The 10 Hottest Couples in Sitcom History

When TV comedies aren’t making us laugh, sometimes they’re making us believe in love
The 10 Hottest Couples in Sitcom History

This week, AppleTV+ brings us Land of Women, starring Eva Longoria as Gala, a woman who has to flee her luxurious Manhattan life when a couple of hired goons crash the opening of her brand-new wine shop to say her husband Fred (James Purefoy) owes their boss $15 million. Gala gathers her mother Julia (Carmen Maura) and teen daughter Kate (Victoria Bazua) and sets off for La Muga, Julia’s hometown in Catalonia, to hide from Fred’s shady creditor and plot her next move. 

Land of Women is described as a dramedy, but having watched it all and found it perfectly pleasant, I can report that the “-medy” half of the portmanteau isn’t the kind that’s going to make many viewers laugh out loud. What it does have going for it, much more so than jokes, is absolutely off-the-charts chemistry between Longoria’s Gala and Amat (Santiago Cabrera), a local vintner with whom she has a roadside meet-cute.

If Land of Women ends up being remembered more for its romance than for its hilarity, that puts it in rare company. It’s much more common, in my experience, for funny shows like Brooklyn Nine-NineParks and Recreation or The Good Place to revolve around couples who seem like they get in bed, give each other a warm handshake and roll away from each other. (Or maybe this is just a problem with shows from executive producer Michael Schur? Hey man, hire some hornier writers.)

Here, in alphabetical order by show, are 10 TV comedy couples who actually sell their love stories…

Ross and Rachel from Friends

HEAR ME OUT. As someone who has watched every episode a truly humiliating number of times, I know — possibly better than anyone on earth — that Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) become insufferable well before the idea of being “ON A BREAK” crossed either of their minds. But in the first season and a half, the show credibly builds first Ross’ yearning for an oblivious Rachel, and then Rachel’s for an oblivious Ross after he gets into his first multi-episode relationship with Julie (Lauren Tom). They definitely grow annoying later, but you can’t hold that against their first kiss.

Wickie and The Lunch Lord from Girls5Eva

Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry) has already spent decades pushing the limits of diva behavior by the time she meets Sheawn (Chad L. Coleman), a “lunch lord” who works at the same school as Scott (Daniel Breaker), husband to Wickie’s bandmate Dawn (Sara Bareilles). Sheawn isn’t plugged in to celebrity culture, so he isn’t impressed by Wickie’s status. When she spins out into a wild overreaction to something that’s ultimately unimportant, Sheawn sees no reason not to call her on it and reel her back in. 

Over the show’s run, we’ve heard and sometimes seen the kinds of hot showbiz dreamboats Wickie has dated, failing to find happiness with them. Who knew that what she needed all along was a thick fox who only knows how to make mac and cheese by the bathtubful.

Issa and Lawrence from Insecure

Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Willis) take a circuitous route away from and finally toward each other, with a lot of false steps along the way. She cheats on him. He finds out another partner is pregnant with his baby right around the time he’s figuring out that he doesn’t actually like her that much. Both Lawrence and Issa are trying to have love lives while also working hard to find career success. It’s complicated! The point is that (a) they get together in the end; and (b) even when they’re viciously fighting, they’re hot as hell. Not for nothing did he end up as a Top Gun and she as President Barbie. 

Adam and Bonnie from Mom

Mom is, largely, the story of Bonnie (Allison Janney) being tough to take for reasons that have nothing to do with her addiction issues — the proof being that she’s still a handful once she’s in recovery. However, she makes a good impression when a chance wrong number connects her to Adam (William Fichtner), a retired stunt performer. The two spend days flirting on the phone; when they meet in person, Bonnie finds out that Adam was paralyzed in an accident at work and now uses a wheelchair. So while she is surprised this information didn’t come up in their earlier conversations, Adam will spend the rest of his life finding out exactly how many personality defects Bonnie actually has. This is one of TV’s few portrayals of new love between people over 50, and the viewer never doubts how hot they are for each other.

