There is zero doubt in my mind that any of us who are TV addicts or even just watch TV shows have that standout TV couple. Or perhaps some of us, because let’s be real, we have that indecisive streak, may have many favorites. Lately, I’ve come to discover that when it comes to the best, there is really no better than Miss Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson as the TV couple standard.🎩🗡️FIVE WAYS MISS FISHER AND JACK PROVE THEY'RE THE BEST DUO🎩🗡️ #MISSFISHER #MISSFISHERANDJACK #JACKROBINSON #PHRYNEANDJACK #MISSFISHERSMURDERMYSTERIES #MISSSCARLETANDTHEDUKE #PERIODDRAMA #ROMANCE #ROMANTIC #TVCOUPLES Click To Tweet
When it comes to social media, one of the things I pay attention to (no longer as closely as I did) is pop culture. One of these, which many of us who watch period dramas will know, is the obsession with the 1800s detective duo Miss Eliza Scarlet and William Wellington. They’re beloved on Twitter during any season run. I cannot sit here, and say I don’t like them when, in fact I do. Nonetheless, I find them incredibly frustrating and furthermore the bias against how William treats Eliza also disconcerting. In fact, both Eliza and William need to take a hard look at the lack of mutual care and respect they have for a couple who is supposed to be pining after the other.
This got me thinking. So much so I wrote about these two way back in series one and more recently I rewatched the Australian show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. This inspired me to compare the two, and not only that, but conclude these two should be the gold standard for TV romances.
FIVE REASONS WHY MISS FISHER & JACK ARE TV’S BEST
MISS FISHER AND JACK V MISS SCARLETT AND WILLIAM
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No one has chemistry quite like Jack and Phryne. From the moment they meet, we can tell there’s something there. Of course, there’s more nuance to this and things to say, but I’m trying to be more concise in my words. They say more with one look than most couples say with an entire string of dialogue.
This isn’t true of Eliza and William. Sometimes, especially early on, what tries to be “cute” with irritation of one another comes off as more of a brother and sister frustration, perhaps stemming from their growing up together. While they have grown into more between them, I still don’t think it touches the level we should want.
I think compassion is something Jack and Phryne both have though it does look differently on them. This kind of ties into one of my bullet points (later on down the list) but suffice to say, Eliza and William just haven’t reached the level of compassion (towards each other) that J+P have.
I think Jack and Phryne also have this more open, honest relationship even though they don’t always say what they should. For a slow burn romance, theirs is still oddly more understandable and lovely. This goes back to the idea that chemistry and their ability to say more to each other in a look than with words.
While it may start as a physical attraction, as is normal, Jack and Phryne do come to deeply love another. While the feature film may not quite be all I wanted it to, their epilogue is good. The exchange between them in the scene where Jack “rescues” Phryne from a spider (her one fear) is dynamite. In the scene, she tells him spiders are her one fear, and he responds that no, he thinks he too scares her because she fears that he’ll make her a policeman’s wife. Their exchange goes on like so:
Her response is equally lovely, I’ll just refrain my writing since I have more content for these two planned!
I want – badly – to feel this way about Eliza and William, but so far, they just aren’t there. I keep hoping each season they will, but nope. They disappoint. It’s as if the exasperation (which I do think tries to be cute and fun) outweighs any possible building block of a more romantic nature.
When it comes to respect, there’s one couple who consistently fail at mutually respecting one another.
Miss Scarlet and William
Respecting each other seems to be a great challenge for these two. Most blame William for this. Modern culture is always going to root on Eliza as the woman plus during the 1800s, she doesn’t have the career advantages. Despite this Eliza doesn’t show William respect in his work and yet she wants to be afforded courtesies by William. Their interactions come across more as petulant teens exasperated with one another. In fact, I remember one scene, in the third series I believe, where Eliza is downright unkind to William showing up at her door where if the situation were reversed William would be roasted.
Miss Fisher and Jack
Jack doesn’t always understand or like Miss Fisher’s sleuthing and in fact, he does scold her. Mostly, in their early days. But unlike Eliza and William, these two grow into respect far better. In fact, Jack even takes a step back from friendship because he respects the fact that he cannot and wouldn’t change her, but he also understands that his heart cannot is fearful. There’s a difference between fear and not showing respect. In this relationship, it’s Phyrne who treats Jack the most flippantly, and of the four, it’s Jack who’s most fair.
No matter who you like or don’t, it comes down to this. Jack and Phryne should be a kind of blueprint for TV romances. Are they perfect? No. But they are one of the best TV relationships I’ve seen. They, much like any fictional couple or character, aren’t flawless. At the end of the day though, they’re brilliant.
All of which is proof that good writing and a good cast combining can create a wonderful albeit rare TV romance that sparkles.
Which of these couples do you like best? Do you think one beats the other? Is there one you enjoy watching more over the other one? What are your thoughts? I want to read them all! Let’s talk.
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