Hooray it was pouring rain on Sunday which was the ideal environment for Netflix, diet coke and binge watching the original series, LOVE. I watch so much TV and work in TV – the reason why I get attached to certain shows is that I seem to be drawn more and more to shows that make me laugh but also allow me to examine and question some of the bigger topics in life in a non confrontational way. For this reason, I am loving watching LOVE.
( It would be remiss of me to not mention at this point the wonderful acting by Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs and the superb minds who created the show, Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin . Needless to say Paul Rust is sensational and he could bump Thomas Middleditch/Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley as my number 1 onscreen nerd crush…)
I gave it a good, solid attempt and have a few eps left to go but still wanted to chatter about one or two points. Yes, LOVE is a somewhat huge, all encompassing title for a show. For me, I am enjoying how it explores the heightened states of anxiety surrounding hook up/meeting people culture. It delves into the emotional make up of the characters which is intriguing for me as it takes a more psychological approach which I was not expecting. It’s like a backlash to all those Hollywood romance genres and notions we hold.
The main characters, Gus and Mickey, are not overly appealing however they are real. If we were going to stereotype or categorise them then perhaps we could say that Gus is a nerdy, intellectual good guy and Mickey is a sassy but wounded soul, carrying addiction issues.
Anyway you can watch it and draw your own conclusions but I wanted to focus on this state we get into after we meet someone – and it terrifies me. I think the show has brilliantly captured this dance we do when we meet someone. From over analysing texts, to obsessively stalking on social media – the show really examines our behaviours (mostly unhealthy) when we meet someone new. I liked the scene where Gus is texting Mickey and deletes several messages – rather than being himself and writing a small thesis (something I can identify with) he has several attempts at being succinct and what he assumes will be of the “ playing it cool” tone. As highlighted by Gus’s colleague, ‘nothing dries up a girls vagina more than a paragraph of text.’ So many assumptions! I always liked the expression that like attracts like. Personally, intellectual stimulation floats my boat so I welcome a mini thesis on text . How else can you capture your audience and who knows how long you will maintain their interest for?! I found this whole episode a great commentary on why we censor ourselves more and more. It seems social media has created certain rules within rules and it’s hard to just let yourself be. I think some deeper ideas behind that episode pose the question – Does that constant censoring/adapting/modifying of yourself effect who you end up with and how does that unfold in your relationship? No one can keep that behavioural pattern up?! It’s effort all the time. There is so much dialogue around social media, hook up culture and its impact on your relationship out there now that it really is its own character within shows.
A particularly dark and interesting scene was where Mickey is feeling rejected/abandoned and is obsessively looking at Gus’s facebook post. We can so easily lose ourselves and feel a true connection via nothing but images. We assume we know a person from these mediums.
Perhaps at its core of the show, is this concept: when you meet a potential partner are they being themselves or is there so much set up and false pretense that the relationship breakdown is inevitable – no one can keep up appearances that well before the cracks of their past relationships, behavioural patterns and bad habits leak out or erupt. Can people truly just be and accept each other for light and dark ? This concept really challenges me – there’s so much vulnerability involved these days. The pressure of having to look good and being completely judged and swiped on any social media is enough to do your heads in. It’s pretty rare to connect genuinely these days from the get go. Sometimes the simplicity of the Austen novels is beyond appealing. Dropping expectations of ourselves and others seem key to successful relationships be it romantic or otherwise and I found myself thinking deeply on these topics after episodes 7 and 8. Authenticity is a question this show is asking its viewers. Are we authentic to ourselves and others or are we drowning in perceived reality and projected highlights of social media?
A few more episodes to go and we will see how it unfolds. Can they stay grounded and rooted, be themselves and be in a relationship or is compromise just too hard these days?! One thing that seems a constant these days is that love actually seems more like this …
and less like this…