Yeah, there’s a lot of great TV on right now, but let’s be honest: sometimes we’re just in it for the ships. For the uninitiated, a ship, short for “relationship,” is a romantic couple in a piece of media — a book, a TV show, a movie — that you think should be together. While they can actually get together on the show, they can also continue to exist merely in the depths of your imagination. These are the seven TV ships we’re rooting for right now.
1. “Game of Thrones”: Missandei/Grey Worm
Jon and Daenerys sure are fiery, but the sweetest romance on “Game of Thrones” is definitely between Dany’s advisor, Missandei, and her Unsullied general, Grey Worm. This couple is the perfect slow burn — they didn’t even kiss until season 5, and in a show that made its name on sex, this couple didn’t do it until season 7. While they don’t get a lot of screen time, when we get to see them together, they make it count. The Westerosi elephant in the room of how they could have sex (since the Unsullied are castrated when they’re captured as children) could have made this couple the butt of the joke, but, surprisingly, they’re the most emotionally supportive, sweet, and caring couple on a show that lacks many of those things. Plus, they’re such a power couple — both have become wise and badass parts of Team Targaryen, which is probably why they’re some of the only favorite characters on GOT who are still alive.
2. “Stranger Things”: Nancy Wheeler/Jonathan Byers/Steve Harrington
Here’s the thing about love triangles: They’re usually pretty damn annoying to watch. And you know what solves that? Polyamory. Granted, polyamory doesn’t work for everyone, real or fictional, but it really works for Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve. It’s a shame they haven’t been shown together more, because in the few times we’ve seen all three interact, they’re like magic. Steve and Nancy were always pretty cute, Nancy and Jonathan have obvious chemistry, and Steve and Jonathan are that sweet, sweet enemies-to-friends-to-lovers gold. Duffer Brothers, please stop the cliche teenage sexual tension and give me these three nerds loving each other instead!
3. “Sex Education”: Otis/Asexuality
Otis is a great kid, and watching his failed sexual exploits (and his attempts to help others) is relatable and charming. Throughout the first season, we see him struggle with a complex tangle of past traumas and present peer pressure that lead him to have a stressful relationship with sex. While his budding romance with Maeve has touching moments and Ola finally sparks a sexual awakening, you can’t help but finish the first season feeling like Otis is still uncomfortable and under pressure. The entire show so far keeps asking the question, “Why can’t Otis have sex, even with himself?” It’s surprising that a show so sex positive and progressive never considers asexuality or the ace spectrum as the answer. It’s also unfortunate that Otis’ sex therapist mother wouldn’t offer that as an option, and it would be comforting to viewers, especially teens watching this, to see a kid so comfortable with sex as a subject be able to realize it’s wonderful for others but just not for him, and find peace and identity in that. (Or that it at least isn’t for him in certain situations, if he’s on the ace spectrum.) I suppose in this case, I really just ship Otis/being happy.
4. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”: Captain Raymond Holt/Dr. Kevin Cozner
First of all, let’s all thank NBC for saving B99, which is quite possibly the funniest show on TV. While Jake and Amy are the 99’s “it” couple, I’d like to take this moment to talk about the real romantic heavyweights on the show: Captain Holt and his husband, Kevin. They’re a comedic powerhouse because they’re both so boring and deadpan that no one understands them except each other. Is there anything more romantic than the time the 99 eats a gift basket Kevin sends for Holt and tries to recreate it with office supplies, yet Holt doesn’t notice the difference and almost cries at how well his husband supposedly “knows him?” In the words of another great sitcom marriage, “that’s love, bitch.”
5. “The Good Place”: Eleanor Shellstrop/Tahani Al-Jamil
We’re all crying our eyes out from Chidi’s latest heartbreaking memory reset, but lest we forget, Tahani was also one of Eleanor’s soulmates in one of Michael’s reboots. To be honest, I never thought Eleanor and Chidi had that much chemistry, but Eleanor and Tahani is endorsed by queen Jameela Jamil herself. Telenor has so much untapped potential, especially since Tahani isn’t romantically involved with anyone right now, and Eleanor will be hurting big time. Who better to comfort her than her beautiful best friend, Tahani? Telenor has all the makings of a classic romantic trope, where a tragedy separates the main couple and a new suitor comforts one of the parties in their grief. It’s a dark horse, but has a lot going for it.
6. “Jane the Virgin”: Petra Solano/Jane Ramos
Jane might be the romantic heroine, but Petra is a fan favorite for her arc from telenovela girl villain to lovable and reluctantly supportive friend. She’s the Jaime Lannister of the bunch, doing her best after years of missteps, and you cannot help but love her. Her desperate attempts to win back Rafael have been fun, if painful, to watch, so her new relationship with another Jane, Jane Ramos, is refreshing. You really root for them, despite the deception and drama in the JR side plot, because Petra finally seems happy. It’s also so incredibly satisfying to watch Petra, who fans for years saw as queer-coded, actually become queer on screen. It’s the ultimate shipping happy ending, where the creators listened to the fans — at least for now.
7. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: Rebecca Bunch/Greg Solano 2.0
This ship is so good that the characters on the show itself ship it. Literally, Rebecca’s friends talk about it when Greg comes back. Rebecca and Greg’s second “Doctor Who”-esque regeneration represents the best part of the show — Rebecca’s foray into healthy relationships with herself and others. We’ve seen her (and Greg, tbh) fuck up so many times that it’s extra wonderful to see them happy. Watching them feels like watching a baby finally walk for the first time — they worked so hard! They did it! I’m so proud!