I know that most of the world does not think Great Britain is known for its romance. To that I say, cobblers. I am a sucker for romance (don’t tell) and nobody, in my opinion, does romance like the Brits. An alternative title for today’s post could also be “couples I’m really pulling for,” because the path to true love emphatically does not run smooth for these, five my favorite British TV couples.
5. Margaret Hale and John Thornton (North and South)
God, I love Margaret Hale in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. She doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, bless her, but she’s also not interested in a guy that she thinks is a money-hungry, vicious brute (and she makes no bones about not being interested). But when that brute turns out actually to have a heart? And also looks like Richard Armitage? Well, then, you’ve got to get on team Margaret + John. Although, p.s.? Good luck with that mother-in-law, Margaret, those are some iron-clad apron strings.
4. Vicar Geraldine Granger and the Handsome Stranger (The Vicar of Dibley)
For several seasons Geraldine Granger, buxom female Vicar vixen extraordinaire, put up with all the hijinks going on around her in the small rural town of Dibley where she was posted, and she very rarely got lucky in love…until a handsome stranger moved in.
Bonus points to Richard Armitage for his second appearance on this list, as he shows up in the village of Dibley to win the Vicar Geraldine’s heart. Honestly? I would have cheered for Geraldine with anyone–she earned a happily ever after, and it’s just icing on the cake that her ever after comes with Red Hot Dickie (as he’s known around here).
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the pairing of Dawn French and Richard Armitage, but I’ll admit I was pulling for the Vicar and Sting as well:
3. Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot (Persuasion)
Okay, you kind of pull for all the couples in all the Austen adaptations: Elizabeth and Darcy, Elinor and Edward, Fanny Price and Edmund. But there’s something special about Wentworth and Anne. Maybe because Anne is feeling that romance is over for her? Maybe because Wentworth is an idiot and gets carried away over a younger woman but then regrets it? The clip below is from the 2007 adaptation, because there’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at Rupert Penry-Jones and its hard to find clips of the 1995 adaptation starring Amanda and Ciaran Hinds, but trust me: the 1995 adaptation is the superior product. (Although there are some who would disagree with me on that.)
2. Sherlock and Irene Adler (Sherlock)
I know I’ve gone off Sherlock a bit after its third and fourth seasons, but it has offered some relationships that were fun to watch. Of course there was Sherlock and John, and then John and Mary, but my money was always on Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Lara Pulver as Irene Adler (especially if you don’t mind your relationships with a bit of sadomasochism). WOWZA.
1. Tim and Dawn (The Office)
Okay, of course Tim and Dawn get the top spot. Not only because it was a classic “will they, won’t they” TV set-up; not only because they had good chemistry; but mainly because you really believed the actors (Lucy Davis and Martin Freeman, doing such nice work) were also such good, good friends. I mean, look at the fun they’re having in the clip below. This is like the mother of all rom com moments, and I’m not even showing you the really romantic bits (hint: in the series-concluding Christmas special) because you should really watch them fresh.
Happy Valentine’s Day, all. Skip the dinner, skip the flowers, and cuddle up with some of your favorite British TV instead. How about it? Who are your favorite Brit TV couples?