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    All The Stories In "Modern Love" Season 2, Ranked By How Romantic They Are

    This show has all the romance we missed in quarantine.

    Season 2 of Amazon Prime’s series Modern Love (based on the New York Times column) brings new stories from new cities and insights into what love can be.

    poster for modern love
    Amazon Prime Video

    The series tosses us into explorations of love in all of its forms, and while that might not always mean love of the eros kind, we’re ranking the episodes in terms of romance below!

    1. Episode 4: “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One”

    Dominique Fishback and Isaac Powell looking closely in each others eyes
    Amazon Prime Video / Via amazon.com

    Who Is in It: Dominique Fishback plays a rising comedian named Lil, who has cradled an unrequited crush for her childhood friend Vince (Isaac Powell).

    The Original Essay: Marina Shifrin’s 2013 essay is the basis for this episode about her feelings for her lifelong friend from childhood. Marina falls out with her friend after managing to be on the same page in terms of sexual attraction with her crush on only one random night. After years of radio silence on her end, Marina is eventually able to come to terms with the fact that while her affections for him will never be requited, she will always need him in her life.

    Romance Factor: This episode features a slow-burn romance that sizzles right from the start. The episode is filled with all sorts of romantic scenes that will remind you of all the moments you split your lunches with your first crush and hung out until the late magical hour of having to rush home before all of the lights on your street turned on. With so many “should-have-been” kisses and a scene in which the two love interests dance on top of a roof at sunset, there’s no debate! Hands down, “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One” is the hottest, most romantic episode of the season. 

    2. Episode 2: “The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy”

    Gbenga Akinnagbe and Zoe Chao in Episode 2: The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It:  Zoe Chao plays Zoe, a woman with a rare medical condition called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, which keeps her up at all hours of the night like a vampire. Gbenga Akinnagbe is Jordan, the man with whom she falls in love despite his love of sunlight and a day job. 

    The Original Essay: Amanda Gefter’s 2016 essay for the New York Times column is a love story about compromise. In the essay, Amanda describes meeting Justin while swiping through a dating app and explains how different sleep routines pull them into a precarious position of having to build a unique system of their own. 

    Romance Factor: Considering this story features a leading man who is willing to overhaul his life to keep a relationship with a woman he’s in love with, I’d say this episode is pretty dang romantic. Plus, it features this wise piece of insight delivered from the sweet, sweet lips of Gbenga Akinnagbe: “In a relationship, you choose to be with someone who is inherently living in their own reality.” 

    3. Episode 8: “Second Embrace, With Hearts and Eyes Open”

    Sophie Okonedo and Tobias Menzies in Episode 8: “Second Embrace, With Hearts and Eyes Open”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: Sophie Okonedo is Elizabeth Cannon, a woman who reconnects with her estranged husband, Van (Tobias Menzies), amid her health crisis. 

    The Original Essay: In her 2014 essay, Mary Elizabeth Williams recalls going on a date with an attractive divorcé who has two young children. She flips the switch on us pretty quickly when she reveals that her date is, in fact, her ex-husband and explains how they found their way back into being in love. 

    Romance Factor: It might have been the final episode of the series' season, but it certainly doesn’t come last in terms of romance! This episode paints an idyllic picture of love after its thought to be lost. It revolves around a legally divorced couple who find their way back to each other in the midst of Elizabeth’s cancer diagnosis. In the episode, Okonedo and Menzies have the type of chemistry that’ll make your cheeks ache from smiling. They’re a star team when it comes to tackling joint custody of their kids, tease each other about cooking, and are open to claiming their own mistakes and contributions to their fallen-apart marriage. Even better, they have some pretty sexy sex! Sure, it’s not the most romantic episode of the season, but it’s the conviction that broken hearts can find their way back to each other that puts it pretty dang up here on the list.

    4. Episode 1: “On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down”

    Minnie Driver in Episode 1: “On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: Minnie Driver steps into the shoes of Stephanie Curran, a physician living in Ireland in love with the memories that her late husband’s zippy vintage car allows her to preserve. 

    The Original Essay: This episode draws from Doris Iarovici’s 2016 essay for the New York Times column. The original piece recounts how her deceased husband’s beloved car grounded her in times of grief in the wake of his loss. In the essay, Iarovici recalls how as time marches on and she remarries, the car serves as a keepsake of the happy times of her first marriage.

