Thursday, May 26, 2022
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Netflix’s Love is a RomCom for Screw-ups


With the recent popularity of romantic comedy-themed television series it is easy to overlook the Netflix original series Love.

However, the Judd Apatow-created series offers an uncompromising and unfiltered look at relationships from both the male and female perspective. This includes all the highs and lows of these relationships, however uplifting or outright depressing they may be.

“Love” stars comedian and actor Paul Rust as Gus Cruikshank, a self-described repressed and hostile nerd in his thirties. Cruikshank is an on-set tutor for several child actors in a television show by the name of Witchita.

Gillian Jacobs stars alongside Rust as Mickey Dobbs, an alcoholic, drug addict, and sex and love addict. Dobbs works as a program manager at a satellite radio station and is in an on-and-off relationship with a cocaine addict.

The series follows Gus and Mickey after they both terminate their current relationships for different reasons. The two cross paths through random happenstance and after some back and forth they develop feelings for one another.

Love uses the relationship between Gus and Mickey as a prism through which to explore the various trials and tribulations of modern day dating. No topic is left untouched, including threesomes, multiple partners and awkward dates. “Love” is unafraid to show Gus sleeping with an actor from Witchita only a day after he and Mickey have sex.

While Jacobs and Rust effectively portray their characters with convincing emotion, the two demonstrate their fair share of problems.

Both Gus and Mickey act selfishly, neglecting each other’s feelings – an act which often resulting in stressful consequences. They both use each other and other people, creating a whirlwind of emotional fallout. “Love” does not ask you to like its characters or their decisions, it simply presents them as they are—people and situations all too familiar.

Besides his films, Apatow is also known for his television series “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared,” both of which were incredibly short-lived but also provided uncompromising looks at teenage and college life respectively.

Love shares more with Apatow’s other televised work than its frankness. It features incredibly realistic and relatable characters portrayed by charismatic actors and actresses. Its portrayal of some of the more unsavory aspects of dating is similar to “Freaks and Geeks’” take on topics such as teenage drug use and pregnancy.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Love is its ability to make you feel. Viewers can expect to be warmed by Gus and Mickey’s awkward but affable attempts at courtship. However, this feeling can quickly turn to sadness and displeasure at their missteps and failings.

Whereas Apatow’s other television series have been quickly cancelled, Love is already scheduled for a second season in 2017 following the February 19th release of its first season. Perhaps the binge-ready format of Netflix’s other original series will fare better for Love.

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