It’s Valentines’ Day week so it seemed fitting I should turn my thoughts to romance. Of all the show we’ve aired on UNC-TV, many have featured loving couples. Some were for laughs while others ended in tears. So here they are -MY TOP FIVE COUPLES.
5) FREDDIE & STUART, VICIOUS. These two elderly gents might seem to the casual viewer as vicious as the series name suggests but throughout all the bitchiness and barbs there is never a single doubt that Freddie and Stuart do truly love one another.
4) JAMES & HELEN, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL. The classic TV series is probably one of the best adaptations ever. The books are marvelous but Robert Hardy, Peter Davison and Christopher Timothy bring the vets of Skeldale House to vivid life, elevating the program over the source material. However, James and Helen Herriot were the heart of that series, affectionate and loyal and devoted to the end.
3) SUSAN & GORDON, SESAME STREET. They were two of the original human characters on the show and they have remained together as a couple, as part of a family, for five decades. Plus, it’s important to note that for many kids Susan and Gordon were the only example of a stable, loving relationship they had in their lives.
2) MARY & MATTHEW, DOWNTON ABBEY. Not every couple gets a happy ending but it’s the time together that counts. Yet for many episodes, this will-they-won’t-they twosome felt doomed from the start. So when Lady Mary and her beloved Matthew finally, amazingly, came together in that second season Christmas Special, oh the tears … pure tears of joy.
1) TOM & BARBARA, GOOD NEIGHBORS. Sure, it could be said they were doing nothing more than confirming the myth that everyone in Britain is a lovable, middle-class eccentric but they did it so well who would complain? The premise of a self-sufficiency experiment in the suburbs works so well because of these two main characters, Tom and Barbara Good (Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal). If only Tom could contrive the idea to turn their back garden into a real garden, complete with livestock, then only Barbara could have the vision and support and love to allow Tom to fulfill his dream. It works because we completely buy them as a 100% committed couple.
So there it is: MY TOP FIVE COUPLES. As always, this is my list, my personal selection. I stuck with loving couples, as seen on the many programs we’ve aired over the years on UNC-TV, and not just friends or colleagues (so no Holmes & Watson or Mathnet’s Monday & Frankly). I offer them up not as the best or greatest in any fashion. The list is simply that – a list. And it’s completely subjective. Feel free to make your own.