In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to put the spotlight on 50 of the most romantic TV shows from around the world. Now this, by all means, is not an all comprehensive list! But rather 50 examples of some of the best as well as some of the most unabashedly romantic TV series out there.
But what do I mean by unabashed? Unabashed literally means unashamed, unapologetic, and boldly sure of itself. In other words, these are the romantic TV shows embracing romance in all its wonderful glory. These shows don’t tip-toe around the love stories but rather grab ahold of what makes all of us romantics in the world love the genre.
Personally, I find these shows refreshing in today’s cynical world that believes romance is more about swiping left than about an emotional connection.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I prefer the epic, sweeping love stories over crude, pornographic romances any day. I’m more of a Jane Austen girl than 50 Shades of Grey after all. And these examples reflect that.
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From period dramas, paranormal romance, fantasy, international romance, to romantic comedies, and more, there’s something in here for everyone. However, there are no miniseries on the list – we’ll save that for another day.
To make it easier for all of you looking for your next binge-watch (or slow burn if that’s more your style), I’ve also included where you can watch these fantastic romantic TV shows (when available)! Who knows, you may find yourself with something new to fall in love with.
A Few Tips
TIP 1: Click on each title to read more about the show.
TIP 2: Most Korean Dramas have only one season and therefore almost always have a definitive ending. So don’t worry if there are only a small number of episodes. Watch K-Dramas (and even many of the other Asian dramas) like you would read a good book. There is typically a beginning, middle, and end.
TIP 3: If you haven’t heard of some of these streaming services, most of them have free trials making it the perfect time to watch at least one of the shows.
UPDATE: Streaming availability was updated in July 2019.
50 Unabashedly Romantic TV Shows
(In Alphabetical Order)
1. Autumn’s Concerto (2009-2010)
Why You Should Watch: This heartfelt romance from Taiwan will pull on your heartstrings and make you root for this couple despite all of the obstacles in their path. Make sure to have tissues on hand when watching!
Content Note: A mild TV-14
Where to Watch: Netflix, Viki, DVD.
2. Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
Why You Should Watch: A ’80s classic TV Show exploring the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale in a refreshing and enjoyable way. If you love Beauty and the Beast stories or urban fantasy, then this one is a must-see!
Content Note: TV-PG
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, DVD.
3. Blood Ties (2007)
Why You Should Watch: This urban fantasy/paranormal romance TV series is about a royal, immortal vampire. It’s an example of how to do a love triangle right.
Beyond that, the chemistry between the two leads is fantastic! If you like the wit of Veronica Mars as well as paranormal romance, then definitely check out Blood Ties – a lesser-known Canadian series.
Content Note: TV-14 for supernatural violence and sensuality
Where to Watch: Buy on DVD.
4. Boys Over Flowers (2009)
Why You Should Watch: If you’re new to the world of Korean Dramas (or need somewhere to start), Boys Over Flowers is the perfect show to watch.
Basically, if you love the old-fashioned romance style of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, romanticism, romantic comedies, and/or fairytales, then trust me, you should be watching K-Dramas.
The addicting romance is part romantic comedy, part drama, part fairy tale, and isn’t afraid to deal with complex issues. Somehow you’ll find yourself rooting for Jan-di and Goo Joon-Pyo to be together despite their rocky start and his “evil” mother.
If you love old-fashioned romance, bad boy transformations, Cinderella-like stories, and just being entertained in general, then check out Boys Over Flowers.
Content Note: TV-14 for bullying situations and some adult themes. The romance is old-fashioned and most of the series feels PG.
Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu, Viki, DVD.
5. Chuck (2007-2012)
Why You Should Watch: There is something joyful about watching Chuck (played by the always likable Zachary Levi) and his endearing optimism. As he’s thrown into the world of spies and intrigue, he falls in love with the agent hired to protect him. Chuck is a spy romantic comedy that will capture your heart from beginning to end!
Content Note: TV-14 for mild violence, mild profanity, and sexual references
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
6. Coffee Prince (2007)
Why You Should Watch: This romantic Korean Drama/romantic comedy remains one of Korea’s most popular romantic TV shows to date. The unusual romance about a girl who pretends to be a boy (and then falls in love with a boy who believes she’s a boy-man) will captivate you from the start. If you’re looking for a dreamy male lead, look no further than the charismatic and handsome Gong Yoo!
Content Note: Mostly feels TV-PG
Where to Watch: Viki, Tubi, OnDemandKorea, DVD.
