In the words of the MCU’s Wong (Benedict Wong), we’re living in a golden age of television. There’s no shortage of quality TV, bringing with it action, comedy, drama, and definitely romance like we’ve never seen it. Instead of shying away from it, romantic moments on TV this year often gave audiences something to hold on to and root for. Before we ring in 2023, let’s send off 2022 by looking back at the most romantic moments from television.
Kate & Anthony’s Declaration of Love, ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2
Bridgerton brings the romance front and center in its Emmy-nominated series, and Season 2 is no exception. Switching gears from Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon’s (Regé-Jean Page) romance in Season 1, the second season turns up the heat between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) as their contentious relationship boils over into a passionate love affair. Though the drama between them includes a love triangle involving Kate’s sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) and a hot hookup in a gazebo, the season culminates with the two confessing their love for one another in the gardens at a ball. The emotion between them is raw as they realize that they don’t want to be somewhere the other one isn’t. Their declaration of love is sealed with a passionate kiss with fireworks going off behind them. Now that Anthony and Kate are newly married, here’s hoping Season 3 offers more sweet moments between them.
Nick & Charlie’s First Kiss, ‘Heartstopper’
There are too many heart-melting moments found between Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) and Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) in the first season of Netflix’s Heartstopper, from their first meeting to Nick’s birthday gift to Charlie. However, it’s hard to beat Charlie and Nick’s first kiss — alone in a room, their pinky fingers touch, the world slows down, and adorable animation frames the two boys as they kiss each other. Charlie and Nick’s first kiss is tender and intimate, a precious flame that’s growing into a bonfire between them that’s strong enough to melt the audience’s hearts.
Midge & Lenny’s Steamy Hookup, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 4
Who would’ve thought that a moment shared between two characters in a jail cell in Season 1 would lead to one of the hottest hookups just three seasons later? That’s exactly what happens between Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby). The insane chemistry between Brosnahan and Kirby is paid off when Midge and Lenny are stuck in a hotel room together, and they give in to the attraction they have for each other. Like ships in the night, their hookup is intimate yet temporary, but one we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Thank you The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for making our wildest dreams come true!
Stede & Blackbeard’s First Kiss, ‘Our Flag Means Death’
You don’t expect a comedy about pirates to pull your heartstrings, but that’s exactly what Our Flag Means Death does in its freshman season. After Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) leaves his family and high society for a life on the high seas, he meets the famed pirate Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) who offers to show him the ropes. Their budding friendship turns into a budding romance when Blackbeard tenderly kisses Stede after revealing that Stede makes him happy. From the romantic score to their eager plans of starting over together, this moment sealed the deal for this ship.
Joyce & Hopper FINALLY Kiss, ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4
Not only have we been waiting for Stranger Things to return, but audiences have also been waiting for the day Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) finally got together. Once Joyce receives a message confirming that Hopper was still alive, she fights her way to the Soviet Union to save him. Once she and Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) rescue Hopper, she and the former sheriff get a moment alone. While shirtless, Hopper proceeds to tell Joyce his plans for the dinner date they were supposed to have during Season 3. All the build-up and waiting finally climax when the two pull towards each other and proceed to make out. The villain of the scene is the phone that cuts this scene short. Still, as the unofficial parents of the Hawkins Party, this moment is everything and then some.
Burt & Irving’s Forehead Touch, ‘Severance’ Season 1
Love can be found in the bleakest of places; such is the case in Severance between Irving Bailiff (John Turturro) and Burt Goodman (Christopher Walken), two older men from different departments within the mysterious Lumon Industries. While the mystery unfolds as to what the Lumon is really up to, the romance between these two men blossoms as they find refuge in each other. Burt brings Irving to his secret place filled with plants, and though they don’t act on their feelings due to Lumon discouraging romantic fraternization, Irving and Burt resting their foreheads against each other is one of the most tender, intimate moments of TV. Even though Burt’s forced retirement and the truth about his outie’s life later separate them, their private moment in the conservatory lives on.
