Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Four-Letter Word

I've been checking out Love, a new comedy on Netflix starring Gillian Jacobs.  Just as I started watching Josh Holloway in Colony because there's no more Lost, so did I pick this one because there's no more Community.

It's a relationship show, but it's taking its time.  The two main characters, Mickey and Gus, played by Jacobs and Paul Rust--who also helped create the show, along with his wife, writer Lesley Arfin, and the ubiquitous Judd Apatow--don't even get together until the end of the first episode.  In fact, I've watched three (of ten) episodes and so far they haven't gotten much further than the texting stage.

But that's the show's style.  It's low key. We get to see how both Mickey and Gus are thirty-something losers (sort of), who live in Los Angeles and work on the outskirts of show biz (she's an assistant at a satellite radio show, he's an on-set tutor for a child TV star), and are getting over bad relationships.  They "meet cute"--she can't pay for coffee and he helps her out.  Then they hang out for a while because it's not like they have that much else to do.

The dialogue is okay, and the leads are charming (and, this being a comedy, he's dorky-looking while she's stunning), but the lethargic plotting drags things down. In fact, my favorite part of the show so far is when they've had to deal with problems at their jobs and both seemed to finally care about something.

While it's mostly Mickey and Gus, the supporting actors pitch in when required.  Among the most memorable are Mickey's boss, radio show host Dr. Greg (Bart Gelman of Go On) and her cheerful Australian roommate Bertie (Claudia O'Doherty).  On Gus's side there's Susan Cheryl (Tracie Thoms of The Devil Wears Prada), the tough executive producer of Witches, the show-within-the-show, as well as the child star of Witches, Arya (played by Iris Apatow, who's good enough to avoid any claims of nepotism).

So after three shows it's mildly entertaining. Since that represents 30% of the entire run, I suppose I'll see it through.

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