seriously? I feel like before departing your own planet with intentions of secretly living on another planet, you would have done some atmospheric research. Is that even a thing? Point being, if you’re technologically advanced enough for unrestricted space travel, then I feel like you should know what in the fuck snow is. All I’m sayin.

2. Family Ties “Birth of a Keaton Part I” January 24, 1985

Wow. Seriously, make with the zany already. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if Family Ties hadn’t jumped shark already, this might have been the episode where it did, or perhaps it was the following season when the baby that Elyse births in this episode, is entering junior high. First off, why do sitcom families always have to PERFORM in local telethons? Do you know ANYONE whose ENTIRE family was roped into a forced performance in a telethon? (Besides the Tanner family?) And as if that’s not enough, in the middle of Mrs. Keaton’s ridiculous hippie acoustic guitar set, she goes into labor, and informs her husband to meet her at the hospital ON AIR. Ugh. Really? Am I still watching this? And wouldn’t you know it, a snowstorm prevents Mama Keaton from getting to the hospital and Steven from getting to the studio, or something? I don’t even know, because I’M TOO DISTRACTED BY THE ZANY FUCKING PLUMBER to absorb anything else in the episode. Lord. Did a bucket of water really just fall through the ceiling while that fat fuck was vegging out on the couch? Hilarious.

1. Cheers “Tan ‘N’ Wash” November 6, 1986

This is possibly my favorite episode of Cheers EVER. In this classic business deal switcheroo, switcherooo, switcherooo (that’s right, I think there were three switcheroos), Norm gets the gang in on a sweet sweet business deal: a combination tanning salon/ laundromat. (Actually, that’s a fairly brilliant business, Norm). At first, NO ONE comes, and everyone but Norm pulls out of this super sweet deal. But wait! [SHOCKER!] A major snowstorm hits Boston, and all its residents rush into the Tan-N-Wash to get a tan, and possibly wash their clothes. Thank god for that snowstorm, Norm is rolling in the dough, as the gang mopes around about pulling out of the deal too soon and losing out on these crazy profits! But WAIT! Norm DIDN’T TAKE THEM OUT OF THE DEAL AFTERALL! EVERYONE IS RICH! But wait!!!!!!!! There’s too much snow! And the building collapses. Next week on Cheers no one mentions their failed business venture, the snowstorm, or why Woody’s tan has magically disappeared.

Oh, snow. You crafty bastard. Always using your wiles in the most inconvenient ways. You show yourself at the most inopportune times, blanketing our fake towns in fluffy white mush (that is CLEARLY not real snow), stranding our favorite fictional characters in cars and cabins and forcing dramatic, and sometimes hilarious, confrontations. You are cold, you are ruthless, you are unforgiving.

Keep up the good work.

5. My Boys “Madder of Degrees” (2009)

Ok, so TECHNICALLY this episode of the cable series is about what happens when a heatwave hits during a typically brutal Chicago winter but, in this case, I think it works since the absence of snow, really, is the device used here. Also, it’s -5 in Chicago right now and the very notion of a day when it’s suddenly warm enough to wear SHORTS and eat ICE CREAM makes me want to recite all of the episode’s lines by memory. I mean, it’s so cold that you actually have a moment, while walking outside, where you wonder if maybe you should just give up, if you should just lie down on the snowy sidewalk and let the cold take you. You wish for death, basically. I’m not even kidding. That’s how cold it is right now.

So yes, when PJ states that a warm day during a Chicago winter leads to 24 hours of temporary INSANITY, believe her. It’s the truth. Chicago winter will make you do insane things. Like spontaneously getting a super-nice condo with the guy you’ve only been dating for three months. Or getting a dog. And a Jeep. With no windows.

4. How I Met Your Mother “Three Days of Snow” (2009)

I just re-read the description of what happens in this episode and am amazed, once more, by how much plot HIMYM can cram into 22 minutes of air time. Basically, it boils down to Ted and Barney getting to man the bar in a blizzard (which goes great, “it’s THE DREAM”, until it’s overrun by college kids), Lily having a bunch of hilarious run-ins with her old car service driver Rajit at the airport, and Robin and Marshall stuck in the classic “It’s snowing really hard so of course let’s get stuck in our car” device. Does this ever actually happen in real life? Or is this a result of all these television episodes being written in Los Angeles, where a dude in a Hawaiian shirt sits at his desk, trying to guess how snow must feel and what it’s like when it actually falls from the sky. “People must get trapped in their cars ALL THE TIME,” he mutters to himself and reaches for another Corona Light. Yeah, I thought so.

3. Gilmore Girls “Love and War and Snow” (2000)

It’s hard to imagine a list about snow without mentioning Lorelai Gilmore. Lorelai loves snow, to the point that she can SENSE when the first snowfall of the season is coming, dragging everyone (her daughter, her boyfriend at the time) out into the middle of Stars Hollow to enjoy the first flakes. She’s crazy. About SNOW. (God, I’m tired.)

Anyway. Though there is a lovely episode in later seasons where Lorelai and Luke battle over whether snow is the most magical thing on Earth or just a royal pain in the ass (culminating in Lorelai getting all grumpy about her former BFF snow and Luke feeling bad so he builds her an ICE RINK on her front lawn. He really would’ve gotten the prize for Best Boyfriend Over 35 Ever if he hadn’t, you know, hid a secret daughter from his girlfriend for two months.) I prefer the Season 1 episode, where a snowstorm forces Rory’s adorable teacher/would-be boyfriend of Lorelai to stay the night with the Gilmores. If only for Rory, who gets to display a LOT of awkward small-talk with her TEACHER who woke up IN HER HOUSE the next morning.

2. Alias “Cipher” 2002

Let’s all agree to pretend that 1) the last season of Alias didn’t exist and 2) Season 2 of JJ Abrams’ spy show is seriously fantastic. “Cipher” is one of my favorites, with Sid’s near-death experience once of her most harrowing, involving Siberia, some thin ice, an ICE CAVE and a creepy music box.  The ending succeeds with a nasty cliffhanger. Just watch.

1. Taxi “Scenskees From a Marriage (Parts 1 & 2)” 1982


Back to the old “car stranded in the snow” routine! This time there’s SEX involved. Hol-ler! Latka is sent out to rescue a female cabbie who’s trapped in the snow. Unfortunately, he gets trapped with her and that whole “body heat” thing comes into play. So, yeah, Latka gets lucky, his wife Simca is pissed and their only solution (clearly) is for Simca to now have sex with one of Latka’s friends. Alex. Resulting in one of the show’s best lines ever- “Now peel me like a grape so I can get out of here.”

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