Love Season One
Starring Paul Rust, Gillian Jacobs and Claudia O’Doherty.
A program that follows a couple who must navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment and other things they were hoping to avoid.
Love is a Netflix original series created by comedy director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Trainwreck), which follows the lives of Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they form an awkward relationship and we watch their many ups and downs over the course of ten episodes. It doesn’t sound like much but Love actually has a lot going for it and surprisingly has become one of my favorite shows of late.
Right out of the gate, Love does a good job of displaying exactly what it wants to be. The characters are established well, more often than not the jokes hit, and the writing is really clever. Getting to know both Gus and Mickey and seeing them form their relationship is the highlight of the show, mainly because of the great chemistry between the two leads. As the season carries on you get a real sense of who these characters are and how flawed they are, which I really admired about the show. The writers are not afraid to make you dislike the characters at times with some of their actions, making it feel more real, but they do manage to win you back time and time again.
Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs are both interesting choices for the leads here and they both play their characters wonderfully and too much satisfaction. Rust is able to pull off the nerdy Gus with a lot of charisma and charm but can get under your skin at times when his character makes some bad decisions. It was a wonderful surprise to see how great Gillian Jacobs is here. On her other show Community, I thought she left a lot to be desired, but with Mickey she really steps up and creates a character with a lot of depth and flaws that is the nucleus for the entire show.
Throughout the season there’s lots to laugh at and get plenty of enjoyment from. One of my favorite things is Gus and his friends getting together to make up title songs for movies that don’t have one, like The Perfect Storm and Carlito’s Way. There’s some great back and forth with Mickey and her Australian roommate Bertie (Claudia O’Doherty) who seems to be fairly clueless. Another great storyline is when Mickey sets up Gus and Bertie on a date and things go pretty bad from the get go. You won’t find too much to dislike here as the show is pretty solid all the way through. At times both main characters can get a little nerve-racking and there are a few episodes that do feel like filler, which isn’t good for a season that’s only ten episodes. However, the writing and acting are able to bring this show up from any pratfalls it runs into.
It’s great to see someone like Judd Apatow, who is a good director, transition this well to the small screen. We’ve seen him do great work in movies like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and last year’s Trainwreck. He’s able to transition his comedy style over from those types of movies to this show without it being too overbearing, which it can be at times in his movies. I would say it’s safe to say if you’re a fan of Apatow’s movies you will definitely be a fan of this series once you make it through all ten episodes.
Love is off to a great start. With winning performances from its leads and some stellar writing behind the scenes this is a series that I will definitely be returning to for the second season.
Jake Peffer – Follow me on Twitter