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The Top 25 TV 'Ships of 2013

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So this is a totally just-for-fun list, originally featured on my blog, of my favorite tv romances (or could-be, would-be romances) from 2013.  These are the relationships that were the most exciting, suspenseful, chemistry-fueled beautiful disasters to hit our small screens in the past year. 

25.  Daniel/Kate, Perception
I know the show threw a bit of a seeming wrench into this pairing with the introduction of Scott Wolf as Kate's charming ex-husband, wherein it's totally believable and even kind of nice to see Kate and Donnie reunite at the end of Season 2.

However, Daniel/Kate is not only endgame, clearly, but it's also the heart and soul of the show.  We did get some very good angsty drama between these two when Daniel was prompted by some insane urge to ask Kate if she has feelings for him in the most awkward, insulting way possible.  Urrghhh!  The chemistry surged even as Kate's anger flared and Daniel's inability to acknowledge his own emotions grew.  I can't wait to see what will happen between these two when Season 3 starts up.

24.  Joan/Arthur, Covert Affairs
Arthur and Joan Campbell.  What a magnificently classy pair they are.  Season 4 put them through the ringer with a supposed cheating scandal, the reveal of Arthur's son Teo, Arthur being jailed, Joan's surprise pregnancy, and Arthur finding out that Joan made some hasty decisions about the CIA's treatment of poor Teo.  The best part is that all of this madness just brought them closer together.  I loved how hard they fought for their relationship, to exonerate Arthur, to protect Joan, and to be together with their baby.

23.  Stefan/Katherine, The Vampire Diaries
Oh, this is everything.  I love it.  And it's not only because it finally lets me stop hating Stefan, that it delays any "Stelena" redux, or that it also delays/prevents "Steroline," but those factors certainly don't hurt, either!

The way that TVD has humanized and developed Katherine this season into a more complex, rich, and sympathetic character is wonderful.  It's probably the biggest accomplishment the show can claim in an otherwise somewhat uneven fifth season.  He may not fully realize the depth of their connection in this newest incarnation of it, but the truth is that the begrudging extent to which Katherine has allowed herself to soften has reopened his heart to her.  The relationship between these two is far deeper and more interesting than anything "Stelena" or "Steroline" have to offer as far as I'm concerned.  

22.  Carter/Reese, Person of Interest
OH MY GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO MY SHIP?!  Okay, well, way to go out on a high, huh, Carter/Reese shippers?  Before being forever separated by those H.R. bastards (like I didn't already hate Chuck Bass' dad enough?!), Reese and Carter shared quite a few emotional revelations, confidences, and one very excellent kiss.

21.  "Zade"
Wade/Zoe, Hart of Dixie
Sure, Zoe's in a healthy and pleasant relationship with total sweetie Joel, and Wade's starting to have eyes for Zoe's cousin, but come on.  It can't be much longer before Bluebell's former city slicker doc and hottie bartender reunite!  And I love the fact that Wade won't let Zoe forget it, either.

20.  Danny/Mindy, The Mindy Project
What Mindy Kaling has done in creating a rom-sitcom is brilliant.  The slow-burning, bittersweet, comical shenanigans between Mindy and Danny form one of the more poignantly relatable would-be romances currently on tv.  The subtlety and unspoken nature of their feelings are downright old-school and classy.

19.  Mary/Bash, Reign
I know Francis is all noble and that he and Mary are in lurve, but...Bash...right?  Also, are we calling this "Mash" yet?

18.  Charlie/Quinn, Scandal
When people start buzzing online about Quinn/Huck, I be like, playa, please.  I'm talking about Charlie, okay!  Not only because it's nauseating to think of Quinn getting together with Huck after he tortured her so horribly, but also because they have no chemistry. 

Charlie/Quinn, on the other hand, have chemistry to spare.  Their twisted, absurd relationship rocks, and the dialogue it spawns ("are you gonna cry?  Dammit!"  "You are seriously the best girlfriend I've ever had") is strictly FTW.  Charlie is the cutest amoral assassin ever, and Quinn is the most fabulous confused, frightened newbie assassin ever, so they make the perfect couple.

