Video: Spring Sparring Partners

Mismatched couples provide the spark for TV's "third season"

One might be a gruff old gent with a streak of eccentricity and a taste for adventure, while the other is younger, more level-headed and a bit uptight. Or if one is an overenthusiastic amateur, the other is a world-weary pro with a hard veneer of cynicism. They seem to bicker constantly, these mismatched TV couples, yet they share a grudging respect and affection--sometimes even a wedding ring. They can be found all over the prime-time dial these days, their names often linked by racy ampersands: Simon & Simon, Hardcastle & McCormick, Kate & Allie, Cagney & Lacey, MacGruder & Loud.


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