Judd Apatow has produced a number of memorable films and TV shows over the course of his career, so to call Love one of his finest works yet is high praise, yet it is entirely earned.
At its heart, Love is about two fundamentally flawed and damaged people. Mickey is a recovering alcoholic with active sex and drug addictions. Her professional life at a radio station seems stable enough, but her past relationships have been turbulent. Gus is a ‘nice guy’ with dreams of a more fulfilling career. He is also judgmental, clingy, and a complete pushover. This pair, while ill-suited to each other, slowly form a codependent relationship that seems to cause them more harm than good.
The character development and inter character relationships stand out throughout the show and, even though the characters behave selfishly and irrationally, the audience is made to genuinely care about them. No one is shown to be without some flaws, and just when the audience is rooting for someone, they will turn around and do something stupid. For example, during the first season, Mickey seems like a damaged woman trying to better herself while Gus comes across as entitled and selfish, ignoring her wishes because of his own desires. During the second season however, Gus begins to realise his faults and works on giving Mickey the space she needs to heal while also trying to chase his own dreams.
Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust shine in their roles as Mickey and Gus respectively, but praise must especially be given to Claudia O’Doherty who plays Mickey’s roommate Bertie. Bertie is perhaps the only fully sympathetic character in the show. While Mickey and Gus are often motivated by selfish desires, Bertie simply wants to make everybody happy, and O’Doherty’s spectacular performance makes her so genuine and believable that is impossible not to like her.
Overall, whether you are a fan of Judd Apatow, romantic comedies, or simply good television in general, Love is absolutely a must watch.
Image: Jenny Starling @Flickr