Jimmy McGill & Kim Wexler’s Last Cigarette, ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6
Through the highs and lows of Better Call Saul, the love between Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) has remained. In their final scene of the series, with Jimmy behind bars, Kim goes to visit Jimmy and offers him a cigarette. Not much is said between the two, but the silence punctuates the love and loyalty that will always be there between them. It’s a sobering moment to realize this is, more than likely, the last interaction between Jimmy and Kim. It’s devastating to know they will always love each other though they can’t be together. Somehow, love and heartbreak feel good in a scene like this.
Greta & Carson’s First Kiss, ‘A League of Their Own’
There are slow burns, and then there are couples that jump straight into action within the first episode. A League of Their Own introduces us to Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson) and Greta Gill (D’Arcy Carden), and from the moment they meet, there’s something special between them. After shared conversations over martinis, marveling over how they’ve never met anyone like each other, these women don’t waste any time and make out in a storage closet in the bar. Though it takes time for them to be together, mainly getting Carson’s husband (Patrick J. Adams) out of the way, this kiss ignites a fire in Carson and Greta to carry us through the first season.
Rose & Dimitri’s First Kiss, ‘Vampire Academy’
Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer) and Dimitri Belikov (Kieron Moore) from Vampire Academy have the type of tension that’s delicious to watch yet maddening to wait for. Each interaction crackles with the underlying question “is this moment they give into their feelings?” Thankfully, audiences don’t have to wait long. As Dimitri marks Rose with her tattoo, his soft touches in the candlelit room illuminate the need they have for each other. Rose and Dimitri’s steamy first kiss was well worth the wait.
Jennifer Walters & Matt Murdock’s One-Night Stand, ‘She-Hulk’
Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) may be slaying the courtrooms in She-Hulk, but she has a hard time slaying the dating scene in Los Angeles. Enter Hell’s Kitchen lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) aka Daredevil. From the second he walks into the courtroom to defend his client against Jen, the electricity is there between the two lawyers/heroes. From shared drinks to fighting crime side-by-side, Jen and Matt have something special. As they conclude a conversation about the challenges of their dual lifestyles, Matt suggests taking Jen out to dinner the next time he’s in town. Thankfully, Jen suggests they make the most of their time and head straight back to Jen’s bedroom. We didn’t know how much we needed these two to hook up, and based on Matt attending a family barbeque with Jen, here’s hoping we get more of them.
Beth & Rip’s Wedding, ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4
Across four seasons of the neo-Western series Yellowstone, fans have been counting down the days until Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) and Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) would finally tie the knot. In the Season 4 finale, Beth grants all of our wishes by kidnapping a priest and dragging him back to marry her and Rip on the Yellowstone ranch. Their wedding is as untraditional as their love story, which made it all the more perfect for them.
Sophie & Jesse’s First Kiss, ‘How I Met Your Father’ Season 1
How I Met Your Father brings back the charm and fun of How I Met Your Mother, while establishing key relationships to be watching. From their Uber ride together, there’s something special between Sophie Tompkins’ (Hilary Duff) belief in love mixed with Jesse Walker’s (Chris Lowell) jaded cynicism. This chance meeting buds into a friendship that briefly sparks into something more with a kiss. While this kiss tries and fails to kickstart a romantic relationship, it leaves audiences wanting more. Though there were other men in that bar from the series premiere who could be the father, right now it’s hard not to root for Jesse.
Halbrand & Galadriel’s Talk, ‘The Rings of Power’ Season 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has no shortage of excellent relationships — just think of Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), Durin IV (Owain Arthur) and Disa (Sophia Nomvete), and maybe even Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and Elendil (Lloyd Owen). However, the chemistry between Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) from their first meeting is so hard to deny. As the first season progresses, Galadriel comes to trust and rely on Halbrand; this makes it even more devastating when it is revealed he’s in fact Sauron. However, before that happens, the two share an intimate talk after they interrogate Adar (Joseph Mawle). From Galadriel thanking Halbrand for pulling her back from the brink to Halbrand admitting that fighting by her side has freed him, this vulnerable talk is nothing short of the intimate moments found in the best romances. Though they were doomed from the start (not to mention Galadriel is married to Celeborn), this scene will remain frozen in time in what could’ve been.