A wise man once said Valentine's Day was an unimaginative, consumerist-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance that did more to sell cards and chocolates than to celebrate love and companionship. Or in the words of Adam Sandler’s Wedding Singer, Robbie Hart, ‘’Love Stinks!’’
If you’re looking to pass on this year’s V-Day, we’ve got you. There will be no focus on romance, no holding hands, meaningful glances or increased heart rates, we want fun, action, horror and a complete lack of beautiful strangers falling into each other's arms in horribly formulaic and cliched ways.
So read on and let us guide you towards a selection of new TV shows and movies on the best streaming services that are here purely to entertain without a hint of that sickly sweet embrace of romance.
Want to get romantic? Take a look at our alternative Valentine's Day list.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
After the tragic death of actor Chadwick Boseman in 2021, Marvel Entertainment was put into the unenviable position of deciding what to do with the character King T’Challa and the ‘Black Panther’ franchise. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the answer to that question.
With unbelievable sensitivity and real respect for Boseman and the character itself, this new movie is not only a fitting tribute to the actor but also a solid addition to the ever-growing roster of films and TV shows within the MCU.
Grieving their lost king, the nation of Wakanda is faced with a new enemy, and the ever-growing pressure put on them by a suspicious world. Now under the rule of Queen Ramonda (a stunning Angela Bassett) it finds itself alone and battling to not only survive but also to keep its identity and independence.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a fantastic action movie, with solid set pieces, stunning effects work and a great cast building perfectly upon the foundations of the first film. An absolute popcorn movie, it’s a perfect way to spend an evening in with absolutely no romance in sight.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (opens in new tab) is available now on Disney+
Not interested in Valentine's day? Not looking for anything nice, sweet, kind, romantic or loving? How about one of this generation's best and most disturbing horror movies?
Smile is the horror debut of first-time writer-director Parker Finn, and it is a simply stunning opening salvo in what I can only imagine will be a huge career.
Having spent years trying to flee her own childhood trauma, compassionate psychiatrist Dr Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) is used to treating the most damaged and vulnerable members of society. A new patient’s puzzling case, however, is a different story altogether. As unsuspecting Dr Cotter attempts to rationalise the dreadful delusions of the deeply disturbed young woman, hair-raising encounters with the unexplained cause the therapist to reconsider everything she knows about the world.
A truly shocking and unsettling film, Smile has become something of an underground hit recently, due to a fantastic marketing campaign, great reviews and a sharp and raw sense of tone and direction. It is a solid horror movie that will leave an impression long after the titles have run.
So, kill the lights, find something to hide behind and treat yourself to a little bit of healthy fear.
Smile (opens in new tab) is available now on Amazon Prime Video
Lockwood & Co
Set in an alternate version of 1980s London, Lockwood & Co follows Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes), an extremely gifted young psychic, as she joins forces with an independant ghost hunting agency run by the elusive and mysterious Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman). Determined to prove themselves against rival companies in a hyper-competitive marketplace, the team of Lockwood & Co set out to solve a decades-old mystery, save London itself from a growing threat, and keep from being killed by enemies both human and otherworldly.
Written for the screen by the legendary Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) and based on the popular books by Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co is a fun ride through lore and mystery with a great young cast and some wonderfully cinematic visuals. Aimed towards the increasingly popular YA market, the show still maintains an adult tone with some great ghostly jump scares and intelligent and well-devised storytelling.
If you find yourself in the mood for something a bit dark but with a solid dose of action and adventure, Lockwood & Co is a solid series that given time could grow into a successful franchise and works great for an evening's binge.
Lockwood & Co (opens in new tab) is available now on Netflix
In a world where everyone receives a random superpower when they turn 18, what happens when you don't and you find yourself very ordinary in an extraordinary world?
This is the premise in which first-time writer-creator Emma Moran and her fantastic young cast drop us into in this new flatshare comedy from Disney Plus.
The series follows our main character Jen (Mairead Tyers) as she navigates life, love, friendship and the trials of modern life, along with friends Carrie (Sofia Oxenham), Kash (Bilal Hasna) and a shape-shifting human cat called Jizzlord (the amazing Luke Rollason). From disastrous job interviews, channelling the spirit of Hitler and pathetic attempts at actual superhero heroism this is a genuinely hilarious comedy that is not afraid to push the limits of its audience and to what the people at the family-friendly Disney network will let it get away with.
With a second series already in production, this is a perfect time to be offended at the day-to-day chaos of these less than super, superheroes.
Extraordinary (opens in new tab) is available now on Disney+