Posted Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at 4:07 PM
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo of Jon Snow by Helen Sloan/HBO; photo of Dana Brody by Kent Smith/Showtime
Getting set up on Valentine's Day is never a good idea, but fictional TV characters can handle it. So in the spirit of the holiday, I've paired five characters who have had trouble finding that special someone with their perfect TV match—incompatible networks, time slots, and genres be damned.
1. Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project) and Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother): Mindy, a Manhattan OB-GYN, desperately wants to star in her own romantic comedy, going so far as to hang out at the Empire State building hoping to meet her true love a la Sleepless in Seattle. In the very same city, Ted Mosby's been telling an epic story about his own true love for eight seasons of television. They are both that highly paradoxical combination of self-absorbed and deeply romantic and a little bit whiny. Clearly, they're meant for each other. "Your Mother" is Mindy!
2. Juliette Barnes (Nashville) and Santana Lopez (Glee): They're both performance powerhouses, both in search of their true identities, and both have troubled relationships with their exes. Now that Juliette's fled the altar and Santana's quit school, maybe these two stars of TV's best musicals (sorry, Smash) can make beautiful music together out on the road. Plus, a coming-out-of-the-closet-in-country story that draws from Chely Wright's real-life experiences would be timely and smart.
3. Chris Traeger (Parks and Recreation) and Michelle Sims (Bunheads): Chris found himself in small-town Pawnee, Ind., after he was summoned there to audit the town government. Michelle moved to Paradise, Calif., after she married a fan of her Vegas showgirl routine on a whim, he died in a car accident shortly after their wedding, and ended up leaving her a ballet school. OK, fine: These two intense, sweet weirdos haven't exactly had identical paths in life. But they've both found themselves surprisingly attached to small-town lives and other weirdos. Oh, and Chris could help move Michelle's request for a performing arts center permit through Paradise's planning board a little faster. If that's not love ...
4. Jon Snow (Game of Thrones) and Dana Brody (Homeland): Jon's father was executed for treason in King's Landing. Dana's dad is a terrorist on the run in Canada. No one in the Night's Watch really understands the brooding Jon Snow, and it's no better for angsty Dana in suburban Maryland. But even if they weren't under extreme duress and in need of a sympathetic ear, I think these serious, smart teenagers would have sparks. They're both just trying to be good people in a world gone mad. Plus: curly hair.
5. Raylan Givens (Justified) and Ally Lowen (Sons of Anarchy): U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens' last girlfriend cleaned him out of $10,000 and shot him with a pellet gun, and he's been missing his ex-wife's pregnancy checkups to chase felons. Who knows if lawyer Ally Lowen has a love life at all—she's too busy cleaning up messes for the most notorious motorcycle gang in Charming, Calif. These two may be on opposite sides of the law, but that makes things exciting.
Unimpressed with my love connections? Come up with some of your own in the comments.