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Who doesn’t want to fall in love? At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about. The Netflix romantic laugh-out-loud comedy Love takes you on the most beautiful journey of a relationship between two people, who for all intents and purposes, do not appear to be a match. But they are.
It’s always fun to rummage through the Netflix vault for a new binge and this gem provided the perfect escape during lockdown. The series comes from Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin and ran for three seasons (34 episodes) from 2016 to 2018 in a pre-pandemic world when the focus for most thirty-somethings was career and finding the one to settle down with.
The current world, however, is a far more complicated place and it was refreshing to go back to a less intense time when life was fraught with how to juggle workplace dramas and social plans.
The road to love for Gus Cruikshank (Rust) and Mickey Dobbs (Gillian Jacobs) spans roughly a year and during this time, the pair certainly has their share of ups and downs, but through their messy and complicated relationship, they learn that they have one of those loves that comes once in a lifetime.
The first season shows how the two meet and form a connection. By the second season, both realize there’s something there but they definitely have some obstacles to overcome. Finally, by the third season, they are in a place no one in their inner circle may have foreseen: a fully committed relationship.
The two live in Los Angeles, where Gus is an on-set teacher for a young actress, Arya (Iris Apatow), who is the star of a series called Witchita. Though she may roll her eyes at her teacher, she adores him and has his back. Gus has big dreams of becoming a screenwriter, which as anyone in the business knows, is not an easy thing to accomplish. Despite the many doors slammed in his face, Gus has the talent and unabashed perseverance to make his dreams a reality.
Mickey, an up-and-coming radio show producer, struggles with her addictions to alcohol, drugs and love. She certainly isn’t initially seeking a committed relationship with Gus but he gets her. He also has a way of smoothing out her rough edges and together, it seems, there isn’t anything they cannot overcome.
Each has a group of best friends and co-workers and as they all get to know one another and co-mingle, even more hilarity ensues. In the first season, Mickey gets a new roommate, Bertie Bauer, portrayed brilliantly by Claudia O’Doherty. You know how some comedic actresses just have perfect timing? She has that gift and her delivery and facial expressions are so spot-on that she steals every scene she’s in. Bertie has just come to America from Australia and the two form a friendship, though the outspoken Bertie calls Mickey out for her oftentimes inappropriate and off-putting behavior. Other humorous characters that make this series a standout include Mike Mitchell as Randy, Gus’ friend and Bertie’s boyfriend who really needs to get a job and a life, Chris Witaske whose character creates quite the love-triangle dynamic with Bertie and Randy, and Jordan Rock as Kevin, the craft service guy who works with Gus and is also a scene-stealer.
Rounding out this very funny and talented cast are Tracie Thoms, Gus’ sardonic boss Susan Cheryl, Mickey’s unproductive sidekick at work, Truman, played by Bobby Lee and Brett Gelman as Dr. Greg Colter, Mickey’s boss at the radio station with whom she has a very, very brief fling. Try as he might, even he can’t ruin what she and Gus have.
So, if you’re in the mood to fall in love and laugh a lot, this binge is for you. Love may have many ups, downs and in-betweens but with these two and their nutty circle of friends, the weird and awkward moments are delightful and extremely entertaining.
Though Netflix announced in 2017 that the third season would be the show’s last, it’s still a nice fantasy to imagine a fourth season to see where the gang is now, or perhaps a Bertie and Chris spin-off?