The odd couple is one of television’s go-to moves — and so is the idea that no two people are as mismatched as a man and a woman, especially a man and a woman with sexual chemistry. The whole Mars/Venus crap gets name-checked when a man and woman share the lead in a show: it’s heteronormative and reductive and can be excruciating to watch — but it’s also pretty revealing about mainstream cultural attitudes toward gender roles.
Especially when the couple teams up to solve crime. The result then is a pair of narratives in search of the Truth-with-a-capital-T: one short truth story, that starts with a body and ends with a killer and is solved over the course of a single episode, and one long one, that plays out as the couple learn more about each other and their mutual sexypants feelings.
Let’s start with the ultimate mystery romance show: Remington Steele.