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The best romance shows on Netflix right now

Rom-com movies and romantic dramas tend to be the most prevalent offerings on Netflix. But for fans who want love stories that play out at a more deliberate pace, there are also romance TV shows. It’s a genre that goes back to the early days of network television, and it continues to the present with series like Grey’s Anatomy. Netflix’s big contribution to the genre is that it has gone to places that network shows couldn’t go, like the gay teen romance Heartstopper, or series from around the world like A Perfect Story and If Only.

Netflix still has a lot of new series on the way, even during the writers’ and actors’ strike in Hollywood. But that’s also where the international series come in to boost the lineup even before the pipeline of new American shows runs out. If you’re looking for a good love story in these waning summer weeks, then check out our roundup of the best romance shows on Netflix right now.

Recently added to Netflix

A Perfect Story (2023) new

A Perfect Story
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Comedy
Cast Anna Castillo, Álvaro Mel, Ane Gabarain

A Perfect Story is a Spanish romance series that follows an heiress, Margot (Anna Castillo), and a working-class guy, David (Álvaro Mel). Margot’s hard work isn’t taken seriously by her family and she feels trapped by her engagement to Filippo (Mario Ermito). As for David, he’s got three jobs just to make his ends meet.

When Margot flees her own wedding, she ends up in a bar where David is working as a bartender. From there, a friendship begins to bloom, but can they find love and move on together?

Heartstopper (2022) new

100 %
tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Joe Locke, Kit Connor, William Gao
Created by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper season 1 was a slow-burn romance between gay teenager Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and his best friend in school, Nick Nelson (Kit Connor). In season 2, Charlie and Nick are in a real romantic relationship, but Nick is having some real trouble finding a way to come out to his friends and teammates on the rugby team.

While Charlie and Nick are on solid ground with each other, there are still obstacles ahead that are getting in the way of their happiness, especially Charlie’s ex-boyfriend, Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft).

If Only (2022) new

If Only
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Comedy
Cast Megan Montaner, Miquel Fernández, Michel Noher
Created by Irma Correa

Time-travel stories are often built around regret and an attempt to change something that went wrong. In If Only, everything went wrong for Emma (Megan Montaner), and it’s not just one thing she would change. It’s everything, but especially her failing marriage with Nando (Miquel Fernández).

Inexplicably, Emma finds herself reliving the past decade of her life. And this time she doesn’t have to commit to a dead-end relationship with Nando. She can find someone new to love. But just because Emma has lived through her life one time doesn’t mean that she’ll get everything right the second time.

Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Grey's Anatomy
64 %
tv-14 19 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Ellen Pompeo, James Pickens Jr., Chandra Wilson
Created by Shonda Rhimes

Most shows aren’t built to run for nearly two decades, but Grey’s Anatomy is a rare breed. And Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey has been there since the beginning. This month, Netflix is adding Grey’s Anatomy season 19, which finds Meredith finally ready to move on from Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital while sorting out her romantic relationship with Dr. Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman).

Because of Meredith’s reduced role this season, five young doctors were added to the mix: Dr. Simone Griffith (Alexis Floyd), Dr. Benson “Blue” Kwan (Harry Shum Jr.), Dr. Jules Millin (Adelaide Kane), Dr. Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis), and Dr. Lucas Adams (Niko Terho). Their intersecting career ambitions and romantic pursuits breathe new life into the show. And who’s to say how many more seasons it can run?

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (2023)

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
76 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast India Ria Amarteifio, Corey Mylchreest, Arsema Thomas
Created by Shonda Rhimes

On Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is so self-assured and in control that it’s a little disconcerting to see the young Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio) decades earlier in the prequel series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Early in this show, young Charlotte becomes the queen when she marries King George III (Corey Mylchreest).

Unfortunately for Charlotte, love and marriage isn’t as easy as marrying into the royal family. George’s penchant for secrecy and his growing mental illness threaten his reign even as he and Charlotte struggle to make their marriage into a true union.

