Love, Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2
Netflix has proved once again that it won’t be long until they put cable providers out of business. The service has done a decent job of picking up above average series. It doesn’t hurt that they give opportunities for established vets like Tina Fey and Judd Apatow to have free reign over original material.
Love is a bit different than your normal romantic-comedy. First of all, there’s very little romance in these first two episodes. I’m curious to see how things will play out for the characters, especially since all signs point to it not being easy for them. Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust are a delight to watch and their performances show off their comic skills.
The first episode is very pilot-y, setting up the lives of the two leads who don’t even meet until the end of the episode. Gus, played by Rust, is planning to move in with his girlfriend and buys a new rug for their home. As soon as we see that it will take 4-6 weeks for the delivery, we know that the relationship won’t last that long. The metaphor of the rug is a bit obvious as Gus is the type to let people walk all over him. A month later, his girlfriend reveals that she has cheated on him and Gus takes the newly arrived rug with him as he moves out.
Jacob’s Mickey, on the other hand, is in a tumultuous relationship with drug-addicted slacker, Eric – played by the hilarious Kyle Kinane. When she finally breaks things off with him for good, we get the sense that much of what she says is projecting. She’s also the type of person who names her cat “Grandpa” because he’s the reincarnation of her grandpa. A while after the break-up, she receives a text from Eric after taking a couple of Ambien and decides to meet up with him any way. The resulting race against the pills is the funniest sequence of the episode and she arrives at a new-age church and realizes that she’s never really known love.
The episode ends with the two finally coming together. Mickey, in a post-Ambien daze, goes to get coffee from a convenience store and forgets her wallet. After arguing with the clerk, Gus – also hungover, following a failed threesome attempt (which, ew, he’s right on the incest thing) – steps in to pay for her coffee. And a pack of cigarettes. This scene does a fabulous job setting up their dynamic from the jump.
“One Long Day” starts with the same scene, but from Gus’s perspective. It’s a nice touch. Outside of the store, Mickey insists that she pay Gus back and the two walk back to her house. They are a classic odd couple, but the two of them play it really sweet. They clearly don’t operate on the same wavelength and it’s funny to see them constantly explaining themselves. When they reach Mickey’s, she realizes she left her wallet at Bliss House, the place where she met Eric the night before. They decide to “have an adventure” to go find her wallet. Mickey is the exact type of person that can turn the seemingly straightforward task into an adventure.
After finding her wallet, the two hot box her car and go for some fast food and coffee. Paul Rust acting stoned and paranoid was pretty amusing and his high Space Balls rant was just about perfect. A little too high from the Green Crack, Gus lounges in Mickey’s back seat as she drives him home. Unfortunately, he gives her the wrong address and they show up at his ex’s house. The entire scene had me cracking up. Gus discovers that Natalie didn’t cheat on him, she just said that so he would break up with him. That’s about the saddest/funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Their argument leads to a nice moment where Mickey sticks up for Gus, but not to worry. The comedy moves back to the foreground when Gus decides that his belief in romance comes from lies in movies and proceeds to throw all of his Blurays out of the car window on the ride home. (Gus’s collection is quite eclectic – Pretty Woman, Homeland Season 3 – and calling them DVDs makes you look stupid.)
Ir was indeed a long day for Gus, so Mickey tucks him into bed when he gets home. Half asleep, he asks for her number and she replies, “Normally, I hate meeting people, but I don’t hate you.” It’s super cute. They are so doomed.