Co-authored by Stareable
The end of the summer has closed in on us and that means everyone's schedule is finally settling down from all the weekend trips to the beach, vacations out of the country, and day drinking until you forget where you are. Fall means crisper weather, pumpkin-flavored everything and the beginning of cuffing season. Those few weeks between fall and the dead of winter when people start searching for someone with whom they can spend the those long, cold months with.
But cuffing season requires planning. You don't want to wait until you're in the midst of a Thanksgiving to New Year's eating binge while wearing shapeless flannel, to find yourself that special someone who will keep you warm in what's supposed to be a cold and snowy winter. You need to get on it now, while you're still tan and in shape and before seasonal-affective disorder robs you of your ability to make conversation. And what better way to prepare than by watching a couple great rom-com webseries to remind yourself of all love can be? Here are some suggestions:
There's something incredibly romantic about kissing in the rain. Hollywood tells us it's so. Bollywood certainly agrees - they put it in every movie. Maybe because it seems so emotionally indulgent to insist that your passions are more important than the threat of pneumonia. Maybe because it's easy to believe you're in a sexy Victorian period piece when you surround yourself with London weather (and a hint of Jane Austen makes everyone twirly). Maybe because everyone looks better with waterlogged hair and glistening skin (probably not the last one). Kissing in the Rain cleverly plays with the trope, with each episode beginning with two actors filming a rain-soaked love scene, before breaking to take us behind the scenes as the actors navigate what happens when the rain stops and they try to know each other in real life.
The worst thing about this show is that you have to wait a month for the next episode. It tracks a potential relationship in real-time, with each episode jumping ahead by 30 days. It's like Boyhood but takes place over twelve months instead of twelve years and makes you want to be in an adorable relationship, not call your mom and apologize for the burden of child-rearing. It's affable as hell, with great dialogue and banter. And any show that acknowledges in the first couple of minutes that Nora Ephron was the voice of a generation has their head on straight.
Dating in New York is a nightmare. It's probably a nightmare elsewhere but it's worse in New York. You know, because the city is full of crazies. The show uses the awkwardness of the morning after as a microcosm for dating, exploring mismatches in expectations, attraction, and etiquette (among other things - there is certainly plenty that can go wrong). The show is made by Above Average (essentially SNL's digital arm) and clearly has an improv feel - it often comes across a showcase for Thomas Middleditch (Richard from Silicon Valley) to act like a cad and for Allison Becker (Parks and Rec, Kroll Show) to unveil her uncanny ability to seem unhinged.
Romantic comedies get a bad rap. Some of the best movies are romantic comedies: When Harry Met Sally (Meg Ryan is totally slept on, which is ironic since she starred in Sleepless in Seattle); Annie Hall (especially since Diane Keaton ultimately dodges that Woody Allen bullet); Groundhog's Day (Bill Murray with himself because yes Andie MacDowell has amazing hair but no one really loves Andie MacDowell). But bad romantic comedies are bad because they treat the audience like they're idiots. Watching attractive people fall in love is not enough - people want more than a threadbare plot and well-worn timeline (otherwise Katherine Heigl would be doing much better in life). Quirky Female Protagonist breaks down that basic structure, substituting meta commentary for dialogue. It can be jarring at first but quickly settles into a rhythm, casually yet fluently identifying the tropes of the genre that make these shows so mockable.
Hipsterhood is a modern approach to romantic comedy, exploring what it takes to push two hipsters together when they're so in their heads and so caught up in how they present themselves to the outside world. It turns out that the self-aware can be awful at conversation. You see the romance unfold from both sides, with each character mentally narrating their experience with painful awkwardness. And it's a cute way to present the neuroses we all have about music and fashion and romance. The show ostensibly takes place in Silver Lake, California but could just as well be in Brooklyn or any other place where young people preen.
Hopefully we've gotten you excited for the rollercoaster of emotions ahead. Just think - soon you'll find that special someone to go apple-picking, jointly conclude that shaving is overrated, and snuggle up on cold nights watching webseries on Stareable. Ah, romance!