XO, Kitty (2023)

XO, Kitty
67 %
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Anna Cathcart, Choi Min-yeong, Gia Kim
Created by Jenny Han

Spinoffs are always tricky because it’s hard to make a supporting character into a lead. XO, Kitty largely avoids that problem by taking Anna Cathcart’s Kitty Song Covey out of the familiar confines of the To All the Boys trilogy. Kitty thinks she knows everything she needs to know about love, but she’s in for a rude awakening.

Much to the surprise of Kitty’s long-distance boyfriend, Dae (Choi Min-young), Kitty uproots her life and moves to South Korea just in the hope of finally finding the true love that has eluded her. Kitty has a lot to learn, and she might get her heart broken along the way.

Valeria (2020)

tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Diana Gómez, Silma López, Paula Malia
Created by María López Castaño

Do you think that Sex and the City is racy? Then you haven’t seen Valeria, the Spanish romantic comedy/drama series that is ending its three-season run on Netflix. Much like HBO’s iconic series, Valeria follows four female friends, Valeria (Diana Gómez), Carmen (Paula Malia), Lola (Silma López), and Nerea (Teresa Riott). Together, they navigate their late ‘20s as they search for love and fulfillment in their lives.

Season 3 picks up with Carmen heading to the altar while Valeria’s romance with Victor (Maxi Iglesias) hits the skids. Fortunately, it’s not long before Valeria sparks a new love connection with Bruno (Federico Aguado), a writer who shares many of her passions. But Valeria and her friends will have to face some serious questions before they can find the happiness they are looking for.

Sex/Life (2021)

tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Sarah Shahi, Mike Vogel, Adam Demos
Created by Stacy Rukeyser

Sometimes, romance means intense passion, and that’s just what Billie (Sarah Shahi) realizes she was missing in Sex/Life. While suffering a midlife crisis, the former psychology Ph.D. candidate, mother, and housewife can’t seem to stop thinking about her ex-boyfriend Brad (Adam Demos).

He lives a fast-paced, exciting life that’s very different from Billie’s life with her strait-laced investment banker husband. While her husband Cooper (Mike Vogel) tries to make her feel as sexually satisfied as she once did with Brad, their twisted, emotional states create a messy situation. Sex/Life isn’t your traditional romance, but it’s provocative, steamy, and erotic.

Love Is Blind (2020)

Love Is Blind
62 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Reality
Cast Vanessa Lachey, Nick Lachey

It’s difficult to believe that Netflix’s cheesy, weird, trashy social experiment is already on its fourth season. Thirty singles from a different state in America join each season to “meet” other singles, talking to them from separate enclosed pods without ever seeing one another. After courting multiple people, they decide who they made connections with and talk more.

If they ultimately decide this person is “the one” and want to propose marriage (and it’s accepted), the two finally get to meet in person. From there, they go on vacation together, live together, meet one another’s families, and discover if it is truly meant to be, all while planning their weddings. The concept is completely backward, but there are enough raw, romantic moments intertwined with the juicy drama to keep you hooked the entire way through.

Little Things (2016)

Little Things
4 Seasons
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Mithila Palkar, Dhruv Sehgal
Created by Dhruv Sehgal
The Indian rom-com, offered in English language (with some Hindi dialogue), is the sweet story of a young man and woman living together in Mumbai. The episodes through the show’s four-season run follow Kavya (Mithila Palkar) and Dhruv (Dhruv Sehgal) through their everyday lives trying to make life interesting and fun. Exploring the typical mundane conversations between couples in a realistic but humorous fashion, Little Things is all about, well, the little things that test a relationship and love for one another. It’s also about the challenges young couples in today’s modern society face, from career aspirations to the fear of missing out on things with friends, long distance, and life goals. As a show without all the frills and exaggerations of romance, Little Things’s ability to be relatable is what makes it entertaining.

