With Netflix slowly putting television networks out of business with its streaming model of originally scripted content, viewers are becoming accustomed to binge-watching culture, condensing what was once a weeks-long event of watching the latest season of a show into now just a few days. Not only are Netflix’s newest series always a hot topic of debate for everyone who watches, but they’re easily accessible with almost everyone now having access to an online account.
As you might expect, the sudden increase in content has meant a show can now take more creative risks, which in turn has given rise to a multitude of talented individuals who’ve found fame on the streaming service. With the newfound obsession for Netflix, there’s been a considerable weight put onto the shoulders of content creators to not only produce a truly watchable show, but also one which viewers will want to go through in a matter of days.
At the forefront of Netflix’s compelling content are the many romances which have engaged us from early on and have fallen under heavy scrutiny when they don’t turn out as expected. While not every couple in the shows we’re about to mention kept us dreaming of our own happily-ever-afters, all of them were given a chance.
From tales of young love still in its early stages to two superhuman characters coming together for the first time on screen, each pairing is memorable for its own reasons, good or bad.
Join us in taking a look at 12 Couples That Hurt Netflix Shows (And 13 That Saved Them).
25 Saved: Clay and Hannah (13 Reasons Why)
A central figure of the controversial young adult series 13 Reasons Why, Clay Jensen was a close friend and classmate of Hannah Baker's at Liberty High School prior to her taking her own life.
Later, after receiving the tapes which would become the subject of the series, Clay's personality would become noticeably colder, thanks in part to the devastation brought forth by Hannah's passing.
Working at the Crestmont theater together, Hannah would grow closer to Clay, often confiding in him, though he would fail to see the signs of her depression. In the end, she would acknowledge her reluctance to include him on her tapes, though she would admit his inclusion was a necessary part of her story.
24 Hurt: Danny and Colleen (Iron Fist)
Endowed with the mystical properties of the Iron Fist, Danny Rand was perhaps the least deserving superhero of all time, having already accumulated great wealth from his father's company and having never worked for anything.
When Rand meets Colleen Wing, an actual martial arts expert and dojo owner, they develop a relationship based on respect.
In the comics, Danny and Colleen are great, platonic friends.
In the series, Colleen's self-taught street-fighting style makes her a more likable hero and quite possibly a better candidate for the Iron First, which leaves us wondering why she would develop feelings for someone like Danny.
23 Saved: Nancy and Jonathan (Stranger Things)
A hyper-intelligent good girl, Stranger Things' Nancy Wheeler belongs to the seemingly perfect family, but underneath her good grades lies a rebellious teen who uncovers a hidden bravery she didn't know she possessed. After striking a relationship with Steve Harrington, Nancy eventually finds herself with Jonathan Byers, the mysterious loner who becomes devastated by the disappearance of his younger brother.
Together, Nancy and Jonathan find themselves on the wrong side of the U.S. Department of Energy and uncover the deeply concealed secrets behind the Hawkins National Laboratory and its connection to the Upside Down.
They also share their first intimate moment together in season two in one of the show's most talked about romantic scenes.
22 Hurt: Stephanie and Jimmy (Fuller House)
Selling a dose of nostalgia to the life-long fans of the original Full House, the Tanners returned to their San Francisco home in 2016 with all the family-friendly melodrama and good-natured humor of the good old days.
Among the most notable couples on the show, the outgoing Stephanie found herself with Jimmy, the younger brother of D.J.'s long-time friend Kimmy Gibbler.
Although the two become romantically involved enough that Kimmy offers to carry their child because Stephanie cannot traditionally have children of her own, the pair provide little more than the happy-go-lucky brand of relationships first depicted in the show's parent series.
21 Saved: Alyssa and James (The End of the F***ing World)
An unconventional road trip between two seventeen year old outsiders develops into an atypical coming-of-age love story in The End of the F***ing World.
Alyssa plans an escape from her mother and abusive stepfather to find her substance-dealing, biological dad. James, an emotionally despondent teen who's convinced he's a psychopath, comes along for the ride with hopes of making Alyssa his first victim.
