Anyone who says they’ve never shipped a fictional TV relationship is lying, plain and simple. These days, most TV execs and writers specifically aim to hook viewers in with a good will-they-or-won’t-they pairing, and the manipulation is hard to resist. Cheering for a coupling to form or work out, or even wishing one would exist when we know it never will, can be fun. It can also be unhealthy, as many an obsessively Photoshopped tribute uploaded to Tumblr can attest. (Montage music videos on YouTube are even better.) But we’re here to focus on the fun.
Some of my favorite ships are below, and I’m the first to admit they aren’t all good ideas. I don’t root for infidelity in real life among my friends, so why do I wish so-and-so character would leave his wife for another woman? I guess it’s all part of the fantasy of a good story — let’s imagine what would happen if characters got together. If things go awry, well, it’s fiction. No harm, no foul.
Mindy and Danny, “The Mindy Project”
This pairing was hinted in the pilot, and Season One built upon Mindy and Danny’s (Chris Messina) friendship as Kaling herself and her crew softened both characters a tad. If they ever get together, it probably won’t be for a while, but a Mindy-Danny relationship is well worth waiting for.
Brienne and Jaime, “Game of Thrones”
Everything about their interactions is perfect, and actors Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christine are fabulous. And I will unleash my dragons and show no mercy on anyone who spoils anything about these two in the comments.
Sarah and Paul, “Orphan Black”
The dynamic of this pairing is something not often seen on TV. To elaborate would be to give much of Season One’s plots away, so just know this: these characters (played by Tatiana Maslany and Dylan Bruce) are electric together, and oh so hot.
Peggy and Ted, “Mad Men”
I shouldn’t want this, I know. But I can’t help it. I’m not sure Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) can resist him (Kevin Rahm), either.
Caroline and Klaus, “The Vampire Diaries”
Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is getting his own spin-off, so the thought of him being separated from Caroline (Candice Accola) surely has many a fan ready to throw in the towel on this ever-crazy show. Just go with him, girl. Your current boyfriend is lame.
Sherlock and Watson, “Sherlock”
You know you’ve thought about it. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock already is gay. Join the club, Watson (Martin Freeman).
Daenerys and Jorah, “Game of Thrones”
The journey to King’s Landing will take a while, Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke). Your trusty advisor (Iain Glen) will help you pass the time. (See previous warning about spoilers.)
Tara and Pam, “True Blood”
These b*tches belong together. Tara (Rutina Wesley) already is copying her maker’s (Kristin Bauer van Straten) style. Now she can be a shoulder to lean on as all hell breaks loose in Bon Temps.
Rachel and Mike, “Suits”
These two (played by Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle) are a fairly traditional will-they-or-won’t-they couple as far as procedurals go, but their chemistry combined with how entertaining “Suits” is will keep fans watching.
Tim and Somebody (Preferably Male), “Justified”
Anybody, really, just let him have his day. Yes, I ship the idea of Tim (Jacob Pitts) having a fling, and I’m in the boat (along with Joanna, I believe) of thinking he’s probably gay. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but Tim has paid his dues and deserves some fun.
Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.