Netflix, the creators of binge-watching released a new series: Love.
The show explores the romance between “a wild card” and “a nice guy”, but that’s been overplayed, now… is it not?
That’s the thing about this new Netflix series, it tries to defy the stereotypes and the genre. Much like how 500 Days of Summer claimed it wasn’t a love story, but a story about love. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
Of course, introducing the characters as stereotypes makes it easy. Mickey’s this rebel, and Gus is the dork. But don’t let the premise fool you. It’s not just another romantic comedy.
It’s not for everyone. Just like how Master of None felt weird and awkward for some audiences. Apatow, Arfin and Rust hit into the reality of dating and adulthood. And maybe that’s why it can make viewers uncomfortable.
The thing with fiction that makes an audience safe is reality. It has to seem real enough, probable enough, to happen, but not too real that it captures the complex harshness of the world. Not too real that the distance between our real lives and the fictional world goes away.
Isn’t fiction for escaping our reality? That’s why fairy tales were a hit. That’s why chick flicks were a hit. They show a world of possibilities and happy endings, or at least offer up the idea of ‘true love’ despite of a tragic ending.
But that’s not how life is.
In the same way, Mickey isn’t just a “cool girl” who smokes and drinks and parties and still has a decent job. She doesn’t seem to know manners or care for dress codes. Gus cannot be exclusively a “nice guy” either. After all, during Mickey’s breakdown at the studio, he didn’t say anything to comfort her or apologize. (Not that I thought he should have. He should have blocked her imo.)
It portrays the truth and the pain about love. It’s frustrating; it’s complex. And it cannot be coined into one stereotype.