“Love”: A Netflix Original Series

Jacob Rozansky , Staff Writer

The Netflix original series, Love portrays a modern romance between two thirty-somethings in the soul crushing greater Los Angeles area. Made by critically acclaimed director and writer Judd Apatow, the series follows Gus Cruikshank (played by Paul Rust), an onset teacher for child actors and Mickey Dobbs (played by Gillian Jacobs), the director of a local radio show.

In Love, slow development is the name of the game. In fact, the romance of the two main characters is almost painfully tedious, as it seems like the two lack any form of compatibility. The title is ironic. This romantic comedy is anything but cute. Awkward humor, cringe based comedy and an overarching depression permeate through each episode. To give the show credit, Apatow and the writers wrote quite a funny script, despite the aforementioned depressive elements. With quotable lines in each episode, hilarious dialogue and meta humor, Love is undoubtedly funny.

Rust and Jacobs deliver compelling performances as the show’s leads. The two perfectly portray their characters. Paul plays a dorky hipster trying to get over his cheating ex-girlfriend, all while feeling stuck in a worthless job, aspiring to be a writer on the set he already works on. Gillian’s character Mickey is a woman trying to hold onto her youth as her addictions begin to catch up with her in her thirties. While the characters are well written and well performed, they lack a key element of any romantic comedy: likability. Through the entire season, neither Gus nor Mickey gain my sympathy. The emotions elicited from them are anger, disgust and disappointment. While the show is of course supposed to be a cringe comedy, this can be achieved with characters the audience cherishes. In The Office for example, Michael Scott is both difficult to watch and lovable. In Louis CK’s show Louie, the character of Louie is flawed yet relatable. This task seems either failed by Love or simply unattempted.

Watching the credits roll, I found myself apathetic. Apathetic to the unlikely unlikable pair and their futures. If they were to get together and have a healthy relationship or if they broke up forever, it would not affect me. Apatow created a decent show in many regards, but he failed to realize that if the characters are not people the audience can relate to, sympathize with and like, people will not want to follow the story.

So, watch the show for the humor. Watch it for a new perspective on modern relationships. Watch it for the sex scenes if you’re into that. But do not watch the show for the romance, and don’t expect much fulfillment from the characters at any point in the show, because you may feel disappointed. Overall, Judd’s Netflix project was decent, but I just didn’t Love it.

Warning: This show contains mature content. Younger readers should discuss viewing it with their parents or guardians before watching.