Nick and Jess from New Girl

Those of us who’d seen TV before could tell from the New Girl pilot that Nick (Jake Johnson) was meant for Jess (Zooey Deschanel), though the show admittedly does a better job than most of putting them into relationships that don’t just feel like placeholders. (Justice for David Walton’s Sam! While we’re here, why isn’t David Walton a wildly successful sitcom star? He’s so funny! Is it just because he’s too tall for most sets?) Jess and Nick are blessed with bizarre idiosyncrasies so perfectly opposed that they fit together like velcro; their first kiss is one for the history books.

Drea and Sammy from Primo

When I say that I will never get over Freevee canceling Primo after its one perfect season, I’m not being hyperbolic. I’m still ready to do a tight ten on Netflix un-renewing GLOW anytime anyone brings up Netflix, or wrestling, or injustice. One of the most heartbreaking opportunities lost by the show’s early cancellation is a longer look at what single mom Drea (Christina Vidal) is like in a romantic relationship. After nearly a whole season of watching her sacrifice for her beloved son Rafa (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio) and endure the childish antics of her five crazy brothers, the season finale reveals that, all along, Drea’s been enjoying a secret romance with Sammy (Bobby Daniel Rodriguez), a bus driver who’s been involved in her complex barter economy. Just in time for Drea’s brothers to determine that Sammy is worthy of Drea, Freevee decided we’d seen enough. I WILL NEVER GET OVER IT.

Booker and Jackie from Roseanne

Before George Clooney was one of the world’s most famous and successful movie stars — before he’d even been cast as ER’s dreamy pediatrician Doug Ross, the breakout TV role that would make that movie career possible — he was a journeyman actor, popping up for one-off guest shots all over the dial. Playing Roseanne’s Booker, the plastics factory manager none of his employees takes very seriously, was one of his longer-lived TV stints, possibly because of the chemistry between Booker and Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), sister to the titular Roseanne (then known as Roseanne Barr). Metcalf had come up through the prestigious Chicago theater scene and Clooney was — and remains — one of the sexiest men alive. Who could be shocked that their scenes together were smoking hot?

Brooke and Lance from The Other Two

Over its three seasons, The Other Two tortured Brooke (Heléne Yorke) with seemingly opposite drives. On the one hand, there was her desire to be powerful and respected in the entertainment industry as an artists’ manager. On the other, there was her irresistible attraction to Lance (Josh Segarra), who initially seems like the wrong partner for her because he wants to be a designer but his big ideas include the likes of edible shoes. Later, after they’ve reunited and Lance has actually become successful in fashion, he seems like the wrong partner for Brooke because COVID convinced him to give up his glamorous career and become a nurse, and Brooke has converted her own shame about her often ridiculous job into perceived judgment from Lance. When they’re not talking past each other, however, Lance and Brooke are sexy individually and very sexy together. In the Season Two finale, they’re even sexy side by side, touching sensitive body parts without actually touching each other.

Carla and Turk from Scrubs

Lots of aspects of Scrubs haven’t aged well, from its overbearing narration to its self-conscious cutaways to, well, Zach Braff. But it did a good job of developing its romantic relationships, never more so than with Carla (Judy Reyes) and Turk (Donald Faison). A pairing between a veteran nurse and a cocky surgical intern shouldn’t work, and Carla holds out as long as she can before falling for a narcissistic egomaniac who believes he has divine powers just because he uses a scalpel at work. But Turk is played by Donald Faison, and no one could resist his charms forever. Even when the musical episode arrives years into their marriage, Turk and Carla’s chemistry continues to smolder — and with a melody, no less!

Will and Vince from Will & Grace

Will & Grace had a tough line to walk in its first iteration. (I’ve already written everything I need to about the 2010s revival, so I think it’s fine to pretend it never happened.) It was 1998, and a sitcom about the friendship between a gay man and a straight woman was still something many network TV viewers needed help and detailed exposition to comprehend. For most of its run, Will (Eric McCormack) and his platonic gay friend Jack (Sean Hayes) didn’t get to give their boyfriends more than a firm hug onscreen; this was especially cruel when Will was paired with partners as foxy as Matt (Patrick Dempsey). But by the time Vince (Bobby Cannavale), Will’s endgame partner, came along, NBC had been persuaded that audiences were ready to accept same-sex carnality. 

We still didn’t get to see as much as we would later on in shows like Looking, but Will and Vince did get to convince us of their mutual sexual attraction and make us laugh — nothing hotter than that.


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