7 series about the different ways to fall in love

By Gen Terblanche27 March 2024

7 series about the different ways to fall in love

Whether it’s tales of young love, second chances, lifetime loves or married love that win your heart, there’s a series waiting to sweep you off your feet. And on the flip side, if you’re going through the struggles of losing love, or what you really love is a tale of dramatic passion and disaster, we’ve got your back.

From March madness to April fools, here are seven tales of love gone right and wrong to bring some heart to every day of the week.

1. You & Me

This short, sweet three-episode romantic comedy-drama series has a huge heart and plot that’s filled with surprises as it tackles the theme of finding love again after heartbreaking loss. The series centres on two grand romances. One is between Emma (Jessica Barden) – an actress who’s struggling to come to terms with the death of her sister Joey (Lily Newmark) – and Ben (Harry Lawtey), the journalist who’s come to interview her about her latest play. The other is about Ben and Jess (Sophia Brown), a woman he meets at a bus stop and falls in love with in true romantic comedy style. While the series gives us plenty to cry over, it’s also filled with fairytale romantic moments that celebrate the wonder of meeting someone and doing ludicrous things to keep talking with them for hours because the connection is so compelling. The result is a story that uncynically believes in the power of young love, and will sweep you up with it.

2. Colin from Accounts

Real-life Australian couple Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall created, write and star in this comedy series about two single people, Ashley (Harriet Dyer) and Gordon (Patrick Brammall), who’re brought together when Gordon runs over an adorable dog after Ashley flirtatiously flashes him at a road crossing. Appalled, the two rush the dog (who they call Colin) to the closest vet and agree to take care of him together, with Ashley deciding to move in with Gordon until she can find a rental building that allows pets.

While a romantic comedy film might then rush the two up the aisle regardless of real compatibility, Colin from Accounts throws up a yield sign. Ashley is a 29-year-old trainee doctor and Colin, the man-child, is a microbrewery owner in his 40s. The cultural divide between their generations is real, as is the gulf between a man who refuses to grow up, and a woman who’s not inviting that into her life … even if she and Colin have bickering banter for days and they’re hot for one another. Through the series as we get to know them better, though, we start to see how perfect they’d be for one another at the same time as they start to realise it themselves. Five out of five tail wags. Colin would approve.

3. The Lovers

Love isn’t just for nice people. Sometimes two truly dreadful people might be meant for one another! That seems to be the case when sweary supermarket worker Janet (Roisin Gallagher) and egomaniac political radio and TV presenter Seamus (Johnny Flynn) have a run-in that derails him from his perfect London life and celebrity girlfriend Frankie (Alice Eve).

The “meet-cute” moment couldn’t be further from Hollywood romcom territory: he’s being chased by a pack of feral Irish teens who’re furious at his snobbish reporting on their issues, when he stumbles across Janet, who’s out in her garden contemplating suicide with a gun in her hands because her husband has left her. It’s a bad beginning and gets worse when Seamus decides to cheat on his girlfriend with Janet and she shrugs her way into it because the ego boost would be nice, despite the fact that she thinks he’s a spoiled, snivelling Englishman. It’s an enemies to lovers arc that, against all sense and reason, will make you side with love rather than with war by the end. Prepare for moral whiplash as The Lovers charms your pants right off.

4. The Time Traveler’s Wife

While time destroys some loves, it makes others stronger – even when time itself is thrown into disorder. Based on Audrey Niffenegger’s novel of the same name, this romantic fantasy drama explores involuntary time travelling librarian Henry’s (Theo James) star-crossed love with Clare (Rose Leslie), who he first meets when she is just six years old and he is 36. Despite that, there’s relatively little trace of an ick factor.

The relationship has a markedly different nature throughout Clare’s childhood and teens, during which Henry is a protector and someone willing to discuss philosophy with Clare. He’ll even protect her from himself – at one point 36-year-old Henry visits his 28-year-old version to warn him to stop being a user and a loser and instead become the Henry that Clare loves. So if you’re looking for a show to restore your belief in enduring love, this is it.

5. Gentleman Jack

This historical romantic drama series is based on the diaries of real-life Victorian-era landowner, lesbian and industrialist Anne Lister (Suranne Jones). The story explores her courtship with Ann Rundle (Sophie Rundle) as it progresses from discreet flirtation in public, to a tender sexual and romantic relationship. Their love is as out of step with their time as Anne’s other choices. Refusing to be confined to a role as wife and mother that her class dictated, Anne wears masculine coded clothing and kicks butt in the business world as a coal mine owner.

As a result Gentleman Jack delivers all the thrill of a classic forbidden romance, without any of the shadier aspects, since Anne and Ann are largely on an equal footing. Their relationship is one of mutual friendship and delight as much as it’s about love and passion. Gentleman Jack delivers all the feels, and all the funny, with period precise costume design. A true romantic could ask for nothing more.

6. Based on a True Story

You’ve found The One, put a ring on it, and now what? If you’re not keen on living a sitcom couple existence with your two and a half children and assorted livestock, might we suggest podcasting about true crime? Pregnant estate agent Ava (Kaley Cuoco) and her husband Nathan (Chris Messina) channel their boredom into stalking local serial killer the Westside Ripper (Tom Bateman) and creating a podcast dedicated to investigating his crimes.

Marriage therapists advise that it helps to see your issues as something you can team up against, and Ava and Nathan must unite against their own problem – the fact that they then meet the Ripper himself and he wants a “cut” of the action (to the point of actually becoming the podcast’s producer and editor), in exchange for the inside scoop on his crimes. Soon Ava and Nathan’s worries about their friends being richer and more successful than them melt away. And their marriage is saved as they strategise to get out of their situation together with their reputations intact and their heads out of plastic bags. This sitcom thriller is testament to the true heart of true love: being weird little freaks together.

7. Scenes from a Marriage

Out of love with love? If you’re going through a breakup and struggling to avoid the temptations of spying on your ex on social media, this series is the cure. With Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in the lead roles as Jonathan Levy and Mira Phillips respectively, this HBO drama mini-series raked in multiple award nominations, and will torture you exquisitely.

Take one couple with “perfect” everything – beauty, passion, wealth, home, careers, a beloved child – and love can all still crumble in the most devastating and unexpected way. The series begins with a psychology grad student interviewing Jonathan and Mira about their 10-year relationship as part of their study in monogamy and gender norms. But the cracks are visible from the start and the show pries them open to explore Mira’s infidelity as well as her desperation to escape the “permanent level of tolerable unhappiness” that she believes the marriage is dooming her to. There are no simple answers, and the series reveals the mismatch in each partner’s needs along with their baggage about marriage, intimacy, parenthood, power, sex and gender roles. This is love and hate for grownups.

Not feeling the love yet? Your perfect match is waiting on Showmax now.