TV Review: LOVE

by T. Mack

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Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Paul Rust (I Love You, Beth Cooper) star in Netflix’s latest original comedy series, Love. Filled with awkwardness, dry humor, and bad choices, the show will either make viewers believe in the power of love or lose all confidence in it. 

Gus is a nice guy who looks at life mostly from a positive perspective. Mickey is less nice than Gus and has a generally more negative disposition. The two meet by chance at a convenience store not long after both have had nasty breakups. And so begins the journey of Netflix’s newest original series, Love.

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Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs are great as Gus and Mickey. They each manage to imbue their characters with layers and complexity in roles that could easily be one-dimensional. Their story unfolds in very unexpected ways. From one episode to the next, viewers honestly can’t be sure if they should be rooting for these two characters to give romance a try or not. While Gus seems like the typical good-guy and basic dork, he doesn’t fit that mold as well as it might seem at first. And though Mickey seems like a slightly terrible and narcissistic human being, it turns out that her life and her character cannot be broken down so easily.

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The supporting cast does a great job of rounding out the world around the two leads. Claudia O’Doherty (Bertie), Iris Apatow (Aria), Tracie Thoms (Susan) and Briga Heelan (Heidi) bring especially stellar value to the show with characters who support and challenge the main couple. While the show is about Gus and Mickey’s relationship, it’s their contact with these and other supporting characters that bring the most fun to the episodes.

The show is produced by Judd Apatow and his influence can be felt throughout. Any fan of his work will recognize the dry and wry humor that courses through the show as well as the cast of completely relatable characters. I have long believed that a major reason people enjoy Apatow’s work is that they are always able to find themselves in his characters. In most movies or shows, I can’t relate to the main character’s glam appeal. I’m at best the comic-relief sidekick. But in Apatow projects, I see regular people like me who have faults and failures just like mine but are hopeful and keep trying, just like me. Love is no exception. The characters are real. They try to be their best but aren’t perfect and don’t handle situations perfectly. In fact, they handle most of them very badly. It makes for awkward and funny television that feels real.

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The season is 10 episodes, each being a little more or less than half an hour. This makes the time investment minimal, especially for those of us accustomed to treating binge-watching like a sport. I recommend checking out Love. It probably won’t have you ROTFL, but it will make you smile quite a bit, chuckle a little and cringe more than a few times. It’s a low-key show that feels like the kind of story someone might tell while a bunch of friends are sitting around at a party.

Check out the trailer for the show right here:

Rating: 3 SHIELDS

3 SG Shields

If you do head over to Netflix and watch, please be sure to come back here and let me know what you think. Do Gus and Mickey belong together? Why or why not? What was the biggest epic fail by a character during the season? Did your opinion of characters change as the episodes went on? If so, who and how? And do you love Judd Apatow projects? If so, what’s your favorite? 

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