When it comes to love, 2018 served it up in abundance. Not only was it the year of the royal wedding — the year that gave us everything that is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — it was also the year Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra said, “I do.” But did you know 2018 was also a spectacular year in the love department for Mickey and Gus? Of course you didn’t because Netflix’s Love might be the only show on Netflix everyone’s been sleeping on.
If you haven’t seen Love, I think it’s time for you to meet America’s least talked about favorite couple. The series takes an unfiltered, realistically relatable approach to what it means to “fall in love” in real life. Over the course of the series, we witness Mickey and Gus, two people with absolutely nothing in common, work towards building the foundation for a solid relationship with one another after their chance encounter in a gas station convenience store. With all the laughter and drama that goes on between Mickey and Gus, they definitely deserve a spot alongside Rachel and Ross or Dan and Serena as one of the best TV couples of last 30 years. Here are the five reasons why you’ll be adding Love to your Netflix queue and rooting for Mickey and Gus the entire time.
1. A Pioneer In Netflix’s Rom-Com Renaissance
Love is a rom-com with all the sloppy bits kept in. As soon as Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) have their “meet-cute” at the gas station, we enter a sort of twisted version of a romantic comedy.
Mickey is a program manager for a satellite radio station dealing with relationships in the worst possible way. (Trust me, it’s a hot mess.) Then we have Gus — an aspiring screenwriter and on-set tutor for a child star — whose girlfriend has to lie about cheating on him in order to get out of their relationship. Apparently, Gus is too much of a “nice guy.”
The series debuted on Netflix in 2016 and was way ahead of Netflix Original rom-coms like Set It Up and To All The Boys I Loved Before. It goes without saying that Love was a genuine pioneer in the Netflix “rom-com renaissance.” Not since the likes of Sleepless in Seattle or My Best Friend’s Wedding have we thirsted after romantic comedies as though it were #ThirstyThursday and we needed our Nick Centineo fix.
2. Mickey’s Road To Recovery
Mickey’s not perfect. She’s human. More importantly, she’s not a “manic pixie dream girl.” Gus immediately sees Mickey as a free-spirit who’ll lead him toward his own self-discovery, especially after Mickey reveals Gus’s corruptible nature by teaching him how to “hot box” in her car. Upon further inspection, we see Mickey’s character is rather detailed and complex. She brings something unexpected to their relationship — the dynamic of a person already in the process of learning how to heal herself.
No matter how much Gus wants to view himself as a hero in Mickey’s life, she flat out tells him he needs to get over his “White Knight” complex. Mickey is a recovering alcoholic; it’s something she’s been dealing with from the moment we meet her. Later, Mickey realizes she’s also a love and sex addict. This personal revelation causes Mickey to halt her relationship with Gus, which leaves him questioning the validity of their relationship.
As we journey with Mickey on her road to recovery, we witness her “slip ups.” We see her desperate attempts to protect Gus from the hurt she’s capable of causing. Mickey starts dating Gus at a very odd time in her life, but that’s because recovery looks and feels different for everyone involved.
3. Gus’ Guide To Keeping Your Dreams Alive
Mickey’s not the only one with problems. Like most of us, Gus has a dream but doesn’t know how to make it happen. Gus wants to be a film and TV writer, but instead, he is an on-set tutor. He hopes that by tutoring Arya (Iris Apatow), the child star of the hit show Wichita, he’ll somehow get the attention of the show’s creator, Susan Cheryl (Tracie Thoms) and break into the business.
When Gus finally gets a chance to wow Susan, he fails to deliver a solid concept for a Wichita episode. And as funny as it is to watch Gus become emotionally unstable — going as far as chucking a laptop across the writer’s room — it’s even better to watch Gus figure out ways to succeed. Gus’s own professional trajectory leads him to a better understanding of himself and the many ways his Type A-personality has hindered his career, including an email faux pas with a major Hollywood director.
4. A Best Friend In Bertie
You’ve got a friend in Bertie.
From episode one, Bertie becomes Mickey’s roommate. Though Mickey wants to establish firm boundaries between her and Bertie, the two become fast friends. Bertie is the light to Mickey’s often bleak darkness. And though we expect Bertie to be the friend Mickey comes to for sound advice, Bertie often fails to fill that role.
Oh, and don’t let her smile fool you. Bertie has her own love issues to deal with. Behind Bertie’s sunny, good humored exterior is someone who is struggling to ask for what she wants. Though Bertie loves Randy (Mike Mitchell), her out-of-work actor boyfriend, we find Bertie becoming more and more conflicted when presented with Chris, a guy she has an insane “chemical reaction” with. As Bertie struggles to navigate the choppy waters of love — at one point, juggling both guys at once! — we can’t help but marvel at how she manages to stay smiling through it all.
5. Happy Endings Do Exist
Love isn’t self-explanatory. It takes work.
Love is more than just a fine mixture of romance and comedy with hints of drama. It’s honest and real and awkward in all the ways life is. It explores the ways love hurts and heals us. It examines the nuances of relationships we tend to gloss over when falling in love — the fundamental spaces of time we forget to share with others in between the spectacular moments we remember most of all.
Yes, Love ended in 2018, and some of us wish we could watch it again for the first time. But, if you haven’t seen it yet and wonder if Mickey and Gus end up together, I invite you to join them on the wild ride that is their romance and realize for yourself that happy endings truly do exist once you realize they only serve the purpose of marking fabulous new beginnings.
You can catch Love on Netflix now.
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