Most couples can benefit from a trained, objective listener to talk with. On TV, though, the tough, miserable, or just plain awkward relationships between married couples may be so bad you start to wonder why they haven’t yet made an appointment with a counselor.
Our picks for the handful of TV couples most in need of making that phone call:
- Meredith and Derek on Gray’s Anatomy. Sure, they’re in love, but they also put a lot of time and effort into punishing each other. Maybe more time together and more help at home would make a difference, but there’s enough complex back story for both of these characters that they probably need to explore counseling, together and separately.
- Olivia and Fitz in Scandal are up against some big obstacles, including the fact that he’s the President of the United States and married to the First Lady. Fictional romances often have some tricky problem that keeps the fated lovers apart for long enough to build some suspense before they get their happily ever after, but in this case, maybe Fitz needs couples therapy with his wife while Olivia works on her own emotional baggage with a completely different counselor.
- Sam and Ruby in Supernatural have a real issue to deal with: she’s a demon. This probably ought to be a deal-breaker. If Sam really wants to make a go of it with someone who is not really a member of the same species, he’s going to need plenty of support. If he wants to break it off, he might need some help figuring out how to make that happen without ending up in even worse trouble.
- Brennan and Booth in Bones were great as colleagues, and their complex relationship when they worked together added spice to the show. As a married couple, they’re unconvincing. We think maybe they have little emotional connection left, even if they’re keeping up a brave front. Counseling could help them work with the deeper issues and rekindle the flame.
- Penny and Leonard of Big Bang Theory just don’t respect each other. Penny is aware that Leonard isn’t as attractive as she is, and it often bothers her. Leonard is bothered by his knowledge that Penny is less educated and less successful than he is in the realm of work. However they try to hide it, each of them is just a little bit embarrassed by the other. Working together could help them see each other’s value more clearly and strengthen their relationship into something permanent.