    Romance Factor: With everyone bundled up in fall clothes and only a few passionate kisses sprinkled throughout, “On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down” doesn’t quite have the sex/romance elements of the other episodes. Still, as far as plot, character likability, and themes go, this episode is the best of the season. You’ll finish the episode tearful over the plot twist and the reminder that love doesn’t just end when the people who have brought it to us are no longer around.

    5. Episode 3: “Strangers on a Train”

    Lucy Boynton and Kit Harington in Episode 3: “Strangers on a Train”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: Lucy Boynton as Paula, a passenger on a train who finds herself mixed up in a meet-cute with a fellow traveler named Michael, played by Kit Harington.

    The Original Essay: Cecilia Pesao’s 2020 submission to Modern Love'sTiny Love Stories” section is a 100-word piece about two people who meet on a six-hour train ride from Paris to Barcelona. They promise to meet each other at the station two weeks later in an attempt to leave their destiny up to the universe. Plot Twist: Corona keeps them from fulfilling their potential.

    Romance Factor: Considering this episode features Kit Harington and Lucy Boynton, this episode starts with a leg up in terms of hotness. With its classic train setting, flirtatious banter, and singular almost-kiss, there’s little in the way that doesn’t make this an über-romantic episode. All these ingredients aside, there’s no denying the buzzkill factorability of being pulled out of a story and reminded that we’re still in a pandemic. 

    6. Episode 5: “Am I...? Maybe This Quiz Game Will Tell Me”

    Lulu Wilson and Grace Edwards in Episode 5: “Am I...? Maybe This Quiz Game Will Tell Me”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: Lulu Wilson is Katie, a middle schooler who turns to BuzzFeed (!) for answers to pressing questions about her sexuality and finds herself crushing on fellow peer Alexa (Grace Edwards). 

    The Original Essay: In her 2018 essay “Am I Gay or Straight? Maybe This Fun Quiz Will Tell Me,” Katie Heaney outlines how she used multiple-choice prediction quizzes to determine if she was gay or straight. 

    Romance Factor: With such an accurate portrayal of middle school love and nailing a first kiss at a school lock-in, as well as a pretty terrific grand-gesture apology, this episode easily seals its fate as a favorite. With its sensitive plot and profoundly insightful portrayal of coming to terms with sexuality at a young age, this would be at the tippy top of a sweetness rating. Alas, the cringe factor of such an awkward time of our lives doesn’t quite put this episode up there in terms of romance.

    (Still, shoutout to Heaney for realizing she knew the answer to her questions all along and while being an OG BuzzFeed quiz writer!)

    7. Episode 7: “How Do You Remember Me?”

    Zane Pais and Marquis Rodriguez in Episode 7: “How Do You Remember Me?”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: In this episode, Marquis Rodriguez is Ben, a man who recognizes a former one-night stand by the name of Robbie (played by Zane Pais) on a New York City sidewalk. 

    The Original Essay: The episode “How Do You Remember Me?" is based on Broadway actor Andrew Rannells’ 2017 Modern Love submission about a casual hookup interrupted by a family crisis. In the essay, Rannells writes about ignoring phone calls from family members while on a date only to discover his father has suffered from either a fatal heart attack or a stroke. 

    Romance Factor: Listen, this episode makes a point of underlining that this episode of “modern love” isn’t really at all about romantic love. If anything, it’s about self-love and compassion. Still, despite the message, with the sexiest makeout scenes in the season and a pretty cheeky (that’s butt cheeky) sex scene, this episode is not only anti-climactic — it’s pretty devoid of romance in general. 

    8. Episode 6: “In the Waiting Room of Estranged Spouses”

    Anna Paquin and Garrett Hedlund in Episode 6: “In the Waiting Room of Estranged Spouses”
    Amazon Prime Video

    Who Is in It: Garrett Hedlund plays a former Marine named Spence who finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being told by Isabelle (Anna Paquin) that their spouses are having an affair. 

    The Original Essay: In 2016, Benjamin Hertwig tackled his own feelings regarding the fallout of discovering his wife’s affair in his essay for NYT. In the piece, Hertwig explains how he goes to see a therapist in an attempt to understand how his life departed so severely from his original well-thought-out plans. Remarkably, while in the waiting room, he bumps into the ex-wife of the man his spouse had an affair with! 

    Romance Factor: This episode packs in a great deal of insight in terms of coming to terms with grief and moving on from heartbreak with your optimism intact, but as far as romance goes, Anna Paquin and Garrett Hedlund aside, this ain’t it.