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30th Mar 2016

6 reasons why everyone should watch Judd Apatow’s Netflix series “Love”

Tony Cuddihy

The path to true love can be very, very messy indeed.

With so much choice on the ever expanding Netflix menu, you could be forgiven for missing this ten-part series that dropped last month. It’s called Love, and is created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust (who stars), and Rust’s wife Lesley Arfin.

1) What’s it about?

She’s called Mickey, he’s called Gus.

Mickey (Community grad Gillian Jacobs) is a producer for a satellite radio station, while Gus (Rust) is a tutor on a mildly popular, Buffy The Vampire Slayer-style TV show called Witchita. She drinks, smokes, takes drugs and keeps getting herself into awkward situations, while he uses being “nice” as a weapon (according to his ex-girlfriend).

She’s beautiful, he’s got a nose like a beak, makes up theme songs for films that don’t have theme songs, and generally considers himself to be a bit of a dork.

It’s all very Judd Apatow, who loves his dweebs to get the prettiest girl in class through sheer force of personality – think Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin – but there’s so much nuance here, and the performances are so strong, that you forgive any lapse into formula.

While it’s more serious than any straight-up comedy, there are moments that will absolutely crack you up. Episode Five, for one, is a perfect study in the awkwardness every one of us feels on a first date when things don’t immediately spark.

2) It’s almost like…

Master Of None, but not quite.

Aziz Ansari’s series also features a bunch of millennials that you’ll want to throttle as much as you’d like to share a drink with them, and both shows make no bones about showing the flaws of their central characters.


However, Love goes darker and deeper into matters of the heart as it gets closer to the final episode, and cruelly stays with you long after the end – even though you started off thinking it was all just going to be beer, bongs and breasts (there are plenty of those too).

3) It’s worth your time because…

…these are two characters that you will grow to love, pun intended.

Gillian Jacobs, as Mickey, gives one of the most engaging female lead performances in years. A Community standout, she’s arguably on even better form here as someone who is struggling to keep her shit together.

Imagine if Charlize Theron’s character in Young Adult had been born with a conscience, or a heart, and you scratch the surface of Mickey’s assortment of issues.

Rust’s Gus may be easier to identify with on the surface, especially if you spent your formative years gallantly playing the role of every girl’s best male friend, but he shows a surprising amount of backbone for someone who mixes the neuroses of Woody Allen with the complete absence of a matinée idol’s chin.

He reminds us throughout that he’s from Brookings, South Dakota, something which presumably comes with a default setting of “polite”. By the end of the series, you’ll see he can be a crueller beast than the early episodes could have foretold.

4) Did you know…?

Love has already been commissioned for a 12-episode second series, due to be broadcast in 2017.

5) One episode and you’re hooked…

Episode 5. The Date. We haven’t mentioned her yet, but this is where the character of Bertie (played by Australian actress Claudia O’Doherty) really comes into her own.


To give too much away would be cruel, as it may colour your perception of the show overall, but it’s a knockout from start to finish.

6) What’s the overall impression?

Loved it.

It’s not perfect, with Gus in particular coming across as whiny and self-involved on more than one occasion, while Mickey seems remarkably well-adjusted for someone slowly unravelling under the weight of addiction.

However, its shortcomings somehow make you love it more the closer you get to Episode 10. In those last few moments you’ll be kicking the television for not giving you at least another two episodes.

It really does stay with you, and we can’t wait to see what becomes of this pair in the second series.