Widgets Magazine

Remote Nomad: Love in the Time of College

I don’t think about love often, so when I was informed that this week’s Intermission was a Valentine’s Day explosion of red, chocolate and rose petals, I contemplated writing a rant against Valentine’s Day-themed episodes. But I’ve had a good day, so I’m feeling generous and balanced and list-y.

Television and Valentine’s Day don’t mix well in my opinion, because, if you’re in a relationship, let’s hope you’re doing something more stimulating than watching TV on Feb. 14. This column goes out to all those other people on this vomitously romantic day, and by “all those other people,” I mean both those who are optimistic about love and those who are not. For the former group, good for you for buying into the hype and the Disney movies; for the latter, good for you for keeping it real.

Three TV Shows for People Who Love Love:

“United States of Tara”

John Corbett’s character’s allegiance to his wife’s four identities (she suffers from dissociative identity disorder…new tongue twister!) will make every viewer melt with hope for mankind. Toni Collette’s four identities each presents a unique perspective on love and sex that will make you reevaluate your worldview.

“How I Met Your Mother”

The premise of this show, a father telling his children about how he met their mother, uses love as the mirage at the end of the desert horizon: it guides the course of the show and provides its endpoint, but doesn’t overpower every episode with a saccharinely romantic plotline. Love, on “HIMYM,” is the latent objective of every character’s existence, and what’s more romantic than that?

“Modern Family”

Love comes in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages and intellects on this standout ABC comedy from the Fall 2009 season. If “HIMYM” is about finding love, “Modern” is about how we express our love in the most simple ways. The thesis of “Modern Family” seems to be that love is universal and undiscriminating — a lesson from which America and the world can always benefit.

Three TV Shows for People Who Don’t Love Love

“Big Love”

This depiction of modern polygamy could swing either way when it comes to love. To a certain extent, even if the heterosexual marriage of Bill to Barb, Nicki or Margene is in a funk, the wives’ love for each other can rise above. In the current season, however, loving your significant other (or all three of them) while loving yourself presents a nearly insurmountable task.

“Mad Men”

If Betty and Don can’t stay together, what hope is there for ugly people like us?

“Teen Mom”

’nuff said.