All fans of the romance of Starz’s hit show Outlander should check out these 10 other romantic TV shows for more of the same emotional drama.
Outlander, a story about a nurse Claire Randall who time-traveled from 1945 all the way back to 1743 Scotland has first captivated our hearts and souls back in 2014. The relationship between Claire and Jamie is one of the main driving forces of the series. While fans impatiently wait for season 6, they find themselves longing to live vicariously through a TV romance like theirs. Luckily, there are countless series that feature love stories as intriguing as Claire and Jamie’s.
Outlander’s charm also lies in the fact that it takes place a few centuries back. The matters of the heart weren’t as simple as they are these days. Women had essentially no rights and marriage was seen solely as means of survival, which turns the drama up a notch in typical historical dramas. Just like Outlander, many TV series found inspiration in book adaptations. On the other hand, there are countless love stories that were inspired by actual historical events.
Luna Nera (2020)
Luna Nera was released on Netflix in January 2020. It is set in 17th century Italy, a time of witchcraft and fear. Ade and her brother are on the run after their grandmother is murdered for being a witch and thus, they find protection in a group of actual ancient witches.
Luna Nera also has a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet situation going on: Ade falls in love with Santi, the prosecutor’s son. Santi, too, is infatuated by Ade and sides with her rather than his tyrannical father. This show is worth watching for the costumes, special effects, and the cast alone. The story itself is very predictable, but it still makes for enjoyable television.
Pride And Prejudice (1995)
BBC’s Pride and Prejudice remains the best of many adaptations of the monumental British novel, exceeding even the movie version from 2005. Colin Firth plays Mr. Darcy, the sulky and arrogant aristocratic landowner who falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet, a forward-thinking daughter of a country gentleman. They each have to overcome one titular character flaw if they wish to ever marry and live happily ever after.
It is set in 19th century England, a far more peaceful time than Outlander’s 18th century Scotland. There are not many series that focus solely on romance the way Pride and Prejudice does. It’s a joyous, touching, and highly entertaining journey.
Empress Ki (2013)
Empress Ki is a historical drama that takes us all the way to the East. It is set in what is now Korea. The titular heroine is Gi Seungnyang, an ambitious woman who climbs the social ladder and marries the Emperor of the Mongol Empire rather than the man she actually loves, Wang Yu.
The love story is just one of many things that made this Korean historical drama an instant hit. It’s the breath-taking cinematography, the educational value of the plot, and the grandeur of the Yuan dynasty that will make the 50-something hours needed to finish it fly right by.
When Calls The Heart (2014)
Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart takes us to a mining town in Western Canada where a young privileged teacher Elizabeth has to come to grips with the harsh realities of living so far away from her comfortable home. It’s a story about human resilience and grief, but there is also a whole lot of romance.
Throughout the seven seasons so far released, hearties closely followed Elizabeth’s love life and potential suitors. One of them is Jack Thornton, a man who was at first annoyed by her but found himself falling in love with her as more time had passed. That’s how it always seems to be in historical romance dramas.
Wuthering Heights (2009)
Nothing screams romance more than 19th-century romantic British novels and Wuthering Heights is one of the most iconic novels of that time period and one of the greatest love stories ever written. In the 2009 two-part series, Tom Hardy plays the tortured Heathcliff and Charlotte Riley steps up as Catherine Earnshaw. Their love is tempestuous and dark, and it far exceeds Outlander in terms of intensity.
Even those who are already familiarized with the story or have seen other adaptations should give the 2009 version a go. Hardy’s and Riley’s chemistry will ignite a fire in your heart.
The first season of Reign takes us back to 1557 when Mary, Queen of Scots lived in Paris. This fantasy historical romance clearly doesn’t intend to be historically as accurate as The Crown – the historical characters are adapted to take us on a medieval romantic journey. Mary falls in love with pretty much every man that comes her way, including the man she is bequeathed to, Prince Francis.
Even the side stories revolve around love. Mary’s four handmaidens are also searching for love at the French court. Fans of regal outfits, splendid castles, and all the flights of fancy of royal people will definitely enjoy all four seasons of Reign.
The Tudors serves us a little bit of everything: politics, history, aggression, and romance. It follows the life of King Henry VIII, the 16th-century ruler who went down in history as the founder of the Church of England and a brutal murderer of his wives. Of the six women he had married in attempts to produce a male heir, he had two executed.
It’s a bit of a stretch to call any part of his life romantic, but there surely was passion, obsession, and attraction. The show takes some creative liberties, but it stays historically accurate when it comes to the most basic facts.
North And South (2004)
This British miniseries with four episodes starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe takes us back to the times of industrialization of England. The main protagonist is Margaret, a young woman who had to move to Northern England when her father decided to leave the clergy. She is torn between her love for John Thorton, a capitalist who owns the mill, and the sympathy she feels towards the working class. North and South mainly explores the themes of rigid class structures and gender, but it is explored through a lens of romance.
Armitage’s stellar performance as the signature broody and lonely antihero far surpasses his movie roles. And what matters most in romance TV series: the chemistry between him and Denby-Ashe alone is a reason enough to add this to your must-watch list.
Poldark is a British historical drama. After serving in the American War of Independence overseas, Captain Ross Vennor Poldark comes back to Cornwall, which has changed for the worse since he had been gone. His father died and his cousin got engaged to his love interest Elizabeth. Enter Demelza, the hidden heroine of the show: Ross hires her as his maid, but as time progresses, the two fall madly in love despite coming from completely different backgrounds.
The series is based on Winston Graham’s books of the same name. If you’re looking for a TV show that has several seasons, Poldark is the one to watch. Altogether, it as five seasons. The final episode aired in August 2019.
There are many reasons why Taboo should be up next on your watch list. Tom Hardy stars as James Delaney, a tormented man who just came back to England for his father’s funeral after spending years in Africa. It is set in 19th century England: London is festering with corruption, pollution, and crime. The atmosphere highly resembles Peaky Blinders. Romance is not in the forefront, but that certainly doesn’t mean it won’t leave a lasting impression.
James Delaney is a man who keeps many secrets, one of them is the incestuous relationship with his half-sister Zilpha. The two are nearly obsessed with each other. They manage to stay away for the most part, but when they get together, it is dark, twisted, and magnetic.