Han and Leia. Sam and Diane. David and Maddie. For some pop culture couples it's both love and hate at first sight.
And audiences wouldn’t have it any other way.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s look back at five fictional couples who fought, fell in love and fought some more for our amusement.
- Sam Malone and Diane Chambers, “Cheers” – What did a baseball star turned bar owner and an uptight waitress have in common? Nothing save enough romantic sparks to power a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. They fought and flirted for five seasons, keeping audiences hooked on their fractured love story.
- Han Solo and Princess Leia, the “Star Wars” franchise – He called her “Your Highness.” She muttered much worse under her breath about his character. By the time Leia told Han she loved him in “The Empire Strikes Back” we all knew the truth. Hearing Han say “I know” in response certified the couple in the love/hate Hall of Fame.
- David Addison and Maddie Hayes, “Moonlighting” – This unlikely duo paid the bills with their detective agency, but it didn’t take Columbo to see the chemistry cooking between them. The series shattered broadcast TV norms along with the Fourth Wall, flashed fantasy sequences for our approval and hearkened back to the screwball comedy days of yore. It also ignited Bruce Willis’ career and reminded us Cybill Shepherd was more than just a beautiful face.
- Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood, the “Indiana Jones” franchise – The less said about the couple’s 2008 reunion via “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the better. Still, their combustible courtship, captured effortlessly in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” gave the adventure a tender heart. Harrison Ford and Karen Allen sold every second of their screen time like they knew it would stand the test of time. Indy could stare down any threat, but Marion’s feisty spirit buckled his knees every time.
- Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big, “Sex and the City” – Lovelorn Carrie gave her handsome beau one last chance after another, a process that extended through the HBO series and two feature films. They broke up, got back together again and finally marched down the aisle. They were meant to be, but for a very long time most viewers wished Carrie would throw the handsome lug to the curb. Viewers could see glimpses of themselves in the couple, both in their delirious highs and the moments when they wondered if falling in love made any sense at all.
DID YOU KNOW: One reason “Moonlighting” lost its creative mojo was due to the stars’ off-screen commitments. At one point in the series Cybill Shepherd was pregnant with twins and Bruce Willis was off shooting “Die Hard.” That left them shooting their scenes separately in many cases.