Love is an American Netflix original romantic comedy-drama series that debuted in 2016 and ran for three seasons. It has a total of 34 episodes. The show was co-created by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, and Paul Rust. Love stars Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs as Gus and Mickey, and it follows their struggles as they attempt to navigate love, sex, and relationships and the fallout from all of the above.
The series tries to present a "down-to-earth look at dating" and explore both male and female perspective on romantic relations through the characters Mickey and Gus and their often dysfunctional, destructive behaviour.
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:
- As Himself: 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 a focus episode for Bertie and Chris in Season 3. Bertie celebrates 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Business Trip Adultery: While Gus is away teaching on the set of Liberty Down, Mickey and Dustin get back in touch with eachother and have a brief fling. When Gus returns, Dustin still has expectations for Mickey, and she has to jump hurdles to make sure he doesn't find out.
- "Friends" Rent Control: Mickey is a young adult who owns a pretty nice house in Los Angeles. Justified, as she has a decent career as a manager at a radio station and has a roommate.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed. Mickey is set up as the impulsive thrill-seeker who might teach 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 and the nicer one in any relationship he has and claims he keeps doing the right thing, but his girlfriend from the first episode points out he's "fake nice" and passive-aggressive about most stuff.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: In-Universe. Said almost word-for-for by one of Gus's co-workers on the set of Witchita (a Show Within a Show about a young witch) when they have a wolf on set. Young Arya who stars on Witchita is usually extremely over-bearing, especially for Gus who is her on-set tutor.
- Off the Wagon:
- Mickey is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who falls off the wagon hard and ends up partying with Andy Dick.
- Subverted in one episode where Mickey orders a drink, but refuses it at the last moment.
- 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: Witchita, a show about witches. Gus is an on-set tutor for the show and tries to become a writer. He gets a writing credit when he thinks of a storyline. He also snarks about the show and often points out its plotholes.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mickey is several notches and levels above Gus looks-wise. She's very attractive even when she wears shabby clothes while Gus is an average-looking guy on a good day.
- 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. Word of 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.