Soon after embarking on their journey, the couple experiences a multitude of mishaps, from crashing their vehicle to running into another psychopath similar to James. Through their teen angst-fueled runaway tale, James uncovers he's true feelings for Alyssa, which may be his answer for escaping his inner most demons.
20 Hurt: Colt and Abby (The Ranch)
Using a staged set as its central location, The Ranch is Netflix's tribute to traditional sitcoms, though it's been heavily criticized for its by-the-dots, formulaic storyline. At the center of the series is Colt Bennett (played by Ashton Kutcher), a once promising semi-pro football player who returns to Colorado to lend a hand on his family's ranch.
Colt's love interest, Abby Phillips (Elisha Cuthbert), was Colt's high school girlfriend who is first engaged when Colt moves back to town.
Although the series begins with a solid premise, the relationships aren't fully developed and leave much to be desired, sadly making the chemistry between Colt and Abby feel second-rate and unfulfilling.
19 Saved: Nomi and Amanita (Sense8)
One of the eight sensates born on August 8th, Nomi Marks is a political blogger and hactivist proudly living as a transgender woman with her wife Amanita before she starts experiencing sensations which she incorrectly diagnoses as symptoms of a rare brain disorder.
A strong-minded feminist, Amanita is the kind, socially aware love interest to Nomi who accompanies her on her investigation into the Biological Preservation Organization, the multi-government research group responsible for hunting down all sensates.
As a healthy LGBT couple, Nomi and Amanita mark a progressive step forward in gender diversity in television.
They showcase Netflix's willingness to portray love stories of all types moving forward.
18 Hurt: Frank and Claire (House of Cards)
As a cold and duplicitous politician with an megalomaniacal obsession with power, Frank Underwood lies, cheats and maims his way to the top in House of Cards. Claire, his wife and full-time business partner, is an equally determined and ruthlessly pragmatic companion.
Although the two have admitted to needing each other, both have rarely showed any real level of affection towards one another.
Although Claire has had moments where she's sought spiritual freedom away from Frank, their union had fortified them as an untouchable couple. On both ends, the duo do well to use each other to propel their lives, putting their political careers before everything else.
17 Saved: Sheila and Joel (Santa Clarita Diet)
Compelled by her compulsion to eat human flesh, Sheila Hammond becomes her husband Joel's burden to bear after she suddenly falls ill and becomes a zombie.
Soon, the idyllic duo's life is turned upside down as the passive, non-confrontational Joel is left with the clean-up which comes with being married to a zombie.
Tucked away in the suburban paradise of Santa Clarita, Shelia and Joel balance out their everyday activities as the community's top-selling realtors by attempting to suppress Sheila's inner-most instincts.
Easily the goriest relationship depicted on a Netflix's series, Santa Clarita Diet's gross-out laughs are just one of the many upsides that come with the territory.
16 Hurt: Ethan and Lisa (Friends from College)
Despite showcasing a talented cast, Friends from College has been called one of Netflix's biggest misfires because of its unlikable characters. At the top of the heap is Ethan (Keegan Michael-Key), a frustrated author who spends his time cheating on his wife Lisa (Cobie Smulders) with his friend Sam.
As a binge-worthy series to hate-watch, Friends from College follows Ethan and Sam as they try terribly to conceal their love affair.
While the audience gets to know the characters, it's slowly revealed that none of them can handle an ounce of responsibility, but it's Ethan's mistreatment of his wife that takes the cake as the most despicable act of the show.
15 Saved: Elizabeth and Philip (The Crown)
Covering Elizabeth's younger years to her reign, set across six seasons consisting of 10 hour-length episodes, The Crown's first season debuted on Netflix in November 2016, depicting her marriage to Philip.
Portrayed by Claire Foy and Matt Smith in the first two seasons, the series has stirred controversy with its harsh assessment of their famous marriage, portraying Philip as an impolite womanizer in season two.
Engaging in high stakes drama and borrowing from the tumultuous history of its characters, The Crown is a sumptuous period drama enveloped in a love story that has seen its fair share of ups and downs.
14 Hurt: Rob and Patricia (Real Rob)
Using a heightened version of reality with mixed results, Real Rob is a peek into the life of comedian Rob Schneider's family home, where he works hard to balance his everyday activities with the needs of his wife and two year old child. Playing his wife is his real-life spouse Patricia Azarcoya Arce.
