Crockett and Tubbs had style. David and Maddie were explosive. And it was all about subtext when it came to Mulder and Scully. TV has seen a number of crime-fighting duos in its years, and the ones we remember most always had that certain “It” factor. On-screen chemistry — and we’re not speaking strictly in the romantic sense — is hard to come by, and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of it at the moment in the buddy cop/taking down evil rich people and terrorists field. In anticipation of Sunday’s Revenge and Homeland season premieres, we’ve decided to rank our favorite crime-fighting duos on TV, from “hotter than Bon Temps on a mild summer day” to “sexier than Inigo Montoya.” Is there a special couple we missed? Let us know!
10. True Blood: Andy Bellefleur and Jason Stackhouse, Bon Temps police force
They’ve come along way since Season 1, when Jason was just a washed-up football star and Andy the laughingstock of the town. Since then, a rather sweet friendship has developed out of their equally sad social standing, and they’ve even proven to be a halfway descent team, nailing Bud as the Obamas’ leader last season. Sure, they may not be the sharpest buddy cops television has ever seen, but between Jason’s ditziness and Andy’s grunting, these two got something you just won’t find on NCIS.
9. Community: Shirley Bennett and Annie Edison, Greendale Security/stars of Abed’s buddy cop film
With April Fool’s Day approaching at Greendale, extra cautions must be taken, so Shirley and Annie sign up for temporary security duty and soon find themselves tracking down the murderer of a partially clothed biology lab frog. “The Science of Illusion” might mark the shortest buddy cop stint in the history of TV, but every second is better than a season of mediocre procedural drama. As Abed explains, it’s “a twist on a classic formula. Normally, with buddy cops, one’s a straight-laced stickler, and the other’s a renegade, but these two have equal claim to both roles.”
We usually prefer the Greendale 7 as a unit, but these two clearly have chemistry when it comes to defending their school’s honor (if you’ll recall, they teamed up again to breach Greendale in “First Chang Dynasty”).
8. NCIS: Los Angeles: Agents Sam Hanna and G. Callen
These two are the buddy cop dream, just ready to be plied at any fanfic writer’s whim (one cursory search and you won’t be disappointed). As the story goes, Callen and Sam were staging history-making breaches within six hours of meeting and have been together ever since. Sure, they’ve had some bro-threatening secrets and bumps along the way (like their recent estrangement over the Chameleon), but they always manage to persevere, because they’re partners, who also happen to look really good in the warm hues of a Venice Beach sunset.
7. Castle: Castle and Beckett (i.e. “Nikki Heat“)
The will they/won’t they thing is always dangerous once consummated (unless you’re Fringe and have parallel timelines and amber freezing to plausibly throw a wrench in your leads’ romance time and time again), but after four long seasons, we’re glad to hop this love train. Castle may not be the most believable or original procedural on television, but the very talented Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have made it easy to get caught up in Castle and Beckett’s slowly budding relationship, one of the show’s brightest spots.
6. Supernatural: Sam and Dean Winchester, demon hunters
Yes, it has that CW tinge to it. But what can we say? Nothing’s more important (or sexier) than family loyalty when trying to save the world from hell (or something in between). And in case you’re wondering, their matching tattoos aren’t a family crest. They’re to prevent demon possession.
5. White Collar: Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey, Manhattan White Collar Crime Unit
When Peter took Neal on as a consultant their chemistry was undeniable, but it was always underpinned by a mutual suspicion that would befall any world-class con man and the man who captured him. That said, it’s been a treat to watch these two banter their way to a solid personal and working relationship while taking out the world’s most notorious white collar criminals. Also, they clean up nice.
4. Archer: Sterling Archer and Lana Kane, top ISIS agents and former lovers
Can cartoons be sexy? Yes! (As long as Lana is doing the talking.)
3. Revenge: Emily Thorne (née Amanda Clarke) and Nolan Ross, Grayson saboteurs
At the end of last season Emily started to warm up to her partner, because as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she needed him (and not just for his tiny dolphin camera). We look forward to seeing more tiny cracks in her tough exterior, as long as the healthy antagonism between these two remains intact. In other words, more brooding phone calls, snarky commentary on terrible rich people, and schemes that require mustache disguises, please.
2. Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, web detectives
We’re not trying to dredge up another are they/aren’t they debate. It’s just refreshing to see such awkward people saving the world, one blog post at a time. And at least they make each other laugh.
1. Homeland: Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, counter-terrorist “specialists”
We’ve discussed the “Saul is a mole” theory before, and although our opposition is based on gut feeling, we stand by our skepticism. We love this mentor/mentee relationship, with all its complications, and can’t wait to see these two together again (fictionally speaking) in two short days. If Saul ends up breaking our hearts, well, we’ll just have to deal with it when the time comes.