Emily in Paris (2020)

Emily in Paris
58 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Lily Collins, Ashley Park, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
Created by Darren Star
Despite all the criticism, Emily in Paris remains the perfectly predictable, corny, funny, sweet, and modern show that takes the concept of romance right to its source: Paris. While Emily initially moves to the city of love for a one-year work project, she quickly finds herself wrapped up in the beauty, culture, and attractive men the city has to offer. From torrid romances to jealous jaunts, career setbacks, and culture shock, it’s like a Hallmark holiday movie extended for every season, with gorgeous people in love (and lust), stereotypical French storylines, and stunning fashion to boot. If you like exploring an indulgent, guilty pleasure show every now and then, Emily in Paris won’t disappoint.

The Empress (2022)

The Empress
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Devrim Lingnau, Philip Froissant, Melika Foroutan
Created by Katharina Eyssen
Netflix quickly snapped up this German historical drama series based on the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Devrim Lingnau). This sultry, mostly true tale finds 16-year-old Bavarian duchess Sisi falling in love with her sister’s betrothed, Emperor Franz Joseph (Philip Froissant). When Franz Joseph returns her love, Sisi picks up and moves to Vienna, causing a rift in the family and prompting many in her husband’s family to scheme to sabotage the marriage. With a bevy of political complexities, captivating characters, and an enduring romance at the heart of the show, The Empress is a fascinating historical drama.

Jane the Virgin (2014)

Jane the Virgin
81 %
tv-14 5 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglas
Created by Jennie Snyder Urman
Jane (Gina Rodriguez) has been raised by her Catholic, telenovela-obsessed grandmother to believe that a woman’s virginity is sacred, and it must stay intact until marriage. But when 23-year-old Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated by donor sperm, the technically still-a-virgin woman experiences a bold new awakening of her sexuality. Suddenly, the opposite sex never seemed so appealing and attainable. You can watch all five seasons of this hit romantic dramedy on Netflix.

Love on the Spectrum U.S. (2022)

Love on the Spectrum U.S.
83 %
1 Season
Genre Documentary, Reality
Love On the Spectrum has delighted and moved Australian and British audiences to happy tears over the past few years, and now there’s finally an American season. This innovative documentary series is almost like a dating show, following a number of young (and older) people on the autism spectrum as they search for love in an extra-complicated world. The show helps the participants navigate the dating pool in a positive way and gives them tools to make meaningful connections that will hopefully last forever.

Outlander (2014)

76 %
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
Created by Ronald D. Moore
Adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling books, Outlander has been one of the decade’s most popular romance shows. After serving as a nurse in World War II, Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) enjoys a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband. But suddenly and inexplicably, Claire finds herself whisked to the year 1743, a mysterious, foreign world in which her life and freedom are threatened. To survive, Claire marries a Scotsman, but soon develops a very real and very passionate relationship with him. Caught between two men in different timelines, Claire must navigate an extremely tumultuous affair.

Love (2016)

73 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, Chris Witaske
Created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, Lesley Arfin
This series has a pretty basic name for a pretty basic series. It’s a show about a nice guy named Gus (Paul Rust) who moves into a new apartment after his relationship falls apart only to meet the free-spirited Mickey (Gillian Jacobs). Although they’re at different stages of their lives and appear to be polar opposites, Gus and Mickey find they just plain work.

Grace and Frankie (2015)

Grace and Frankie
58 %
tv-ma 7 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen
Created by Howard J. Morris, Marta Kauffman
It’s a situation no person ever wants to find themselves in, particularly in their 70s. But alas, Grace and Frankie learn, while in the golden years of their lives, that their husbands and business partners are actually gay and have secretly been in a relationship with one another for more than 30 years. So goes the story of two women who are completely different from one another trying to not only re-start their lives in an elder age, leaning on one another for support, but also trying to find that romantic spark by dating again. Spoiler alert: They succeed on both fronts, offering a compelling look at romance at a time when some would consider these women to be past their primes.

Gilmore Girls (2000)

Gilmore Girls
78 %
tv-14 7 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino
While Gilmore Girls is primarily focused on the mother-daughter relationship between Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore, the lighthearted drama has more than its fair share of romance. Lorelai’s the young single mom who has the eye of just about every eligible bachelor in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, while Rory is the driven, straight-A student and witty daughter who’s the apple of her mother’s eye. And just about every boy’s eye in town, too. But through all the romantic entaglements and drama, the two women remain one another’s best friend.

