I confess, I often decide whether or not to try a show based on ’shipping potential—as in, can I see myself getting really invested in these characters and their relationships? But if you can’t judge a book by its cover, well, I’ve found that neither can you judge a television show that quickly (not that I’m not still guilty of this sometimes!). After all, some of my favorite couples of all time have come out of shows I never in a million years would have thought I’d be into, and some favorites have snuck up on me in a totally different way.
Who’d have thought The West Wing, for instance—a political drama about White House staffers—would end up with such a great romance on its hands? Yes yes yes, that show is amazing for many reasons and I should have watched it even without the promise of a romance between the deputy chief of staff and his executive assistant, but whatever, my point is this: it (eventually) gave us Josh/Donna.
There are also shows, like The Vampire Diaries, that I go into/have gone into with a ’ship already in mind. Take Damon/Elena. They are incredibly pretty together and come with a lot of baggage (he’s a vampire! she’s dating his brother!), so I of course assumed that they’d be my driving interest in the show. And yet, halfway through Season 3, my favorite couple (Caroline/Tyler, the main reason I still watch) consists of two characters I didn’t even LIKE when I started watching. Huh.
I can think of so many other examples! Starbuck/Apollo in Battlestar Galactica (“A sci-fi show based on a cheesy 1970s original?” I originally thought), Boyd/Ava in Justified (“A show about a hillbilly lawman?” I pre-judged), Kalinda/Cary in The Good Wife (“Another lawyer drama? The things I watch for you, Julianna Margulies...” I whined), Victor/Sierra in Dollhouse (“I’m tuning in purely because it’s Joss Whedon...” I swore), Mary/Marshall in In Plain Sight (“A USA show?” I questioned), etc. etc. I doubt I’ve even hit the tip of the iceberg, there’ve been so many great surprises television romances for me to get behind.
Are there any shows you started watching for one reason or another that ended up introducing you to an unexpected relationship you fell in love with? I can always use more recommendations. Or, on the flip side, have there been any shows you started watching for a relationship you thought you might like but ended up sticking with for an entirely different reason?