Nominees Wanted: TV's Best Chemistry!

It’s been a week since we had an image of Bones‘ David Boreanaz on PopWatch (and even though Abby West’s Mini TV Watch will post in a few hours, I can’t wait). So, tell us: Can Boreanaz (Special Agent Seeley Booth) and Emily Deschanel (Dr. Temperance Brennan) compete for the title of TV’s Best Chemistry? To be clear: "Chemistry" is not limited to "sexual tension" (although I’m willing to bet the clip below, from the Bones pilot, is what scored that series its original pickup). In our book, it also describes the shared sense of timing that makes Calista Flockhart (Kitty McCallister) and Sally Field (Nora Walker) a joy to watch on Brothers & Sisters; that’s earned James Spader (Alan Shore) and William Shatner (Denny Crane) each Emmys for Boston Legal. Because we’re looking for the best chemistry in TV history, feel free to nominate classic duos like The Dukes of Hazzard’s James Best (Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane) and Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg). We’ll even accept James Best and the basset hound that played Flash, if you can make your argument in 75 words or less…

Nominate away!

UPDATE: Here’s Abby’s recap of Monday’s Bones.


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  • Earl

    Great TV teams…sorry, ain’t limiting to 1…
    Scrubs hilariously gay non-homosexuals JD and Turk.
    Futurama’s Fry and Bender!
    Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney on West Wing. Gotta love Donna and Josh!
    Larry Sanders has several great combos to work with: Mix and match Larry, Artie, Hank. How about Hank and Darlene? Theres always goofball writers Phil and Jerry.
    Simpson’s Smithers and Burns.
    Mulder and Scully (D’uh!)
    Law & Order’s best cop duo Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth.
    Office’s Pam and Jim, or Dwight and Michael.
    Best. TV. Cops. Ever. Homicide’s brilliant pair of Andre Braugher and Kyle Secor.
    Greys Anatomy’s…ah, who am I kidding? They all suck.

    • Kaitie

      Pam and Jim! =0]

      • binky

        I love Pam and Jim, too!
        Also Mick and Beth (Moonlight).

      • Sean

        Jim and Pam deffinately!!!!!!! They are the best couple in tv history!!!!

    • Anna

      Fry and Bender!!!

      • Patrick

        This is two years old.

      • northern

        holling and shelly from northern exposure.

      • Samantha

        to tell the truth i don’t think anyone noticed.

      • GoddessLu

        OMG this IS 2 years old. Why was it in the active links? EW, for shame.

      • julia

        ya ew seems to do that a lot there wsa a post for a twlight debate and it was a year old! so annoying

    • frankenanddavis

      the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- it the basis for the show and their timing is impecable!
      also the comedy duo of franken and davis (even though they are no longer together and al is now a senator.)
      also david brent and gareth keenen from the best version of the office:the original. (and tim and dawn obviously)
      and niel and his dummy, i mean figure, from freaks and geeks

      • Wednesday

        Michael & Nikita on La Femme Nikita
        Oliver & Chloe on Smallville
        Mick and Beth on Moonlight
        Dean and Sam on Supernatural
        Ally and Larry on Ally McBeal
        Maks and Mel B. on DWTS
        Castle and Beckett on Castle
        Ben and Felicity on Felicity
        Buffy and Angel on Buffy
        Michael and Fi on Burn Notice
        Sydney and Vaughn on Alias
        Tony and Ziva on NCIS
        Max and Liz on Roswell

  • beetlebume

    Blair and Chuck from Gossip Girl have this amazing sexual tension and witty banter. They also wear their outfits very coordinately and do evil stuff they don’t ever ashamed of, which make them a match made in heaven (or should I say hell?)

    • sunsetsnow81

      Agree Blair and Chuck are the best, as lovers, friends or enemies. Wickedly delicious!

  • Tina

    Right now, Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell in Battlestar Galactica.
    All-time, here’s a vote for Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke (or MTM and Ed Asner).

    • Rach

      There are a lot of reasons to love 30 Rock, but the chemistry between Jack and Liz is a reason in itself. They’re friendship has become one of the best and most genuine on TV. Between stripping at a retreat, flying in from D.C because of a pregnancy scare, or calling a bomb threat to penn station, they’ll do anything for each other and gives the crazy show a heart.

      (Thank you for throwing in Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke! Woot!)

  • Brandumb

    Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza are perfect for each other – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • Jen S.

    Bones and Booth all the way. They can say more in a glance than almost anybody on tv. There are people who are expressive, but not everyone can be that expressive while looking at another character not the camera. Plus, hello! The best way to have on screen chemistry is to make the viewing audience feel they have a connection to you. Who doesn’t want to have a conversation with Bones and who doesn’t want to well… anything… with Booth?!?

  • Brandumb

    Oh, and Radar O’Reily and Col. Henry Blake had some great chemistry and comic timing together. They made it seem effortless. While I’m on MASH, I’ll add Hawkeye and Trapper or Hawkeye and BJ to the list.

    • Kate

      Sigh. Totally Hawkeye and BJ.

  • Rhonda

    There are two sets of actors that immediately come to mind:
    Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn from Lost;
    Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard from House.
    The chemistry between these actors is amazing and I can’t take my eyes off them when they’re on the screen together, especially Emerson and O’Quinn. It’s as though they were born to act with each other.

    • CineCzarina

      Yes, House and Wilson.. and…
      Cybill S. and Bruce Willis
      Shawn and Gus on Psych
      Bones and Booth
      Mary and Marshall
      Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain
      Denzel and Julia
      Gillian and David D.
      Billie Piper and David Tennant
      Billie Piper and Chris Eccleston
      Spader and Shatner
      Tara Summers and Christian Clemmenson
      Elena and Damon on Vampire Diaries
      Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber
      Patricia Arquette & David Cubitt

      • ceceo2

        Shawn and Gus!!!

