“Love” is the latest Netflix binge!
Possibly the most popular streaming service and what some may call the “new television”, Netflix is well known for its innovation when it comes to their own content production and new series Love is another example of a game change in the rom-com genre for a series.
Love premiered its entire first season last February 19, as it is usual for Netflix which releases a show’s season in bulk – hence the binge-watch – in what was a very discrete premiere since the company only announced it with a trailer and a small feature in their streaming service.
The first thing to point out is that it marks the return of famous comedy writer Judd Apatow to the TV format where he become famous for the hitshow Freaks and Geeks, and it’s remarkable how this form of production changes the rom-com genre.
Apatow’s comedies are famous for revolving around the several forms that romantic relationships can take, from a nerdy guy’s late bloom in 40 Year Old Virgin to the consequences of one-night-stands in Knocked Up, and bringing new perspectives on how view romance in this modern age.
The combination between Apatow and Netflix resulted in this emotionally rich and tremendously entertaining series, Love, which is one of the new modern love-based shows presented on the media platform, showing similarities with Master of None.
These resemblances are noticeable because just like Aziz Ansari’s show, Love doesn’t present a story made of our wild imaginations and desires for a romance or relationship, it shows relatable characters in everyday situations for a young adult with a very casual but fluid script.
The show revolves around a couple of two opposites, both in their 30’s: Community‘s Gillian Jacobs as Mickey, a girl with a in-your-face attitude who struggles with her addictions and one of the show’s producers and creators Paul Rust, as Gus, a romantic nerdy guy that just came out of a long-term relationship.
Although this mix has been made several times in film and TV, it’s the aspects of the character’s personalities and daily lives that colour the plot, which for the whole season follows the character’s lives as individuals as to expand on their personalities and create a bond between viewers and the show, and their relationship, as they meet, how their interaction impacts other characters around them, its development, problems they face and how try to find balance through it all.
In Love, Apatow crafted an analysis on a somewhat dysfunctional couple that, like many of us, are trying to find their own place in a world where social pressure, career building and different views on romance could present several issues for a relationship but through their attraction they manage to juggle it all.
The fact that their story is shown through a 6 hours show rather than an hour and a half film allows for better production and storytelling, which is Love’s secret in keeping us hooked: its freedom to shade characters and the way it easies dark and complex twists in Mickey and Gus’s relationship which doesn’t follow the standard “happy ever after” ending but a more real one.