Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust are back on Netflix for the third and last season of Love. This time around, they’re in a serious and committed relationship, a completely new take on the show. Season 3 of this dramedy is pure Judd Apatow, with his characteristic realism and cringiness.
Love was never going to be a hugely popular show. It’s a small story of two screwed up people trying to meet in the middle to form a relationship. However, it’s progressed to become one of the most nuanced portrayal of interactions on TV. It’s a real shame more people didn’t fall for this during its run.
The two first seasons, focused on their difficult courtship, seemed described a doomed relationship. Mickey’s too damaged, Gus is too needy. She’s too scared of something real, he’s too stuck on a particular view.
They don’t seem able to meet each other halfway, or even two-thirds of a way. You root for their relationship to work, but they seem unable to get past themselves. Still, by the time we see Mickey and Gus in early season 3, you’re convinced of a happily ever after. The relationship has changed into a chill version of their best moments, as they both tease and comfort each other.
Yes, season 3 of Love has a slower pace. Going beyond the bumpy and awkward first months of Mickey and Gus’ relationship, this new phase is more low-key. Gone are the fights, and it’s time to welcome the smaller, nuanced issues of everyday life in a committed relationship.
The little details that can lead to unsurmountable problems, this is where Apatow shines. Odd couples are fairly common on television, even if they’re not as well written as Gus and Mickey. It’s much harder to create smart storytelling from domesticity, a topic that’s been covered to banality.
Still, some parts of the season feel overdone because of the subject, which is why Bertie’s stories are so refreshing. Bertie (Claudia O’Doherty), Mickey’s sweet Australian roommate, dragged an absurd relationship of her own from last season. Love finds some of its season 1 footing in seeing her navigate life with Randy (Mike Mitchell). There’s ultimately a love triangle with Gus’ other friend, Chris (Chris Witaske), another new relationship to explore.
Will They Or Won’t They?
I’ll admit it: I still haven’t finished watching the last season of Love. It’s not because I’m not liking it; on the contrary, I find it as precise and sweet as ever. I adore to see these two balls of neuroses trying to balance an adult relationship with work, family and aspirations. I’m actually just savoring the little time I have left with Gus and Mickey.
I faced the first two seasons like it were a horror movie: covering my eyes and watching through my fingers. The cringe was almost unbearable. The wrongness of them as a couple, but it was as fascinating as a car crash.
But the first few episodes of season 3 have given me a brand new perspective on Gus and Mickey. While I fear this domestic bliss is momentary, I’ll always cherish these episodes quietly happy together. I’ll savor the last remaining episodes slowly, like a fine wine, and I may eventually rewatch the series.
You’ll be missed, Love. And may you bring more dramedy/character studies on the awkwardness of falling into this crazy little thing called love.