      • girlgamy

        Yes to Patricia Arquette and Jake Webber! was my first thought.

      • Sarah

        Shawn and Gus are the best! <3

    • harley quinn

      I think Matthew Fox/Terry O’Quinn squeaks by Terry O’Quinn/Michael Emerson in the chemistry department…just a smidge. The Jack/Locke dynamic has propelled the most complex storytelling on Lost from day one, and this season is building to the first Jack/NotLocke face to face.

      Also nominate: JD and Turk/Scrubs
      the whole Friends cast
      Mulder/Scully and the three horsemen from the X Files (such an odd grouping of geeks, but it so worked)
      Kirk, Spock and Bones from Star Trek original flavor
      Angel and Buffy (still the best tragic vamp/human love story on TV)
      Dean and Sam from Supernatural
      Alexis and Krystal from Dynasty (epic catfight action)
      The SNL cast from the ’90s (Sandler, Farley, Spade, Myers, Carvey, Hartman, OTeri, Shannon, Ferrel…)

      • harley quinn

        Oops, meant Lone Gunmen, not horsemen, on X Files…have Supernatural and the apocalypse on the brain

      • Anna

        I don’t even like Supernatural, but the chemistry between Dean and Sam is impossible to ignore.

      • hellojoe

        Lois & Clark (Terri Hatcher, Dean Cain)
        Mulder & Scully
        Tony & Michelle (from 24)
        Ben & Locke
        Carrie & Mr. Big
        Kermit & Miss Piggy

      • kimmy

        totally agree with the Buffy/Angel comment. twilight and the vampire diaries does not even compare to their story!

  • Elizabeth

    AMEN to JD & Turk from Scrubs. They’re in the same vein as Denny & Alan on Boston Legal, and Cory & Shawn from Boy Meets World… actually Cory & Shawn defined that.
    Liz Lemon & Jack on 30 Rock
    Jack & Chloe on 24 (someone has to put up with them and their individual quirks)
    Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley & Kenny Smith on The NBA on TNT

    • Renny

      There are a lot of reasons to love 30 Rock, but the friendship between Jack and Liz is my favorite part of the show. Their platonic chemistry is just so fun to watch; its natural, genuine, and isn’t at all forced by the writers. It gives a wonderfully crazy show like 30 Rock a heart.

    • CineCzarina

      Yes!! Turk and JD fo-sho!

    • TZ

      Liz Lemon and Jack Donaughy FOR SURE.

  • MsDaisy

    Way back to the 70’s: Starsky & Hutch (David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser).

    • amye

      Absolutely.

      The guys who made ‘bro-mance’ a reality long before the term even became known.

      There are very few male duos in television history that can match or equal the bond that these two characters had (and that the actors still have to this day).

  • MsDaisy

    Hutch = David Soul, Starsky = Paul Michael Glaser.

  • tesla

    Coach and Mrs. Coach from Friday Night Lights – don’t you whisper yell at me!

    • Michelle

      Laverne & Shirley – I grew up watching these ladies. Me and my best friend WERE Laverne and Shirley, I was prissy and proper, she was rough and tough, AND we were always in trouble.

  • snarky

    How about Ned and Chuck from Pushing Daisies? Can we nominate reality competitors? Edyta and Jason! Old School – I liked Hawkeye and Mike Farrell (what was his character’s name???) on MASH. How about Carrie and Big on SATC? I could go on and on….

    • Carrie

      Mke Farrell’s character was BJ Hunnicutt. And I’m with you on his chemistry with Hawkeye.

  • T

    Starsky & Hutch!!!!
    David & Maddie from Moonlighting
    Mulder & Scully from X-Files

  • Lex

    *Buster and Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development
    *Rachel and Ross on Friends
    *Kevin Walker and Kitty Walker on Brothers and Sisters
    *Wilson and House on House
    *Sam and Diane on Cheers
    *Jack, Kate, and Sawyer on Lost

    • Pat

      I know Ross and Rachel are going to get a lot of the votes for Friends, but my vote is for the entire ensemble cast. Every combo on that show managed to have perfect chemistry; Monica and Chandler; Ross and Rachel; Joey and Chandler; Joey and Phoebe; The three girls; The three boys. Even when two characters who normally weren’t alone together has storylines, it worked so well (i.e Rachel, Chandler, and the cheesecake). The best episodes, though, were the ones with the whole cast alone in a room. The cast meshed so well together and that’s what made Friends what it was.

      • beth

        FRIENDS did have awesome chemistry, like the one where they are all getting ready to go out for Ross’ big night? Each one of them played off the other very well.

      • kimmy

        good call. Friends is a perfect example of how to give each member of an ensemble something great to work with. their bantering back and forth was amazing. every combination of characters was great.

    • AllieBoBallie

      Really? I thought Monica and Mrs. Chanandler Boing had better chemistry than Ross and Rachel.

      • Madox

        The Friends cast was the 1st thing that came to mind when i read the headline. Rarely do you see an ensemble cast that has chemistry in every feasible combination. Love them : )

    • Katie

      haha Buster and Lucille FTW

  • Jamie

    I’ve got to go with Booth and Brennan too. They make the TV screen steam up with some of their “Guy hugs” and smoldering glances. They complete each other and make the other a better person, IMHO. And you just know that when they finally get together it’s going to be soooo hot that the cameras will melt. Go BB!
    Another couple I really liked together was Danny and Lindsay from CSI:NY, but TPTB killed them with one badly timed “bump” in the road that led to D cheating…I HATE a cheater. (Even if Carmine Giovinazzo IS fine…)

    • Marty

      Castle and Becket
      Cybil and Bruce

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