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