TV Review: “Love”—Surprisingly Charming

Written by Michelle Young March 28, 2016

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When I first saw the trailer for “Love”, another Netflix Original produced by Judd Apatow, I wasn’t expecting to like it at all. At first glance, it looked like just another sad attempt at somehow undermining movie romance with insufferable hipsters, but it wasn’t that (well it is, but not necessarily in a bad way).

“Love” is the story of Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), two thirty-somethings living in L.A. trying to navigate their various relationships and face their own demons and hang-ups. It’s basically an anti-romance, romantic comedy. It’s a pretty simple premise, a fairly familiar one as well, but “Love” actually manages pull it off with some finesse.

“No one pulls you aside and says, ‘Just so you know, relationships are fucking bullshit’.”

“Love” was really successful in how organic it made Gus and Mickey’s relationship feel. This is partly to do with the Netflix format, which allows for shows to really draw out their stories and keep the pace rather slow. Of course, this means that the first few episodes do feel a little bland, but once you really start to invest, it begins to pay off. “Love” really is a show that is better to binge, because it plays almost as a super long movie.

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The show’s success also comes from how well the characters were portrayed. As horrible, pathetic, and misguided as they were sometimes, I really found myself rooting for and relating to them. Without such well-portrayed, believable characters, I think “Love” would have been a complete mess. Gillian Jacobs was by far my favourite. She probably had the hardest character to make loveable, but Mickey comes off perfectly. As much as I hated some of the things she does, I never hated the character. I also thought that her roommate, Bertie (Claudia O’Doherty), was another great addition. She was the perfect foil to Mickey (and she was hilarious).

“You’re the girl who cried crazy.”

“Love” was a really great surprise. It took a format that can so easily be pretentious and insufferable and made a show that was actually charming and honest. There was good balance in the characters that made them likeable, but unlikable at the same time; they were real people rather than just cartoonish hipsters complaining that ‘cell phones have ruined love’.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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