Admit it or not, every one of us wants to binge on some romantic shows once in a while. Whether it is to soothe our broken heart, shed a few tears, or laugh a bit, romantic dramas manage to bring out our hidden emotions. And Netflix has you covered even in this aspect. Ranging from rom-coms to fantasy series, its catalog is filled with some heart-touching titles. So, here’s the list of really good romantic shows on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
20. Sweet Magnolias (2020-)
Three women from South Carolina are the best of friends since their school days. This show follows their romances, friendships, and their life’s journey. Sweet Magnolias is adapted for television based on novels by Sherryl Woods.
It stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Maddie Townsend, Heather Headley as Helen Decatur, and Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue Sullivan-and the characters call themselves the “Magnolias.” Although all three are the lead characters, the first season highlights Maddie’s story. Her husband, Bill Townsend (Chris Klein), and she were high school sweethearts and have three children together. But when Bill cheats on her with another woman, it breaks their family apart. The first season sees Maddie going through a lot of changes in her life, personally and professionally. As her divorce is underway, she tries to be there for her children and meets Cal Maddox (Justin Bruening), her son’s coach.
19. My First First Love (2019-)
If you are a fan of shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’, this Netflix original series from Korea is a show right up your alley. As the title makes it clear, this series deals with the concept of first love. The central characters of this series are five college students, all of whom live in the house of Yoon Tae-oh. Each of the four people who have left their own homes and shifted to Yoon’s place has her/his own reasons for doing so. Together, these five friends experience love, life, and a sense of freedom all on their own terms. Naturally, if a number of people live together, problems will arise. And this is how the friendships between these characters are tested. They might get into fights, but that never means that their friendship has ceased to exist. The series does offer us a fresh look at the lives of Korean youth, and we understand that no matter how geographically apart countries might be, there are some emotions that always resonate among everyone.
18. Taj Mahal 1989 (2020–)
At a time before the internet, set in the late 80’s Lucknow, is a story of people finding love and struggling to sustain it. The Indian comedy-drama romance is written and directed by Pushpendra Nath Mishra. The series takes us through different characters and how they experience and perceive love and relationships. The characters in focus range from middle-aged professor couple and their friends as well as young students at Lucknow University. The crux of the plot lies in exploring the “politics of love” through marriage, romance, and friendship. The series has been lauded for its believable performances by the actors and the weaving of philosophy and poetry in its narration.
17. Emily in Paris (2020-)
Peppered with hilarious comedy, heart-touching romances, and incredible life lessons, ‘Emily in Paris’ revolves around Emily Cooper, a 29-year-old marketing executive from Chicago. Emily’s perfect yet mundane life suddenly gets thrown out of focus when her firm requires her to travel to France and take up a social media executive position at their Paris branch. Initially, Emily finds her stay in Paris quite lonely as she neither knows the language nor has any friends and is quite alienated at work. Nevertheless, slowly adjusting to her new life, Emily creates a niche for herself in the foreign city while meeting lots of interesting people along the way. However, soon trouble follows and soon Emily finds herself getting undermined at work while being embroiled in a love triangle that threatens to ruin friendships. Wonderfully blending American and Parisian culture in the mixing bowl, ‘Emily in Paris’ is a must-watch for fans of romance.
16. Feel Good (2020-)
Feel Good is a semi-autobiographical series of the Canadian stand-up comedian, Mae Martin. The series’ first season captures the exciting phase of a relationship budding between Mae and her British girlfriend, George (Charlotte Ritchie). From there, the story goes on to more relevant and realistic struggles of George, who has never dated another woman and is still working on how to come out to her friends and family. To Mae’s frustration, her own history of addiction that threatens to make its way back into her life complicates George’s situation all the more. All this and bringing out the toxic family influences is not an easy task maintaining the comedy genre of the series. Lisa Kudrow, playing Mae’s mother is another surprise the viewers might look forward to.
15. Atypical (2017)
‘Atypical’ is a coming-of-age drama that is centered around the 18-year-old, autistic Sam Gardner. When he announces that he wants to start dating, his father, Doug, is delighted to help out his son with whom he had been struggling to build a proper relationship. However, Sam’s crush is his 26-year-old therapist Julia. Now, as Sam embarks on his journey of independence, we also witness his family making their own self-discoveries. For example, Elsa, his mom, starts an extra-marital affair, his sister Casey develops romantic feelings for another student, and Julia breaks up with her boyfriend. With several moving moments, ‘Atypical’, with its unique storytelling, empathy, and witty format is a family drama that beautifully fits into the ‘atypical’ romance genre. You can watch this series here.
