Sitcoms and Relationships
It seems that practically every US sitcom since the 90’s has had one primary focus. The trials and tribulations of the dating lives of its characters. Whether it’s been the seemingly never-ending saga of Ross Gellar and Rachael Greene in Friends. Ted Mosby and Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother. Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley in US version of The Office. Or Penny and Leonard in The Big Bang Theory.
While I enjoyed each of these sitcoms over the years, to varying different degrees, they all follow a similar format. The guy falls for the girl but she’s her as out of his league in some respect. Or one or other is in another relationship when the two meet for the first time. But eventually through a series of will they won’t situations, they eventually end up together.
While this format has proved massively popular over the years, it has made the US sitcom genre too predictable and if we are being honest with ourselves, not exactly realistic. But there is a show that seeks to breaks this established mold. The Netflix original, Judd Apatow created romantic comedy, Love.
Love in the 2010’s
Love, follows the story of Gus and Mickey, played by Paul Rust, who co-wrote the show with Judd Apatow, and Gillian Jacobs respectively. Gus works as a teacher for child actors and at the outset of the show lives alone in an apartment complex filled with divorcees, retirees and other single men in Los Angeles.
Instead of your normal male sitcom protagonist, Gus isn’t rich or successful nor is classically handsome. Gus is presented to the audience as an ordinary every man.
Just like Gus, Mickey does not fit the sitcom norm either. When we first meet Mickey, she is working as a station manager in a local Los Angeles radio station.
Mickey is presented to the audience as an alcoholic sex addict with serious substance abuse issues, immediately making her more interesting than classic female sitcom protagonists like Rachael Greene or Pam Beesley. Mickey possesses character traits normally only seen in male characters.
Without giving too much away, Gus and Mickey have a chance meeting in a convenience stores of a petrol station and their unconventional relationships begins from there.
Grounded in reality
In most sitcoms, the relationship that anchors the story is normally presented to the audience from a mostly male prospective.
The male character is normally presented as the love-lorn or wronged party in the pursuit of the relationship. Love on the other hand throws this rule book out the window .
While Gus is present to the audience as this nerdy awkward every man, it becomes evident over the course of the show that there is one common denominator as to why his life hasn’t turned out the way he wanted. His ego.
While this might be hard for some male viewers to swallow, this is a true to life representation of the life of a late twenties/early thirties single man. Allowing ones ego to sabotage ones life.
This is interesting way to write a male protagonist in any sitcom. While Gus has his likeable qualities I fond myself intensely disliking him at certain points throughout the first two seasons.
A misunderstood rogue
Mikey, despite her promiscuous behaviour and substance abuse, the writers at no point present her character in a manner designed to sham her. Despite all her faults, Mickey’s behaviour is presented as a consequence of the life she has lived and passed failed relationship.
Mickey is extremely aware of the negative impact her behaviour is having on her life and as a result, has a character depth rarely seen in comedic television and film.
Love is a must watch
And thus dear reader it is this comically presented realism that makes the Netflix original show Love my must have or in this case must watch for the Arcade.ie. Season two of Love was recently added to Netflix and with the show being renewed for a third season, now is the perfect time to check it out.