10 excruciating love lessons from Judd Apatow’s new Netflix series

When Spice Girls sang “2 becomes 1” back in 1996, Posh, Scary, Sporty, Ginger and Baby had no clue what they were crooning about. A weekend binge of Netflix’s latest series, Love, proves it. The show debuts on February 19 and Judd Apatow—the man who piloted projects such as Freaks and Geeks, This Is 40 and Knocked Up—has created yet another project which succinctly captures all the dicey moments that come with dating and mating. What makes this series watchable/educational is that it uncovers some blisteringly honest realities about how we relate to each other. Warning: A trough of dark chocolate should be nearby (chili or wasabi-infused to help fry the tears) while you stream as the show may cause you to rethink your own relationships. By episode 5, you may even begin to wonder, what in the name of Love is Apatow trying to say about love?

Here are a few answers:

Sex with your ex? Never a good idea.
Buckle up: Within the first 10 minutes of the first episode, Mickey—a recovering addict—and her substance abusing boyfriend are having full-on coke-induced hate-sex. If it sounds completely uncomfortable and cringe-worthy, that’s because it’s supposed to be. The way actress Gillian Jacobs plays Mickey is so true and torturous to the moment, that she might as well be screaming, “extinguish all old flames!” to us through the camera.

There are more nicknames for a woman’s reproductive system than you think
“Vag-Judge” and “Baby Bakery” are two of many V-names named in the show’s dialogue.

Drugs will wreck havoc on your emotional IQ
Various characters are taking Ambien, cocaine and weed—and not in a fun recreational way, either. In fact, Love‘s characters make the bad-choice-squad from Girls seem pretty minor league. Apatow’s ideas about medicating agony are warped, hilarious and explosive.

Don’t hang onto a broken relationship
“Your niceness becomes an assault… Kindness is pure hostility.” These are two direct lines from Love‘s second episode where main character Gus—the perpetually doomed “good guy”—is advised by his freshly-dumped ex that he “suffocated her” with sweetness. The encounter is so well acted that you fully understand her statement and still empathize with the poor Gus (superbly played by actor Paul Rust).

Hollywood lies about love. A lot.
During another poignant scene—which involves the manic flinging of several blockbuster Blu-Rays onto the streets of LA, Love‘s leading man—Gus, goes on a rant that calls out rom coms for their unscrupulous fakery. Yes, it’s amusing, but for Disney-devotees it’s an eye-opener. 

“People-binging” is a thing.
You can spend too much time with someone if you don’t space out your life properly—it’s true and it is as unhealthy as bacon-covered Corn chips. Loved ones can become a bad addiction and Love‘s main lady, Mickey, learns this in a low-point in her life (which sadly involves a Dr. Phil-ian-style radio therapist).

Echo Park is about to become L.A.’s most beloved—and belittled—’hood
Look out for a few Love moments filmed at The Brite Spot diner—a real, open-for-business Americana food spot that borders the cities of Silverlake and Echo Park. Love unearths EP as a place where giant cacti make the streets look very Flintstones-like and exposes a magical area where wacked out housewarming parties happen daily. Certain scenes so accurately depict real-life Echo Park get-togethers… they come with random guitar jam moments a la Broken Social Scene, babbling Trustafarians and couch-side make-shift tattoo stations (so guests can chat and ‘Tatt).

Beware: Feelings can be co-opted by cults
Look for interesting—and telling—dialogue that involves a suspicious and absurd/culty all-religions-type church. There is definitely some thinly veiled commentary on Scientology and Landmark going on here.

Threeways are a Pandora’s box of anxiety
Be wary of most threesomes. They can be apocalyptic events for your self-esteem. In one episode, Gus finds himself at the bottom of his emotional barrel after a ménage à trois. The Revenant is less grisly to watch.

We are all raging misfits
More so than This Is 40 or Girls, Love‘s main characters—especially Mickey’s impetuous Australian roommate, Shaun—remind us that nobody is a smooth operator. Nobody. In TV terms, Apatow truly believes that when it comes to love, understanding that we are all as suave as Saved By The Bell‘s Screech, is the human race’s only hope of survival.


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