Judd Apatow’s new show titled Love, exclusively on Netflix, is honestly a breath of fresh air.
The 10-episode season focuses on two characters: Gus (played by Paul Rust) and Mickey (played by Gillian Jacobs), each who are destructive, addictive, as well as lost in their own ways. Yes, you will notice notable differences between the two like Gus who is shy, humble, awkward, and sincere most of the time; and Mickey who is selfish, blunt, abusive, and confused. But as you’ll see throughout the season their best is their worst at the same time.
With a title such as Love, you would think that this a story ultimately about these two characters falling in love and dealing with the relationship. It’s really not about that. Yes, the elements are there but we focus more on Gus and Mickey separately than together in most episodes. We find Gus at a low after his girlfriend wants to break up with him as he finds the joy in things on his own; and we find Mickey dealing with deeper issues that she’s aware of, ultimately being a shit head to every one around her.
As the season progresses you may root for one more than the other. There will be times where you love Gus because he genuinely tries and hate Mickey cause she could care less. But maybe you’ll sympathize for Mickey as she realizes the error in her ways and look at Gus differently through some of his actions. Maybe you’ll want them together, or maybe you’ll think it’s better if they stayed far away from each other.
Ultimately, the casting and tone is great. The acting by both Paul and Gillian are on point, dealing with real emotion and real people. I myself found to relate to many situations they got themselves into. The supporting cast is fun and brings some heart into the show as well. Being a dramedy, as well as Judd Apatow’s nature in his writing, it’s surprising that the show doesn’t come off as too funny or too serious. It has the right balance of where it should be and the sort of tone it wants to hold.
Love is a different take on relationships that you may find more honest and appealing than other stories. You may love or hate the characters, but I think you’ll ultimately be satisfied with how the show was done. Given a second season already announced, and the ending that we are left off with, it will be interesting to see how things play out in round two.
I give Love an 8/10 for being original, smart, and an emotional achievement.