Honorable Mention: Abby and David.  Their ongoing banter about what a "normal" couple would do is hilarious.

17.  "VinCat"
Vincent and Catherine, Beauty and the Beast
This ratings-deprived show is one of my favorite comfort food CW new classics.  And that's hugely driven by the impossibly complicated, yet irresistible love between Catherine and Vincent.  So far in Season 2, Vincent lost his memory and went around killing fellow beasts, which was kind of a problem.  His memory began to seep back bit by bit, but just as he and Cat seemed to be reconnected, he went and let that skanky Tori kiss him at Cat's evil bio-dad's Thanksgiving dinner (though really only because the trampy fellow beast has some kind of pheromone pull on him or whatever).  Like that day seriously wasn't awkward enough for Cat!

Just like last season, when Vincent let himself be confused by his ex-girlfriend Alex, the Beast has effed up his romance with the world's most understanding and gorgeous cop.  He may not really deserve Cat, but their love is so epic that we still want to see them work it out...even though I also can't help wondering how the now-reformed Gabe's feelings for Catherine may also cause issues.

Honorable mention...Tess and J.T....soooo cute!

16.  Fitzsimmons, Agents of SHIELD
This show is just bursting with awesome pairings, and I also love Skye/Ward.
But for a favorite pick, I have to go with the sweet, long-simmering, repressed love between the nerdy science duo Fitz and Simmons.  Their attempts to conceal their affections are not enough to cover for such goings-on as Fitz putting his life in danger to go in the lab with the infected-with-a-deadly-virus Simmons.  And how about Simmons packing Fitz's favorite sandwich when he was going off on a dangerous mission?  Completely charming.

15.  Eleventh Doctor / Clara, Doctor Who
Doctor Who received a welcome breath of fresh air when Amy and Rory departed and Clara arrived.  You know all of those Doctor Who fans who don't like it when the Doctor is in love with his companion?  I'm the opposite of that.  Doctor/Companion romances are my bread and butter.  And with the Eleven/Clara relationship, an epic best-friendship with tinges of clear attraction, warmly and sweetly expressed, Steven Moffat has proved that after all the endless, tiresome Pond-centric episodes, he can indeed still write a really great Doctor/Companion relationship and make it matter to the mythology in compelling ways.

And hooray for that tiny little reference to Tenth Doctor/Rose in the 50th Anniversary Special (when Ten fleetingly felt that some version of Rose was present).

14.  Juliet/Avery, Nashville
Sigh.  Juliet finally had a self-awakening that made her understand her deep feelings for her guitarist Avery, and when she showed up at his door to bare her heart, a half-dressed Scarlett was there to ruin it.  This might have been the year's most frustrating interruption of a shippy moment.  Sadly, Scarlett's been too melancholy, vulnerable, and downright whiny for Avery to feel right breaking up with her, and little did he expect Juliet to finally come around at that time.  Watching Juliet walk away with tears in her eyes was painful.

This whole scene brought to mind the one from Veronica Mars when Veronica came to reconcile with Logan, only to find him shacked up with Kendall because he had no reason to believe Veronica would take him back.  Arrgghh!

Despite all of the problems inherent in this big scene, Juliet and Avery's love is bound to overcome them!

13.  Miles/Rachel, Revolution
The captivating and tentative rekindling of the old flame between these soulmates has been wonderful, and I don't doubt that it will continue to be.  High points included Rachel's goodbye when it seemed Miles was leaving the settlement they'd been staying in, the flashback to Rachel's pleading admission of love to Miles years in the past, and Rachel telling Miles she hates his macho nonsense when he attempted for the zillionth time to sacrifice himself for her safety.  

Although the show has yet to explain what happened when Rachel was captured by the Monroe Militia back in the day, I highly doubt that Miles would have been able to really hurt her.  This does still need to be resolved, and I look forward to seeing other developments in this complex relationship.  And in the light of Season 2's newly popular ship, Charlroe (more on that to follow, natch), Miles/Rachel is downright appropriate!  

