Published Feb 17, 2016In the pilot episode of Love, we meet Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) — the former a dorky, recently dumped on-set tutor (and aspiring scriptwriter) for the tween star of a cheesy TV drama about witches, the latter a self-help radio show producer whose only aspiration seems to be getting her shit together after coming off a string of pretty dismal relationships. (The most recent of these ends with her breaking up with her cokehead boyfriend as he gets into a car with his mom to go pants shopping.)
Gus deals with his heartbreak by moving into a glorified college dorm complex, where he spends his free time jamming out ridiculous closing credit songs for movies that don't have one, and partying with his barely legal neighbours, while Mickey opts to embrace an adorable Australian as a roommate before succumbing to an Ambien-induced haze and Ubering over to a cult-y church service. Still reeling from their break-ups, Gus and Mickey's paths finally cross at a convenience store, where things take the fast track to any healthy romantic relationship — getting high at a fast-food drive-thru.
Despite what seasoned sitcom viewers might expect, from that meeting point onwards, the traditional tropes of romantic comedies are thrown out the window (sometimes literally, as Gus chucks Blu-ray copies of Sweet Home Alabama and Pretty Woman out of a moving car). Gus and Mickey navigate the choppy waters of modern dating, complete with flirting awkwardly, social media profile creeping, obsessing over texts or lack thereof, going along with ill-conceived set-ups, and even worse-conceived ideas to get high on sassafras with Andy Dick on the L.A. subway.
Love's first ten episodes take a smart, sympathetic (but not totally uncritical) look at a generation (of characters and viewers alike) that are still trying to figure out how the whole "being an adult" thing works. It's utterly endearing, delivering moments that are as hilarious ("Nothing dries up a vagina more than a paragraph" as advice for texting) as they are poignant (like accepting defeat and casually admitting: "Hoping for love has fucking ruined my life"), never shying away from presenting the uncomfortable realities of human relationships. (Netflix)