14. Sex Education (2019-)
‘Sex Education’ is an incredibly moving TV show that focuses on the teenage students of Moordale High as they navigate relationships and sexual issues in a society that seems heavily biased against modernity. The show primarily follows student Otis Milburn and his friend, Maeve Wiley, as they try and run a sex clinic in school, hoping to eradicate any issues their peers have with intimacy. However, with the involvement of teenagers, things soon get out of hand and even pose a threat to the school. ‘Sex Education’ is wonderfully all-inclusive, and apart from dealing with heterosexual issues, it also gives equal importance to the Queer lifestyle, thus making it a romantic TV show that transcends social divisions.
13. Virgin River (2019-)
Melinda “Mel” Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) moves from a big city to the serene and quiet town of Virgin River to get a fresh start. The show takes us back in bits to the painful past that Mel is trying to move on from, while sparks fly between her and Jack. Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson) is an ex-marine who owns the local bar and is also a significant member of the community in the small town of Virgin River. His own life in Virgin River suddenly changes course when Mel becomes a part of it. As their lives get more intertwined, Mel struggles to heal from her past in addition to the inevitable changes she sees coming in the future.
12. Love (2016)
‘Love’ is a Netflix Original romantic comedy TV series that first aired on the platform on February 19, 2016, and concluded with its 3rd, final season which premiered on March 9, 2018. The main plot of this show follows the theme, “down-to-earth look at dating”, which involves presenting male and female perspectives about relationships via protagonists Mickey and Gus. You can watch this series here.
11. The End of the F***ing World (2018)
The British dark comedy-drama, ‘The End of the F***ing World’ is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name penned by Charles Forsman. This 8-episode series premiered internationally on Netflix on January 5, 2018. The show focuses on two teenagers: 17-year-old James who believes that he is a psychopath and his rebellious classmate Alyssa who views James as an option to escape from her turbulent family life. When James gets bored with killing animals, he decides that it is now the perfect time to try murdering a human. And his eyes fall on Alyssa. So when Alyssa proposes that they go on a road trip together, he immediately accepts, planning that along the way, he will find some means to kill her. However, once they embark on this unusual road trip, they start developing feelings for each other, while facing several mishaps on the way. You can watch this series here.
10. Eternal Love (2017)
‘Eternal Love’ is a Chinese TV series, based on the novel of the same name by Tang Qi. When a devastating war threatens the existence of the immortal tribe, they end it by offering the god of war, Mo Yuan as a sacrifice to the ghost lord Qing Cang. The story then takes us to 70,000 years after this, when we meet Bai Qian, who was sent to the earth as a mortal being — without any of her powers and memories — as part of her test to ascend as a High Goddess. There she meets Ye Hua, with the two deities falling in deep love with each other. What follows is an eternal love that spans across three lifetimes; a love ridden with betrayals, heartbreaks, and tragedies. However, their paths keep on crossing, irrespective of time, realms, and worlds. You can watch this series here.
9. My Holo Love (2020-)
This science-fiction meets drama, makes My Holo Love a perfect watch. The Korean series is about a woman Han So-yeon (Ko Sung-hee) with prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces. Because of this condition, she lives a reclusive life. Things start to change for her when she starts using the Artificial Intelligence program, AI Holo. AI Holo is basically a hologram resembling its creator, Go Nan-do (played by Yoon Hyun-min). AI Holo gradually starts to become aware of the limitations of artificial intelligence; in the process, Go Nan-do starts falling for Han So-yeon. AI Holo is friendly and easy to talk to; Go Nan-do is more reserved, and his cold personality is no help when it comes to expressing his feelings.
8. The Hookup Plan (2018)
‘The Hookup Plan’ is a French drama that premiered internationally on Netflix on December 7, 2018. The story is about Elsa, who simply cannot get over her ex. In an attempt to help their unlucky friend who is forever single, Elsa’s friends hire a male escort to spur her confidence. Elsa, however, knows him as schoolteacher Julies. They do so in an attempt to revive Elsa’s faith in dating, relationships, and love. But things take a bitter turn when she discovers that her friends have been hiding many things from here. As Elsa’s doubts about Julies increases, long-time friendships are tested in this unconventional story of romance. You can watch this series here.
7. If I Hadn’t Met You (2019)
‘If I Hadn’t Met You’ is a sci-fi Spanish romantic drama that aired on Netflix on March 15, 2019. It explores one of our common fantasies: if someone close to us dies too soon, what if we could go back in time and reverse the past? Well, this 10-episode show does just that. However, it has a little twist. It involves the concept of parallel universes. When Eduard’s wife and children die in a tragic car accident, he is devastated, so much that he considers taking his own life. However, he is stopped by Liz, who explains to him that he can travel to parallel universes and try rewriting the fate of his family. Although this show has several fantasy elements, its main focus is human relationships. It tries to explore the immense love that Eduard and Isabel held for each other and how the former could go to any lengths to bring her back. You can watch this series here.