In the series, Schneider lands a big-time deal to create a semi-autobiographical series depicting his relationship with his wife and her in-laws' unwillingness to accept him. Unfortunately, Schneider's meta outlook on his own life is too much at once. His character's narcissistic personality dampens his likability, both as a comical character and a family man.
13 Saved: Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (Netflix's Marvel Series)
A magnetic superhero duo, the Marvel couple of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones has long been a dynamic pairing in the comic book world.
First introduced as a bar owner in season one of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage shared a passionate relationship with Jones prior to discovering that she was involved in the accident which took the life of his ex-wife Reva.
Although Jones' past has inevitably created a divide between the two, there's a strong feeling the private investigator and man with the invincible skin will reunite.
For now, both will continue with their respective solo series, though we have hope viewer demand will push them together somehow.
12 Hurt: Roman and Annie (Hemlock Grove)
An infamously gory horror series, Hemlock Grove presented a hode-podge of supernatural monsters and puzzling mysteries wrapped inside the show's small Pennsylvania town.
Roman, a protagonist of the series, lives in his mother's estate and is half human and half Upir, one of several breeds of vampires originating from the Ukraine.
Beginning in season three, Roman is shown to have a relationship with Annie, a gentler and older Upir who happens to be his half-sister.
Apart from the obvious creepiness of Roman and Annie having an intimate relationship, the show had a way of going off the rails without much explanation, making for an unjustifiably weird series that got stranger as time wore on.
11 Saved: Poussey and Soso (Orange Is the New Black)
Initially perceived as overly talkative and annoying by the other inmates of Litchfield Penetentiary, Brook Soso first grew closer to Poussey Washington after attempting to by overdose on a bottle of Benadryl in season three. In time, the two become inseparable, bonding over their shared interest in literature.
In season four, their relationship is abruptly ended when Poussey is improperly detained by Correction Officer Baxter Bayley during a peaceful demonstration in the prison cafeteria, leading to her demise by asphyxiation.
A devastated Soso mourns Poussey's passing in season five as she's left to deal with the repercussions of her girlfriend's untimely passing.
10 Hurt: Miranda and Patrick (Haters Back Off)
The terribly misguided Miranda Sings, the Internet personality made famous by YouTuber Colleen Ballinger, was given her own spinoff series in Haters Back Off, a tale of one egotistical young woman’s sought after road to stardom and the dysfunctional family who stands in her way.
Stretching the premise into a full-length series, Colleen does little to invite the uninitiated into Miranda’s quirky tirades.
Miranda spends much of her time berating her parents and her neighbor Patrick, who has strong feelings towards her.
Although Miranda later returns his affections, he remains the subject of Miranda’s cruelty, giving in to her every plea and receiving little in return.
9 Saved: Titus and Mikey (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Praised for its gloriously whacked-out, upbeat tone and strong feminist edge, Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt offered a breakout role for Ellie Kemper. But make no mistake about it, it's Kimmy's outrageously diva-like roommate Titus Andromedon who steals the show.
In season two, Titus is paired with the unlikely partner Mike Politano, an macho Italian construction worker whose own insecurities as a gay man lead him to asking Titus out for the first time.
Although polar opposites, Titus falls for the newly out Mike until he loses him altogether and vows to win back his heart any way he can.
8 Hurt: Sophia and Shane (Girlboss)
Based on the memoir of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, Girlboss followed one rebellious young woman's journey to becoming a global fashion icon. Although Britt Robertson's portrayal was praised for its accuracy, the show was called out for its unlikable lead who was perceived as too snobbish.
Apart from her time spent focusing on her business, Sophia also spent time mistreating her boyfriend Shane, a drummer who she criticizes for not having a real profession.
By the series' end, the seemingly nice guy Shane is suddenly revealed to be cheating on Sophia, but by the time of the revelation, enough of Sophia's true personality as come out that viewers can hardly be bothered to care.
