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Review: Love

This March, Netflix released the third and final season of ‘Love’. The romantic comedy follows Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey’s (Gillian Jacobs) love story with a down-to-earth look at dating in the contemporary era. ‘Love’ is an unconventional comedy. It doesn’t have the jokes and punchlines of a sit-com. The humour comes instead from the rawness of it all. You laugh at what happens as you would laugh with your friends while catching up on your week over a drink. The general tone is that of a sad indie film about messed up individuals. Grounded and cynical, with the cast’s natural acting, ‘Love’ feels like real life – it’s not always about the romance.

At the beginning of the third season Gus and Mickey are finally committed to their relationship. There’s no more of the will-they-won’t-they dynamic of the first two seasons. Over a wedding of a college friend and a family visit they find out things about their respective backstories that they weren’t aware of before. The season is about the phase in a relationship were you really get to know your partner, warts and all.

It’s a matter of sticking through it, or falling apart. The relationship between Gus and Mickey seems improbable and unrealistic. They are not in love, but that’s also why the series works. The plot of this season is a lesson in the assumptions we make about characters on screen, and people in real life. Gus becomes more than just the lovable nerd. He is an extremely angry, resentful, and judgemental person. And he’s the perpetual victim of the world. But that’s alright; nobody else in the series could claim to be any better.

Predictably, ‘Love’ doesn’t end with a happily-ever-after. Not all strings are resolved. The relationships that remained at the end probably wouldn’t last. Though we will never know; the creators decided to wrap things up on their own terms after only thirty-four episodes. It is refreshing to see a show come to a natural ending without being dragged for countless seasons only to be closed-off in a hurried and unsatisfying manner. This is not to say that the finale of ‘Love’ is satisfying – although it is unconventionally happy for the show. I didn’t know that it was going to be the last season until I finished watching it. I was left with the desire to know what was going to happen next. The series creators knew that there could have been something more to say, but it probably wouldn’t have been fun, or particularly original. Instead they left things there: reflecting on the essential process of letting go and moving on.

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