There are many ways to spend Valentine’s Day, but one of them is definitively better than the rest: Curled up on the couch, eating takeout and binge-watching something on the streaming service of your choice.
But while many people will turn to their favorite romantic comedy to celebrate the day or Fifty Shades Darker to liven up their evening, those of us who will be single on V-Day this year might prefer something with a little more bite than your standard swoon-worthy drama.
So, for all our fellow singletons out there, we present this list of anti rom-coms, which will pair perfectly with a glass (or two) of wine and a pint of ice cream.
If you’ve ever done something a little extreme in the name of love (or if you’re the type of person to burst into song), then you’ll love the CW’s weird, wonderful musical-comedy about Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), who moves from New York City to West Covina, California after a run-in with her summer camp boyfriend, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) in an attempt to win him back. Come for the hilarious, catchy musical numbers (including the greatest song ever written about sending a wrong text) and stay for the painfully real discussions of relationships, anxiety and what it means to be happy.
YOU’RE THE WORST
What happens when two self-centered, emotionally-damaged commitment-phobes have a one-night stand and then decide to actually give this whole relationship thing a go? You’re the Worst, a show that balances biting humor with heartbreaking reality, tackles everything from depression to PTSD with an equal dose of honesty and irreverence. You might root for Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) to work through their issues and become a stable couple; you might hope they break up for the good of everyone involved; you might just want to watch hours of Edgar (Desmin Borges) being the only truly decent human being on the show; regardless, you’ll feel a lot better about your last relationship when you’re done.
At first glance, this upbeat CW show might strike you as your standard rom-com — Evie (Tori Anderson), looking to shake up her overly-organized life, meets Xavier (Joshua Sasse) and learns to live every day to the fullest — but all of that cheerfulness is counteracted by the fact that Xavier believes that humankind only has 8 months to live before an asteroid hits the earth. It’s the kind of fun, frothy show that pairs well with junk food and a girls’ night. And it also happens to have the right amount of foreboding to keep you from feeling down about not being whisked away by a handsome Australian man.
You might have seen this British rom-com by its original title (Scrotal Recall), but don’t let the title keep you from discovering this hidden Netflix gem about Dylan (Johnny Flynn), who discovers he has an STD and attempts to get in contact with all of his past flings. Along the way, he attempts to navigate his feelings for his best friend, Evie (the magnificent Antonia Thomas), and adulthood, alongside their roommate, Luke, (Daniel Ings). If the first season finale doesn’t break your heart, you might be dead inside.
First comes fling, then comes baby, then comes a relationship in Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s filthy, touching and realistic show. In addition to being one of the most ridiculous and recognizable love stories on TV, it also features a tour de force performance by the late Carrie Fisher, who plays Delaney’s strong-willed mother.
SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE
Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) lost their virginity to each other in college, and reconnect 12 years later at a Love Addicts Meeting, which sparks a beautiful, complicated friendship after promising not to sleep with each other. It’s a frank, funny story about the scariest parts of falling in love that features Adam Scott with a thin mustache and a scene-stealing supporting performance by the always-brilliant Jason Mantzoukas.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, The Last Five Years is a musical about relationship between Cathy, an aspiring actress, and Jamie, a novelist, from both their points-of-view. Her story starts and then ends before moving back to the beginning; his begins in the early days of their love story and moves chronologically toward the end. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll most likely try and see if you can belt as high as Anna Kendrick.