By now, almost everyone is familiar with Netflix’s success with original content. Most of the acclaim comes from highly raved-about dramas like “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” but the streaming site has also had recent hits in comedy with “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Master of None”—both of which star well known comedians Ellie Kemper and Aziz Ansari respectively. But how does one of Netflix’s more recent original comedies—“Love”—stand up to the precedents of clever plotlines and hilarity?
Created by comedy expert Judd Apatow, “Love” is a “down-to-earth look at dating” that “explor[es] male and female perspectives on romantic relationships.” The series stars co-creator Paul Rust and actress Gillian Jacobs as its two main characters: Gus Cruikshank and Mickey Dobbs. Their lives are woven together by a chance encounter at a time when both are down in the dumps.
The show is supposed to be a relatable look at love. And it is—to an extent. As far as the actual relationship between the two main characters, everything is fairly true to life. We see the characters struggle independently as they make decisions about their relationship and their own lives, with a large emphasis on technology and social media. While Gus continually contemplates how he should phrase his texts to Mickey, she worries about her rocky track record with relationships.
Keeping with the trend of staying relatable for audiences, the show does a great job of characterizing new relationships. The two start out as just friends with increasing intimacy as the show goes on, but always with bumps in the road—far from your classic romantic comedy. Since it is not attached to any television network, “Love” is able to make bolder choices as well, thus resulting in rawer, more realistic characters.
Other elements of the show, however, are somewhat hard to imagine happening in real life. This may just be characteristic of all TV shows, though. After all, would we even watch TV if it was exactly like our own lives? Mickey can be a bit too outspoken toward strangers and Gus’ job as an on-set tutor for child actors may be a bit too unrealistic. That being said, these instances are easy to overlook as part of the show’s funny and quirky charm.
Although the show was funny and different than other network TV shows such as “New Girl” and “Modern Family,” it does lack a certain amount of diversity. We only meet two black characters: one of whom holds a very minor role and who is used for pure comedy, having no true emotional value. To the show’s credit, the other is a black woman in a position of power, but she still holds a minor role. There is also a lack of diversity in sexual orientation, with only two instances in which we meet homosexual characters—characters who are only used for their stereotypical humor and are problematic representatives of the entire LGBTQ+ community.
With the lack of diversity in “Love” being the only real problem—combined with its quirky characters and humor—it is hard to tell if Netflix has another hit under its belt, but this new comedy is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something to binge watch over the weekend.