Five Binge-worthy Comedies to Bolster Your Dating Life

Love is messy and dating often flirts with the line between dream and disaster. Add a worldwide pandemic to the equation and it could send even the most confident bachelor or bachelorette spiraling. While romantic comedies are notorious for sweeping away the mess and dramatically resolving disasters too neatly, sometimes (especially now, as dating-related searches reached a five year high this summer) we need more than sheer optimism to rub salve on our wounds and keep us in the dating ring.

In case you need help staying positive in these challenging times, try one of these shows that, like real life, are more about embracing reality and the journey that comes with it. By tackling more than love alone, these relatable comedies create nuanced narratives that can help you feel less alone, supported in the missteps, and encouraged to keep searching for love.


Bingeable Rom-Coms

 

Never Have I Ever

Executive producer Mindy Kaling takes the classic teen rom-com and infuses it with fresh life in this charming series, which currently has two seasons available and a third on the way. Devi, played by newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, is an awkward Indian-American teen with typical aspirations to become cool and date the hottest guy in school. But since no teen romance would be complete without a love triangle, she’s also drawn to her academic rival. Narrated by former tennis star John McEnroe (as himself, for a reason that’s explained in the first season), this zany high school dramedy is about love, yes, but when the characters grapple with the show’s larger themes—including grief, identity, self-worth, and family, all of which arise in the context of dating—the show really shines.

Where to stream it: Netflix

Bingeable Rom-Coms Oh Jerome No

 

Oh Jerome, No

If the pandemic, or just dating in general, has ramped up your emotional response rate, this recurring segment from FXX’s short-form series Cake is your perfect partner. Oh Jerome, No spends eight episodes—each running less than 15 minutes—inviting viewers to wince, laugh, and cry along as Jerome (Mamoudou Athie) struggles with his emotions and finds himself in extreme situations, such as emptying his apartment of all furniture to annihilate his feelings, or declaring his love way before the first date. Athie earned praise and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for his performance. Stylized, scene-driven episodes mix absurdity with relateability to tackle toxic masculinity, emotional expression, and the embarrassing blunders that can happen on the quest to find love.

Where to stream it: Hulu

Bingeable Rom-Coms Lovesick

 

Lovesick

The premise of this show might be as cringe-worthy as its original title—Scrotal Recall (yes, really)—but it’s so much more than that. It first appeared on Netflix under that name, but was wisely rebranded before the second season in a bid to attract more viewers. Now going by the title Lovesick, it follows Dylan—played by actor and musician Johnny Flynn—who contracts chlamydia and must inform his past sexual partners of their potential exposure. Despite the trope-y setup, it soon becomes an endearing surprise as the romantic dreamer recounts his past relationships and comes to terms with the un-idealized realities of love. It’s also a story of friendship, as Dylan and his flatmates Evie, the one that could have been, and Luke, a bruised playboy, evolve in their own relationships and eventually help each other see what love is all about.

Where to stream it: Netflix

Crashing

A tribute to the floundering 20-something, this 2016 miniseries — written by and featuring Phoebe Waller-Bridge (pre-Fleabag) — follows a colorful crew of people living in a non-operating hospital to save money on rent in London. The main drama occurs when Lulu (Waller-Bridge) enters the scene, sparking tension in her best friend Anthony’s relationship. On the surface, this show is a full-on-sitcom, but it uses comedy to explore how bottled-up feelings, whether through self-deception, pretending or avoidance, eventually boil to the surface. And whether it is hilariously embarrassing or downright mortifying, facing our feelings is always necessary. If you’ve already seen Fleabag and need more Waller-Bridge in your life, this is a great follow-up.

Where to stream it: Netflix

Bingeable Rom-Coms This Way Up

 

This Way Up 

It’s the sibling chemistry between Aine, played by comedian Aisling Bea (who also wrote the series), and Shona, played by Sharon Horgan, that acts as a backbone of laughs and encouragement in this dramedy about an Irish ESL teacher recovering from a mental breakdown. A playfully vulnerable look at love and emotion, it’s all too relatable — from the pile of crap that covers the empty side of Aine’s bed to the pressure she feels to force a smile and be the sunny one in a new relationship — the show feels like a sister itself, ready to hold your hand and pick you up as you fumble your way through life and love.

Where to stream it: Hulu

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