Look, I’m going to be honest here: I’m operating off of less than five hours of sleep, I’ve had limited caffeine and I probably failed a test Wednesday morning.
This all just goes to say I was not in a good place when I watched Netflix’s new series “Love.”
Tragically, I was not in a better place when it ended.
“Love” is Netflix’s new attempt in the romantic comedy television game. It’s about Gus and Mickey, two adults trying to navigate life and relationships.
Gus, played by Paul Rust, is your average nice guy. Not the why-won’t-you-date-me-I’m-so-nice nice guy, but just a soft-spoken, considerate, genuinely goody-goody nice guy.
At the beginning of the episode Gus is in an obviously struggling relationship with his girlfriend, Natalie. It’s clear that Natalie runs the ship, and Gus is just nodding and going along to keep it afloat.
That is, until Natalie cheats, and we get a glimpse of what the real Gus is supposedly like.
Meanwhile, Mickey, played by Gillian Jacobs, is a complete mess. She has a strange ex who just breaks into her house in the middle of the night for quickies. She gives the general air of the adult still grasping to her early twenties through alcoholism and weak relationships based off mutual unlikeable personalities.
As in any show where you have two polar opposite leads, you are waiting for their worlds to collide.
It’s set up nice and sweet when Gus’s friends encourage him to move to a new part of the city, and then Mickey is seen trying to find a roommate after she dumps her cokehead boyfriend.
It’s obvious where this is supposed to go, but instead, we just get another half hour of these two falling apart. Gus goes to a party with some college student and tries too hard to fit in. Mickey pops an Ambien and starts tripping at some religious cult event her ex invites her to.
By this point in the show I felt like I was on Ambien because I just wanted to sleep and my computer fan was having a better dialogue with my water bottle than the conversations going on with the characters.
I was told the show gets better as it progressed, and I trust my friends enough to continue it, but that doesn’t erase that the first episode was unentertaining.
Netflix has an odd advantage in how it can tell a story since it releases whole seasons at once. I don’t have to wait a week for the story to get better, just press a button. But it can’t depend on that method.
I still need solid characters in the first episode, and I need some development.
Give me a reason to say, “Yes, Netflix, I’m still watching. Of course I’m still watching, what else could I possibly be doing?”
Because right now I’m just bitter I spent 40 minutes watching this show instead of taking my 4 p.m. nap.