Make no mistake, marriage is not for the faint of heart. Penn and I have been married for 16 years, and while not all of them have been easy, all of them have been worth it. I mean, we did write a whole book about overcoming some of the tough times in our marriage.
While we know the reality of marriage, it’s fun to look to fictional TV couples for a bit of inspiration, comedic relief, or a few new comebacks. In no particular order, here are 10 couples that make marriage look less like Survivor and more like Happy Days:
- Adam and Kristina, Parenthood
From learning how to best support their autistic son to a cancer diagnosis and business woes, the Bravermans went through it. Every time we thought, “This is the curveball that’s going to break these two,” they pulled together and somehow came out better.
- Jim and Pam, The Office
The wait for these adorably awkward lovebirds to get together was far too long, but so worth the wait. They really were each other’s biggest cheerleader and best partner-in-crime for all manner of mischief at Dunder Mifflin. The couple that pranks together stays together.
- Harriette and Carl, Family Matters
The Winslows of Chicago tackled several tough topics, including the complicated relationship between the police force (of which Carl was a member) and the African American community. But family time always came first, no matter how often Urkel showed up unannounced.
- Monica and Chandler, Friends
We didn’t see it coming, but man did it make sense. There was no one better at talking down Type-A Queen Monica than Chandler. They balanced each other out so well, their relationship really confirmed the whole “opposites attract” theory.
- Louis and Jessica, Fresh Off the Boat
True love can survive anything, even opening your own western-inspired steakhouse. Louis and Jessica may have very different parenting styles, but one thing was always true: They wanted the very best for their kids.
- Mike and Carol, The Brady Bunch
Blending two families together is no easy task, but the Bradys made it work with plenty of pep talks, flare pants, and family singalongs. And we can’t forget about Alice, of course. Bring on the cheesy lovefest.
- Cam and Mitch, Modern Family
Following the journey of this duo through marriage and adoption made us laugh, cry and laugh until we cried. Their introvert/extrovert relationship also hit home for me (I’m so a Mitch). Still crossing our fingers (and toes) for a spin-off.
- Randall and Beth, This Is Us
Coping with trauma, mental health and all manner of tear-inducing family issues can really take its toll. But that’s marriage. No matter what comes their way, these two challenge each other and build each other up to be their best.
- Coach Taylor and Tami, Friday Night Lights
As far as teams go, they don’t get much better than the Taylors. They each supported each other’s careers and goals through all of the ups and downs, which showed audiences a real marriage is a partnership of equals.
- Dre and Bow, Black-ish
An anesthesiologist and an ad exec walk into a bar … and form a true power couple. This duo is setting the marriage bar high for their kids (and all of us) with their no-nonsense approach to serious personal, societal and political issues. Well, maybe there’s a little nonsense.
Which TV couple is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.