Bridgerton (2020)

75 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Julie Andrews
Created by Chris Van Dusen
Lines like “I would burn for you” say it all. Bridgerton is not just romantic; it’s also a juicy drama that takes romance, rebellion, and high society life to an entirely new level. Set in Regency-era London in 1813, the show takes its liberties with history, depicting a racially integrated society and using modern undertones. Romance here is not about falling in love, but rather making one’s own choices to do so (or not) and, of course, giving in to intense passion. Opt for this show if you’re looking for something sexier than your traditional cookie-cutter romance and enjoy the gorgeous scenery, costumes, and wonderful acting to boot.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
80 %
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III
Created by Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom
Rachel Bloom is a revelation in this wacky romantic comedy about a woman who impulsively throws her successful Manhattan life away to chase a former romantic interest across the country to West Covina, California. Despite her success, she just feels something missing, and she hopes that this new adventure will help her find the happiness — and love — that she’s been missing. The musical comedy is simultaneously a send-up of rom-coms and a touching tribute.

Lucifer (2016)

49 %
tv-14 6 Seasons
Genre Crime, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro
Created by Tom Kapinos
Despite being part of the DC Comics universe, based on the character from The Sandman comic book series, and falling under the police procedural/urban fantasy genre, make no mistake: Lucifer will satisfy the desires for romance television, too. It’s a slow burn from the romance angle but predictable from the get-go in that respect as well. Nonetheless, the intertwining, ever more fantastical stories, characters that draw you in, and the right amount of comedy mixed with drama and corniness all make Lucifer a worthwhile watch. Check out all six seasons, which wrap up the series with an equally satisfying end.

Sex Education (2019)

Sex Education
81 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa
Created by Laurie Nunn
It’s more about physical relationships than emotional ones, but Sex Education provides a good look into romance and how it impacts the youth of today. At the heart of the story is high school student Otis, who has become ambivalent about sex because of his mother, who is not only a sex therapist but also quite promiscuous. Call it an anti-romance series, but it’s unconventional and relatable, with themes and topics that will teach you a thing or two about Gen Z.

Virgin River (2019)

Virgin River
tv-14 5 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Colin Lawrence
Created by Sue Tenney
A surprise hit for Netflix, this romantic drama stars Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel, a woman struggling with her life who makes an impulsive decision to move to a remote California town and work as a midwife and nurse practitioner. She wants to leave her old life and the painful memories that come with it behind and believes a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. But upon arrival, she learns that what she really needs to heal is herself before she can find lasting love.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016)

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino
A continuation of Gilmore Girls, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel return as mother-and-daughter duo Lorelei and Rory, who find themselves supporting one another as they both deal with their lives and unique relationship troubles. It’s a sweet look back at the fast-talking series that enthralled viewers through the early 2000s. With Rory now all grown up and Lorelei married to Luke for a decade, the pair rely on the advice of one another once again in hopes of finding their individual happiness.

Easy (2016)

72 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Created by Joe Swanberg
Love and romance are never easy, which is precisely the focus of this comedy-drama anthology series. With three seasons under its belt, each has a different star-studded ensemble cast that depicts the trials and tribulations of navigating love and relationships. Set in Chicago, the focus is on depicting the many different types of modern love, from married couples in open relationships to living up to your partner’s expectations, threesomes, reignited love, and old flames. There’s no romantic relationship type left untouched through the 25 episodes.

Love Alarm (2019)

Love Alarm
2 Seasons
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, Song Kang
Created by Yoo Bo-ra
Hailing from South Korea and based on the Daum webtoon of the same name, Kim Jo-jo is a high schooler who starts to use a new mobile app that alerts the user when someone nearby has romantic feelings for them. So begins the love triangle story of the beautiful but troubled young girl, the handsome model, and the son of a domestic worker who secretly loves Jo-jo. As the app eventually reveals itself to cause more societal problems than it helps, the story takes a dramatic turn. But it’s ultimately about understanding what it truly means to like, or love, someone without technology getting in the way.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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