Relationships on Screen Series 3

Relationships on Screen Series 3

Healthy relationships are a great asset and are essential to our health and wellbeing. Relationships are at the heart of a community, family, workplace or partnership. It’s therefore no surprise that some form of relationship appears in the majority of TV series and films that we watch.

We can learn a lot from the relationships that we see on screen whether that may be love, friendship, family, or even lessons in what a healthy and unhealthy relationships look like.

If you’re looking for something to watch over the July holidays, we’ve put together a few suggestions of recent shows and movies that have relationships as the underlying theme.

If you feel you would benefit from relationship support, there are self help resources available or you can find out more about our services.

1. ‘After Life’

Recommended by Relate NI Service Team Lead, Sharon Ramsden.

Set in the sleepy village of Tambury the dark comedy, written and starring Ricky Gervais, follows his journey through grief and existential crisis as he struggles to find new meaning and purposes. The series follows Ricky’s character, Tony, through the darkest days of his grief as he struggles to find the point in continuing on in his own life after the loss of his beloved partner to cancer. At times it portrays the stark but all too real wrestle between thoughts of living and dying. It also depicts Tony’s anger and irreverence to the world that continues on regardless after the loss of his wife. This provides an opportunity for Ricky to weave in his familiar brand of darkly funny and occasionally less than politically correct humour but in a way that challenges the viewer’s own beliefs and preconceptions – It’s definitely not for the faint hearted as no subject is spared, including a highly inappropriate counsellor!!

Primarily, it is a story about relationships and the need for connection. As Tony vents his anger to the world I am reminded of Russell Barkley’s quote from my training days; the people ‘who need love the most will always ask for it in the most unloving ways‘. It is through the compassion and tenacity of the people (including Tony’s four-legged friend) in Tony’s life that he eventually finds himself again and as his fury, then depression exhausts itself he too realises the power of connection, which never truly ends when we carry our loved ones with us in our hearts.

Available to watch on Netflix.

2. ‘Only Mine’

Recommended by Golden Threads Project Worker, Lynsey Hassin. 

Based on a true story, Only Mine follows Julie who is bound for college, working in a small-town diner. David is a local cop and after meeting Julie, they begin a relationship which quickly turns into a nightmare for Julie. Becoming obsessive and disruptive in Julie’s life, David’s abusive ways leads to Julie ending the relationship. This only escalates David’s behaviour and puts her life at risk. This tense movie is a good representation of what can happen in abusive relationships not just physically, but emotionally.

Available to watch on Netflix.

3. The Split

Recommended by Relate NI Development Manager, Kellie O’Dowd.

Set in the fast-paced, complex world of London’s high-end divorce circuit, The Split tells the story of a family of female lawyers, the Defoe family; matriarch Ruth, and sisters Hannah, Nina and Rose.

It is an authentic, multi-layered, clever examination of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce. There are plenty of heated boardroom battles and chaotic love lives as well as some gorgeous outfits.

As you would expect from any legal drama, the series is full of glamour, excitement and dramatic legal plots set in some stunning restaurants and locations.

Essentially the family deal with a variety of family law matters including divorce, nuptial agreements, Non-Molestation Orders and adoption. Whilst The Split does not fail to keep us engaged and thoroughly entertained, it also provides food for thought on what a good divorce could actually look like.

Available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Relationships on screen can teach us a lot about our own behaviour in relationships, but we need to access expert relationship support to manage our relationships in real life. Relate NI have been providing relationship support across NI for 75 years, find out more about how our services may be able to support you.

If you have any recommendations for good relationship watches or riveting reads, get in touch with Stevie at

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