Love Season 2 Review: Still Raw, Messy and Magnificently Real

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If you don't already have your weekend planned, make room for Love.

Love Season 2 premieres on Netflix this weekend and continues the unsettling look into modern day relationships.

Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs star as Gus Cruikshank and Mickey Jacobs, a couple who fell into each other's lives on during the first season and inexplicably fall in love.

On the Boardwalk

Rust and Jacobs are so natural in their roles it's easy to forget they're actors playing parts, and that's a huge compliment. Love Season 2 continues to bring us further into their world and we feel closer to Mickey and Gus as a result.

As we settle into the second season, Gus still seems sweet, kind and eager to please Mickey. He might be a little bit much of all of those things and in combinations that don't settle well with what Mickey needs.

At the end of Love Season 1, Mickey finally came clean with Gus with the news she's not only an alcoholic, but a sex and love addict, and freeing herself from temptation is high on her list. 

That's not the best place to pick up with a new relationship, but how the pair moves forward despite their difference and learns to maneuver within the boundaries they set for themselves and their desires for their new affair is what makes up most Season 2.

Real life is messy, and once I got past the first two episodes of Love way back in Season 1, I realized Love is one of the most honest portrayals of love in the 21st century.

Love is essential viewing for anyone navigating the relationship waters in 2017.

The dating game has been changed for a while now, but not many have been willing to portray it as vividly as Love.

A Normal Day At the Beach

Created by Paul Rust, his wife Lesley Arfin and Judd Apatow, Love offers hope to anyone who can't understand why they're just hanging out with a new friend and not "seriously dating."

It offers hope to anyone who is in love and who hopes to someday be in love because Gus and Mickey are flawed human beings, surrounded by more flawed people.

Much like Girls, it's a series about real people living real situations, but Love is a little more down to earth. Gus and Mickey don't know all of the big words or often have grand moments of profound knowledge that makes the audience sit back and take note

Instead, they're struggling to keep it together, retain their jobs, look cool, stay straight, and keep their partner engaged.

Gus worries that things could come crashing down at any moment with Mickey. He gets a little too into her sobriety and it begins stifling Mickey.

Mickey's trying to tow the line and feeling even the slightest tug of extra pressure from Gus starts pushing her away, the very thing Gus is hoping to avoid with his involvement in her sobriety.

Schroom Dancing

Suffice it to say, Gus and Mickey's attempts at "dating" aren't any easier in Season 2, but they are a lot sweeter overall.

There are new obstacles, as Mickey dedicates herself fully to SLAA and both face new challenges in their careers.

Mickey's roommate Bertie (Claudia O'Doherty) begins dating Gus' friend Randy (Mike Mitchell) and they provide an interesting dynamic for Mickey and Gus to play into.

What's most amazing about the series is how much of ourselves you can find in these characters who may be nothing at all like us in reality. Love is created of ordinary moments in the lives of all of these characters that add up to the life of the series, much like our lives.

There isn't a great buildup to a singular AHA moment that awakens in any one of them, but the mounting pressure of many that leads them to act and make their decisions, right or wrong.

Dance the Night Away

As a viewer, it can be frustrating, because not only are we used to entertainment moving at a more brisk pace than real life, but going against the familiar formula is somehow more disconcerting because it does so much resemble our everyday lives.

The panic we'd feel watching unwanted text messages appear on our phones when in the company of another person is just as palpable when Mickey is receiving the messages when she's with Gus as it would be if we were in our own home.

That's the magic of Love, though. It brings us to the forefront and shows we're all just as thrilling and engaging as the best shows on television. It's just a matter of perspective.

If there is hope for Mickey and Gus, there is hope for us.


Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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