Tuesday, September 13, 2016

TV Tuesday: Love

Back in the spring, I spent my lunchtimes (my "me" time!) watching a Netflix series called Love. I wasn't sure how much I liked it as first, but it grew on me, and I ended up enjoying the 10-episode first season. Love is basically a romantic comedy set in L.A., but it breaks from convention in every way possible.

In the very first episode, we meet Gus (played by Paul Rust), a nerdy but nice guy - maybe in his 30's? - who seems to have a very dull relationship with an overbearing girlfriend named Natalie. That doesn't last long, though, as Gus soon finds out that Natalie cheated on him and leaves her. Gus is at loose ends and seriously lacking in self-confidence. He works as an on-set math tutor for a spoiled child star on a corny TV show about witches in suburbia. He dreams of becoming a screenwriter and writing a script for the show himself.

In that first episode, Gus meets Mickey (played by Gillian Jacobs) at a convenience store, when Mickey realizes she forgot her wallet at home, and Gus offers to pay for her coffee and cigarettes. Mickey is Gus' opposite in every way - brash and outspoken, constantly swearing, and reckless. However, she is also in-between relationships (her drug-addicted on-again, off-again boyfriend has recently joined a cult) and feeling like her life is stalled. Mickey works as program manager at a satellite radio station, where her boss keeps flirting with her. In the second episode, Mickey finds a roommate to share her house: perky, sweet British Bertie (played adorably by Claudia O'Doherty).

Little by little, Gus and Mickey get to know each other and sort of - kind of - begin to date. This is not your typical romcom with a predictable chronology but a rocky, realistic story where neither of the main characters is quite sure where things are going. Sometimes, they seem to get along well and sometimes it seems like there is no way they will end up together.

The show was created by Judd Apatow, and although I'm not all that familiar with his work (Knocked Up, This is 40), from what I have heard, this show perfectly fits his typical style. It's somewhere between a drama and a comedy - it has plenty of amusing moments, but it is certainly not a sitcom. The characters really grew on me. I didn't like Mickey much at first - she is abrasive and often self-destructive. And I just wanted to shake Gus at times and tell him to stand up for himself. But over the course of the 10 episodes, as I got to know them, I liked them both more and more and was rooting for them to get their lives together. Of course, that hasn't happened yet, but I am looking forward to season 2.

Love is a Netflix original series so it is available exclusively on Netflix.

This trailer will give you a good idea of the tone and "feel" of the show:

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