Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day plans.
If you’re alone, you’re probably either loving the single life or resenting the existence of this cheesy capitalistic holiday — in which case, you’re primed to binge on Netflix and ice cream.
If you have a date, you might want to bring them back to your place to Netflix and chill — in which case, television series are perfect: The two (or more) of you can keep “watching” until the sun rises; if not, a 30- to 40-minute episode will end much sooner than a movie would, giving you a quick excuse to ditch a date that’s not working and be back to your own couch in no time.
Or maybe you’re celebrating Palentine’s Day with your friends and want something everyone will enjoy.
Look no further than The Daily Californian’s own Valentine’s Day Netflix recommendations. The following shows might spice up your evening, make you laugh or spark an existential crisis, but they’re all equally enjoyable alone, with dates or with friends.
For the realist: “Easy”
Netflix’s “Easy” has pretty much flown under the radar — it’s not a classic readaptation nor a fantasy thriller nor a justice-oriented series. Set entirely in Chicago, this sex- and relationship-centric series is the “Valentine’s Day” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” formula done right (or, at least, better).
“Easy” follows a group of characters whose lives are all connected (because as big and scary as the world is, it can also be pretty small). Each episode focuses on a couple, family or solo character trying to navigate friendships, hookups, marriage, kids, domestic and professional life — you name it.
Apart from the fact that these characters can almost inexplicably afford gorgeous homes and apartments in a city like Chicago, it’s almost too relatable — while there’s a lot of realism in “Easy,” its depictions of socioeconomic class are lacking. That being said, this show takes the relatability of “Love” while dialing down characters’ grinding annoyance and lack of listening skills. It features a married couple navigating an open relationship, young parents trying to launch the careers of their dreams, a feminist sex worker who’s also an online columnist and so much more.
While not every episode is equally compelling, there’s a lot to love about “Easy.” At its best, it offers relatable characters facing almost-realistic conflicts with a dash of comedy and just the right amount of thoughtful cynicism.
For the jokester: “Big Mouth”
“Big Mouth,” another Netflix original, got a bit of attention after its first season premiered in September of last year, but not nearly as much as it deserved.
The animated series stars a cast of awkward middle schoolers as they pop pimples and learn the ins and outs of puberty (which, let’s be honest, are mostly outs). It also features some of today’s most popular comedians, including Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, Fred Armisen and Nick Kroll.
Who wouldn’t want the brilliant Maya Rudolph, illustrated as a furry hormone monster, advising them through pubescence?
This series is the perfect way to gauge your date’s sense of humor or to laugh with friends — or even by yourself — about how far you’ve all come since middle school. At least now you’re all old enough to buy your own tampons and/or condoms, and it’s much less embarrassing to ask your friends’ advice on strange smells and crushes of the week.
For the romantic: “Jane the Virgin”
Whether you’re watching alone, with friends or with a date, “Jane the Virgin” is sure to make you laugh. It’s the perfect show for nearly every audience because it’s the ideal combination of comedy, fantasy and drama — it’ll keep you on your toes and get you in a good mood.
“Jane the Virgin” follows Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), her mother, her abuela, her father, her baby daddy, her best friend, her boyfriend — you get the idea. Jane — a writer, teacher and pregnant virgin — has a big family, which makes for big surprises.
This is one of those series that truly gets better as it goes along without losing sight of what made it fabulous in the first place. “Jane the Virgin” is currently airing its fourth season on The CW — last week’s episode was directed by Rodriguez herself — and the first three seasons are available on Netflix.
As you might expect, Jane doesn’t stay a virgin or pregnant for too long, but the show is certainly swelling with irony. It’s ideal for breaking the ice with a new date, watching with friends or being alone in your pajamas.
Sophie-Marie Prime covers television. Contact her at [email protected].