With Netflix streaming becoming more and more popular, the service has begun to buy movies and television shows exclusively for their network. While they started with some more popular projects, they have branched out to begin airing smaller, passion projects for its audience to enjoy. Paul Rust’s Love is one of those projects.
Written by Rust and produced by current comedy mega director, Judd Apatow, Love is a short series of ten episodes that have a short duration of approximately 30 minutes per episode. It tells the story of Rust’s, Gus and Mickey, played by Community’s Gillian Jacobs, two polar opposites who meet one morning after having equally wild nights. While they appear to instantly have a connection, they still have a multitude of issues in their personal lives to work through before they could ever truly be happy together.
Love is an ambiguous title for a series, and it is done so with clear intent. While this has some of usual clichés and troupes of a romantic comedy, they are done so in a much more realistic and down-to-earth way. While there are times when they audience wants these two characters to end up together, there are also times when you wonder if they are not making each other worse by spending time together. Gus is a tutor for the child actors on the set of a fictional television show. He aspires to be a writer on the show, but it becomes obvious early on that his ideas just do not work and his understanding of the writing process is lacking in perspective. Rust plays him as a genuinely sweet man with childish tendencies. He wants to do the right thing, but his inclination to speak his mind often puts him in awkward and uncomfortable situations. During the show, he also strikes up a relationship with a cast member on his show, Heidi, played by the gorgeous Briga Heelan, who distracts him from his feelings for Mickey. Heidi comes off as the ideal woman, and it is difficult to believe she would even look twice at Gus, more or less have feelings for him.
Mickey is a trouble person who cannot come to grip with her alcohol and drug abuse. She is just getting out of an abusive relationship ship at the beginning of the show and is humored by the awkward, nice guy Gus appears to be when she first meets him. While she eventually ignores her feelings, she does realize she likes Gus once he takes a bold stance with her. Jacobs plays Mickey brilliantly here, and this is a completely different character than audiences have seen her as before. Her selfishness constantly sabotages her relationships with everyone around her, and its effects are seen throughout the series. She drives everyone who loves her away and only appears to realize this once she truly reaches rock bottom. Her character is not easy to like, but it is the reason audiences should tune into this show.
While Love is not a show couples should binge watch on Valentine’s Day, it is a show that deserves to be seen. It is not conventional in many ways, but it has a truth to love and relationships that many will relate to. Clearly a passion project for Rust, he has succeeded in a way that makes you hope to see more of his work in the near future. Love is not likely to get a second season, as the first wraps up the storyline in an vague yet complete way; however, it will make the audience want to see the future projects of everyone involved.