Throughout our TV-watching lifetime, there have been many character pairings and groupings that we admire- friends, couples, parent-child duos. We love them together, we hate them apart, we want them to make up when they’re fighting, and we want them to be together in the end, no matter what. Sometimes we get so invested in these relationships that when there’s a “side” to choose, we end up on Team X or Team Y. We’re rooting for them because the chemistry of them together is so strong we can’t bear the idea of them not making it!
However, many of these relationships we idealize are actually pretty dysfunctional. Their allure is merely an illusion and when we look underneath there’s actually a lot wrong… Our team took a deeper look into the onscreen duos we know (and love). Check out what we found:
Gilmore Girls: Rory and Lorelai
The famous witty mother-daughter pair took us under their wing for seven seasons (and then a revival, but we won’t talk about that…). Their closeness was…close! Their dynamic was really more like that of sisters, which made it difficult when Lorelai had to “play parent” to an adolescent Rory. Often, Lorelai’s behaviors mimicked those of teenage or young-adult Rory. The unclear distinction of parent and child, although cute and charming for TV, would result in a lot of confusion and disarray in the real world.
Yellowstone: Beth and Jamie Dutton
Yellowstone stars, Beth Dutton and Jamie Dutton showcase one of the most toxic brother/sister relationships. The twins in the show had a growing hatred for each since a young age. A viewer would’ve thought the siblings’ relationship would progress, which is why we included this duo, but unfortunately their relationship never mended. The two have a tit for tat relationship and are constantly trying to ruin each other and each other’s successes. As the show progresses the twins sabotage one another, as a result of Jamie wrecking Beth’s ability to have children. The Dutton Ranch siblings relationship was filled with hatred, immaturity and a power struggle that deemed no end.
Friends: Ross and Rachel
Ah, the couple everyone was rooting for actually had a lot of trouble from its start. A lot of problems they encountered can be directed at Ross. For starters, his insecurities became the focus of their relationship. His worries emerged as Rachel’s career took off, which was reminiscent of when his ex shifted her attention away from the marriage. However, instead of being a support for her in this major step, jealousy took over. As this continued, Ross grew more suspicious of Rachel and Mark and finally resulted in the whole, “we were on a break” scenario (which we could write a whole other blog on).
Sex and the City: Carrie and Aidan
Throughout the seasons, we loved to see if they would make it or not, but their dynamic made it hard to watch sometimes. Aidan broke up with Carrie after giving her an ultimatum (she had to stop smoking to be with him) and ultimatums don’t leave room for growth and development in relationships. Throughout the episodes that their love affair played out, we also saw his emotional abuse over Carrie. Often, we saw him retaliate against what Carrie was doing and what she had done in her past. As we saw them get back together after Carrie cheated on him with Big, Aidan started resenting her for that even though he said he had forgiven her. There was so much more to their relationship that went wrong on both parts.This put a lot of confusion and anxiety on Carrie as well as the viewer on what to idolize in a relationship.
Gossip Girl: Chuck and Blair
Chuck and Blair, the iconic Upper East Side, New York City couple. It is no secret that their relationship was horribly toxic. The two began their love affair as friends and their titles as New York elites made them compatible on paper. Chuck’s verbally abusive character caused continual pain for Blair and Blair’s manipulative behavior took over. Their pride was too big for their own good and they could never share how they truly felt, because neither wanted to get hurt or rejected. The love affair was romanticized, but the couple’s relationship was abusive on multiple counts.
One Tree Hill: Brooke and Peyton
Best friends, not friends, frenemies, rivals. Brooke and Peyton went through a lot of relationship statuses. Their biggest wedge: Lucas. It all started when Peyton wasn’t honest with Brook about her feelings for Lucas, opening up the opportunity for Brooke to pursue him. After that, Peyton and Lucas start sneaking around: red flag number two. However, it turns out that Brooke went behind Peyton’s back in sleeping with Nathan when PeIt was a game for the two, who could torment the other more at a given time? yton and Nathan were dating. There’s more to this cough most of their relationship was toxic.nvoluted relationship, but the bottomline is that Breyton’s relationship was filled with dishonesty, betrayal, and physical fighting.
Emily in Paris: Emily and Camille
Their friendship begins quickly when Camille offers her kindness to a new-to-Paris Emily. Emily had already developed feelings for Gabriel, although upon finding out he’s with Camille, she avoids him. Their friendship began uneasy with Emily’s existing and complicated feelings for Gabriel and it evolved to deception when Emily sleeps with Gabriel. She then hides this from Camille and continues their friendship as if nothing happened. Trés mauvais!
This is Us: Jack and Rebecca
While this is our favorite show to cry to and talk about how Jack is the perfect husband and father, we can also see the flaws between Jack and Rebecca. Throughout scenes that highlight Jack and Rebecca’s relationship we see how codependent they are. They always talk about how they are one person who can do everything together. Remember the big fight they had at the end of season one because Rebecca wanted to evolve and become a singer? Also, as parents, their opposing styles result in their own set of problems. When one parent is “the fun one” and the other “the strict one” it creates confusion in children and we see that play out between Jack and Rebecca. While they talk about how they want to change this while their children are young, it never ends up happening, which leads to resentment building between them.
Kate, Cristina, and Catherine