The Best and Worst TV Couples of 2021

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We love a good ship over here at TV Fanatic.

Lucky for us, 2021 gave us a ton of fun romantic relationships to gush over, from new duos setting sail (Hi, Spelivia) to seasoned ships continuing to bring the passion (Grace and Judd for life).

And we were blessed with some of our all-time favorite ships FINALLY getting together (it's about time, Malex and Rollisi). Basically, there was a lot of love this past year, and we're not mad about it. 

Best And Worst Couples 2021 Cover Photo

But not every ship is a good ship, or even a tolerable one. And while there were a lot of amazing couples, there were, unfortunately, some not-so-great ones that stood out to us this year as well. 

The TV Fanatic staff picked out our current top couples (and a few of the worst), and you can find them all down below!

Malex on Season 2

Michael and Alex – Roswell, New Mexico (The CW) - BEST 

Michael and Alex deserve their happy ending.

After two seasons of angst and more drama than any two people should have to endure, Roswell's "It" couple, Michael and Alex, found their way back to each other in Roswell, New Mexico Season 3. They spent ten years apart, dated other people, yet the love between them only grew stronger.

It was beautiful to see the two of them break down their walls brick by brick and commit to each other fully.

Michael Vlamis and Tyler Blackburn play the hell out of this relationship, their chemistry palpable from the pilot and only growing all these years later. Michael Guerin and Alex Manes are soulmates, their love written in the stars. And this feels like only the beginning for the fan-favorite couple and where they can go together.

We breathed easy when Michael proclaimed that he was finally home, just like Alex. All is finally well in the world. Malex forever and ever!

KitBell Plot - Tall  - The Resident Season 3 Episode 10

Kit and Bell – The Resident (FOX) - BEST 

In CoNic's absence, and after the end of Mina and the Raptor, fans of the series clung to the ship that stole their hearts since Jane Leeves' arrival, Kitbell. Kit and Bell's journey to one another has been one of the best arcs of the series in recent years, and there never seems to be enough of this pairing.

They've become Chastain's ultimate power couple.

Kit is the best CEO the hospital has ever had, but by her side, as her second in command always making sure she's in top form and taking care of her emotional needs while she conquers the healthcare world is Bell, who has evolved into of the best characters of the series with the best redemption arc.

They're a ship of equals who bring out and encourage the best in each other, and it's refreshing to have such a sexy, strong, powerful couple who can give the younger ships a run for the money in being the ultimate goals.

Helping His Neighbor - The Rookie

Nolan and Bailey – The Rookie (ABC) - WORST 

Nolan's love life has always been on life support with a series of relationships that weren't the most interesting. But his new relationship with Bailey is odd. They don't necessarily lack chemistry, but there's nothing particularly captivating about these two when they're together.

For one, we barely know how long they've been a couple since the timeline is all over the place, and every time we see them, they go back and forth from appearing as a casual couple dating and something more serious.

Now, Nolan wants to pop the question to Bailey, and it's hard for fans to connect with the storyline or care since it seemed as though they fast-tracked their relationship offscreen.  

Fancy Presentation - All American Season 2 Episode 10

Spencer and Olivia – All American (The CW) - BEST

Spelivia has captured our hearts. It took a long time for Spencer and Olivia to get together, but now that they are, all we can think about is what a shame it is that we haven't had them together all this time.

Spencer and Olivia are the perfect complements for each other, and watching them mature together, challenge one another, and work as a team has been such a treat for longtime fans of the series who have waited for this day.

The future is bright for these two, and we'll happily be along for the ride.

Sharpwin - The Love Story - tall - New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 1

Max and Helen – New Amsterdam (NBC) - BEST 

Max and Helen have been dancing around each other for years now. Colleagues and confidants, the love was always there. But it took them a while to be on the same page with their feelings.

New Amsterdam Season 4 saw them finally surrendering their intense emotions and embarking on a whirlwind romance.

The season premiere was chockfull of Sharpwin goodness, highlighting their bond and giving the fans their first look into a couple they've long waited to see together. Their union hasn't been without complications, but Max and Helen have communicated and worked to make sure they are putting their relationship first.

Moving to London will be a significant change for the relatively new couple, but it's obvious they are each other's person. They are a family now, and we are so excited to continue watching their love story unfold.

The Ultimate Side Eye - The Sinner Season 3 Episode 3

Harry and Sonya – The Sinner (USA) - WORST 

They make a solid senior couple, which is nice to see. Too nice to buy that Sonya would leave to go home from "vacation" with Harry while he was in mid investigation.

She knew his work was everything and that he could never really give it up or be fully immersed, even after his retirement.

And her being gone left Harry -- and us -- without Honia. Er, is it Sarry? Yes, surely it's Sarry. So, the couple's cutesy catchphrase can now be "Sarry, not sorry." Hmm. Mayhaps we ought to have helped out with the writing this final season...  

