‘XO, Kitty’ is only one of the many Netflix originals you must watch if you’re hungry for content about young love.
There’s nothing like young love. The perfect mix of raging hormones, naiveté, and romance is equal parts endearing and cringeworthy. Over the years, Netflix has released a handful of original movies and shows that highlight teenagers finding their soulmates (at least until they travel across the country for college). So, here are our top Netflix originals about young love.
‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ | Film Trilogy
Premiere Date: August 17, 2018
Cast: Lana Candor, Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher, Ross Butler, John Corbett, Satray Blue, Momona Tamada
The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, based on the novel series of the same name by Jenny Han, begins when a teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed — throwing her life into chaos. However, the ultra-embarrassing saga supplies the inspiration she needs to go after the fairytale love story she yearns for.
The story traverses a great deal of territory over three films. Will college drag her and her newfound love apart? Will other romantic interest gets in the way of the man our leading lady is destined to be with?
The trilogy also includes To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and To All the Boys: Always and Forever.
‘XO, Kitty’ | Series
Premiere Date: May 18, 2023
Cast: Anna Cathcart, Choi Min-young, Sang Heon Lee, Anthony Keyvan, Peter Thurnwald, Regan Aliyah, John Corbett, Satray Blue
The protagonist’s younger sister in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has quite a vital part in the film franchise, as she plays matchmaker to both her lovestruck sibling and single father. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Netflix greenlit a spinoff series about the spunky teen who thinks before she speaks and wears her emotions on her sleeves.
XO, Kitty finds Kitty Covey traveling across the world to Seoul, Korea to study at KISS — the Korean International School of Seoul. This happens to be the very institution her long-distance boyfriend attends, as well as the school her late mother attended for her junior year of high school. The show focuses on Kitty’s love story, which begins with a hiccup, as she arrives to discover her boyfriend is dating someone else. Yet, not all is as it seems, and the story takes a couple of twists and turns as teenagers solve problems the best way they know how — poorly.
‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ | Series
Premiere Date: May 4, 2023
Cast: India Amarteifio, Michelle Fairley, Corey Mylchreest, Arsema Thomas, Freddie Dennis, Sam Clemmett, Golda Rosheuvel, James Fleet
Romances that take place in the Bridgerton universe aren’t exactly known for modesty, and this spinoff series is no exception when it comes to steamy scenes. Clothes come flying off in every room — the dining hall, the observatory, the bathroom…you get the idea. However, considering Queen Charlotte is only “ten and seven years of age,” as she explains to King Charles, this tale does qualify as “young love.”
The romance between King Charles and Queen Charlotte is not defined by passion, however, as was the case for Daphne and Simon in Bridgerton. They build a relationship as allies — as partners against the societal structures and familial pressures that weigh on their shoulders.
They wed without knowing each other and must choose to love one another. It just so happens that they are more similar than meets the eye. Both are intellectuals with headstrong personalities, yet they equally desire companionship. It’s a tale about sticking together through thick and thin, and these two show that love is not a fatalistic experience but an active decision one makes daily.
‘Heartstopper’ | Series
Premiere Date: April 22, 2022
Cast: Kit Connor, Joe Locke, Yasmin Finney, Sebastian Croft, William Gao, Olivia Colman
Netflix’s Hearstopper is based on the first two volumes of Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name. It’s a story of boy meets boy. From the moment Charlie lays his eyes on school heartthrob Nicholas Nelson, the butterflies in his stomach never stop fluttering. Charlie is an outcast. Nick is the star player on the rugby team. The two couldn’t be more different on the surface, but they’re drawn to one another. There’s only one problem: Nick isn’t out, and he’s not ready to be.
Nick wants to spend time with Charlie, so he asks him to join the rugby team, yet his fellow players bully Charlie. Nick gets into fights over him, and their love story does not commence without a couple of roadblocks. But, these two boys can’t help but find their way closer to one another.
‘The Kissing Booth’ | Film Trilogy
Premiere Date: May 11, 2018
Cast: Joey King, Taylor Zakhar Perez, Jacob Elordi, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Joel Courtney, Meganne Young
Elle Evans and her closest friend Lee are thick as thieves. They’ve been besties since they entered the world, and they have developed a set of rules to keep their friendship intact. The most significant rule: Lee’s older brother Flynn is off-limits. So, what happens when Elle begins to fall in love with him? Her relationship with Lee ends up on the rocks, and she’s left trying to mend a lifelong friendship and a new romantic dynamic.
Flynn may be the school heartbreaker who can get any girl he wants, but Elle is different. She sees him for who he really is, and she’s not afraid to put him in his place. The Kissing Booth is also a franchise based on the novel series by Beth Reekles, and includes The Kissing Booth: Going the Distance and The Kissing Booth: One Last Time.
‘Alex Strangelove’ | Film
Premiere Date: April 14, 2018
Cast: Daniel Dohony, Antonio Marziale, Madeline Weinstein, Daniel Zolghadri, Nik Dodani, Isabella Amara
Alex Truelove has everything high-schoolers dream of: the girlfriend, the fun friends who pull him out of his shell, and the perfect GPA. Yet, when a dreamy boy who’s rocking a leather jacket and wild curly hair develops a crush on Alex, Alex is interested. But, Alex has a girlfriend who he cares deeply about. What is he supposed to do?
It’s a story of sexual discovery. Alex is consistently overwhelmed and trying to balance it all, yet the film manages to inject its tale with equal parts heart and humor. You’ll laugh. You’ll reflect. You may shed a tear. You’ll be rooting for Alex from the start. You’ll just want what’s best for him (whatever he decides that may be).
‘Dash & Lily’ | Series
Premiere Date: November 10, 2020
Cast: Midori Francis, Austin Abrams, Keana Marie, Troy Iwata, Dante Brown, Glenn McCuen, Diego Guevara, Agneeta Thacker
Dash & Lily is a romantic (and often schmaltzy) tale that leaves the primary characters traversing New York City during Christmas.
Dash and Lily share their greatest hopes and dreams in a notebook they pass off to each other in different bookstores throughout the city. Over time, they discover a great deal about one another before they ever meet.
Dash is the cynic. He hates the holidays. He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and a superior attitude, but it’s somehow endearing. Lily is cheery. She’s optimistic. Christmas is her favorite time of year. It’s a classic tale of opposites attract.
They send each other on dares, and throughout the narrative, both discover they can break free from their shells. They uncover parts of themselves that may have gone unexplored without each other. It’s sweet and serendipitous. With each episode, you get further drawn into the narrative, accepting its far-fetched origins with ease.
‘Never Have I Ever’ | Series
Premiere Date: April 27, 2020
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison, Richa Moorjani, Megan Suri, Poorna Jagannathan, Lee Rodriguez, Ramona Young
Devi is on a mission to improve her status at school. She tells her best friends in the premiere season, “We’re not cool” and she commits to “rebranding” their squad. Not to mention, she’s got a crush on the hottest guy in school, and she can’t stop dreaming about him.
Will the boys she’s been dreaming about for ages fall in love with her? Will her friends get their happily-ever-afters too? The series explores teenage angst, attraction, friendship struggles, and more. And since it comes from the mind of Mindy Kaling, it should come as no surprise that it’s chock-full of laughs.
With several films, multiple-season TV shows, limited series, and franchises about young love to stream on Netflix, you better prepare for quite the movie marathon.