Well, it came and went again: Valentine’s Day. The day of the year when being single reads more like The Scarlet Letter rather than a fictitious Candace Bushnell fantasyland. Love is a beautiful thing, but when you don’t have it, the last thing you want to do is to be reminded of your own singleness.
One lonely Valentine’s Day in college, a friend of mine threw a singles party where we all carbo-loaded on pizza & chocolate and watched Kill Bill – the most romantical movie for us singles! The experience was all spaghetti-western fun and an opportunity to view the pitfalls of love. So now even though the dreaded V-day monster has left the building for another 364 days, there might be some candy heart-shaped scarring that needs to be healed in what I think is the greatest way possible: television. In the spirit of that Kill Bill viewing, I’m releasing my list of go-to TV powerhouse hours to help bring a pessimistic view of love to those singles that still need to be a little mad about love for just a little while longer.
1) “Innocence” – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
I’m starting it off with a classic. This episode of Buffy is not only one of the best in the entirety of the series, but it also serves as one of the most heart-wrenching hours of television ever. We’ve all heard that men can change once you’ve slept with them. In Buffy’s case this is all too literal. Once giving up the goods to her vampire-with-a-soul beau, Angel, her man changes right before her eyes. Experiencing one true moment of happiness with the Buffster, Angel loses his instilled soul thanks to the gypsy that cursed him (exposition!). He batters Buffy with insults, treats her like garbage, and then goes on a killing rampage throughout Sunnydale, which leads to Buffy having to make the ultimate sacrifice at seasons end. See, love can hurt. So be thankful that the only loss and emptiness your single self has is the bottom of the Pillsbury frosting you just finished off.
2) “Dinner Party From Hell” – The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
You may have read an article where I came clean about my love for everything Housewives. Well, this is the episode that truly hooked me. While all of your friends are out on their over-priced Olive Garden dinners for two, pour yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio and take a seat at Miss Camille Grammar’s Hill House dining soiree. Fixate your mind on the petty squabbles of The B.H.’s elite for one night instead of your own dread. Take solace in the dinner guests’ experiences & psychic Allison DuBois’ cryptic reading of Kyle Richards: “he will never emotionally fulfill you, know that.” So lovely!
3) “A Night To Remember” – Mad Men
This gem from the second season of Mad Men highlights the light bulb switch in Betty’s head that her husband is anything but faithful to her. If you’re in a highly cynical mood about love and relationships, this is the episode for you. If you were scorned by a lover once and now you carry the burden of that emotional baggage, take a cue from Betty Draper and put on your best party dress, accent it with disheveled hair and crippling sadness, and finish off that bottle of white wine you swore you wouldn’t touch again until you had company over.
4) “New Car Smell” – Homeland
You know that crush you’ve had for months that you finally decided to reveal to said crush only to realize it’s an unrequited love? Yeah, just imagine that he/she is Sergeant Nicholas Brody and you are C.I.A intelligence officer Carrie Mathison. This episode of one of the most praised shows on TV gives a vision to what you would want to happen: you’re crush is actually a secret terrorist working for al-Qaeda and you have finally nailed the scum bucket to the wall!
5) The Walking Dead, marathon it!
Immerse yourself in a post-apocalyptic world where love is the last thing on your mind; it’s kill or be killed now, folks! In this world all you have to care about is running faster than the “walkers” that are trailing behind you. Nobody cares about Valentine’s Day or relationships or marriage here! There’s no need for dinner reservations, a dozen stem roses, Hallmark cards that belt Mariah Carey when opened in this world now. And if you’re brave enough to even try and start a relationship with one of the only living humans in the world, you are always going to have to be on the lookout to make sure they haven’t been bit and infected. Just kick back in your makeshift prison yard home and be thankful that everyone’s on an even playing field here! Hahaha! Everyone is just as alone and terrified as I am! Hahaha!
Now that you’re hopefully filled to the brim with pessimistic feelings towards love, open the dimmed blinds in your living room and power down your DVR. Go put on a nice outfit and walk outside into the world with a positive attitude towards love. Yep, positive. It’s healthy to have a skeptics view towards love for a while, but you need to remember that love really is the best thing ever. If it didn’t hurt so much from time to time, it wouldn’t be worth messing with. And once you have found your relational sweet spot, we can start talking about Gilmore Girls.