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Monday, January 30, 2023

Romantic, comforting episodes to watch after Valentine’s Day

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, but it’s the perfect opportunity to watch some of TV’s greatest romances. Now that the week is over, however, and everyone is in a different place romantically, I’ve hand-picked some episodes that deal with all types of relationships on the romance spectrum.

“Steven Universe” — “Alone Together”

“Steven Universe” is a show that’s very near and dear to my heart, and “Alone Together” (season one, episode 37) is the perfect episode to watch for couples. A quick synopsis of the show: It revolves around a group of characters — the “Crystal Gems” — who are magical beings in charge of protecting the universe. They can also fuse with one another to create a new gem-being, but that involves a lot of trust with your partner. “Alone Together” deals with two friends who “fuse” together for the first time, and it’s a great episode to watch for those who are exploring their relationship with a new sexual partner. Its commentary on consent — along with figuring out what works for your partner and what they are comfortable with — is great, and it’s a really adorable way to look at what can otherwise be an awkward phase in a relationship.

“Broad City” — “House-Sitting”

Lincoln and Ilana have put us all through an emotional rollercoaster throughout the course of the show. Their relationship is perhaps one of the most authentic and genuine depictions of modern romance on television. One episode that really sticks out to me is “House-Sitting” (season four, episode eight), where Lincoln and Ilana are finally dating each other exclusively. It’s a great episode to watch if you are also in a new relationship and begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. Ilana starts to freak out that they’re becoming boring and that their relationship is going to lose its spark, but the two have a really healthy conversation about their fears and concerns. It’s a great reminder about how important communication is with your partner, especially when you just start dating.

“Gilmore Girls” — “The Breakup, Part 2”

I understand Valentine’s Day isn’t always the most pleasant, especially for those going through a breakup (been there, done that). One episode that deals with post-breakup emotions so well is from “Gilmore Girls.” In episode 17 of season one, Rory has just broken up with her first real boyfriend and tries very hard to keep herself busy so she doesn’t have time to be sad about it — despite her mom’s advice. She forces herself to go to a party, ends up kissing someone else and ultimately has a horrible time. When Lorelai comes home that night she finds Rory crying, admitting that she’s ready to wallow. It’s a healthy reminder that breakups suck and being sad is not only healthy, but sometimes important in order to move on and feel better in the long run.

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“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” — “Mac and Dennis Break Up”

This choice may be a bit leftfield for some, but hear me out. The relationship between Mac and Dennis is something the show has been playing around with for years, and it often runs concurrent with the gags surrounding closeted Mac, since he is so in love with Dennis. I think there is a lot of merit in looking at their relationship. In season five, episode nine, Dee tells the two how ridiculously co-dependent they are with each other. They decide to spend a day apart, and they both have a miserable time. Now, I’m not arguing they are the best representation of a gay romance on television, but instead it could perhaps be a comforting episode to watch for those in love with their best friend. It could also be comforting for those in love with a friend who perhaps doesn’t feel the same way in return — or just someone who’s relationship with their friend can blur the line between platonic and romantic.

There are so many great rom-com TV shows out there, but these are four I think could serve as comfort for someone whose love life is prompting mixed and confusing feelings. If anything, they’re just fantastic and also really cute episodes.

All images used in this article are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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