This Saturday, the highly anticipated Britney Ever After will finally debut on Lifetime. The sure-to-be-over-the-top biopic is going to be rife with juicy little tidbits and nostalgic moments, from her iconic first album to, hopefully, that snake dance at the 2001 VMAs. And don't even get us started on that soundtrack—it's already stuck in our heads.
But, if you'll give us this one grievance, we don't really give a you-know-what about all that stuff right now. Because we've just decided that we're tuning in for one thing and one thing only: The Britney and Justin saga. Maybe it was the release of that hilariously bad breakup scene that got us looking into the past, but we're pining over these two in a major way.
People can say we need to get over it, and maybe we do. They've both moved on, starting new families and marriages and careers. But we can't help but think about how they were, truly, the very picture of what an early 2000's It Couple should be. We've long given up on them getting back together (and honestly, nobody ever really wanted that), but it's worth revisiting their previous perfection, if only for historical purposes.
They Were Childhood Sweethearts
We ooh and ahh over regular people who meet as children and then go on to find love, so it's only magnified when it happens to two giant stars. Britney and Justin met on the set of the 1990's revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, which is quite possibly the cutest (and most Hollywood) place to meet. The cast featured other would-be stars like Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell and Christina Aguilera, but it was Spears and Timberlake who were truly meant to be. (If Gosling and Aguilera ever got together, the world doesn't know about it.)
If the Disney Channel is the world's largest high school, then consider these two to be high school sweethearts—which we know to be kind of a curse. After all, most high school relationships don't work out because one person goes off to a big fancy college, or one person gets jealous, or...well, let's not relive those days. But Timberlake and Spears both ended up with huge post-Mickey Mouse Club careers, which is what brought them together after "school."
At that point, the world was already obsessed with them individually, and their coupling was the greatest real-life fan fiction we could all imagine.
They Performed Together
Any celebrity couple watcher will tell you that one of the greatest joys comes from one word: Collaboration. Sure, we enjoy Beyoncé. Sure, we enjoy Jay Z. But what makes our heads explode? Seeing Bey and Jay on tour together. Even when they simply come together for the odd single, it's guaranteed to be more exciting than anything they would do on their own (although, that could maybe be chalked up to the fact that Bey has the Midas touch, but that's neither here nor there.)
Britney and Justin knew what the people wanted, and they gave the public exactly that. These team-ups didn't come around that often, but when they did it felt like a real treat. Each time they were on stage together, it felt like the epitome of early aughts pop culture. Our personal favorite is obviously the 2001 Super Bowl, otherwise known as the Greatest Halftime Show in the History of Halftime Shows. The occasion landed right smack in the middle of their couples-centered hysteria and was more than we ever deserved as fans.
The memories of Britney and Justin in love may have long faded, but the YouTube clip of this performance will live on in eternity.
They Let Us In On Their Love
Interviews, interviews, interviews. We fully respect Young Hollywood's right to privacy; it's something they deserve, and should demand. But an It Couple who refuses to speak about each other, appear on red carpets together or even acknowledge their relationship is just not going to be nearly as much fun as one who is open and even gushing about their relationship. Britney and Justin certainly had the latter down pat.
Whether it was a premeditated strategy to keep the press and their adoring fans interested or whether they simply loved each other so much it was impossible to contain, we're not quite sure. But we are sure of is that they shared their nicknames of Pinky and Stinky with the world, and that's more than almost any couple would do.
Britney was often an open book, telling Oprah Winfrey, "I would love to be with him forever," or telling The Observer "As far as love is concerned, with him, too much is not enough; he's everything." (Could you just die?)
For his part, JT once said, "She breathes fresh air into me." And with that, we all understand why he's a Grammy-winning songwriter.
The Denim Jumpsuits
The. Couple's. Outfit. To. End. All. Couple's. Outfits. There has never been, and there never will be, a bigger fashion moment that the matching Canadian tuxedos. There are no words to express how incredible this was. We have already said too much.