Getting Closer - Law & Order: SVU Season 22 Episode 4

Rollins and Carisi – Law and Order: SVU (NBC) - BEST 

Rollisi captured our hearts years ago as best friends and parts, but in 2021 Amanda Rollins and Sonny Carisi finally became a couple. We saw signs as soon as they spent New Years together in January, and he supported her through her dad's declining health, but they didn't officially kiss until Finn's non-wedding.

When Sonny read his speech, Amanda was so touched she kissed him.

Since then, we've seen little everyday moments of them at work and Amanda's apartment supporting each other throughout their day. Even the squad doesn't know yet, but they aren't fooling anyone.

Exonerating Hodges -- Tall - CSI: Vegas Season 1 Episode 9

Sara and Grissom – CSI: Vegas (CBS) - BEST 

We hadn't seen Sara and Grissom on our TV screens in over six years, and this time we were in for a treat.

We saw them work together as a married couple.

They still had the longstanding magic and banter as they solved cases.

There was nothing sweeter than hearing Grissom call Sara "darling" or "sweetheart." With their season of ups and downs, there was no better happy ending than seeing them kiss on that roller coaster.

Theme Song - WandaVision Season 1 Episode 3

Wanda and Vision – WandaVision (Disney+) - BEST 

Wanda and Vision are the star-crossed lovers of the MCU.

On WandaVision, we finally got the chance to have Marvel's lovable couple live their sitcom fantasy. Seeing the pair play off of the sitcom styles and adjust to the TV landscape gave them many new misadventures to bond over.

And nothing was cuter than having Wanda and Vision become new parents. Vision gives off serious "wants-to-be-a-cool-dad" energy while Wanda is a cool mom. Their relationship was the heart of the limited series.

Taking The Shot - Good Girls Season 4 Episode 3

Beth and Rio – Good Girls (NBC) - WORST

Now, Beth and Rio were never an official couple, but they were in a situationship for four seasons, and it felt like they were a couple at many times.

And for that reason alone, they have to make the worst list. Did they have chemistry? YES. But solid relationships have a lot more than just blistering chemistry.

They never trusted one another fully, hurt each other over and over again, and let their personal drama affect their lives in pretty harmful ways.

This pairing was a prime example of needing more than physical attraction to make any kind of relationship work. 

Friends With Benefits - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 6

Betty and Archie – Riverdale (The CW) - BEST 

Betty Cooper and Archie Andrews are finally a couple! The era of "Barchie" became canon to the delights of longtime fans and shippers.

Their story started as the complicated boy next door/girl next door trope, but as adults, they've been more open with each other about their wants and needs.

Sure, they started as casual hookups, but the "Rivervale" storyline showed that they're aligned in their life goals and balance each other quite nicely.

It's a healthier relationship than they had with Veronica or Jughead in the past. So, for the growth alone and the potential of where they will go, they're one of Riverdale's best couples.

Waverly and Nicole - Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 8

Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught – Wynonna Earp (SYFY) - BEST 

#Wayhaught forever! Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught have gone through so, so much during their romance, and to finally see them getting their happily-ever-after, with all of their found family attending (or officiating) their wedding.

This couple deserves forever happiness, and their wedding was perfect.

It really elevated the final season!

Caught Off Guard - 9-1-1 Season 4 Episode 11

Buck and Taylor – 9-1-1 (FOX) - WORST 

Buck and Taylor simply don't work. Buck deserves a partner who loves him fiercely, but we don't see that in this relationship.

The chemistry is lacking, and perhaps that's due to us barely seeing their relationship at all, but either way, their pairing seems more forced than anything else.

If this couple was always going to be endgame, the series could have done a much better job of making Taylor a likable character over the years. Because coupling her with the always adorable Buck hasn't worked at all.

Romantic Ryders - Tall - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1 Episode 5

Grace and Judd – 9-1-1: Lone Star (FOX) - BEST 

We ride with the Ryders, who are hands down the epitome of Marriage Goals and one of the best ships in the franchise. They're the cornerstone couple of the series and the heart and soul of it.

One of the best episodes was "Saving Grace," where we finally got background as to how this unlikely couple came to be and was an ode to the enduring love between these souls who have quite literally saved one another. The culmination of it resulting in a pregnancy that had all the fans squealing in delight.

You won't find a man more devoted to his wife and willing to sing her praises as often as Judd Ryder, and the demure, sharp, wise Grace is not only a beacon of light for her husband but the very best of him.

Tarlos Snuggles - Tall - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 2 Episode 7

T.K. and Carlos – 9-1-1: Lone Star (FOX) - BEST 

The best part about this spinoff is that we don't get one but rather two amazing ships. TK and Carlos have off the charts, 5-Alarm fire type of chemistry that makes them one of the hottest things on a show where there are actual fires.

Carlos is always by TK's side, from career shifts and family drama to terrifying, life-threatening situations. And TK supported Carlos through the tension between Carlos and his parents as they came to accept his sexuality and relationship with TK. It's impossible not to fall in love with their love.

Did your favorite couple make this list? Let us know in the comments who your favorite and least favorite couples were this year!

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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