Contrary to what its title suggests, Netflix's new original series 'Love' is about as far from the stereotypical romantic sitcom you could possibly get. In fact, Judd Apatow's show prides itself in being just the opposite. Throughout the course of its ten episodes which dropped on Netflix on February 19th, we follow the lives of Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust), two LA dwellers in their early thirties, trying to make it through life and the copious misfortunes it has dealt to both of them. This is a series which is attempting to offer an honest view of what the dating scene is like for singles trying to make their way through adulthood, and it does a pretty great job of it.

When it comes to shows like this one, shows which consciously make an effort to break the conventions of their genre, I often find the characters can become boring and unlikable pretty quickly. There are only so many times you can watch a female character struggling to get to grips with her daddy issues which never really subsided, and her drug problem which we're supposed to see as kooky and cute. However, although Mickey (Jacobs) seems to fit into this character type quite neatly, she is not a character which I quickly got bored of. In fact, the depth of her character made her quite likable, despite the stereotypical character box she finds herself in. Throughout the series, we learn more about Mickey's addictive personality, and the guards that she puts up around her to shield herself from the one thing that she actually craves: to be loved. This aspect of Mickey's personality makes her a truly lovable main character, quirks and all.

Similarly, we are driven towards feeling this same way about leading male, Gus (Rust). Towards the beginning of the season, he is the underdog. We are encouraged to back him, and hope that he manages to get the girl, despite his dorky persona and incredible awkwardness. Gus is presented to us as a character of many layers. The scenes in which he spends a whole day checking his phone every five minutes after texting Mickey the carefully thought out text: "sup", and getting unbelievably frustrated at this lack of reply, confirms to us that when it comes to the dating game, deep down, we are all the same. It is these small acts of frustration from both Gus and Mickey, which the other character is often completely unaware of, that offer us with a perfect depiction of the frustrations of dating in the internet age.

One element of the show that I truly loved was the constant casual references to pop culture, grounding the show even deeper into the 21st Century than it could have done if Mickey and Gus had met on Tinder rather than in a convenience store. In this sense, the scripting is Fantastic. Take for example, an early scene where Gus is throwing his old blu-rays out of Mickey's car window, in a feeble attempt to reclaim his life.  This results in some hilarious quips about assorted cult films in one of the funniest sitcom scenes I have seen in a while. This subtle humour based on the viewers knowledge of modern day culture is a large basis of the comedy in the show, and is especially funny when delivered by Mickey's cute and quirky Australian roommate, Bertie (Claudia O'Doherty), who shines as a costar.

'Love' attempts to take on the role of a series which offers its viewers with a modern day view of, well, love. As much as Hollywood will try to tell us what a wonderful and easy thing the dating world is, we all know that it has its ups and downs, and it's great to see a show which plays on this, and presents us with realistic characters who aren't always the most fortunate of people. If I had to draw on a negative of the show, I would say sometimes it loses focus on the relationship between Gus and Mickey, with many episodes instead focusing on their other relationships and their careers. Although, maybe this is just a personal issue I had. I found myself falling hard for Gus and Mickey, and wishing the perfect Hollywood romance for them which we so often see. But as previously stated, this isn't the point of the show, and it isn't always what happens in real life. Instead of this Hollywood focus on Gus and Mickey, we are offered with a wider view, and shown exactly how the ups and downs of their relationship affect them in their everyday lives.

Love offers a realistic view of dating in the 21st century, which in my opinion, more television shows should strive to achieve. It is shows like this one, which put emphasis on the very normal aspects of everyday life and dating, which allow us as viewers to feel comfortable and normal in our own skin. It is definitely a Netflix original which I would recommend.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for sharing - I will definitely check it out! x

    Erin |