Valentine’s Day is nice and all, but maybe you’re on a one-way train to Spinster Town, USA. Maybe you don’t feel like sharing a day that was basically invented by the greeting card industry with some person you may or may not care about. Maybe you’re single and the thought of mingling makes you queasy.
Whatever the reason, if you need a way to spend your Valentine’s Day solo, don’t fret! When in doubt, sup on a meal-for-one whilst binge watching television. Here are some of our favorite romantic tv shows (and episodes) to get you in the mood — from the Valentine’s Day-themed, to the ones that are simply romantic as hell. We give you permission to feel every single feel.
“30 Rock,” St. Valentine’s Day
When Liz Lemon accidentally asks hot Doctor Drew on a date on Valentine’s Day, shenanigans ensue. Everything that can go wrong does, including some pretty classic Liz Lemon gastric distress. Also, Salma Hayek eating a McFlurry and waxing poetic about it — “The soft swirl of vanilla and the hard crunch of candy and cookies” — is weirdly and wonderfully sensual. (Hulu)
“Black Mirror,” San Junipero
If there’s only one episode of “Black Mirror” that you watch, let it be this one. It’s emotional, romantic, sexy and optimistic, a rare feat for both an episode of “Black Mirror” and for much of television these days. A nightclub encounter between two young women in a 1980s paradise goes to unexpected heights. There’s love! And hope! And ah-may-zing performances from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis. It’s beautiful.
Every single episode of “Poldark”
Not much happens in “Poldark,” a Masterpiece drama that’s mostly about the costs of family honor and running literal mines. But there is a lot of longing and the first season has enough shirtless scything and scenery porn, courtesy of beautiful Cornwall, to make up for it. Also, Aidan Turner is very attractive, which helps. (PBS)
“Parks and Recreation,” Galentine’s Day
This episode is a classic for a reason — instead of romance, it focuses on the loving relationships between friends. It has all the best parts of a “Parks and Rec” episode: lots of love, Leslie doing the most and Ann being beautiful but ultimately seeming not integral to the plot. It’s perfect. (Netflix)
“Altered Carbon,” The Wrong Man
Ah, “Altered Carbon.” Fascinating. Sexy. Confusing. In “The Wrong Man,” the series is peak those things, with Kovacs — played very sexily by Joel Kinnaman and his extremely broad shoulders — finally finding out whose sleeve he’s in. Bonus? He (thankfully) makes good on the sexual tension he’s shared with Ortega for four entire episodes. Trust us, it’s worth it. (Netflix)
“True Blood,” I Wish I Was The Moon
Memory loss, Abercrombie wearing Eric Northman is a very entertaining Eric Northman. In this episode, it’s sexy frenemy Sookie Stackhouse becomes his sexy lover — it’s “True Blood” at its best. In fact, it’s so good, you could almost forgive Alan Ball for, well, the entirety of season three. (HBO)