Fictional Romances with Happy Endings: Games, Apps, Books, etc
September 25, 2017 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Last week my favorite MMO revealed that my favorite romance companion is going to betray me in the newest round of end game content. (Damn you, Bioware. Damn you!) A few days later I realized that a bunch of my go-to movies and tv shows also involve dissolving romances and/or betrayal. This is leaving me feeling way more devastated than is probably healthy. I need some happy romances that I can pretend I’m a part of. What should I watch, play, read, etc?
posted by Hermione Granger to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Does TV count? The first 5 or 6 seasons of The Office are really fun to watch the Jim/Pam dynamic play out. (I never watched past that, so not sure how they end up).
posted by too bad you're not me at 2:22 PM on September 25, 2017

Response by poster: Also the only way I am able to continue playing that stupid MMO is by telling myself that romance companion had better be a double agent because if he isn’t I am going to send a lot of letters
posted by Hermione Granger at 2:26 PM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

For TV - Hart of Dixie gives everyone a Happily-Ever-After. (There are some breakups within the seasons, but, mostly just to shuffle some of the pairings around, but, ultimately all happy endings. I love that goofy show so much.)

For books, head over to the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website. If you start following the posts and listening to the weekly podcast, you are bound to find some new favorite authors. Nearly ever day there will be a post about ebooks that are on sale or free that day. There are book reviews, and you can search by trope, so, if you figure out what your 'catnip' is, you can find more like it.
posted by oh yeah! at 2:33 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

TV: Ben and Leslie on Parks and Rec are the greatest romance of our era. They are friends. They respect each other and they're also hot for each other. They love each other and they like each other.
posted by lunasol at 2:36 PM on September 25, 2017 [8 favorites]

Last Tango in Halifax, especially the first season.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:54 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was just going to recommend Smart Bitches Trashy Books!

As someone who loves romance enough that she considers any bookstore without a romance section not a real bookstore, here are some quick picks (on mobile so no links, sorry):


Loretta Chase, The Dressmakers
Beverly Jenkins, Indigo and Forbidden (set in the US)
Alyssa Cole, The Loyal League (set during the Civil War)
Courtney Milan, the Brothers Sinister series


Jennifer Crusie, Bet Me
Alisha Rai, Hate To Want You
Anything by Brenda Jackson
Meg Cabot's Boy series
posted by Tamanna at 2:56 PM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm gonna say the "San Junipero" episode of Black Mirror.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:42 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Gone Home
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:16 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Georgette Heyer is surely the one, true answer here, and The Grand Sophy is surely the one true book of hers.
posted by smoke at 4:22 PM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

2nding Georgette Heyer. Happy endings every time and so glorious.
posted by corb at 4:30 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

You could try anything by Laurie Colwin. Also, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
posted by Redstart at 4:51 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've heard great things about Dream Daddy although I have not played it myself, and I think it is possible to play it in such a way that the romance does not pan out.
posted by zingiberene at 6:20 PM on September 25, 2017

> The Grand Sophy is surely the one true book of hers.

.. If you don't mind some nice post-WWII antisemitism, unfortunately.
posted by trig at 6:57 PM on September 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

I loved the North & South miniseries! Swoon.
posted by jrobin276 at 7:20 PM on September 25, 2017

With regards to Parks and Rec, yes Leslie and Ben are the great love story of our generation, but Andy and April also deserve mad props as that freaky couple proving that everyone has their insanely perfect match out there somewhere, and that you can grow together.

Books: Gotta second all the SBTB recommendations above that Tamanna listed, and add Rose Lerner's True Pretenses and Bria Quinlan's Brew-Ha-Ha series (start with Worth the Fall, I don't care if it's technically #2).

If you're looking for something in the more action-adventure-urban-fantasy realm, I found the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews to be absolutely un-put-downable. Great relationships in general, as well as a romance that builds and grows over time. Oh, and things blow up a lot.

The Expanse is not a romance novel series by ANY POSSIBLE STRETCH of the imagination, but it has a really wonderful relationship at its core. The thing I like most about the series is that the authors have decided that certain characters trust and will not betray each other no matter what horrible dark thing is happening (some of these relationships are romantic and some are friendships). I needed to read something like that after all the grimdark out there.
posted by rednikki at 10:12 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

i mean

this is literally the primary purpose of fanfic
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 PM on September 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

Also! Check Please! is an adorable webcomic about hockey boys and baking (yes, really!) that is guaranteed 100% to have a happy ending. Bonus: the creator is a WoC and the comic is pretty diverse, considering it's about hockey!
posted by Tamanna at 11:24 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: i mean

this is literally the primary purpose of fanfic

i already tried that it made me even more weepy

bioware games ruin everything
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:55 PM on September 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Nthing Georgette Heyer. Reliably happy endings.
posted by 15L06 at 6:39 AM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

It is true some of her plots feature money lenders and contain anti semitic stereotypes. But by not all her books do, the majority in fact don`t
posted by 15L06 at 6:43 AM on September 26, 2017

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