7. Dark Angel (2000-2002)
Why You Should Watch: If you love stories about underdogs and sci-fi romance, then Dark Angel should be right up your alley. Plus, you get to see the amazing chemistry between a young Jessica Alba (arguably her best role) and Michael Weatherly (NCIS).
What’s great about this show is that it was ahead of its time in relation to great female roles. The girl is the “superhero” while the guy is the computer whiz behind the scenes supporting her.
James Cameron was also the creator and even directs the epic finale (unfortunately, there’s a cliffhanger due to the show’s unfortunate cancellation).
If you love romances like Oliver and Felicity from Arrow then you should enjoy Dark Angel. It’s an example of how romance doesn’t need to be angsty with unnecessary drama (like constant breaks ups and keeping secrets) to create obstacles. Rather, good old-fashioned outside conflict and complex emotions work to keep these two apart. And that’s refreshing to watch.
Content Note: TV-14
Where to Watch: Buy on DVD (inexpensive).
8. Descendants of the Sun (2016)
Why You Should Watch: One of the most popular Korean romances, Descendants of the Sun captures old-fashioned romance in all its wonderful glory. It’s also refreshingly about characters in their thirties.
How often do you see a non-explicit romance about adults where the lead female has never really dated before? Descendants of the Sun embraces romance unabashedly and includes swoon-worthy scenes from start to finish. And there are not just one or two romances to enjoy, but three!
By the end (or was it the beginning?), Shi-jin will leave you wishing you could meet a guy just like him!
RELATED | Descendants of the Sun Review – Epic Romantic K-Drama
Content Note: TV-14 for medical situations, violence, and intense sequences. However, mostly feels PG.
Where to Watch: Hulu, Viki. Buy on DVD (expensive).
9. Doctor Who (2005-)
Why You Should Watch: This British fantasy/sci-fi/time travel series grabbed my heart and never let go. I especially fell in love with the slow-build romance between the Doctor and Rose (a female character most of us girls can relate to).
And while their romance will break your heart, it will also have you believing in love as well as in the idea that every person can make a difference. Basically, if you’re looking for an escape from all your troubles, Doctor Who may be just the prescription you need.
Trust me, you’ll love David Tennant as the 10th Doctor (I also have a special love for Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor). Hating him is like hating puppies!
And while it’s the first four seasons of “new” Doctor Who I love the most and personally recommend due to the romance, the later seasons are still worth watching. Just expect an almost entirely different show under a new showrunner.
That’s one thing about Doctor Who. It’s always regenerating to keep itself fresh. You’ll have to decide for yourself which era of the show you like best! But as far as old-fashioned romance goes, seasons 1-4 is where it’s at.
Content Note: Mostly TV-PG
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
10. Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
Why You Should Watch: If you’re still one of the few to have not seen this cultural phenomenon, you’re lucky because you can now stream all six seasons without having to wait a year between seasons!
With the feel of a classic novel, this original period drama has layered characters and believable romances to fall in love with. Not to mention the fabulous performances from the entire cast! Downton Abbey is not a show to be missed!
Content Note: TV-PG. A few episodes deal with more adult themes.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, PBS Passport, buy on Digital or DVD.
11. Dracula (2013-2014)
Why You Should Watch: This steampunk adaptation of Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers fell under the radar but is actually quite good. If you love gothic romance, Byronic Heroes, and steampunk, make sure to check out this entertaining series.
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Content Note: TV-14
Where to Watch: NBC, buy on Digital or DVD.
12. General & I (2017)
Why You Should Watch: While I have only just started this Chinese romantic TV series, I already love the beautiful costumes, production design, and the sweeping star-crossed romance. Hopefully, the series keeps up the epic feel.
In all, if you love star-crossed romance, intelligent female leads, and historical shows, then make sure to check out the General and I.
Content Note: So far, seems TV-14 for battle scenes.
Where to Watch: Viki
13. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007; 2016)
Why You Should Watch: Because Gilmore Girls is awesome with fantastic female characters, believable family drama, an unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter, small-town charm, and, of course, romance!
Influenced by the fast-talking narrative style of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Gilmore Girls has just the right amount of charm for those of us who appreciate clever dialogue, wit, and old-fashioned romance.
Content Note: TV-PG (a few TV-14 episodes sneak in)
Where to Watch: Netflix. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
14. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017)
Why You Should Watch: If you like shows like Being Human, Doctor Who, good fantasy, or any stories influenced by fairy tales and folklore, then Goblin is a show you can’t miss! I can’t say enough wonderful things about this fantastically written and acted series.
