All You Need is “Love”

In search of a new series to binge-watch? Maybe “Fuller House” just wasn’t your thing?  Or maybe you did watch “Fuller House,” and now your Netflix-palette needs a little cleansing? “Love” is exactly what you need. It’s funny, sexy and heartbreakingly relatable. I watched the episodes back-to-back-to-back … until I got the last one.  I simply did not want it to end. Luckily for me, season two is on its way next year.

“Love” follows a man and a woman in their early 30s living in Los Angeles and searching for love. Created by Judd Apatow, the first season takes on a familiar cinematic rom-com vibe. The great thing about a series, though, is that the characters get more dimension. Plus, each episode lasts a full 30 minutes (although it never feels that long when the always-appealing music rolls in for the ending credits). You really see inside each character’s personality and struggles, but nothing is ever revealed all at once.  It keeps you watching eagerly every second.

First there’s Gus, played with just the right amount of spunk and care by Paul Rust. Gus is your awkward-type. He is practical to the point of over-analyzation, and he just broke up with a cheating girlfriend. Then there’s Mickey, played fearlessly by Gillian Jacobs: everything Gus is not. Not rational, but impulsive. Not bashful, but confrontational. Her love life is much more of a complicated mess. The two meet at a convenient store: when Mickey has no money to pay for her items, Gus steps in to pay for her.

At first glance, this may all seem cliché.  I mean, the title of the show is “Love,” for crying out loud. However, we get more than just those heart-aching and “aww cute” scenes from “Love.” Many scenes struck me as more shocking and unpredictable, as well.  In fact, much of the show does not even take place with Gus and Mickey together. Instead, the show heads into their personal and professional lives in ways that don’t seem detached, but rather, tie everything together. We meet some off-putting characters, and some loveable ones, too. Mickey’s roommate, Bertie, especially steps in to drive the plot and to cheer the show up a bit with a great performance by Claudia O’Doherty.

The show’s originality also stems from a center of knowing. If you watched Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None,” or read his book “Modern Romance,” many of the same themes about 21st century dating are present here. “Love” takes place in present-day and is not shy about showing. The use of texting and Instagram drive many of Gus and Mickey’s interactions.

Furthermore, the show gets to the heart of an ever-changing dating scene in a big city.  In his book, Ansari mentions the concept of “emerging adulthood.” This basically means that young people are now taking more time in their 20s to explore careers, dating and ultimately, themselves. “Love” seeks to illustrate this new stage of life that has come to fruition in recent years.

In the end, this is not so much a show about falling in love. Really, it’s about how difficult it is to open up and give love when dating in the modern world has gotten so complicated and young people’s lives are all the more complex.