Culture TV & Films

Our thoughts on LOVE (Netflix)

Okay this isn’t another post about love as in the emotion, I’m not about to have another existential crisis. At least I hope not. LOVE is a new Netflix Original show and I binged watched it and I have some thoughts (naturally). I also asked my followers on Twitter what their thoughts on the show were and so I’m going to include them in this post.

LOVE is set in Los Angeles which I liked because pretty much all the shows I watch are set in New York City so ya know, LA is different. It’s written and directed by Judd Apatow – you know Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, Girls, Trainwreck – he knows this world. It was also was written by and stars Paul Rust, who I had never heard of before and also stars Gillian Jacobs who I adore from Community!

This will probably contain spoilers.

The story follows Mickey and Gus who at the beginning of the series both have break ups and find themselves single. Then they meet and the rest of the series is the two of them figuring out what the eff is going on between them and in their heads.

So here’s what you thought (yes I’m using your tweets to organise my own thoughts).

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And here we are analysing it! This is going to go well…

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Okay great start. Thanks Holly, but I kind of agree (it is getting a second series though).

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Alright let’s talk about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing. I think the show is definitely set up this way – Gus is the “nice” boring guy and Mickey is the wild and exciting girl. But actually they’re not that at all. Gus turns out to be a complete dick and Mickey is also super selfish and has a lot of issues.

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I kind of agree, the ‘nice guy’ trope definitely doesn’t work here because Gus is an actual arse. Sometimes I like TV with unlikeable characters and it seems you guys do too but this one just didn’t click with me. To be honest my favourite character was Bertie, Mickey’s Australian housemate – I think she stole the show and I want to see more of her!

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The bit that irks me the most about Gus’ behaviour is the ending and a few people on Twitter had problems with it too!

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YES WTF!? A girl who you’ve slept with, hurt emotionally and just had a massive argument with comes to you basically crying and desperate saying she needs to sort out her own life because she has problems with addiction and is planning on spending the next year single… and you kiss her?!!?! That’s not okay. Were you not listening?!?! I hope they just cut that clip too early and we actually missed seeing Mickey slapping Gus away.

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I agree the show wasn’t very diverse but I’m assuming because you said you didn’t finish watching it you missed the scene where they kind of address this. Kevin, Gus’ mate at work who listens to all his problems and is black, starts talking about the trope of the wise black guy in a film who is a minor character and gives all the advice. Basically, exactly what Kevin is doing. Gus says ‘oh yeah I hate it when they do that’ and Kevin surprisingly says he always loves that character and that’s what he came to LA for – he wants to act one of those guys. Unless there’s another layer here I’m missing I thought this bit was quite funny. BUT I still think it would be better to just have a more diverse cast rather than not and have to find a self-aware way to address it.

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Agree.

Going to end it here because otherwise I could go on for days (and so can you guys – the tweets are still coming in!)

Have you watched LOVE? What did you think? Do you want to watch LOVE? (although this may have put you off). Let me know in the comments!

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10 Comments

  1. Despite watching it all in a short space of time (damn you, Netflix autoplay), I really didn’t like it at all.

    It felt like they were trying to take a leaf out of Master of None’s book, but didn’t carry it out very well. It was very, “Ooo, look how fucked up we are. Ooo, look how bad at relationships I am. Millenials, amiright?!” It was trying too hard to pander to the audience with a ‘cool’ girl, ‘geeky’ guy and the ‘quirky’ friend.

    Gus was a complete ass (so was Mickey, tbh, but I love Gillian Jacobs and she can do no wrong) but I did like how it addressed the ‘nice guy’ trope of how they actually aren’t that nice. I’m not sure how intentional that was, though.

  2. I definitely got the impression that they were playing on the expectations we have from endless MPDG and Nerdy-nice-guy tropes…the characters were distinctly unlikable but I felt that showed their human complexity.
    There’s several parts I didn’t enjoy watching but I felt fit with the characters well enough but the ending spoiled the entire thing for me because if they were going for the self aware subvertive commentary they just threw away all of the build up…the kiss might have fit for his ‘win the girl’ arc but she was so determined to get her shit together but that melted away at the touch of a man as always… :/
    Roisin

  3. im so happy everyone noticed how much of an arse Gus is! i reckon there are people that would have seen the end as romantic rather than the dick move it was. You know, the classic “when she says go away she really wants you to stay and keep fighting.”
    I did enjoy the series but Gus made me so angry haha like they are both frustrating but it was just the fact that he seemed to see himself as “nice guys” see themselves, you know what I’m talking about lol One of the main issues I had with him was that he MPDG’d Mickey and then got angry at her when she wasn’t what he wanted her to be, and when she turned out to be a real person with real issues he didnt want much to do with her.
    I think the main reason this annoyed me was because I think that although a lot of your community (me included) would see this and analyse the characters in the show, a lot of causal tv show and movie watchers wont see the dickishness that is Gus’ character, just that he is a guy that got rejected. Which I’m worried will just add to a view about women that a lot of people, including Gus, have. They wont see it as a comment on that trope, they will see it as an argument for “nice guys,” and will only perceive Mickey as the one with the personality issues and the one at fault because her flaws are more obvious. Thats the feeling I got from watching it anyway, i could totally be remembering it wrong haha.