12.  "RumBelle"
Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, Once Upon a Time
While Belle still doesn't show up in enough episodes, whenever she does, the touching and beautiful redemptive love between Rumple and the fairy tale princess bookworm is undeniable.  It's a foregone conclusion that Rumple isn't gone forever, and that he'll soon return to share in more unforgettable RumpBelle moments.

11.  "Caskett" 
Beckett and Castle, Castle
Unlike some of its genre predecessors, Castle has managed to stay as fresh and thrilling as ever since Beckett and Castle became an item.  Whip-smart writing and exquisite chemistry continue to impress in Season 6, especially as Rick and Kate look to marriage and having children together.

Honorable mention: Esplanie!

10. Abbie/Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow
Although Crane has a wife trapped in supernatural purgatory (do you think she's seen Bonnie Bennett, btw?), he and Abbie quickly and inextricably bonded as their roles as saviors on a 7 year mission to prevent the apocalypse was revealed.  The sizzling attraction between these two isn't going away anytime soon...or ever.

9.  Elijah/Hayley, The Originals
The insatiable pull between Original vampire Elijah and werewolf mama-to-be Hayley has been one of the more fascinating aspects of the overall exemplary Vampire Diaries spin-off. I can't get over how the show has redefined Hayley and developed her into a strong, lovable much so that we completely understand why Elijah feels such powerful, reciprocated longing for her, despite the impossibility of the circumstances (Hayley's less-than-understanding baby daddy, Elijah's brother Klaus, does not approve).  Though Klaus may strive to put a wedge between these two, Elijah and Hayley's connection is undeniable.

8. Alex/Sam, Nikita

Ah, I've been shipping these two since way back when Sam was Owen and they barely even interacted.  It was just so clear that they belonged together.  I'm a diehard Mikita shipper, too, and love how things worked out for Michael and Nikita in the series finale.  But I really have a special place in my heart for Alex/Sam, the little ship that could, and did, finally get some love in Season 4.

I wish - along with all of the other Nikita fans out there - that the final season could at least have been 13 or even 22 episodes long, but the brilliant writers made the most of the six final hours.   Everytime we saw Alex and Sam together, they sparkled with that love/hate attraction that makes them so special.  Alex helps to make Sam a better man, and inspires him - as he told her in their first big love scene - to find his moral center.  Sam supports and adores Alex the way she deserves.  The subtle, yet clearly shipperific ending that these two got was simply superb.

7.  "Delena"
Damon and Elena, The Vampire Diaries
I will roll with this couple till the wheels fall off because they are so swoon-provokingly epic.  If I'm gonna start talking about some Season 5 gripes, right at the top of the list is the inane decision to have Damon "let Elena go."  Give me a break!  Couldn't these two at least get a full season together after the numerous seasons of full-on Stelena that opened the series?

However, the gorgeously portrayed pain felt by Damon as he pleaded for Elena to stop defending him will go down as one of the most poignant and intense Delena moments ever. And these two will inevitably reunite, though perhaps not soon enough for me (i.e. if it's not immediately/eternally). 

6.  "Captain Swan,"
Emma and Hook, Once Upon a Time
Ehmagawd, how hot are these two?  Some classic love/hate tension played out to a tee in Season 3, which found the bond between the two growing even as Emma denied it continually.  When he calls her "Swan"?  When he calls her "love"?!  Whoooaaa, I can't even process the shipper-tasticness.

Favorite moments have to include the kiss (!!), Hook's confession of love in the Neverland cave scene, and his farewell to Emma when she crossed over the town line back in Storybrooke.  It was also amazing when he showed up out of the blue in Emma's new, fairy-tale free, memory-erased life, like a splash of cold water revealing the truth to Emma's destiny.  While she seems not to have allowed her feelings for Hook to develop enough for True Love's Kiss to work, I bet if he tried it again in a few episodes, the results might be different!

