July 29, 2016 by Katia
Last week we finished watching Suits. Let me rephrase that: last week we were sucker punched by Suits. It was one of those things where I abandoned my own Netflix viewing principles (be prepared) and life experience and just let my husband hit “play” for a few days in a row until this happened.
File under “more struggles that are real”.
Rebound viewing is hard. We went through two days of forced laughs, awkward silences and inevitable comparisons, until we landed on Love.
I have a friend in Israel who started using the term “homogenous” ironically to describe people (she’s very homogenous. He’s so homogenous). She once overheard a conversation between a couple of theater goers who kept trying to up-one one another until one of them summarized the play they had just watched thus: it was homogenous. Mic dropped. Sure, it sounds stupid but if you think about it this term actually applies. Every once in awhile you meet someone who is such an overwhelmingly accomplished jerk from every possible angle you look at them (I invite you to think of popular politicians), that you basically HAVE to describe them as homogenous. Well, the show Love is also homogenous, but in the best possible way.
I love Judd Apatow: Apatow is a co-creator of the show alongside Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin. Don’t let the fact that Apatow directed and produced such movies as This is Forty or The Forty Year-Old Virgin sway you one way or another. There is definitely some blunt in-your-face humour on the show, but to me that’s not what dictates the overall tone of it. I don’t know that I’d associate Judd Apatow with subtlety yet there are so many surprising subtleties, nuances and under-the-surface occurrences that creep up on you unexpectedly and those make the viewing experience truly enjoyable.
I love the acting and writing: Paul Rust also stars in the show as Gus alongside Gillian Jacobs from Community as Mickey. It’s hard to describe good acting in words but I’ll try to put it in context for you. Not since The Killing’s Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman have I seen such real characters on TV. Rust and Jacobs’s Gus and Mickey are convincing and well-rounded. The show’s premise is to provide a “down-to-earth look at dating” but it does so much more, shedding light on the human psychology that drives our behaviors in dating situations and beyond. There’s no black or white here. The characters and plotline constantly curve in unexpected directions and defy stereotypes and boxes that we are programmed to try and fit them into. The show is funny and offers some comical exaggerations, but when it comes to character authenticity it stays intact. The situations the characters find themselves in may not meet our definition of “everyday life” (like when Mickey hangs out with Andy Dick in the role of himself on the L.A. subway) but the way they function in those situations is extremely relatable. While the two main characters may, at first glance, seem a bit stereotypical the show constantly reveals unexpected facets in them while not losing credibility. For example, Rust’s character, Gus, immediately falls into the “Neurotic Jewish Woody Allen type” rubric. But is that the case?
I LOVE the nerdy parties Gus throws: you may not play the guitar, be able to carry a tune or be available in the evenings between 7-9:30pm because you’re a forty year-old mother who puts her kids to bed but after watching the show you’re going to want to invite all your friends to a party where you come up with movie theme songs for movies that didn’t have one. Like The Perfect Storm.
I love the director lineup: While the episodes are directed by different individuals, unlike so many other shows these days, they are not actors in the show. One of the episodes is actually directed by Steve Buscemi and another one by John Slattery.
Have you watched Love? I’m curious to hear your thoughts about it or what you will think after watching it.
Edit: I just finished watching Love yesterday. What should I watch next?
July is the month when we celebrate Canada Day. I wanted to give a shout out to some shows on Netflix Canada that have a connection to Canada. Did you know this? Suits – featuring my favourite male character on TV, Harvey Spector, was filmed in Toronto; Once Upon a Time – featuring my favourite interior design and the house I would like to live in was filmed in Vancouver; Arrested Development – featuring nostalgia. I was introduced to this show when I had just arrived to Canada. Starring Canadian actors Will Arnett and Michael Cera; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – WHOA. Alert my seven year-old. We had read every possible book in the series, came up with our own Lil’ Cutie comic strips and watched the movie multiple times. Wait till he hears that the movie was filmed in Toronto (!!!), Super Why – my toddler is not yet old enough to comprehend this but it turns out that one of his favourites was produced by Canadian studio; Ides of March – starring Ryan Gosling. Nuff said, ladies and gentlemen.