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Valentine's Day Sucks. Here's What to Stream for This Weekend's Romantically Averse.

With video streaming, you never have to be alone.

Stefano Cavoretto / Shutterstock

If you are single, then Valentine’s Day is bad. This is an immutable truth, much like gravity or the wetness of water.

Fortunately, for every problem modern capitalism creates, modern capitalism offers a solution. In 2016, that solution is Netflix. Or Amazon Prime. Or Hulu. Or whichever TV and movie streaming service is your preferred. We don’t care. They’re mostly all fine.

If you aren’t spending Valentine’s Day weekend with someone special, here are a few brief recommendations of what to stream instead, on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and Netflix.


“Grace and Frankie”: Valentine’s Day is ostensibly about people coming together. The Netflix original series “Grace and Frankie” is about two straight couples breaking apart and coming together, sort of. Law partners played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston come out as longtime gay lovers to their wives, played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It balances truly spectacular meanness with an empathetic streak, which forms the central tension of the show. It is a delight.

“Starship Troopers”: Based only lightly on the classic Heinlein novel of the same name, “Starship Troopers” is a satire of American society that was made before 9/11, and it renders perfectly all of our country’s most reactionary and crude instincts. It’s a violent sci-fi action flick with a lot of intellectual creativity that most American audiences missed when it came out. The Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven, also made “Robocop,” “Total Recall” and “Basic Instinct.”

Amazon Prime

“Justified”: This FX TV series is basically a Western set in Oxycontin- and bourbon-soaked rural Kentucky. It pits a U.S. marshal forced to return to his hometown against a former coal-mining buddy of his, played by “Shield” and “Hateful Eight” alum Walton Goggins.

“A Most Violent Year”: How does an immigrant running a business dodge the mob and stay within the law? Set in 1981, this Oscar Isaac-helmed drama sets out to answer that question in what the New Yorker (accurately) described as an “anti-‘Godfather.’”


Literally anything in the Criterion Collection: If you pay $7.99 a month for Hulu Plus, you have access to the Criterion Collection of classic movies, both American and international. You can watch Akira Kurosawa’s three-hour epic “Seven Samurai,” or maybe his interpretation of American mystery novel “High and Low.” Miles Davis did the soundtrack for the 1958 French noir film “Elevator to the Gallows,” which is also available to watch. Almost all of these movies are good. You really can’t go wrong.

“Fargo” (movie): It is another dark comedy made by the Coen Brothers. It has a famous (not that grisly) scene involving a wood-chipper, and Steve Buscemi makes a lot of expressive faces. Frances McDormand plays a pregnant police officer. There’s a lot of snow.

“Fargo” (TV show): The TV show based on the movie is, in fact, better than the movie. “Fargo” the TV show is also a lot more violent and a lot weirder. Billy Bob Thornton is a deeply scary villain who kills and messes with people in increasingly creative ways over the course of the first season, and Martin Freeman is so contemptible from the get-go that it makes your skin crawl. It is a show perfectly designed for binge-watching. Also, Bob Odenkirk (who plays Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”) has a great supporting role as an inept cop.

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