  4. I saw the trailer and even that managed to bore me, so I never got around to watching the show. I know trailers can be misleading in a lot of cases but from this post it seems like this time it got it right. But then again maybe I’m biased as I don’t like anything Apatow does (god knows why I’m still watching Girls, haven’t enjoyed it for about last two seasons).
    TV and movie space is so saturated with tales of (white heterosexual) love that I feel you need something very very unique to make it interesting and making both characters unlikable isn’t that unique.

  5. The scene that was the most emblematic of the show’s core problems was actually kind of small. Remember when Mickey thought she lost her cat so she was papering the streets with flyers and that random guy came up to her and started yelling at her about what a terrible person she was and that the cat shelter was going to kill her cat? Who does that??? I get really turned off when shows try so hard to be “real” and “edgy” that they make absolutely everyone a raging prickly asshole. It veers off out of being “real” and into just unpleasant and trying way too hard. It’s one of my issues with Girls as well (another bleak Apatow TV offering).

  6. I couldn’t figure out what I didn’t like about it …the diversity issue, well i’m used to that …i didn’t feel the same way as you about the ‘wise black guy’ bit, i did laugh but, idk ….being aware about your lack of diversity doesn’t excuse it

  7. After watching the first episode I was like… okay, this is alright, I think I can dig this, maybe not marathon material, but I’ll give it a go. I had similar-ish feelings after watching the first episode of Master of None which ended up being AMAZING, so I wanted to give LOVE a fair chance.

    I started off watching an episode at a time, but as the series went on I became really unexpectedly emotionally invested and began the binge watching. The most heart-wrenching moment for me was definitely when Mickey had to reset her days sober counter. Man, it wrecked me. I could feel the sense of personal failure and helpless and isolation so intensely it broke my heart. Her arc made me really upset. I’ve watched too many people around me spiralling in similar situations and seen the kind of unforgiving self-loathing that takes root when they feel like they have failed. God, it hurt to watch, but I really appreciate it.

    Gus on the other hand got more and more irritating until I was absolutely livid with him. To me, he epitomises the self-hating yet entitled intellectual “nice guy” who thinks the world owes him something for all his grievances. He is such an really important character though. As some people have already said, we don’t often see this kind of character portrayed in a negative light in the media (or at least not really that I’m aware), so I think it’s really important that they have in this show. I haven’t read anything from the creators, but I would be interested to know whether they were intentionally attempting to vilify Gus more than Mickey, or whether in an attempt to show the messiness of modern day relationships, that’s just how it happened.

    And then… that kiss at the end. Ugh, Gus, kindly fuck off. It was so disrespectful and so not what Mickey needed (LIKE SHE JUST FUCKING TOLD YOU WHAT SHE NEEDED AND WANTED) and will accomplish nothing other than potentially sending Mickey into a self-destructive spiral getting lost in someone else instead of focussing on herself.

    I have my fingers crossed they only ended with that as a way to keep interest peaked for series 2 and they are going to unravel that situation immediately in the next episode, not that that’s a really valid reason, but understandable.

    Gus is a douche, I feel for Mickey, and of course Bertie is an absolute gem, so overall, I’m still on the fence. I think the dialogue it opens up is interesting (I found a really good blog post about LOVE and sex addiction: http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/netflix-love-gets-sex-addiction-right) so I think I’m willing to continue it to see where it goes.

  8. I really liked how flawed the characters were – especially Mickey. I really identified with her early in he series when you could see that she was a bit of a waster (like, he first/second ep). I’ve been in friendships before where there’s been that ~juxtaposition~ of girl-that-boys-find-sexually-attractive + girl-whose-life-is-falling-to-bits meets boy-who-considers-himself-“””nice””” + boy-who-is-actually-a-piece-of-shit. ANYWAY, as the series progressed I got more and more annoyed at the fact that the two of them kept interacting, I found the theatre vibes of the Canadian woman annoying (in being judgemental, but it’s true). If have much preferred UDF it were a story about a flawed and narcissistic woman trying to figure live the fuck with addictions.

    TL;DR: Just cut Gus.

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