Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project, full of the consumer-lead glow of St. Valentine.

From the Empire State Building to Craigh na Dun: TV’s most romantic gestures

Need some ideas for a crazy romantic gesture this Valentine’s? Tara Ward’s got you covered with some of the best and most outlandish romantic gestures from the streaming screen.

Some might say Valentine’s Day is a heaving cesspit of rampant commercialisation, but to them, I say stick a heart-shaped chocolate in your mouth and hush. Valentine’s Day is all about the power of love, and also, the power of television. Put those two together like a kooky teddy-bear-holding-a-plastic-rose combo and kapow! you’re guaranteed the most romantic day ever.

You too can share the love this V-Day by watching some of television’s biggest and most memorable romantic gestures. Prepare to be struck down by a red velvet lightning bolt of inspiration, for these moments will shift you through time and into other dimensions. They’ll take your breath away, they’ll drench you with their passion and cover you in a brown, sticky mess. But in a good way, obviously.

Alternatively, this is just a fantastic list of Lightbox shows to binge watch while you’re sitting at home, alone, offering yourself the final rose and working your way through the five boxes of scorched almonds that you bought for yourself in a righteous act of self-love. I’m not judging, I’m just going to put on my fat pants and get comfy on the couch.

Quickly, before I fall into a sugar coma, let’s unwrap the very best of television’s most romantic gestures.

Sarah receives a virtual reality vacation in Electric Dreams

If you’d like to wow your valentine with some futuristic romance, then wrap your flying car around episode five of sci-fi anthology Electric Dreams. Detective Sarah (Anna Paquin) is having a shitter of a time, and eagerly accepts her girlfriend’s offer of a virtual reality vacation to temporarily escape her own tortured existence.

Alas, Sarah’s VR holiday is less ‘drinking mojitos on a Tahitian beach’, and more ‘inhabiting the mind and body of another person which causes considerable psychological trauma’. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

Jamie sends Claire through the stones in Outlander

If you’re into extreme romantic gestures, then Jamie Fraser has a time travelling deal for you. Of all the batshit crazy-in-love stunts the Frasers pulled during three seasons of Outlander, this one stands out like a 1kg box of Roses chocolates.

In a gesture more selfless than the time Claire let Jamie eat all the grapes on their hot-reunion-sex food platter, Jamie sent a pregnant Claire back to the future to safely raise their child with back-up hubby Frank. Scotland was awash with tears, because Jamie thought he was about to die in the Battle of Culloden and Claire was devastated she had to leave on a Jamie Fraser good hair day.

Who doesn’t want to spent Valentine’s Day alone and weeping? I mean they said goodbye 200 years ago, why am I still crying WHY IS LOVE SUCH A CRUEL MISTRESS.

Louis embraces his muddy bromance in Suits

What better way to get down and dirty on V-Day than sharing a mud bath? Suits lawyer Louis Litt loves a hearty bromance as much as he loves bathing in a pool of sloppy dirt, and it’s an indication of his true affection when he invites someone to share his happy mudding sanctum. It’s warm, it’s intimate, it’s great for psoriasis, aka every Valentine’s Day dream come true. 

Martin Moone is given a donkey in Chris O’Donnell’s Moone Boy

If you’re struggling to find the perfect Valentine’s gift that says “you remind me of an ass”, take a tip from Irish love legend Martin Moone. Martin’s sweet romance with exotic traveller Majella was over before it began, because she was destined to move on and he was destined to go nowhere. Thankfully, Majella left Martin two keepsakes to remember her by: a rock and a donkey.

He’s just a boy, standing in front of a donkey, asking it to love him. Gets me in the feels, every time.

Mindy and Danny risk their lives to get together in The Mindy Project

Embrace the opportunity to put your body on the line this Valentine’s Day, just like The Mindy Project’s Danny and Mindy. Getting hit by a car and climbing 104 flights of stairs were but mere obstacles in the path of true love for these two, who risked life and limb to meet at the top of the Empire State building, declare their feelings and live happily ever after.

It’s a heartfelt moment when Danny bleeds and Mindy struggles to breathe and then they make out on the ground. If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart then may St Valentine bless you with a million homeless donkeys.

Michael proposes to Holly in The Office

Michael’s marriage proposal to Holly in The Office is television’s most elaborate romantic gesture since Bouncer the Labrador’s wedding dream sequence on Neighbours. Michael led Holly on a sentimental trip down memory lane (“this is where I called you to tell you I had herpes”), before proposing to her under the light of a thousand candles and the torrents of water gushing from the fire sprinkler system.

Look, he had me at ‘herpes’. I accept, Michael.


You can watch all these shows and more right here on Lightbox:

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.

Related:


The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.