Review: Love (★★★★)

4 stars

Netflix’s newest original series Love tackles the romantic comedy genre in an interesting and unique way which is charmingly lovely all the way through its rather short run time. Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust have a fantastic on-screen chemistry whose characters we can all find a bit of ourselves in. Although the show lacks in the comedy side of romantic comedy, it makes up for it by being really sweet and generally entertaining to see how things pan out.

This show has the opposite of the usual problem seen in Netflix series, with most of their shows running about 2 episodes too long (Making a Murderer, Jessica Jones, Narcos). It has the usual format of 10 episodes, but after the pilot, the episodes shift to a 30 minute run time. This is great and gave all the episodes punch which made the pace of the show more dynamic. However, with only 10 episodes, it does leave you wanting more as the final credits roll.

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The story is one we’ve all seen before, but it’s the characters and the twists that make this show feel fresher than others. Mikey Dobbs is a troubled 34-year-old trying to find her place in the world after destroying many previous relationships. She has drug and alcohol problems that make her seem cool and edgy to those around her but at the age she is, with all her friends moving on and starting families, she constantly drifts through life with no real direction. Gillian Jacobs does a fantastic job portraying the L.A girl next door with confidence and bite which is a drastic change from her role in Community.

Paul Rust plays Gus, a 33-year-old scrawny geek who has just come out of a failed relationship. Rust’s role is the weaker of the two, with his character coming off as irritable at times and for a lead that we are supposed to like, the show faces him with some questionable situations that ultimately lead us away from that. For a character that is referenced throughout the show as, ‘too nice,’ some of these situations seem too farfetched for the character to find himself in.

The two meet at a local convenience store where Gus covers for Mikey who has left her purse at home. From here they go on a lovely adventure around the town as they introduce themselves to one another. This is where the show really shines, the chemistry these two actors have is unlikely but completely natural.  When you find elements of yourself in both characters, it’s hard not to be smitten by their relationship.

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The story twists through many situations and I was surprised as I went through this at what the writers threw at these characters. Major paradigm shifts in the show continue to be interesting and, with the on-screen chemistry, make this relationship truly genuine and unique. If you start to watch this and expect what the trailer showed, you are going to be in for a surprise. The relationship isn’t a true love at first sight kind of deal, it takes time for them their paths to cross enough for them to acknowledge their affections for one another, however, this doesn’t play out long enough for the tension to become stale.

Love is an interesting and unique tale which will warm your heart. With only 10 episode, resulting in 5 and a half hours’ worth of viewing, which is unusual for a romantic comedy series, it leaves you feeling like there is more that could have been shown. Despite this, I am eagerly awaiting this shows return and cannot wait for what other original content Netflix has to offer this year.

 

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