The Judd Apatow-produced Netflix rom-com Love premieres its first 10-episode season tomorrow night (Feb 19) and we’re going to be so bold as to call it a winner. Here’s why it’s going to be the show on everybody’s lips come Monday.
1. Judd Apatow + TV = Goodness
The stuff of Love is producer Judd Apatow’s bread and butter: damaged oddball leads; cringe-y comedy; cringe-ier sex; a bit of gloss, but not enough that we ever forget we’re in the real world (or L.A., so close to the real world). But what’s more exciting than the pairing of Apatow to the themes he loves so much is the pairing of Apatow to the medium of TV. Apatow is not just the executive producer of Girls, but was the comedy god who blessed us with Freaks and Geeks. He also consulted on The Larry Sanders Show and The Critic.
2. The leads
Gillian Jacobs plays Mickey in the series, a radio producer on a 12-step program, and does so, according to early reviews, expertly—she was great in Community, greater in her stint as Adam’s girlfriend in Girls, and sinks her teeth into Love. The discovery for some, though, will be Paul Rust, who plays on-set tutor, Gus, a bespectacled, Woody Allen-esque charmer who some might know from the Comedy Bang Bang podcast. Early reviews have it that this might prove a breakout for him.
3. Love takes time
Mariah knew it, and so does Apatow. His films have become increasingly meandering (to the dismay of some critics), and Love follows a similar path—it takes 40 minutes for our lovers to actually meet. The rest of their ups and downs transpire in similarly languid fashion. Some who have had an early look say they wish the pace would pick up slightly; others are loving the real-world feel.
4. The supporting cast (with another scene-stealing Aussie)
The benefit of having 10 40-minute episodes to tell the kind of love story Hollywood generally likes to shoehorn into 90 heavily-pop-soundtracked minutes? You get time to spend with the supporting cast. As with all Apatow endeavors, there are plenty of delights on the fringes, and early word has it that a standout is Australian comic Claudia O’Doherty (she had a very brief part in Amy Schumer’s Trainwrecked). O’Doherty is Mickey’s roommate, Bertie, and according to the AV Club’s rave, “a weird, winsome presence worthy of her own spinoff.”
5. TV rom-coms are where it’s at
If there’s a genre that’s really hitting its stride in TV-land right now, it’s the rom-com. Some of the best stuff on TV is all about meet-cutes and first hookups and breakups and then getting back together and doing it all again. Think You’re the Worst, Selfie, Marry Me and A to Z. And then, of course, there’s Love’s Netflix stablemate, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None. It’s like Hollywood has finally realized that love and marriage are the kinds of things that take time (like, multiple episodes and multiple seasons) to explore.