TV review: Apatow finds ‘Love’ in loose Netflix series

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Love takes time, especially if you’re Judd Apatow.

The “This Is 40” and “Funny People” filmmaker has a tendency to not know when to say when, and his films could usually benefit from judicious trims.

Now with his new Netflix series, the frustrating but watchable “Love,” Apatow is untethered by time constraints and is free to indulge his every storytelling whim. And “Love” is full of asides, sidetracks and ancillary characters — all the stuff he’d normally be advised to cut from one of his films.

“Love” is a boy-meets-girl story that is determined to go anywhere except typical boy-meets-girl territory, and does everything in its powers to keep its main characters apart as long as possible.

Those characters are Gus (co-creator and writer Paul Rust) and Mickey (“Community’s” Gillian Jacobs), a pair of 30-somethings in modern Los Angeles. They meet at a convenience store and spend a few hours getting to know one another, then orbit each other like satellites circling the planet.

If “Love” was condensed into a feature, its first season 10-episode run (it has already been renewed for a second season) might be the first hour of the movie, meaning there’s a whole lot of extra material here. It does a deep dive on Gus’ career (he’s a nerdy on-set tutor for a TV show who hopes to become a writer) and Mickey’s personal life (she is an addict who attends meetings for her alcohol and sex addictions).

Like Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None,” “Love” favors observations on modern romance over straightforward laughs. It doesn’t follow the usual rhythms of television — Apatow puts the long in longform storytelling — but there are times when you want to tell him to just get on with it already.



Rated TVMA

Starts Friday on Netflix