And while it’s the bromance between an immortal goblin and an eccentric grim reaper stealing the show, the romances in this series are epic in scope and embraced unabashedly. With twists and turns at every corner, prepare to be hooked from start to finish. This series is also great for newbies in the Korean Drama world.
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Content Note: TV-14 for fantasy violence. Mostly feels PG.
Where to Watch: Viki, DVD.
15. Grand Hotel (2011-2013)
Why You Should Watch: An addicting period drama from Spain, Grand Hotel may be one of the best period dramas to ever air on TV. You will not be able to stop watching! The romance and the chemistry between the leads are simply off the charts.
Sometimes it’s nice to watch a series unafraid to be what it is: a romance. Of course, with murder, deception, secrets, and more, on the side.
RELATED | Grand Hotel Review
Content Note: A few scenes of sexuality are sprinkled throughout the show, but they are infrequent and not explicit. It is rated TV-PG with a couple of episodes TV-14.
Where to Watch: Netflix
16. Greatest Love (2011)
Why You Should Watch: If you’re looking for a hilarious romantic comedy TV series to watch, then Greatest Love should be at the top of your list. This K-Drama takes a fun look at celebrity culture behind the scenes.
If you enjoy romantic comedies based on situational humor (like Sandra Bullock films), then you should enjoy this laugh out loud romance about an A-list movie-star with an attitude problem and a fallen pop star with a heart of gold.
Content Note: Feels mostly TV-PG
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Viki, DVD.
17. Hart of Dixie (2011-2015)
Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy stories about small towns, then you should enjoy this light-hearted romantic comedy TV series. If only I could live in a town where most people’s biggest problems are who they should date!
Content Note: TV-PG (a few episodes might be TV-14)
Where to Watch: Netflix. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
18. The Hour (2011-2012)
Why You Should Watch: Often compared to Mad Men, I argue this British series is much better! One aspect of this wonderfully written show (Abi Morgan won an Emmy for the writing in this series) making it stand out is the slow build romance between best friends, Freddie and Bel.
In all, you don’t want to miss this amazing series with award-worthy performances and the emotionally deep romance that pulls the story together.
Content Note: TV-14 for some sexual situations and adult themes, brief strong language, and a few scenes of violence.
Where to Watch: Acorn TV. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
19. I’m Sorry, I Love You (2004)
Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy a good tragedy, this Korean Drama phenomenon is one of the best! So Ji-sub’s performance will draw you into this heartbreaking and compelling romance series and you won’t be able to stop watching!
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Content Note: TV-14 for adult themes; nothing explicit in this series
Where to Watch: Viki
20. It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014)
Why You Should Watch: A great drama for anyone interested in psychology or who love films like A Beautiful Mind.
When two broken people (one with OCD and a mysterious illness and the other with a panic anxiety disorder) find each other, they have to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles (mental illness) to be together. I can’t say enough about how much I love this romantic series which is at times much lighter than you might expect.
Content Note: TV-14 for adult themes, discussions, and situations; also includes some sensuality.
Where to Watch: Viki, DVD.
21. Jane the Virgin (2014-2019)
Why You Should Watch: Part romantic comedy, part telenovela, this award-winning series is addicting and wonderful for those of us (like Jane) who love old-fashioned romance and believe in happy endings. Though don’t be surprised when the show becomes tragic – it is part telenovela after all.
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Content Note: Ranges between TV-PG and TV-14 depending on the episode.
Where to Watch: Netflix, CW/CW Seed (only limited seasons). You can also buy on digital or DVD.
22. La Femme Nikita (1997-2001)
Why You Should Watch: This Canadian series about a young woman forced to be a spy/operative is at its best when it’s all about the slow build romance between Michael and Nikita.
While he seems cold at first, as the romance builds you won’t be able to stop watching their compelling love story. If you enjoy TV romances where the main couple has intense chemistry and a deep emotional connection, then make sure to watch La Femme Nikita.
Content Note: TV-14 for violence and sexual situations
Where to Watch: Buy on Digital or DVD.
23. The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016-2017)
Why You Should Watch: A modern-day romance about a mermaid and a human told in two different time periods? Just, yes! This is one of my favorite shows of the past couple of years.
The epic star-crossed romance across time is perfect for anyone who enjoys fairy tales, folklore, period dramas, and paranormal romance. The show can be both funny and dramatic in the best ways possible!
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Content Note: Mostly TV-PG; A couple of episodes are closer to TV-14 for adult themes and violence. Overall, Legend of the Blue Sea is an old-fashioned romance with nothing explicit.
Where to Watch: Viki, Hulu, DVD.
