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Love stories are rarely simple and easy, especially on television. Showtime’s The Affair is an embodiment of that, and Noah and Alison’s complicated love story returns on Sunday for season two.
In the first season of The Affair, Noah and Alison cheat on their respective spouses as the show’s stylistic device plays up the differences in people’s memories by telling the narrative using both of their conflicting perspectives. When The Affair returns, fans will get to see Noah and Alison’s exes share their stories, as the impact of the couple’s affair continues to reverberate.
Noah and Alison are far from the first couple to have an affair on television. Couples from Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Sex and the City, Game of Thrones and more have cheated and hidden their relationships, with some of them getting married to each other along the way.
Here’s a look at TV’s famous affairs:
Sex and the City: Big and Carrie
Carrie and Big’s relationship was a center narrative in the Sex and the City series. Things between the duo got especially complicated when they cheated on their significant others — Carrie’s boyfriend Aidan and Big’s wife Natasha — in order to be together. They went through many a breakup after that but ultimately, they ended up living happily ever after. For the most part.
Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith and Derek
Meredith didn’t know she was in a relationship with a married man until Addison famously showed up and said, “You must be the woman who’s been screwing my husband.” At that time, Addison and Derek were separated, but after they reunited Derek cheated on her with Meredith in an exam room. There’s nothing that can keep Meredith and Derek apart for long — other than death, R.I.P beloved Derek — and the two went on to get married and have three children.
Game of Thrones: Cersei and Jaime
Cersei and Jaime’s love affair is the most complicated of them all considering the fact they are siblings. Not just siblings, but twins. Jaime sired three children with Cersei, took away Bronn’s ability to walk, and, in the TV series, raped her while they lay next to their son’s dead body. The incestuous duo is a controversial pairing for fans of Game of Thrones.
The Good Wife: Alicia and Will
Will and Alicia had an on-again, off-again relationship during Alice’s non-traditional marriage as she stayed by her husband after he cheated on her with hookers. They were subject to a series of miscommunications — deleted voicemails and all — and their relationship was taboo less because Alicia was married and more because Will was her boss.
Scandal: Olivia and Fitz
Olivia and Fitz’s POTUS-level affair is the focal point of Scandal. President Fitz cheats on First Lady Mellie with Olivia repeatedly throughout the show as they carry on a passionate, tumultuous, sometimes-not-so-secret affair. Sometimes Fitz wants them to be publicly together — “Watch me choose you” — but that doesn’t always work according to plan.
Breaking Bad: Skyler and Ted
Ted had an unrequited crush on Skyler when they first worked together, and when she returns to work for him, they eventually start an affair — as part of her revenge against husband Walter White for being a meth cook. “I f—ked Ted” was a particularly exciting episode for the Skyler-Ted-Walter love triangle and one for the Breaking Bad history books.
Mad Men: Don and Betty
Betty was once Don Draper’s wife — whom he repeatedly cheated on — but she took her turn as a mistress when they sleep together in season seven. “You are as beautiful as the day I met you,” Don says to Betty. “That poor girl, she doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you,” she says of Don’s wife Megan.
Homeland: Brody and Carrie
Brody and Carrie are palpably attracted to each other and their chemistry knows (almost) no terrorist-CIA agent bounds. It is a doomed romance from the start, but there’s no denying their strong bond and the moments where they are vulnerable and honest with each other are some of Homeland‘s best.
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