5.  "Klaroline" 
Klaus and Caroline, The Vampire Diaries / The Originals
I know these two have yet to interact in person since Klaus headed to New Orleans for The Originals, but their time together in the second half of TVD's fourth season was marvelous.  Klaus procured for Caroline a prom dress and a date with Tyler, and by the end of the year he even allowed Tyler's return to Mystic Falls.  The Original vampire-werewolf hybrid was generous to the full extent that his wicked nature would allow, and only Caroline could have brought that out in Klaus.

Moreover, at their last parting, Klaus informed Caroline, "he [Tyler] was your first love.  I intend to be your last."  This was the best Klaus line and the most touching Klaroline scene to date!

And let's not forget, Klaus very much wants Caroline to see New Orleans.  Surely it's only a matter of time until something brings Miss Forbes down Louisiana way...though she's sure to run smack into the conflict between Klaus and Marcel, as well as the complex relationship between Klaus and Cami.  It will surely be exciting to see how matters develop from there!  February sweeps, anyone?  Just a suggestion.

*Added note: I just heard that Klaus is coming to Mystic Falls sometime soon!

4.  "Olicity" 
Oliver and Felicity, Arrow
Oh my goodness.  Does anyone not love this pairing?  That a romance conceived in the hearts of shippers the world over upon Felicity's first appearance could become canon is proof positive that the Arrow writers know what they're doing.  The combination of Felicity, the socially awkward, geek-chic genius hacker, and the angst-ridden hero of Starling City, Oliver Queen, is one of the best ships to sail in years.

Season 2 has generously lavished us with Olicity magic.  Felicity was jealous over Oliver's hook-up with Isabel, thoroughly betraying to us the depth of her emotions for her boss.  Meanwhile, Ollie told her point blank that he couldn't be with someone he loved because he could never bear to endanger them.  Then came the time that Oliver told Felicity he didn't even have to make a choice between saving her and killing again to do so (after solemnly vowing to take no more lives).

And Oliver was more than a little irritated by the presence of future Flash Barry Allen when the crime scene investigator began charming Felicity.  However, when Felicity begged Oliver to come back safe right in front of Barry, her new potential beau was clearly cognizant of the bond between these two.  And as Season 2 marches on into ever greater heights of awesomeness, the fan base has never been so sure that the Olicity ship is here to stay.

3.  Jack/Emily, Revenge
I just absolutely die for these two.  Theirs is a truly tragic soulmate-ship interrupted by the cruel twists that life throws their way.  As noble as Jack is, we truly feel Emily's pain when she inevitably disappoints him with some new reveal of her ongoing treachery as she strives for revenge against the Graysons with plenty of collateral damage.  No one else can evoke the expressions of true heartbreak and regret from Emily that Jack Porter can.

So far in Season 3, some of the couple's most powerful moments include the kiss in the bar (Jack said he felt nothing, but his face said quite the reverse), Emily's confession to Jack and Nolan of her master plan (the profound looks between Emily and Jack!), and the confrontation scene before Emily's wedding to Daniel.  When Jack told Emily that she has taken everything from him, even the chance to part on positive terms, his eyes brimmed with the excruciating love and conflict that she brings out in him and yet forces him to stifle.  

I cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring for this unique and extraordinary pairing.

2.  "Jisbon"
Jane and Lisbon, The Mentalist
Over the years, I've both loved and hated how long the writers delayed allowing Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon to get together.  The reasons why these two could not acknowledge their love were founded in the very darkest of angsts - Jane had to first hunt down and kill Red John, Jane was irreparably wounded by the loss of his wife and child, the two work together, and they have their insecurities, too.  We all know that from the most painful of situations come the most rewarding ships.

But as the hunt for Red John raged on, we could see it slowly becoming more and more obvious that these two completely adore one another, and their hesitance became more of a protective instinct than anything else.  Now that Jane has returned from Mexico and he and Lisbon are back solving cases together, their happiness at being reunited is nearly on a giddy level.  The hug they shared at reuniting was amazing, and so was the beyond-adorable scene where Lisbon gifted Jane with a pair of socks to welcome him back to the US permanently.  And can we just talk about  the letters exchanged while Jane was away, and how Lisbon treasured them?  Sigh!