6. Accidentally in Love (2018)
This Chinese romantic drama is centered around Chen Qing Qing, a rich, young girl who wants to escape an arranged marriage at all costs and wants to fall in love on her own terms. Her parents had earlier died under mysterious circumstances. One day, on the date of her wedding, she runs away from her town and reaches the same college where her parents had studied. She enrolls there with an aim to find out what really had happened to her mom and dad. In order to hide her true identity, she also alters her name and looks. She even tries her best to blend in with the rest of her classmates.
During her classes, she meets her desk-mate, who is a popular singer named Si Tu Feng. They had run into each other multiple times in the past and do not start off at the right foot. What issues is both of them getting into repeat arguments and creating problems for each other. However, with time, they realize that maybe, there could be more to this relationship. And this is when begins Qing’s journey of true love while seeking out answers about her parent’s death. You can watch this series here.
5. Dating Around (2019)
‘Dating Around’ is a reality TV show in which each episode features one single person who goes on five dates with different individuals in order to choose one who can be perfect for him or her. Every date is accompanied with some flirtatious moments, awkward encounters, and sometimes, true connections. After all the blind dates are over, the participant is asked to pick one partner with whom he/she would like to go on a second date. Giving a real-time view into the world of wooing potential partners, this show is a refreshing take on the romance genre. You can watch this show here.
4. Love Alarm (2019-)
This series offers us a fine blend of romance and technology in a way that we have never seen before. The central plot device of ‘Love Alarm’ is a new mobile app which can easily tell anyone if there is anyone in her/his vicinity who has a soft corner for them. Though this app might appear to be helpful, it also has its own drawbacks, which we realize as the story of this series progresses. Here, the central character is a girl who finds herself in the middle of a love triangle because of this app, and the story shows us how she manages to deal with this situation while also taking care of other personal problems. The series offers us a rather sweet romantic tale, but its subtextual content is rather deep and insightful. There are some deep emotions in our hearts which we might not be comfortable in sharing publicly. But technology has such a far-reaching influence in our lives that even our deepest thoughts are not remaining that personal anymore.
3. Easy (2016-2019)
One of the finest Netflix original shows about romantic relationships, ‘Easy’ is an anthology series where each episode is a standalone story. The series is based in the city of Chicago where we follow a number of characters as they go about living their lives, falling in love, going through heartbreaks, and so on. What we actually do here is that we take a glance at the ever-changing equations between human beings and how sometimes the realities of life push us further apart from our loved ones. The series does visit one particular story over the course of its three seasons, which is the story of a married couple Kyle (Michael Chernus) and Andi (Elizabeth Reaser). We are made witnesses of how their relationship changes over a long period of time, and how the decision they take of having an open relationship works out for each of the two characters. The fact that this series does not linger on any one particular story and gives us a wholesome picture of romantic relationships in an urban space like Chicago, makes it stand apart from the other shows on this list.
2. Cable Girls (2017-2020)
Cable Girls is originally a Spanish period drama series called “Las Chicas del Cable.” Set in Madrid in the late 20s, the series is a visual treat that is propelled by two significant themes- love and friendship. The Telephone Company not only gives Lidia Aguilar/Alba Romero (Blanca Suarez) her independence and another chance at a decent life but also great friends. Amidst all this, her life takes many interesting turns as she is constantly torn between her long lost love- Francisco Gomez (Yon Gonzales) and his friend Carlos Cifuentes (Martino Rivas), who are both running The Telephone Company and are also brothers-in-law. Her past has hardened her into a pragmatic woman and an opportunist. But does she truly feel for people or simply use them to get ahead? The intricacies of human relations are beautifully shown in the series in all its vulnerable glory.
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1. Bridgerton (2020-)
Based on the eponymous book series by Julia Quinn and set in England during the Regency era, ‘Bridgerton’ follows several noble houses of London during the social season when they introduce their debutantes to society in the hopes of them securing a marriage proposal. The scene surrounding the social season is highly competitive, with a host of young girls competing for a groom of good stature, and even the queen takes an interest in the proceedings by blessing one of the debutantes as her diamond. In such a background, the series primarily follows the members of the Bridgerton family as they deal with issues related to marriage, courtship, friendship, and romance. However, while some associations are completely forbidden due to their high social status, the emergence of anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown further thickens the plot.
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