Web Series Wednesday: Romance Your Way to Valentine’s Day…

This Saturday is Valentine’s Day, so to get you in the mood for romance, the following series explore the ups, downs, and oddities of loving relationships. Share them with your date, or watch them alone on Valentine’s eve when all your friends are out at candlelit dinners or doing whatever else couples do to celebrate a holiday created by Hallmark.

Next week, we’ll be taking a look at which “traditional” stars have transitioned over to web video. If you follow any online series that star, say, Hollywood celebrities, let us know about them at tips@thevideoink.com.

“Once You Leave

This kind of artsy, longish-form series (each episode runs for about 15 minutes) is marked by a vibrant color palette and camera work that keeps you close to the characters. The opening episode will pull you in with a complicated family relationship while letting you know that there’s a wealth of character history worth exploring. There’s certainly some romance going on between the protagonist’s mother and her potbellied lover, but it gets quickly overshadowed by the romantic history of our lead.

“Someone Not There

Starting off with a scene from what appears to be the perfect relationship (but quickly shows itself to just be a close friendship), this web series provides the perfect set-up for unrequited love…or not. It’s easy to watch largely because the main characters are so attractive (without being boring, classic beauties). As the series goes on, the saga of a complicated best friendship/romance unfolds between characters you might just find yourself caring about and who, most importantly, have great chemistry.

“Oposto do Sexo

This Portuguese language show on YouTube (there are English subtitles) takes a light-hearted look at maintaing a hearty sex life through marriage. All short episodes take place in the starring couple’s bed (the cast totals two members — well, one member), but they manage to act out plenty of fast-paced, humorous scenarios within the constraints of the set — about 75 episodes worth. Unfortunately, the female character seems to be the one resisting copulation more often than not, creating a problematic attitude that allows the series to make light of marital rape. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

“3some

A British web series that features caricatures of romantic mishaps, “3some” allows its main characters to narrate their uncomfortable scenarios retrospectively while remaining in the moment. With hindsight being 20/20 and all, their mistakes unfold in a more charming manner when they’re already aware of the negative consequences. That said, the regular intro to each episode may be the best part of the series.

“Love Bytes

“Love Bytes” kicks off with the protagonists — a gay man, a lesbian woman, and a straight woman who all live together — waxing philosophical about relationships with tidbits like, “The third person in all relationships is money.” An early fantasy scene features oiled abs and 70s music with disco lights and hair to match. Though there’s plenty of dating and attempts to find love on this web series, the true love is what takes place between the roommates.