Let’s get this show on the road! While TV has mastered the art of the slow burn — looking at you, Law & Order: SVU — there comes a time for every relationship to flourish. And for certain TV couples, that time is 2023.
While Outer Banks introduced its main love story as the opposite side of the tracks romance between John B (Chase Stokes) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline) during season 1 of the Netflix series, which premiered in April 2020, viewers instantly became attached to the chemistry between pals JJ (Rudy Pankow) and Kiara (Madison Bailey).
The twosome remained strictly platonic for the first two seasons, with Kiara even considering a relationship with fellow pogue Pope (Jonathan Daviss) for half of season 2. However, viewers are still rooting for the pair to take their relationship to the next level when the show returns in 2023 — especially now that the gang has found themselves stranded on a desert island.
Pankow, for his part, exclusively spoke to Us Weekly about the fan-favorite couple in April 2021, revealing that while he thinks the duo needs to take their time, he’d be OK with them becoming an item somewhere down the line.
“I think the end game, the endgame of the OBX, I can see JJ and Kiara being like, ‘All right there’s something here,’” he shared. “Because it starts out with JJ saying that he had tried getting with Kiara. So, who knows?”
While JJ and Kiara may be on their way to a blossoming romance, other couples have been in each other’s orbit for years without ever admitting how they feel.
Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark) and Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) are fellow firefighters and best friends that are known for teaming up on the more daring rescues on Fox’s hit drama 9-1-1, but their dynamic has been a favorite since Eddie’s arrival in season 2.
The character’s chemistry over the years has many viewers hoping their friendship — which often involves Buck coparenting Eddie’s son, Christopher — will turn into something more. Despite “Buddie” shippers on social media fervently hoping to see the duo spark a romance, however, coshowrunner Kristen Reidel warned fans to manage their expectations during an interview with TV Guide in April 2022.
“I think the struggle with the Buck and Eddie relationship is, we write a thing and we have an idea in our head of what the scene means and what those lines mean and an intention behind it, and then it goes out into the world,” she explained at the time. “People may receive it in a way that we had not expected or that we had not planned on, and I’m not gonna tell people that they’re watching the show wrong because people see what they see
Reidel added that while she believes Buck and Eddie are “very good friends, and in a lot of ways, they are family,” they aren’t in a place to confront romantic feelings.
Executive producer Tim Minear meanwhile, addressed the pair’s inexplicable chemistry in January 2019 after a Christmas episode found Buck thanking a stranger who mistook him and Eddie as a married couple. “You two have an adorable son,” the person told him, to which Buck responded, “Thank you,” instead of correcting the mistake.
“I know a lot of people are getting that vibe [between Buck and Eddie], which is why I put that little joke at the end. Basically, the winsome elf was speaking for the audience. And I’m not saying that the fountain shooting up behind them meant anything metaphorically. You decide,” Minear told TVLine, referring to a coin fountain placed in the background that Twitter instantly assumed was meant to serve as a possible phallic innuendo.
Stark, for his part, took to social media in 2019 to clarify where he stands on the Buddie romance, telling fans that he “doesn’t know where the story is going” between the two characters, but he “totally supports” the investment in their relationship.
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Will romance finally happen for any of these pairings? Scroll through the gallery below to see which TV couples we’re hoping to see together in 2023.