24. Legend of the Seeker (2008-2010)
Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy fantasy, this romantic TV series should be a good fit! What makes Legend of the Seeker so compelling is the forbidden romance between Richard and Kahlan. Can they find a way to be together despite her dark powers and his hero destiny? The chemistry between the two leads is fantastic and the show is a whole lot of fun to watch.
Content Note: TV-14 (mostly for fantasy violence and some sensuality)
Where to Watch: ABC. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
25. Lost (2004-2010)
Why You Should Watch: Besides being a fantasy/sci-fi mystery series that will have you hooked from the start, what really makes the show work are the characters and the relationships – many of which are unabashedly romantic. If you haven’t watched Lost yet, it’s never too late to check out this popular series!
Content Note: TV-14 for sensuality and implied sexuality, frightening scenes, some violence, and occasional profanity.
Where to Watch: Hulu. You can also buy on Digital or DVD.
33 thoughts on “50 of the Most Unabashedly Romantic TV Shows to Watch”
Pushing Daises and Downton Abbey are forever favorites; the former didn’t last nearly long enough. I just started watching “Chuck” last summer or fall (I think I’m on S3), and am loving it! Levi is SO good in this role. 🙂
Yes, those two are fantastic shows! And Chuck is just so much fun. 🙂
I had to read this article a second time so I could count how many of the series I have watched – eleven. I was excited to see Chuck, Miranda, and Selfie on the list! The Korean dramas are great, my favorite is The Scholar Who Walks the Night. (Thanks to you guys I am a serious k-drama addict.)
Those really are all great shows! And yes, Scholar Who Walks the Night is completely addicting. Such a wonderful and underrated vampire show. Glad we could help spread the love. 🙂
There’s the Britcom “As Time Goes By”, starring Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, about a couple who met and fell deeply in love in the early 1950s when he was doing his military service and she was a nursing student. Then he was posted to serve in the Korean War and they lost touch, each thinking the other had bailed from the relationship. They reconnect by accident 38 years later, after she is widowed and he is divorced and each has accumulated a lifetime of experience. It’s a refreshing, funny, and touching story of a later in life romance, with superb acting as one would expect with Judi Dench as the female lead. “As Time Goes By” is frequently aired on PBS stations in the US, and the entire series is available on DVD.
I’ve heard of it before but have never seen it! Thanks for letting us know more about it. The show sounds great and definitely like something we should check out! 🙂
Thanks for posting this. I’ll definitely be checking out some of these shows. It’s nice to see that you’re including shows from other countries, not just the USA. For me, the most romantic TV series was the BBC mini-series “North & South” starring Richard Armitage. The whole train station scene near the end of the series is for me the most romantic 10 minutes ever put on screen.
I would also reccommend 2 korean TV shows:
“The Moon That Embraces the Sun”- this is a historical fantasy romance about a young prince and a young noblewoman who fall in love, but enemies try to kill her. She’s saved by a shaman but loses her memory. Years later she meets the prince again (now king). It’s available on Viki and Dramafever and definitely worth checking out. It was a huge hit in Korea.
“Marriage Not Dating”-this is a really funny romantic comedy about a plastic surgeon who’s family is pressuring him to get married. Of course, he doesn’t want to. He meets the heroine (who has marriage on the brain) and hires her to be his fake fiancee. It’s available on Viki and it’s so good. I love this show!
You’re welcome! Thanks for commenting. North and South is one of my all time favorites! I didn’t include miniseries though. If I did, North and South would have been included, for sure. I completely agree. Those final 10 minutes were amazing!! Both of those Korean dramas are on my list. I will definitely get to them. 🙂 It’s hard to narrow down with Korean Dramas as there are a limitless number of romantic shows. It’s wonderful!
I think I have just found my soulmate, I couldn’t agree more with your choices
We are always happy to find new kindred spirits. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the article!
I think that the most romantic TV show was Medium. Allison and Joe were a realistic, loving married couple. Throughout the show, up and down good and bad you always knew that they were in love. The final episode was so sad and romantic that it was hard to watch.
Interesting choice! I’ve only ever seen a couple episodes when my Mom watched it and didn’t have it pegged as romantic. But it sounds like a great romance! I love seeing realistic, loving married couples. 🙂
Thanks for this list! I just wanted to add Farscape, even though I know it is a quirky Sci-Fi and not for all. I absolutely LOVED the romantic arc through the four seasons between Aeryn and John, building to one of the most intense and deeply satisfying relationship stories I’ve seen in a TV series. Enjoy!
You’re welcome! And I’m familiar with Farscape but haven’t seen it yet! But it’s definitely on my list. Thanks for the recommendation!
