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We will go down with these ships: 6 couples who suffered a ton

The season finale of Shameless left a beloved couple, affectionately referred to by fans as “Gallavich,” in shambles. With the availability of the actors unknown, the fate of Ian and Mickey is uncertain. This is hardly the first time that this couple—who have always seemed destined to be together—has suffered a setback. It got us thinking: What other couples have tortured their fans on their way to ultimate happiness?

Here, the EW Community discuss some of our favorite ships and the ways that they made us miserable … before finding their way to happily ever after. Make sure to let us know who you would add to our list!

Carrie and Big, Sex and the City

Photo credit: HBO

Carrie and Big find each other in the very first episode of the six-season series, but for fans of the pair, watching their relationship was absolute agony. Despite a deep love that existed from the very beginning, Big and Carrie couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Not only did they spend most of the series apart, but along the way he gets married, she falls in love, and they hurt each other countless times.

After Big has heart surgery and Carrie takes care of him, it looks like they may finally be heading for happiness. We (and Carrie) get sucked in by Big’s seemingly genuine change of heart—but alas, it is another fake-out. After that, it seems hopeless. Only Carrie’s ill-fated decision to move to Paris with her older Russian boyfriend could change the course of their lives forever. Carrie’s misery and Big’s realization that he couldn’t live without her is the perfect storm that finally allows for them to reunite.

Ultimately, in the form of a movie, Carrie and Big find their way down the aisle, but I like to think that they are frozen in time in a New York City diner, making their way back to Carrie’s friends after their magical reunion in Paris. —Tamar Barbash

Pacey and Joey, Dawson’s Creek

Photo credit: WB

I can stand by Pacey and Joey’s breakup in season four because Pacey needed to discover his self-worth and happiness outside of her (it’s STILL horrid, though). Where Dawson’s Creek got particularly cruel with this ship was in season six. We were gifted with “Castaways,” where Joey and Pacey spent a night together locked in a K-Mart, which led to a rekindling of their relationship. The writers snatched away their happiness three episodes later, when Joey decided to reconcile with Eddie for reasons I still can’t comprehend.

Sure, Pacey and Joey end up together in the finale, as they should be … but it was a long road to happiness. —Kim Rogers, Head Over Feels

Ross and Rachel, Friends

Photo credit: NBC

While Monica and Chandler are the healthier and often more entertaining twosome, Ross and Rachel are usually considered the most epic of the Central Perk pairs.

They spent less than 10 percent of the show’s entire run together. Here’s the math: not counting unrequited love from both that spans decades, their Vegas marriage, or the night they conceived Emma, Mr. Gellar and Ms. Green were only official for one year (25 episodes, plus “The One with the Jellyfish”).

But he’s her lobster. And theirs is an eternal flame that couldn’t be extinguished by Paolo, Julie, The List, Bloomingdale’s Mark, Copy Girl, the dreadfully boring Emily, or even Paris. —Wendy Hathaway

Luke and Lorelei, Gilmore Girls

Photo credit: CW

Though it was clear from the endless diner-counter flirtations that Luke and Lorelai were meant to be together, they sure took their time getting there. Their domestic bliss was constantly interrupted by their own stubbornness, meddling Emily, and an inconvenient plot device named April Nardini, who was sent to Stars Hollow to break off their engagement and ruin everything. Nevertheless, L&L finally reunite in a perfect kiss in the series finale, after Lorelai learns that Luke stayed up all night stitching together a giant tent to keep the rain from wrecking Rory’s going-away party. Cue feel-good “la la la la” music. —Sam Bertschmann

Penny and Desmond, Lost

Photo credit: ABC

Ugh: Desmond and Penny. Remember that time when you were in a sailing competition and your boat crashed and you ended up in a bunker pushing a button every 108 minutes, sure that you were never going to see your lover again, and then you got to talk to her, but then you lost her as someone gave their life so that you could find your lover, and then she took her father’s endless bank account and took her OWN yacht to come and find you? THAT’S ENDGAME MATERIAL RIGHT THERE. That’s Penny-and-Desmond love. That should be what gives you hope when he’s not texting you back. THAT is patience. —Justin Kirkland

Syd and Vaughn, Alias


Alias’s Sydney Bristow and Michael Vaughn are the perfect example of an endgame on-again off-again couple. With all the physical torture on this show, watching them get together and then ripped apart was the real torture. When they finally professed their love for one another in season one, Sydney was tragically taken away from Vaughn in the season two finale. In season three, Sydney wakes up with two years of her life gone, and Vaughn is married. Married! The end of season three sees the death of Michael’s wife and the reunification of Sydney and Vaughn. In season four, Michael proposes, only to end up in a car crash. With all the breakups, makeups, fake deaths, and double-undercover secret identities, it was very satisfying to see Sydney and Vaughn happily married in the series finale, with two beautiful children, Isabelle and Jack. —Lauren Gallaway

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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