  Even the presence of that shameless hussey "Agent Fischer" only makes more clear that Jane's feelings for Lisbon are real, and any interest he seems to show in that ridiculous "Kim" person is merely superficial.  Come on, we all know that show runners introduce romantic rivals to mix things up in a long-simmering ship like this because it brings up questions that need to be asked.  Is Lisbon jealous?  How will Jane handle the situation?  How much longer can Jisbon remain unconsummated now that their feelings are so much more overt than ever before?  We'll find out when Season 6 returns!

1.  "Charlroe"

Charlie and Monroe, Revolution
When Charlie Matheson and Bass Monroe ran into each other at the beginning of Season 2, her first instinct was to immediately murder him.  After all, his actions had led to the deaths of her father and brother, even if Monroe did not physically kill them himself. 

But from the scene where the pair were held prisoner together in a waterless pool, an eerie awareness dawned on viewers that there was a bizarre chemistry between Charlie and Monroe.  Hence, an epic new 'ship was born.

It's worth noting that when it comes to Monroe,

He is one seriously hot, tortured, smart, sarcastic former evil military dictator.  My favorite character on the show from the jump.

And as for Charlie,

Who looks better in a post-electricity new American frontier rocking the tank top and jeggings look than Charlie?  I ask you.  She also possesses the emotional maturity and intellect of a 90 year old, with the impeccable warrior instincts to nearly match her Uncle Miles.

Needless to say, it's a combustable combination to pair Charlie and Monroe up on adventures.

Interestingly, Bass and Charlie had been on a similar trajectory after the explosive events of the Season 1 finale.  Each of them ran away to reinvent themselves in wild new ways and reaffirmed their toughness and seeming imperviousness to vulnerabilities such as falling for the enemy.

Showrunner Rockne O'Bannon has noted, "I'd hate to say that it couldn't happen, but obviously there's a lot of things stacked against it.  There's a creepiness factor to it that is on the one hand creepy, and on the other hand is maybe worth exploring. But the sparks between them, that low-level spark, is definitely something we're very cognizant of."

I'm not sure about all this "low-level" stuff, since the screen basically crackles and pops every time Charlie and Monroe look at each other, but otherwise that's a fantastic quote that shows we shippers aren't totally nuts (because let's face it, sometimes we kinda are).  As for the creepiness factor, it's impossible not to root for Monroe's redemption because we know from flashbacks and other evidence that he is not simply evil through and through.  He's deeply damaged and conflicted.  Moreover, the creepiness frankly just makes the Charlie and Monroe scenes a little scary, a lot dangerous, and completely exhilarating.

Some of the Season 2 moments that furthered the growing closeness between Monroe and Charlie included his saving her from a gang of gruesome barflies, their misadventures together when they were captured, and of course, the instantly famous scene of Monroe returning for Charlie in the high school.  When she looked at him and said "You came back," the shipperific tension was through-the-roof magical.

Although it would be unrealistic, and perhaps not even the best manner of development, for these two to hook up in earnest for quite some time, I look forward to hopefully seeing a continued slow burn of this so-wrong-it's-right relationship.

Here's a perfect example of Charlroe intensity from early in Revolution's stellar second season:

Whatttt.  I can't even handle it.  There is just no way to anticipate that level of chemistry between actors or characters, and the uncontrollable nature of that factor is a major part of what makes Charlroe so fascinating.

More Honorable Mentions

  • Pretty Little Liars' Ezria (Ezra cannot be evil!), HalebSpoby, and Emily/Paige
  •  Bones' Booth/Brennan and Hodgela 
  •  Snow/Charming on Once Upon a Time
  • Freya/Dash and Freya/Killian on Witches of East End
  • RigsPelt on The Mentalist
  • Kennex/Stahl on Almost Human
  • Holmes/Watson on the superb Elementary (it's okay to ship them while understanding that they probably can't get together until the end of the show).

What 'ships were your favorites from 2013?  What do you want to see happen with your fave TV couples in 2014?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing Hart of Dixie, The Mentalist, Beauty and the Beast, Bones, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Devious Maids for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and also enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at and her Twitter handle is @SugarRushedBlog

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