Best of the 2010s: The relationships that shaped the decade

SUITS -- "Harvey" Episode 816 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen -- (Photo by: USA Network)
SUITS -- "Harvey" Episode 816 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen -- (Photo by: USA Network) /
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Suits Season 8, Episode 5
SUITS — “Good Mudding” — Photo by: Shane Mahood — Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Rather than a traditional best of the 2010s ranking for our television favorites, we’re taking a look back at the big shipper moments we will never forget.

When compared with movies, television provides a greater opportunity to follow characters’ lives and really get an in-depth look at how they relate to one another. And while a person’s life doesn’t necessarily have to be defined by their romantic pursuits—sometimes, for example, we just want to focus on friendship or even family—many, many viewers have a tendency to notice a certain dynamic between two characters and begin to root for them to become lovers. It may be a certain spark we feel when the people we ship are in a scene together; maybe they have a ritual or a coded language they use, a way they look at one another or just the way they get each other. Maybe it’s something more subtle, or maybe it’s staring us in the face.

No matter what the cause, the connection to a specific ship is sometimes what drives people to stay invested in a story; and seeing two people grow together is often an emotional experience for not just the characters on screen, but also the viewers who feel like they’re going through the ups and downs with them. It would be a huge oversight, then, to look back on the best of the 2010s without taking time for some of the biggest will they/won’t they payoffs. With that being said, a listing of the best of the 2010s can be exhaustive, especially when looking at a topic that such a large number of viewers get invested in—and to the point of becoming religious fanatics about it. We’re still fighting the Buffy the Vampire Slayer shipper wars in 2019, folks; and we’re never going to stop…

So, rather than try to come up with the top ship, or even the top five or more, we thought we’d frame our best of the 2010s relationship moments around a different theme: What, exactly, stands out when we look back at each individual year this decade? Which hook-ups, reunions, weddings, or (worse) break-ups remain forever embedded in our memories, even when there have been so many other love stories to follow?

And why, for the love of the television gods, did some of these people take so long to see what was right in front of them all along?