Monday, December 16, 2013

Til Death Do Us Part: TV’s Top Crime Fighting Couples

Crime  TV is full of crime fighting super-couples, but no two duos are exactly alike. Here are my all-time faves.
10. Brenda Leigh Johnson and Fritz Howard, The Closer
The only reason Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) and Fritz (Jon Tenney) are at number ten on this list is because Brenda did most of the crime solving while Special Agent Fritz got her whatever she needed from the FBI—evidence, jurisdiction, the occasionally SWAT team. Now that Fritz is on Major Crimesand Brenda isn’t, we know he is still spending more time helping her do her job than doing his own, and that’s why we love him.
9. Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker, Chuck
Chuck (Zachary Levi) meets CIA agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) after a super computer is accidentally downloaded into his brain and she helps recruit him to join the CIA. His spy skills are lacking, but the super computer and Sarah’s superior abilities get them through many missions. Their complimentary work life buds into romance, which gets really complicated.

8. Lieutenant Colonel Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie and Lieutenant Harmon “Harm” Rabb, JAG
Both Mac (Catherine Bell) and Harm (David James Elliott) are lawyers in the Judge Advocate General’s office, and they investigate and litigate crimes committed by military personnel. It took ten seasons (between 1995 and 2005) and one broken engagement to get these two together. In the very last episode they agree to get married, but in order to do this, one of them must leave the military life. They decide the issue with a coin toss, and the show ends with the coin frozen in the air leaving us in limbo forever.
7. David Addison and Maddie Hayes, Moonlighting
After fashion model Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) loses all her money to her embezzler accountant, she focuses on the one business she has left—a detective agency run by David Addison (Bruce Willis). Of course David and the staff spend more time doing the limbo in the office than solving cases. Maddie attempts to change all of that and she and David wind up falling love. This late 1980s show lost audience after the pair actually got together and the romantic tension was gone, initiating what was known as the Moonlightingcurse. This is widely credited for the long-term stalling of any romantic involvement of main shows characters in TV today. Curse or no curse, the first four seasons of Moonlighting are worth watching (or re-watching) for the banter alone.
6. Remington Steele and Laura Holt, Remington Steele
It’s the late 1980s and hard-working Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) wants to start her own detective agency. She hangs out her shingle, but doesn’t get any clients, which she chalks up to her gender. So she invents a mysterious, male boss, Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan) and all of a sudden clients start calling. But then a con man literally steps into the shoes of her imaginary boss. Over the seasons, they get to know one another and fall in love. The premise is archaic now, and I wonder if Laura had just done a bit more marketing on her own if she could have succeeded anyway, but as a couple they really clicked.
5. Sydney Bristow and Michael Vaughn, Alias
When Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) becomes a double agent for the CIA, Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) is her handler. They can’t be seen together much less go out on a date. Mission after mission serves as their courtship, but the path to true spy love is never smooth. They survive a few kidnappings, Vaughn’s marriage to another double agent and the Rambaldi prophecy and so does their relationship.
4. Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, Hart to Hart
In this late 1970s/early 1980s TV show created by best-selling authorSidney Sheldon, Jonathan and Jennifer Hart have everything—a fabulous marriage, a fortune, a butler who does everything, and a dog-named Freeway. With all of that who wouldn’t spend their time hunting down murderers?
3. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, The X-Files
Both FBI agents, Mulder (David Duchovny) believes in the paranormal, while his partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is skeptical and down to earth. As they investigate unsolved cases with potential paranormal explanations, and they start to see the other’s point of view, their platonic relationship morphs into a more romantic one. This relationship continues to feed fan fiction.

2. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and Seeley Booth, Bones
Forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, like many super crime fighting couples, don’t get along at first. But after six seasons of dating other people but spending most of the waking hours with one another, they are together. But it took a casual sexual encounter, resulting in a daughter, to make the commitment happen.
1.Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, Castle
Best-selling mystery writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) needs a muse for her new book based on a female New York City detective. Enter Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). The sparks fly and they both resist for five seasons because dealing with death threats, bombs, and serial killers is easier than admitting their feelings for  each other…until this season. I was a little worried that once they got together, the show would be less interesting. That hasn’t proven the case. I still look forward to each and every episode. If you want to get caught up on previous Castle seasons, tune the dial to TNT. They are rerunning them regularly.
Who are your favorite crime fighting super-couples to watch?

This post originally appeared on Criminal Element


  1. I loved Hart to Hart and bought the first season on DVD.

  2. My favorite of the older ones is Remington Steele.