NOVEMBER 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 11


Memorable young couples who have graced the tube with their passion.

TV's Bid for the Power of the Big Screen


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  Relationship Hall Of Fame

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Pick a show, any show, and you'll probably find a love story (or two or ten depending on the show) staring out at you from your television screen. From these, the cream rises to the top as select couples become a joy to watch. These pairings, the best young couples to ever grace our TV screens past and present, have it made. Our only requirement was simple: they must be in the teenage/twenty something category (a few may be stretching a little) and have made an impact on us over our TV watching years. Note to TV producers: out of the special few who made it into the hall of fame, only one couple is still on television. Where did all the good lovin' go?

Kevin and Winnie (The Wonder Years)
Let's start with an all-time favorite. Little Kevin Arnold let the audience into the "wonder" of his youth through a sweet - sometimes over the top - voice over. Anyone who tuned into this show's season premiere saw Kevin and Winnie about to experience their first kiss. What followed was one of the most poignant teenage relationships to be presented on the small screen. Television today doesn't know love like that.

Sara and Bailey (Party Of Five)
This couple is the closest thing to the modern day Kevin and Winnie. Sara and Bailey have been through everything: Bailey's wandering eyes, alcoholism and Sara's "I need me time". But through it all, they've managed to continue loving each other, caring for each other and not making us sick while they're doing it. Their best moment: After the California disaster, Sara tells Bailey she still loves him. When Sara leaves "POF" in a few weeks, we will surely miss the undying love.

Dwayne and Whitley (A Different World)
Do you remember this little spin-off of "The Cosby Show"? Dwayne Wayne and Whitley led the fun-loving Hillman College crew through many years of laughs, tears and cheers. It was a long ride as this couple moved from hating each other to friendship to something more. The culminating moment: Whitley's wedding to someone else. When the priest asked for objections, Dwayne shot up, and claimed Whitley back. And the rest is television history.

Zack and Kelly (Saved By The Bell)
They started out funny as a Saturday morning live-action show. Better than a cartoon, right? But then, this little sitcom and its sweet characters began to grow on us - particularly Zack and Kelly. In the midst of the high school melodrama, this twosome dug each other, took care of each other, and over a sweet evolution: began to love each other. For those of you who didn't catch the TV Prime Time Special - they are now happily married.

Angela and Jordan (My So Called Life)
Okay...okay. So maybe you're thinking they're not worthy of Hall of Fame status after all, Angela and Jordan didn't communicate that well; he got annoyed at how complicated she made things, she got annoyed about how uncomplicated he was. But when they did get together, the scene, before the entire high school nonetheless, was nothing short of amazing. Jordan walked down the hall to the beat of an old Buffalo Tom song, took Angela's hand and (in teenager land) made a huge statement about who they were. This great moment pushes this couple and onto the listby a slim margin.

Besides the true couples we enjoy every week, there are a few who should be together (or reunited). Write to your networks. Have your friends write. Petitions work. Note to TV producers: You have the potential right here.

Elaina and Noel (Felicity)
They are roommates this year on "Felicity" (WB) and two of our favorite characters. She's never afraid to say what's on her mind and he's learning that there should be more on his mind than Felicity. Are there sparks flying yet? No. An undercurrent? We're hoping so.

Jack and Jill (Jack and Jill)
Even though "Jack and Jill" (WB) is brand-new, it's already a favorite - great drama for the post-college generation. The show's ensemble cast explores twenty something life in New York led by a girl named Jack and a guy named Jill. We want these two to get together. Neither is annoying or whiny. She actually talks back.

Joey and Phoebe (Friends)
The couple on NBC's "Friends" with the most interesting personalities. It would actually be exciting if these two got together. Phoebe is dynamite: funny, out there and wild. Joey is very, well, Joey. He has untapped potential on the relationship front. Why not try it? This is the friendliest show in America anyway.

Julia and Griffin (Party of Five)
"Party of Five" (Fox) makes the list again. These two favorites should be back together. They loved passionately, screwed up royally and have still cared about each other along the way. We see it in their eyes - particularly Griffin's - that this steamer isn't over.

Eric and Julie (The Real World)
Obviously this isn't a "real" TV show; it's supposed to be "real life." The couple survives on a technicality: they were introduced via the tube so they're eligible. A tough Northern hottie named Eric and a sweet Southern Dancer named Julie made their memorable appearance on the First Real World: New York, NY. They butted heads before they knew they were supposed to. They cared for each other when they thought the camera was elsewhere. We liked them individually. We liked them together. We want them back.

And of course there are the couples who have become tiresome already. The list of troublesome twosomes on television starts to get very long - there are very bad relationships pervading TV. Some are a futile battle (Kirstin and Charlie just got married on "Party of Five) and some will hopefully fade (Joey and Dawson on "Dawson's Creek" are back to being friends). There is a grand winner for the distinction of least favorite couple/grouping of all time:

Dylan and Kelly and Brenda (Beverly Hills 90210)
For years audiences were subjected to the melodrama surrounding first Brenda and Dylan, then Kelly and Dylan, then Brenda and Dylan and finally Kelly and Dylan again. Was there ever a time when anyone actually care what happen? There are infinite reasons to ignore them. Talk about beating a dead horse to the ground. The threesome needs to move into a house far from their friends and figure it out there. Quietly.

Contributors: Laura Cunningham, Lisa Cunningham, Brian Jordan, Dana Mason, Jessica Bohrer

At Renaissance Online we want to celebrate the best of this bunch, condemn the worst, hear your opinions on who you want put in to the relationship hall of fame - and who you want dumped in a box in the bottom of a basement. ¬

FORUM: Add on your own choices in the Soapbox forum.

LAURA DAVE, a free-lance writer living in New York city, writes both poetry and articles on popular culture for several publications. She is a staff entertainment writer.

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