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Series / Love

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Love is a Netflix original romantic comedy-drama series that debuted in 2016, co-created by Judd Apatow and starring Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs as Gus and Mickey, respectively. Love follows the struggles of Gus and Mickey as they attempt to navigate love, sex, and relationships and the fallout from all of the above.

Not to be confused with the 2011 sci-fi film Love, nor the '60s psychedelic rock band of the same name.


This work contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Marty Dobbes is a more creepy, passive-aggressive manipulative alcoholic type.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Mickey feels this way about her boss, more pronounced in Season 2 and 3.
  • Adam Westing: Andy Dick appears as himself.
    Gus:...and what the fuck, you're friends with Andy Dick?!
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Bertie's Birthday" is one for Bertie and Chris in Season 3, focusing on Bertie celebrating her first birthday in America. It culminates in Chris taking Bertie out to a wrestling event when he finds out that she has no big plans to commemorate and sets the groundwork for the two of them eventually becoming a couple. Notably, Mickey only appears at the very start of the episode while Gus is completely absent.
  • The Alcoholic: Mickey. She's an alcoholic, drug addict and sex/love addict. Mickey's father is a lifelong alcoholic as well.
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  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The show makes the point of how Gus' politeness is a facade for him getting what he wants. This becomes especially clear once he starts directing his movie. He finally admits to this at his parents' anniversary party.
  • Beta Couple:
    • Bertie and Randy.
    • Bertie and Chris in the final few episodes.
  • Better as Friends: Bertie and Gus halfway through their first date.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Arya.
  • Busman's Holiday: Gus and Mickey, obviously annoyed with Randy and Bertie, propose taking a trip to Palm Springs. When Randy and Bertie invite themselves along, it's the same situation except in a much worse house and neighborhood.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gus is the Hate Sink of the Witchita set.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Seems to be this for Witchita's main character, played by Arya.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Gus breaks up with the girl he starts out with in the very first episode.
  • Extreme Doormat: Gus, until he isn't, either responding with passive-aggression or a proper meltdown.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Mickey has a pretty nice house in Los Angeles, but may be partially averted as she has a decent career as a manager at a radio station and has a roommate.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Mickey is the most obvious example.
    • Gus does have good intentions sometimes. The trouble is he's just not very self-aware about how controlling his excessive politeness and sycophantic tendencies can be.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: A running gag in which Gus (who is Catholic) is perceived to be Jewish.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Gus and Mickey both start to make them in Season Two, with Mickey being sober and Gus becoming more self-aware over the dangers of constantly checking up on Mickey.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Bertie and Randy.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Mickey to Gus in the last episode of season one.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: See It's Not You, It's Me above.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed. In any other show, Mickey would be the impulsive thrill-seeker who teaches Gus to lighten up and have fun, but her behavior is portrayed as extremely self-destructive and stemming from deep insecurities.
  • Nice Guy: The general theme with Gus is a subversion of this trope: He seems to have good-intentions and claims to be the more smart one in any relationship he has had whose doing right, but as pointed in the first episode, his girlfriend claims to be "fake nice".
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Said almost word-for-for by one of Gus's co-workers on the set of Witchita when they have a wolf on set.
  • Off the Wagon: Mickey falls off the wagon hard and ends up partying with Andy Dick.
    • Subverted later, where Mickey orders a drink, but refuses it at the last moment.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Plenty, almost the trademark of the series. Bertie is surprisingly adept at them.
    • Probably the best one is the one Gus gives to himself in South Dakota in front of his family.
  • Recovered Addict: Mickey oscillates between this and Functional Addict.
  • Spoiled Brat: Deconstructed. Arya is a demanding, spoiled, lazy, and arrogant teen star. However, she's also portrayed as more responsible than her parents, and has used her status to help out Gus repeatedly on set and on the film he directs.
  • Show Within a Show: Gus is an on-set tutor for the show, Witchita.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • They're not married, but Mickey is several notches about Gus looks-wise. Played straight in the finale.
    • A similar non-married example with Bertie and Randy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There is no on-screen resolution of Mickey's infidelity in the second season, or to Gus taking his ex-fiancée to her hotel room after the wedding, despite Mickey explicitly saying not to.
    • Wordof God is that both were intentional: Mickey's infidelity was left unaddressed to contrast with other shows that show men having consequence free flings, and Gus's actions were unaddressed to show that Mickey had more faith in him than prior seasons.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Mickey apparently has quite a streak going, as most (if not all) her ex-boyfriends that we've seen have at least claimed that she cheated on them.

Example of: