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10 Worst Television Couples of 2013

2013 wasn’t exactly the year of gripping romance. A lot of television shows this year featured couples that left us feeling uncomfortable, disgusted, horrified, or confused – instead of the cutesy warm and fuzzies we probably should be getting from on-screen love affairs. Or maybe we’re just soulless and jaded, we don’t know. Either way, here’s a list of our top ten worst TV couples of 2013.

1. Olivia and Fitz, Scandal

Photo: ABC

And our anti-Olitz campaign continues, mainly because the couple in question continues to be terrible.

Yes, there’s no denying that Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn have sizzling on-screen chemistry, but that doesn’t erase the fact that not only is this relationship emotionally abusive, but it’s gotten incredibly tedious, as well. How many more phone calls, with the couple’s theme song playing in the background and with Olivia and Fitz talking to each other but not really saying anything, are we going to have to endure this season? How many more times is Olivia going to yell, “you do not summon me!” before inevitably being carted off somewhere by the Secret Service? How many times is Olivia going to tell Fitz, “no” before he does whatever he wants anyways?

Let’s not forget that Fitz spends more time sulking in his office, mooning over Olivia, than actually being the president of the United States. And that Olivia could date way better guys (and we’re not talking about Jake, who is yet another killing machine like Huck), but chooses not to.

2. Cyrus and James, Scandal

Photo: ABC

Seriously, Cyrus? Seriously? First he tries to order a hit on his own husband (which thankfully he canceled, but still, those were the most nerve-wracking 30 seconds of television ever), and then he pimped James out to Vice President Sally’s secretly gay husband, Daniel Douglas Langston (Jack Coleman). Cyrus is constantly demeaning, manipulative, and condescending to the would-be reporter, so it’s not a surprise when James actually does end up sleeping with Daniel as a little piece of payback. Revenge is served ice, ice cold.

Now what James really needs to do is grab his baby that Cyrus barely even cares about, hightail it out of that toxic marriage, write a tell-all book about all the shit that goes on behind-the-scenes of the White House, and become extremely rich.

3. Zoe and Kyle, American Horror Story: Coven

Photo: FX

Nothing says true love like resurrecting your non-boyfriend from the dead and then refusing to kill him now that he’s basically another one of Frankenstein’s monsters. Brought back from the dead, Kyle is a hulking abomination who’s unable to communicate properly and is prone to fits of violence – a very bad combination.

Zoe, who talked to him for maybe an hour at a frat party before deciding that she was irrevocably in love with him, helps Madison sew a bunch of body parts together in order to resurrect Kyle, after he dies in a fiery bus crash that leaves him horribly maimed. With everything else going on in American Horror Story: Coven, not only is this pairing unsettling, but completely pointless and unnecessary.

Things take an unexpected, messy turn when Madison, who’s also been brought back from the dead and finds a type of kinship with Kyle because of their similar situations, invites Zoe into the weirdest threesome ever.

4. Schmidt and Cece, New Girl

Photo: FOX

This season of New Girl started off with Schmidt (Max Greenfield) two-timing Cece (Hannah Simone) and Elizabeth (Merritt Wever) – the low point of a relationship that’s been in a downward slide since almost the very beginning. Desperate for “more time to make a decision” on who he was in more in love with, Schmidt strung the women along for multiple episodes, reaching new heights of insanity to keep his lying and cheating a secret. Once the truth came out, he even had the nerve to get mad at Nick and Jess for the resulting blow up. Own up to your mistakes, you douchebag.

And it’s not even just this season where Schmidt was being all kinds of awful with Cece; after they broke up the first time, he kept desperately trying to ruin her new relationships and stalked her to an Indian marriage convention where he wore a bedazzled turban so he could “fit in.” It’s not even all that clear that this couple loves, or loved, each other. For the most part, their relationship has been about the sex – how it’s so good that they can’t stay away, as Cece stated once before switching their on-and-off relationship back to “on.” And while it’s fine to just be fuck-buddies, we’d rather not have this couple pushed onto us as anything other than that.

5. Mary and Her Overly Predictable Love Triangle, Reign

Photo: The CW

Why so flip-floppy, Francis? You love Mary, you don’t love Mary. You love her but you don’t want to be with her. You love her but you can’t be with her. You accept that she should have agency over her own love life in one breath and then glare and ban her from hanging out with your brother in the next. Make a decision and stick with it, man!

Mary and Francis do have their cute moments, but all this “will they, won’t they” drama is starting to grate. Let it be known that we have our issues with Bash as well – like, Mary and Bash have minimal on-screen chemistry, Bash’s cheesy pick-up lines make us snicker more than ‘aww’, and we’re still wondering exactly how Bash fell madly in love with Mary when he’s barely been interacting with her.

At this point, the only thing we “ship” Mary with is a long, happy life… and considering that wasn’t exactly what happened in reality, we hope that relationship actually works out in the show.

6. Ichabod and Katrina, Sleepy Hollow

Photo: FOX

We can totally sympathize with Katrina being stuck in limbo, but so far Sleepy Hollow has failed at selling Katrina and Ichabod as an epic, time-traveling, soul-transcending couple to us. Ichabod’s main driving motivation throughout the show, besides stopping the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from riding and saving the world, is to rescue his wife from purgatory. With a story like that, you’d think their love would feel as tragically undying as it sounds, right? Nope.

All the flashbacks to Ichabod’s former life with Katrina, as well as their present-day meetings (Katrina appears in Ichabod’s dreams, tells him something cryptic and ominous about the bad-guy-of-the-week, conveniently leaves out any useful details and then screams “ICHABOD!” or “YOU MUST STOP THEM!” before being pulled away) make it abundantly clear that these two have zero chemistry with one another. Their interactions feel stiff and awkward – not the adjectives you want to associate with a relationship that’s meant to be “true soul mates forever” type love.

These two are interesting enough characters on their own, just… not all that interesting when they’re together.

7. Yet Another CW Love Triangle, The Tomorrow People

Photo: The CW

With Mary, Francis, and Bash on Reign, Elena, Damon, and Stefan on The Vampire Diaries, the various entanglements on The Originals (we lost count), and Stephen, Cara, and John on The Tomorrow People, we can safely say that The CW is more than a little fond of its love triangles. This one isn’t even particularly interesting to watch.

Cara can read Stephen’s mind, which for some reason means that she and Stephen are destined to be together. But can’t (mostly) everyone on this show read other people’s minds? Add to that is Stephen’s longtime BFF Astrid who also harbors feelings for him, but alas, has been delegated to the supporting best friend role, and you’ve basically got a love quadrangle on your hands. Above all, none of these characters are particularly interesting enough to warrant all these romantic subplots.

8. Ethan and Virginia, Masters of Sex

Photo: Showtime

This show has never again brought up the fact that Ethan drunkenly slapped Virginia, resulting in bruises and a bloody nose, in the pilot episode of Masters of Sex after Virginia gently informed him that she only thought of his as a friend. Way to overreact, buddy.

The two had been engaging in a no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits liaison in the beginning of the show, but Ethan had grown romantically and emotionally invested in his relationship with Virginia. The feelings weren’t mutual, however, and instead of trying to understand Virginia’s perspective, he grew violent, bitter, and angry. The two are now in a full-fledged boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, but – given Ethan’s past douchey behavior – it’s not something you want to root for.

Check out “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love”.

9. The Red Queen and Will, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland

Photo: ABC

Apparently everyone in the Once Upon a Time universe has to have a ‘true love’ – that one person who you’re destined to be with no matter what. On Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, those ‘true love’ pairings appear to be Alice and the genie Cyrus, and the Knave of Hearts (aka Will) and the Red Queen (aka Anastasia).

The latter coupling is the one that hit us so out of the blue it might as well have smacked us in the faces like a dead fish. Will had mentioned to Alice early on about his lost love named Anastasia, and while we speculated on who that could be – the Russian princess, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters – we never thought Anastasia would somehow end up being the Red Queen as well.

We eventually find out the backstory: Anastasia and Will ran away to Wonderland together to escape their lives in the Enchanted Forest, but due to a series of events, Anastasia ended up marrying the King and Will was left alone and brokenhearted. Rather than being the shocking twist it was meant to be, the big reveal felt contrived and dull.

10. Walter and Skyler, Breaking Bad

Photo: AMC

Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Skyler (Anna Gunn) had maybe one of the most fucked up marriages on television of all-time. They were a seemingly normal couple in the beginning of the show, and there was nothing too extraordinary or particularly interesting about their relationship. In fact, in the early seasons of Breaking Bad (when everyone was relatively ‘happy’), you couldn’t help but be really annoyed with the overly nagging Skyler.

But as the show went on, you began to instead root for her and sympathize with the fact that she was all but trapped in a marriage with a dangerous, terrifying, and power-hungry maniac. If circumstances were different, then Walt and Skyler would have probably been like any other suburban white couple, but instead, they grew to become a very twisted, hateful pair who never recovered once Skyler discovered Walt’s involvement in the drug business. While their marriage was certainly unique, Walt and Skyler’s scheming and manipulations qualify them as one of the worst television couples of 2013.

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  • EmilyS

    and who was this written by (so we can get a sense of their perspective)? Your campaign continues, yet no name is associated with this article. How can we respect a nameless, faceless negative nelly. Also, “Worst Couples” or “Worst Storylines for a Couple”? How are Cece and Schmidt in this category at all. Nick and Jess are more annoying, or does Jess remind you of you, so you “totally identify with her”. Cowards.

    • FL

      You’re kidding right? Cece at first treated Schmidt like crap and then when they got back together again, he cheated on her. Not to mention how horribly they treated each other when they weren’t together as well. They’re so toxic for each other and so annoying and their whole drama has really brought the show down this season. Nick and Jess have been the one consistent healthy couple on this show.

      • EmilyS

        Nick… healthy… alrighty then.

        • FL

          Nick may have issues, but he’s beena great boyfriend to Jess-much better than Schmidt was so Cece for sure.

    • Brittany

      Wow, I love newgirl but Schmidt is awful sometimes. He objectifies Cece for her race. Did you not see the episode this season where he’s laying on their couch and the brown leather reminded him of Cece’s “skin” and he wanted to have sex with it. He’s almost painfully awful, but it’s part of his character. He liked Elizabeth because she reminded him of who he was when he was still a nice person.

      I think what the author forgets here is that some of these couples are meant to be bad. Fitz and Olivia? Never going to be together, and it’s horrible because they really truly love each other. As Papa Pope said last episode, Fitz wants Olivia because she’s an escape. The chance for him to have a real honest life devoid of politics and bullshit. But he’s the president and he can’t walk away from that divorce his wife and go have mulatto babies with Olivia without ruining his family name. Olivia and Fitz… they are an emotionally abusive emotionally dependent couple. It shows us that even powerful people can be weak, and thats’ why I think it’s an interesting part of the show.

      Same with Skylar and Walt. They’re supposed to be a bad couple. Their struggle shows us how abnormal Walts life has become.

  • Cryssy Bee

    Emily you have too many feelings

    • lol

    • EmilyS

      Why do you say Cryssy Bee?

      • EmilyS

        …and Tyresefiz… typical… lol.

  • the problem is that Tom and Nicole are oozing with Chemistry while the person that he needs to have the chemistry with in order for the couple to work is completely bland. I doubt the writers had planned this ill-fated Katrina x Ichabod romance because they would have chosen completely different actors, but rather the studios not willing to take a chance with an interracial couple. So now they are trying to create this love story with two people that look like they wouldn’t even look at each other in a crowded room.

    The moral of the story is, not because two people are pretty and white, they will actually work on screen. TRY SOMETHING NEW!

  • keith

    Katrina is not interesting on her own either. She’s a terrible mistake.

    • I totally agree Keith. katrina is the only character that I actually don’t root for or care to see. Even though I like Abbie and Ichabod, yet I enjoy seeing Luke. Even the HH (Abraham) is amazing. Not even being a Witch livens up this character.

  • Ichabod and Katrina should be #1, and Fitz and Olivia do not belong anywhere near this article. Unlike Ichabod and Katrina, Fitz and Olivia are steaming HOT on screan. You must have not seen their love scenes. #Closetgate Hello!!!!!

    • Brittany

      The author discusses that their chemistry is hot. But they are a self destructive couple.

  • Steph

    I agree. The Ichatrina love story is a complete bore. It ruins the pace of the show. It’s difficult to root for them. Especially when there are better stories to focus on.

  • In fairness to Ichabod and Katrina from Sleepy Hollow, they really haven’t had enough screen time together to really understand their love story. Television shows are so obsessed with flashbacks these days, I think the audience has been desensitized to them. If Sleepy Hollow spent a whole episode on their story, without flashing back to the present, I think this would help with their story. The introduction of a child, that Ichabod didn’t know about, was a nice twist. Also, when we discover, as you know we will, that the boy can be revived it will be a more heartbreaking story as father and son try to find a way to release Katrina from purgatory.

    As for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, I have stated from the beginning of my reviews, for this site, that Alice and Cyrus are the most boring and wooden couple in the TV universe. And Will and The Red Queen are just horrible. Kill of Cyrus, keep the queen evil and put Will and Alice together – they are the ones with the true chemistry.

    • Sleepy Hollow is the only one of the shows mentioned I’ve seen. That being said, I think the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie is just so strong that nobody cares about Katrina.

  • Anon

    Your # 8 – Ethan and Virginia should be # 1. Nothing trumps a violently abusive relationship – bruises and a bloody nose. Come on domestic violence is never okay.

    The next worst TV couple is straight up on Homeland – Carrie and Brodie. A CIA agent in love with a terrorist and helping him escape. Not to mention, the damage to his wife and kids and the people harmed by terrorism.

    Then the other worst couples would be Breaking Bad and Mad Men which is not listed.

    All the other couples are minor compared these people.

    BTW for Scandal I would vote the worst couple as Fitz and Mellie for emotional abuse by both of them and just being extremely toxic. Also, the Secret Service has only been sent to pick up Olivia 2 times out of 38 episodes and the theme song never plays during phone calls to be factual in a fictional world.

    Another TV couple which is toxic is Olivia Benson and Cassidy on Law and Order:SVU. I don’t see that relationship lasting.

  • Kat

    “Why so flip-floppy, Francis? You love Mary, you don’t love Mary. You love her but you don’t want to be with her. You love her but you can’t be with her. You accept that she should have agency over her own love life in one breath and then glare and ban her from hanging out with your brother in the next. Make a decision and stick with it, man!”

    Right. Because we’re just going to completely ignore the fact that Francis is the future King of France and has an entire country to think about and his love for Mary could ultimately cause ruin to millions of people… Yes, though, let’s ridicule him for being wishy-washy when he has that kind of burden on his shoulders. And let’s also ridicule him for not wanting Mary to be with his brother, because, you know, brother hopping is such a normal thing in this day and age. That’s probably why Damon and Elena aren’t on this list.

    • THANK YOU. And honestly, the love triangle is supposed to be frustrating. Francis is constantly torn between what’s going to be right for France and what he really wants. He knows very well that he might not marry Mary, so he’s tried very hard not to get attached to her. Leaving the entire audience screaming because you want them to get together but you also know that he wants to be with Mary but everyone knows that there’s a lot at stake.

  • jujubee

    Never trust an article written by someone who thinks “anyways” is an actual word.

    • you’re going to judge the idea behind an article because of the person’s English?

  • Cheyenne

    I love Fitz/Olivia as a couple, but I wish James would break a chair across Cyrus’s face, pack up his stuff, take the baby and get the hell out of there.

    • Brittany

      Didn’t he say in the midseason finale that James can’t leave. Cyrus specifically said he’s ruin his career and work his political clout to get full custody of their baby girl (since he is friends with local and federal judges and attorneys).

      James is in a really really hard place in an emotionally abusive relationship. Leave his baby girl to get away from Cyrus. That’s… a hard call.

  • The Fonz and Mrs Cunningham

  • i kind of like Schmidt and Cece together tbh lol

  • Except for the AHS: Coven couple and possibly Sleepy Hollow, I have to say I like these couples on-screen chemistry and their romance dramas feel real to me. Of course, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, so what works for me doesn’t have to work for you.
    Still, I’ll have trouble watching Scandal again after what you said about Olivia and Fitz.

  • People still watch television?

  • Breaking Bad! The series definitely had it’s weekly drama. Don’t forget Walter had cancer that had the couple emotionally twisted from the get go.

    Thanks for making me smile.

    Mr.MakingUsmile

  • Reblogged this on Musings From A Media Junkie and commented:
    I think that Walter and Skyler should be #1.

  • Nice post.

  • agree on 3! i didn’t get that either! that threesome baffled me…

  • You are so right on!

  • I’ll agree with number 6.

  • I’d have to agree with number 10 throughout the series I am constantly swaying between team Walter and team Skyler although Walter always seem to have the upper hand in my mind.

  • Yay, I’ve never seen any of these shows!

  • Reblogged this on jennifercapurso and commented:

  • Nice one!

  • Can you include Ted Mosby and the Mother of HIMYM?

  • Nice article. Was hoping to see Damon and Elena here. Plus, Fitz and Mellie from Scandal should be on the list too. You’re right about Fitz and Liv, it’s so hard watching their scenes tbh…great chemistry but everything is WRONG with the relationship; everything you’ve mentioned and more.

  • People still do watch television yet, you forgot posh and becks!!

    Drain Clear UK”

  • #8 – Ethan and Virginia are not in a full-fledged boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Ethan started dating the provost’s daughter and asked her to marry him.

  • What about Homer and Marge Simpson?

  • Reblogged this on STAR* ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK and commented:
    10 Worst Television Couples of 2013

  • Props for stirring up such controversy! People are quite protective of their TV couples, aren’t they? I’ll weigh in on Couple 1 – once a fan of Olivia & Fitz, I have recently converted to “Team Jake!” (I think this means I must be gaining a healthier perspective on love…haha)! My only question is what happens to Fitz’s character if you keep him & Olivia apart? What will his story line be that would complement the other characters?

  • Reblogged this on The feeling's neutral.

  • I think it was hard to come up with only 10, right?

  • #10, I can’t stand Skyler

  • Reblogged this on Walk down the road happy and commented:
    Time to see what I been missing on telly.

  • Who watches any of these shows anyways? Breaking Bad? Sure it’s popular, but who cares about the rest of them. Could have called this the top 10 worst shows on cable instead of worst couples.

  • Where’s bram? This couple suits here very welll.

  • missdisplaced

    The only thing I can say for Walter and Skyler is that they seemed to have made peace with one another.

  • I LOVE IT

  • I have to agree on Breaking Bad, Skyler drove me mad. I couldn’t stand her midway through the series, and they started out so well. I miss that show!

  • Cool post. Loved it.

  • Totally agree about Olivia and Fitz on scandal. Show was exciting at first but has gotten predictable because it’s the same story between Olivia and Fitz.

  • Reblogged this on .

  • Reblogged this on oscarlandproductions.

  • I would definitely have to agree on the Schmidt and CeCe relationship, although it’s cute in a strange sort of way!

  • Reblogged this on amazingtvshows and commented:
    These are really funny yet true really bad couples. Hope you enjoy!

  • Well about the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland thing, that show is never going to be good…

  • Haha, Ichabod and Katrinac, CW love triangle are both quite funny. I always felt exactly the same for both of them. Even vampire diaries love triangle fared way better.

  • (Sigh) Oh how I long for the days of Rob and Laura…lol

  • I love Zoe and Kyle, but my new favorite couple would be Anastasia and Christian.

  • I’d really like to say “This is why I don’t have cable,” but it seems like I’ve been saying that too often recently. Great post, though.

  • Sara

    I don’t get the constant whining about Olivia and Fitz’s relationship. Isn’t the name of the show Scandal? Of course the lead character and most of the other characters aren’t going to be in healthy relationships.

  • KimberlyPalmer

    Totally agree re: Ethan and Virginia in Masters of Sex. It’s like it never happened. Now I just find his character creepy and want to yell through the TV at her that he could do it again…and then I remind myself it’s just TV!

  • Reblogged this on And What? and commented:
    Haha, I quite like Cece and Schmidt. Not at first but they kind of grew on me?

  • Reblogged this on Getary and commented:
    Do you agree ?…

  • Bitch 🙂

  • fnpcindee

    I think Walt and Jessie made a better couple on Breaking Bad!

  • Skyler is the worsttttt

  • Of the shows on your list, I only watch Scandal so I can comment on couples #1 and #2, and on the surface I agree with both comments. Olivia and Fitz have played out in my opinion–BORING!–and I liked the show more when they weren’t “together” and were at odds with one another. Regarding Cyrus and James, I look forward to the day when James can retaliate against Cyrus and this time has the guts to follow through.

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  • HA!