7 Saved: Kate and Emaline (Everything Sucks!)
Although canceled after one season, Everything Sucks! was Netflix's much-needed '90s-themed nostalgia series, centered on the misfits of Boring High School in Orego.
The character of Kate Messner provided one of the show's better storylines as she navigated the familiar feelings of being a social outcast, learning of her own attraction to girls along the way.
A polar opposite to Kate, Emaline is the popular girl who begins the series dating Oliver. Aware of Kate's crush, she initially laughs her off but after growing close she admits to liking her as well.
They share a touching moment in the finale that will warm any heart.
6 Hurt: Chip and London (Flaked)
Will Arnett plays the central protagonist of Flaked, a recovering addict whose life is turned upside down when he falls for a waitress named London.
Using the cliche of the man-child unwilling to grow up, the series has been scrutinized for its over-reliance on plot twists.
Although the love story between Chip and London is only a part of Flaked's storyline, it's an unbelievable part of the show considering just how immature Chip is.
In the end, Arnett's portrayal of the self-pitying jerk does little to earn him sympathy, making it hard to invest any kind of emotion into his story.
5 Saved: Gus and Mickey (Love)
A manipulative nerd strikes up an unconventional relationship with a self-destructive radio show producer. Together, the on-again, off-again pair of Gus and Mickey provided the viewers of Love with the push-and-pull dynamic of a young couple making their way through a newly formed relationship.
Following the ciche of the nice guy who lands his dream girl, Love managed to flip the Hollywood stereotype onto its head by dismantling the all too-familiar tropes of the romantic comedy genre.
The show's third and final season would give fans their happily ever after, though questions would still remain about the lasting ability of the couple even after the end of their story.
4 Hurt: Jean and Sidney (Gypsy)
Envisioned as one middle-age woman's foray into her inner most desires, Gypsy fell short of its titillating premise despite a committed performance from Naomi Watts.
Mixing business with pleasure, the psychological drama followed Jean Halloway, a therapist who infiltrates the private lives of her patients. Soon, she seeks out Sidney, with whom she has an affair.
Despite having some very steamy scenes shared between Jean and Sidney, the strictly physical nature of their relationship still feels pedestrian. The show's themes of self-discovery and awakening end up being fairly unconvincing. This led to its early cancellation after one season.
3 Saved: Monse and Cesar (On My Block)
Best friends since elementary school, Monse and Cesar first hooked up prior to Monse leaving for summer camp before the start of their freshman year at high school.
Upon returning, Monse discovers a disconnect between Cesar and the rest of the group, finding to her dismay that he's been leaking secrets about their hook-up to others around town.
Soon, Monse uncovers the truth behind Cesar's sudden personality change. Forced into a lifestyle change by his older brother Spooky, Cesar has become a member of the Santos, a local Latino gang.
Looking to get him out, Monse is forthcoming with Cesar about her feelings for him.
2 Hurt: D.J. and Matt/Steve (Fuller House)
The main protagonist of Fuller House, D.J. Tanner-Fuller moves back to her childhood home to raise her three children following the passing of her husband. Shortly after, she rekindles her past relationship with Steve Hale, who now works as a podiatrist. On the other hand lies Matthew Harmon, a fellow veterinarian and co-owner of Harmon-Fuller Pet Care.
In season one, the love triangle between D.J., Steve and Matt creates quite the conundrum for D.J.
Apart from the obvious misdeed on D.J.'s part for playing with two men's emotions, the fighting among the trio felt incredibly immature given the circumstances, making us wonder what the writers were thinking.
1 Saved: Mike and Eleven (Stranger Things)
A puppy love tale for the ages, the budding romance between Mike and Eleven began shortly after Mike began housing the young telekinetic escapee after she ran away from the clutches of the Hawkins National Laboratory.
Though Eleven was believed to be gone for good after single-handedly tackling the Demogorgon in the season one finale, Mike had a hard time letting go of her in season two.
After discovering that Eleven had miraculously survived the Upside Down and had been living in seclusion with Police Chief Jim Hopper for more than a year, Mike's breakdown in Hopper's arms would become one of the series' most emotionally devastating scenes, putting the couple's young love on full display.
What's your favorite couple in a Netflix show? Let us know in the comments!
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