This has my top fave dramas: My Love From Another Star, Goblin, and Scarlet Heart Ryeo. All three had me in tears. I absolutely love them to bits!
I do wish that SHR would have a second season. I know the ratings in Korea weren’t great so I’m not holding my breath. But omg it would be so freaking great if there was a second one made.
I love this list! I have to recommend Burn Notice which was a fun spy USA Network show that turned intensely romantic! Miss it.
I know that i am sorry i love you is original but believe me its turkish version was so awsome romantic cute and sad its name is BIR ASK HIKAYESI means A LOVE STORY and this is my fav tv series i have ever watch this is the best love story and i am sorry i love you is a little weird but i love it too but according 2 me its turkish version BIR ASK HIKAYESI is the best love story with awsome bg music
And i also love boys over flowers because of its coolness friendship and Jihoo
You should try the chinese Love O2, Boss and Me, and the turkish Ask Laftan Anlamaz, All three are definitely worth the watch.
Thank you so much, I was looking for a smilar list. After seeing Erkenci Kuş (which is a really good show btw), I wanted to watch more. Thanks a lot 🙂
You’re welcome! I’ll have to look up that show you mention. 🙂
If you liked Moonlight you should look into Forever Knight which I think Moonlight rather unfairly ripped off. Forever Knight I thought was smarter with the main vampire being a police officer as a way to pay society back for they years of damage he caused. His main love interest was a coroner who rather terrifyingly found out his secret when he was blown to bits by an explosion but when she opened the body bag expecting bits and pieces, found a fully intact body that then came to life and had to struggle not to drain her. There was some serious UST and some smart ideas like the female scientist coroner finding a biological basis for vampirism and a potential cure.
Yes, I’m a huge fan of Forever Knight and own all three seasons! I appreciate both shows and don’t see that Moonlight unfairly ripped the show off. They paid a nice homage by naming him Mick instead of Nick. These kinds of shows will always be influenced by something that came before. Forever Knight, for instance, was clearly influenced by Interview with the Vampire. Moonlight was also hugely influenced by the 1980s Beauty and the Beast series. I love all of those shows and it’s a huge pity that they were all cut short though I do think Forever Knight had the perfect ending. I really liked the ambiguity. I would love to see another show come out like Forever Knight or Moonlight.
Great list! I am so excited to view those on the list that I haven’t already seen. I humbly suggest as an addition Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung, Intersection and two old favorites North & South (starring Richard Armitage) and Sci-Fi favorite, Fringe. Of all those on your list that I have viewed (I counted 9), Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung has the most rewarding love story of them all. Thanks for making this great list. I’m off to see which ones I can find on my various streaming services!
Hi, thanks for your comment! I’m not familiar with Intersection so I’ll have to add it to my list. 🙂 And I agree about North & South. It’s one of the most romantic series of all time! However, I didn’t include any miniseries on the list otherwise they’d be on it! I’ll have to make a miniseries list in the future. 🙂 I can’t remember why I didn’t include Fringe – which I love. I guess there’s only so much room. Anyway, I hope you find some great new romantic shows to watch!
I have searched and searched to find a list of the TV shows centered around romance and this list is by far the best I have found.
I did want to share a couple that I really like that I did not see included. Lucifer with the relationship between Chloe and Lucifer is excellent. Currently on Netflix
Another is Outlander. Just an incredible show. I ended up after watching reading the 8 books that are the basis for the show. Highly recommend. Jamie and Clair relationship is incredible.
Hi Jack! Thanks for your comment. 🙂 I’m glad you found the list. I wrote it because it is hard to find good ones out there. I have so many more to recommend, so I’m sure I’ll create more lists. I agree with Lucifer and Outlander. Though, I admit, Outlander became a bit too explicit for me but I’ve been wanting to give it another try. The romance is great.
I applaud your effort to collect all these Asian series but it would be good to separate that list since they are more or less impossible to find and watch.
Thank you! I think it was easier when DramaFever was around. But many of these are available on Viki or other streaming services!
Oh my goodness! I just read three of your articles, and you listed all of my favorite show/movies. I am so glad to see the most swoon-worthy kdramas here. Master’s Sun is one of my all-time favorites, but the others captured my heart as well. Great lists!
Thank you! We must have similar tastes. 🙂
Thank you for creating one the best lists out there.
I agree with some of the comments, Outlander number One by far, Poldark, Velvet is awesome and Dolce Amore is very cute.
You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment. I’d love to update this list with even more romantic shows not already on the list.