This isn't a list of New Year's resolutions — it's a sampling of the advice offered in the teaser for the new Netflix romantic dramedy, Love. This first look at the Judd Apatow-created show doesn't show us any clips of what's to come in Season 1, only brief snippets of wisdom that, presumably, the show's characters will be doling out to others — or attempting to follow themselves. But beyond these platitudes, what can viewers expect from Love?
When most people think of Apatow's television career, they remember cult favorites like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared — shows that were adored by critics and devoted fans, but were short-lived due to low ratings. But Apatow has had some real success in television, especially in the last few years: He's the executive producer of HBO's Girls. And it looks like his work on that show will inform the development and production of Love. For starters, he's cocreated and cowritten Love with Girls alumna Lesley Arfin. Arfin was a staff writer on Season 1 of Girls. Since then, she's been busy writing and story editing for Brooklyn Nine-Nine — but not too busy to miss the chance to work with Apatow again.
If you were to guess who would be starring on a new Judd Apatow series, who would be your first guess? Knocked Up and This is 40 star Paul Rudd, maybe? So close, you're only off by two letters! I Love You, Beth Cooper star Paul Rust is leading Love's ensemble as Gus, a "nice guy" who breaks up with his girlfriend when he finds out that she's been having an affair. He moves to a new apartment building, but he's a bit too old and mature for the other tenants. Hijinks are likely to ensue. In addition to starring, Rust also created and wrote the series alongside Apatow and Arfin.
Community's Gillian Jacobs doesn't play Gus's ex — she's Mickey, his (potential) new flame. Mickey's a "wild child" dealing with a breakup of her own and professional woes. She and Gus seem pretty opposite on paper, but I'm getting the sense that there's more in common between them than initially meets the eye.
Early press materials describe Gus and Mickey's journey in Love as featuring “the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, love and other things they were hoping to avoid." Who knows what, exactly, that even means. What is clear is that Love is about the extremes, not the friendly, straightforward, complication-free relationships that we might envision for ourselves, but the exciting, terrifying and messy ones that are so often our reality.
OK, OK. Nothing Apatow or Netflix has directly said indicates that Love is about the romances of stressed-out urbanites self-medicating their mental illnesses. But take a look at that teaser again. "Stop hating yourself"? "Breathe deeper"? "Cradle your rage"? "Get a weed card"? "Take less Ambien"? I think a safe prediction for Season 1 is that one — or all — of the characters will be in therapy by the finale.
Less than a week after Valentine's Day! How fitting and romantic. But if Netflix doesn't want it available to binge on the 14th, that's a surefire sign that this is going to be darker and more cynical than the average rom-com.
Love has been in development since 2014 and Netflix ordered two seasons straightaway when it picked up the show. That's a lot of confidence to have in Apatow, Arfin and Rust, but based on everything we've seen so far, it hardly appears to be misplaced.
Want a taste of what's coming in Love? Check out the brand new teaser trailer below.
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