10 romantic shows to binge-watch over Valentine's Day weekend

If binge-watching the second season of "House of Cards," Netflix's misanthropic political thriller, isn't your idea of romance, take heart: There are plenty of other shows that celebrate love in its myriad forms available for you to binge-watch this Valentine's Day weekend. Allow us to make a few suggestions. 

Love/hate: "Cheers"

The moment poetry-spouting intellectual Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) walked into Cheers, the Boston bar run by former baseball player, bartender and committed ladies' man Sam Malone (Ted Danson), in the pilot of this classic sitcom, TV would never be the same. Watch the love-hate romance between this mismatched pair unfold on Netflix. 

Literary love: "Pride and Prejudice"

It is a truth universally acknowledged that this 1995 BBC/A&E adaptation of Jane Austen's most celebrated novel is, no offense to Keira Knightley, the finest to date. If you're unfamiliar with the story of the sharp-tongued Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) and her love-hate romance with the wealthy, arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth) well, then, what are you waiting for? The entire miniseries, including Firth's famous wet-shirt scene, is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video.  

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Long-distance love: "Gavin & Stacey"

All three seasons of this quirky British sitcom about the long-distance relationship between an English bloke and a Welsh lass are available to stream on Amazon Prime Instant Video. An American remake by Fox was originally scheduled for midseason, but was pulled by the network before it aired, meaning your memories won't be ruined by an inferior adaptation. All the more reason to watch. 

Lusty love: "Scandal" 

If you're not caught up on the steamy saga of Washington, D.C., crisis manager Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her on again, off again (and again and again) affair with President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), you really have no excuse. Curl up with some popcorn and a giant glass of red wine, because the first two seasons of the ABC drama are available on Netflix, and you can also catch up on the current season right here. 

Young love: "The Wonder Years"

This nostalgic tale of adolescent love in the '60s had a profound impact on children of the '80s. You can relive the romance between middle-schoolers Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) on Netflix (though sadly much of the show's original soundtrack, including Joe Cocker's opening theme song, "With a Little Help From My Friends," is missing due to rights issues).  

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Married love: "Friday Night Lights"

Y'all, has there ever been a better depiction of a happy (though not conflict-free) marriage on television than "Friday Night Lights"? Sure, Tami and Eric Taylor are probably better-looking than your average middle-aged husband and wife, but their struggles are universal. See for yourself on Netflix.

Bromantic love: "Sherlock"

The close friendship between John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) in this contemporary spin on Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective stories has inspired oodles of naughty fan fiction online. Deduce what all the fuss is about on Netflix, where you can watch "Sherlock's" first two seasons. 

Same-sex love: "The Real World: San Francisco" 

The third season of this groundbreaking reality series premiered on MTV 20 -- that's right, 20 -- years ago, and was notable for introducing America to Pedro Zamora, a gay Cuban American living with AIDS. While his struggles with the condition helped put a human face on the epidemic, Zamora also became an early pioneer for gay marriage, exchanging vows with boyfriend Sean Sasser on the show. You can watch on Hulu Plus. (Romantic bonus: Roommates Judd Winick and Pam Ling also fell for each other after "The Real World" and have been married since 2001.)

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Platonic love: "30 Rock" 

The unlikely friendship between Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), the frazzled head writer of a late-night sketch comedy show, and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), her slick corporate executive boss, is one of television's most beautiful platonic love stories. Watch it unfold over seven fast-paced seasons on Netflix. 

Workplace love: "The Office" 

Why not spend the weekend revisiting the sweet romance between co-workers Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) -- or, if you prefer the British original, Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis)? Both versions are available on Netflix, and while we hesitate to say one is superior, the U.K. original, at just 13 episodes, will allow more time for trips to the store to stock up on Doritos and Ben & Jerry's. And that's what's really important on Valentine's Day, isn't it? 

Yvonne Villarreal also contributed to this report. 


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Twitter: @MeredithBlake 


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