In honor of both Valentine’s Day and Love season 2 premiering in a month (Friday, March 10), Michelle and I rewatched Love‘s first season.
I’m going to take the first half of Love‘s 10 episode season, Michelle’s got the second half. I watched the first five episodes in two sittings. This show is highly bingeable since most episode are about 30 minutes, it takes place over a pretty short timespan, and you’re cheering for a relationship to happen. Well, at least, I’m cheering for a relationship to happen.
Love stars Gillian Jacobs as Mickey and Paul Rust as Gus. The show is in the category of “30-minute modern dramedy with some borderline-terrible people you love unconditionally,” [You’re The Worst, Casual, Togetherness, Catastrophe, Girls(?), Fleabag, Please Like Me, Transparent … am I missing any?] Anyway, it seems to be a popular trend on TV and I love every single one. They’re funny, real, tragic. I’m all for it. Love brings something unique in the pacing of the first season. In the first 5 episodes we see Gus and Mickey meet, text, and see each other twice after their first meeting. It’s slow pacing and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It feels like a real progression of a relationship.
Favorite big moments in the first 5 episodes: Gus and Mickey meet in the gas station for the first time. Gus and Bertie’s disastrous date. Mickey kissing Gus.
My favorite character: Claudia O’Doherty as Bertie
Here are a few of my favorite moments: Jamie xx’s song “Gosh” in the pilot, Mickey’s bathing suit outfits, Gus’ fully furnished apartment, Gus throwing his Blu Rays out of the car, Arya and Gus playing Just Dance, when Gus says “Fuck you you piece of shit” to himself in the mirror at the party, Bertie’s job as a focus group facilitator, cliffhanger at the end of episode 5
Michelle here! I finished off the remaining five episodes of the first season of Love, and in my opinion, this was probably the best decision, because the second half is emotional. Love registers as a comedy, and with Judd Apatow as an Executive Producer, you know you’re in good hands, but what I love most about this show is that when it slips into some more emotional, drama related moments, it all feels authentic. After Mickey kisses Gus in the end of episode 5, we find Gus driving away in disbelief. From this moment on, Gus and Mickey enter the next stage of dating.
The following episodes show a divide between Gus and Mickey, and this is where the real drama begins. Mickey begins showing signs of jealousy and anxiety about Gus, Gus pulls away from Mickey, Mickey becomes a bit manic and Gus becomes stern, and this all leads to a major fight in front of Gus’ coworkers. After the public meltdown of Gus and Mickey, both of their lives start “falling apart” in terms of work, personal life, Mickey’s relapsing, depression, etc. The final episode we find the two trying to focus on things other than their lack of communication and probable demise, and the two confront one another in a very real scene.
One particular thing Love accomplishes is the progress of relationships in the digital age and among millennials. Like its contemporaries listed above, Love captures the messiness of meeting someone new, developing a relationship between them, maneuvering yourself into their life, and trying to maintain interest in what may be considered “unconventional” compared to previous examples of the modern relationship. Mickey and Gus seem like they’d be an unlikely pair. The Nice Guy and the Cool Girl. One has seemingly done everything right, but has been walked on time after time for being “too nice” while the other one is too cool to care about the backlog of issues they have and the people they’ve hurt along the way. We’ve seen examples of these plenty of times, but for some reason, Mickey and Gus feel like two of my friends.
This was (I believe) my third or fourth rewatch of the series, and every single time I find more of myself in Gus. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got some Mickey sprinkled in their too, but I strongly identify with Gus’ character. That’s something special, and something that Love has been capable of creating within each of its characters. Everyone has something in them that reminds you of someone you know, once knew, or will eventually meet. But most importantly, Love represents an experience we may also be familiar with. Meeting someone, getting to know them, falling for them, hitting roadblocks, and figuring out what to do when that happens. It could be a short span of time like in Love, or a dedication of years, but it isn’t foreign and that’s what I love about Love.
Favorite big moments in the last 5 episodes: Mickey and Andy Dick on the LA subway, Mickey and Gus hookup, The Magic Castle, Gus’ script is bought, the Big Fight, Mickey’s meeting, the final scene of the season
My favorite character: Gillian Jacobs as Mickey *Gillian is a teetotaler (she has never consumed alcohol/completely abstinent from it) so her performance as a recovering addict is pretty impressive for someone with little personal experience of intoxication and effects
Here are a few of my favorite moments: In no particular order, Colleen Green’s “Wild One” playing during Gus and Mickey hooking up, Gus at the car wash (me AF), Irma the piano playing ghost, Mickey’s facial expressions during the magic show, Carlito’s Way ending credits song (it’s pretty good), Gus in the writer’s room, Mickey and Aria bonding in the trailer over true crime, American Horror Story, and Gus, Bertie buying two Mars Vista Studios tshirts in 3XL, Mickey’s exchange with the animal shelter woman, Andy Dick talking to the Spanish woman aka “Margaret” on the subway and Mickey’s personal realization while high on the subway, the gas station attendant on “comfort food.”