‘Love’ bridges romance and reality with comedic results (The Odyssey – 2/17/2016)

By Casey Campbell

Netflix is home to some successful and award winning programming, such as ‘Orange is the New Black’, and ‘House of Cards’. The streaming service’s newest show, ‘Love’, just nearly reaches the highs now associated with Netflix’s rather impressive track record.

The Judd Apatow produced, ten-episode running first season was, for the most part, a genuine, moving, and humorous take on modern romance, and the trials and tribulations that accompany it. With an impressive team of writers backing the script, including star Paul Rust and producer Judd Apatow, the story flows well. I found myself putting off work to finish watching the show in one sitting, which I accomplished.

‘Love’ is the story of Gus and Mickey; Gus being an overly nice man, and Mickey being an intense yet indecisive woman, both when it comes to love. The series opens with the two juxtaposed in their own doomed relationships, and how they deal with the fallout of each. The story then turns its attention to their meeting, and friendship.

The show impressed me with it’s take on the topic of love and romance. Where many programs or films will focus on the relationship, this focuses on the very human characters. Characters grow and develop, and the things they do seem realistic. When one makes a mistake, it affects the relationship, which in turn affects the two people. This aspect of the program was heightened by the great acting and chemistry of the two leads.

Tonally, the show is a bit bipolar and floppy. But, I believe it to be metaphorical of all relationships, as there are ups and downs, as depicted in the rising and falling drama and humor. ‘Love’ uses the medium to it’s advantage, utilizing a range of emotions displayed over ten episodes. This can be jolting at times, especially with the seemingly uncharacteristic actions of one of the leads during the final few episodes, which in itself is my only real gripe.

The main problem with the first season is when characters make huge mistakes that they would not have done earlier in the series, seemingly only to create more drama and strife. A minor mistake, characteristically made by one of the leads, then spurs on the final half of the season in what wreaks of wasted potential. That being said, a story called ‘Love’ features very little love. I can get behind a relationship series focused more on the awkward idiosyncrasies of relationships and people, just don’t give it a misnomer.

Overall, the series seems to be in good hands, though the writers should focus on what these characters would do, based on what they have already done. That way, the audience does not feel backlash at the hands of these once believable and likeable characters. Highlights of the show include female lead Gillian Jacobs’ Mickey, as this endearing yet flawed character comes to terms with her life and the affect she has on others.

Give it a watch, if you’re in the mood for a well paced, character driven story.

Originally published at The Odyssey: 

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/feel-the-love-on-netflix

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