TV Hook-Ups That Should Never Happen


Ever notice how few substantive scenes the two most attractive people on Mad Men share? Although they’ve spent years in the advertising industry together — and surely each knows a few of the other’s secrets — Don Draper and Joan Harris tend to keep their relationship to exchanged pleasantries and occasional secretary replacement. But it looks like that’s all about to change in Season 5. Last week, Jon Hamm suggested that we’d see more of Don and Joan in the coming episodes, telling an interviewer, “The Don/Joan dynamic is something that we do explore, and don’t take this the wrong way, but we do explore as the show goes on. They have worked together for a long time, they know one another very well and I’ll leave it at that.” So, as TV pundits are already debating, does this mean we’re in for yet another office romance? We hope not, and we’ll tell you why in our roundup of possible TV hook-ups that should never happen, after the jump.

Don Draper and Joan Harris, Mad Men

No one’s saying they wouldn’t look beautiful together. But Don and Joan have never had any chemistry, if you ask us. Perhaps it’s because she’s smart enough to know that his office affairs tend to end in crisis, and maybe he’s intimidated by her pragmatic, take-charge personality. Then there’s Joan’s ongoing saga with Roger Sterling. The bottom line is, they just don’t go together, and to try and throw them together would do a disservice to both characters.

Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Considering that there’s already been a backlash this season over the alleged erosion of Liz Lemon as a character, this would be a total disaster. We’re fairly sure that it’s never going to happen (or that if it does, it will only be part of some kind of alternate-universe fantasy story line), but the looming possibility of a mentor-underling romance remains vexing. Good thing they’re both cool in the face of temptation: Jack recently resisted the charms of Avery’s gorgeous mother, and Liz’s practically non-existent libido renders her immune to seduction by basically anything besides cheese.

Joffrey Baratheon and Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones

The only pair on this who are already in what you might call a relationship, Joffrey and Sansa should nonetheless stay the hell away from each other. Sure, she’s a gold-digging, status-hungry brat, but she still deserves better than a whiny, demented-looking, sociopathic boy king who’s the product of incest. Oh, and don’t forget he killed her dad despite promising not to. How’s a girl supposed to get over that?

Emily Thorne and Nolan Ross, Revenge

“But Nolan’s gay!” you might protest. Actually, he’s not — he’s a 3 on the Kinsey scale, he tells us in one episode, which, for those who skipped Psych 101, means he’s a bisexual who’s equally interested in women and men. While it’s conceivable that Emily and Nolan might get together, and they’d look nice together in that WASP power couple way, we’re crossing our fingers they’ll never find themselves sharing a bed. For one thing, she’s already got too much romantic drama on her hands, with her recent engagement to Daniel and Jack waiting in the wings with his childhood-best-friend appeal. But the big issue is that Emily and Nolan make such a great team, with her diabolical strategizing and his computer genius. We wouldn’t want to see anything get in the way of that.

Sookie Stackhouse and any other supernatual creature, True Blood

Sookie and Vampire Bill. Sookie and Vampire Eric. Shapeshifting bar owner Sam Merlotte’s infatuation with Sookie. Sookie’s will-they-or-won’t-they tension with Alcide, the werewolf. We think Ms. Stackhouse has quite enough supernatural admirers. Instead of collecting more next season, we’d like to see her either finally kick whiny Bill to the curb and embrace badness with Eric or shock them both by shacking up with a mortal.

Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, Homeland

There are plenty of reasons why a tryst between these two should be off the table: For one thing, Saul is Carrie’s trusted mentor, and he’s more than old enough to be her dad. But Carrie Mathison is a loose canon, to say the least, and there’s already been at least one creepy moment in which she tried flirting to win his approval. Then there’s the fact that she didn’t stop short of sleeping with a man she suspected of terrorism. Really, newly single Saul is the only person standing in the way of this affair. Here’s hoping his judgment continues to be impeccable.

Chuck Bass and Serena van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl

When you think about it, it’s pretty unlikely that the ever-incestuous Gossip Girl cast hasn’t paired up the Upper East Side’s resident lothario with its (somewhat) reformed party girl. You’d think, considering that each has a history of substance abuse and promiscuity, that we’d have seen this combination on the show in five seasons. Now, it’s not that we think this match-up is worse than many of the others GG has floated — Chuck and Jenny, anyone? Nate and Vanessa? It’s just that, by our count, Chuck and Serena are the only regular cast members who could possibly be thrown together romantically and haven’t been. When we see them fall into bed together, we’ll know the show’s day are numbered.

Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, The Killing

If we do give AMC’s epically frustrating The Killing another chance after last season’s teasing/shark-jumping non-finale, here’s one thing we don’t want to see: any sexual contact between reluctant partners Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. With her engagement bound for disaster and their continued bonding, it’s not inconceivable that these two will have a romantic moment. But seeing as Holder’s apparently been tampering with evidence and the last thing Linden needs is another man in her discombobulated life, we hope the show won’t fall prey to the “whenever a man and woman work closely together, they must at least kiss” school of formulaic television writing.

Amy Jellicoe and Tyler, Enlightened

Enlightened is one of our favorite new sitcoms, and we love the relationship between flaky, self-righteous New Age-y Amy Jellicoe and her nebbishy co-worker, Tyler. But every once in a while, we start to worry that the entire show is driving at Amy’s realization that she really is meant for the sweet, long-suffering man who continually puts his job on the line to indulge her reckless schemes. It isn’t that we mind seeing gorgeous Laura Dern finding love with a nerd (in fact, it may be Tyler who’s too good for Amy). The issue is that Enlightened is best off when dealing with dissatisfaction, so too much fulfillment could be disastrous for these characters.

Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Since she and Ben are in love, and Dave recently returned to try and win her back, Leslie has her hands full. Ron Swanson, meanwhile, seems to exclusively date crazy women. Truly, this is a romance that has no reason to be, even in the vaguely absurd world of Pawnee, Indiana — and we trust Parks and Rec‘s great writers to make sure it never happens. But if it does, you’d better believe that we will rage.