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LOVE – The Final Season: Review

Toe curlingly awkward, yet sweet and sentimental with quirky humour in spades: the third and final season of Netflix original ‘LOVE’ is everything you expect it to be.

But why should you spend 12 hours of your precious binge time watching this particular show? Well, if you’re looking for a refreshing take on dating, something progressive but not in a forced, unnatural way, with characters that are real and endearing, it will be 12 hours well spent.

Show creators Paul Rust, Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin and David King have created a masterful depiction of falling in love – a tale as old as time – whilst managing to mingle this with the strange world of modern dating, and all the pitfalls that come with that.

The season kicks off with Mickey and Guss enjoying the honeymoon stage of the new relationship that the first two seasons spent building up to, and it seems that the characters that wormed their way into our hearts over that time are really thriving and blossoming.

Of course, ‘LOVE’ wouldn’t be ‘LOVE’ if there weren’t any obstacles in the way for the dynamic duo, and season three really explores all the typical, and real tests that all new couples have to pass, like meeting the family, whilst avoiding all the typical tropes of the ‘will they won’t they’, ‘fight and break up’ formula that most series tend to fall in to.

Instead, the show gives us a couple who, far from perfect, grow and evolve and overcome some very real issues, such as Mickey’s sobriety, and become stronger for it.

I spent the whole first half of the season hoping and praying that they wouldn’t break the couple up just to get them back together at the very end and thank God they didn’t. There are so few examples of healthy relationships based on good communication and wanting the best for each other on TV, and ‘LOVE’ gives us exactly that.

So, while there is conflict in spades, and the show never gets boring that’s for sure – it is so invigorating and affirming to follow the characters finding ways to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life, just like the rest of us mere mortals have to do.

I think the reason ‘LOVE’ is such a gem is that it doesn’t romanticize anything. Debunking entirely the notion that these oft glamorized, intensely passionate and obsessive relationships that often exist in TV land are sustainable, without luring us into believing that healthy relationships don’t require copious amount of hard work and compromise either.

In term of acting, Gillian Jacobs brings the tumultuous Mickey Dobb’s to life in such an authentic and self aware way that she manages to turn a very chaotic and arguably unlikeable character into someone very human, and someone that we root for all the way.

In anyone else’s hands Mickey Dobbs could so easily have fallen victim to the Manic Pixie Dream girl cliché that plagues so many romantic stories. However, what we get is a woman who is insanely complicated but never unredeemable, and completely fascinating in her own right, independently of her romantic endeavours.

Obviously a show entitled ‘LOVE’ is going to focus predominantly on romance, but season three also explores relationships of every shape and size – friendship, family, and navigating impossible colleagues at work all play a huge role in the story, helping to make it a really well-rounded and interesting watch.

A special shout out has to go to the amazing subplot that is the Bertie – Randy – Chris love triangle which is enthralling in an almost morbidly fascinating way. Watching this part of the story unfold is akin to watching disastrous accident compilations on YouTube, you know someone is going to get hurt but you can’t look away.

Claudia O’Doherty’s portrayal of Bertie, who manages to be the cookiest and yet the most sensible of the ensemble at the was charming and hilarious as usual, and her character arc was by far my favourite.

So there you have it, ‘LOVE’ season three has everything you need for a good series, great characters, realistic storylines and most importantly of all, it’s got heart. While often painful, and at times it can feel like an extreme endurance sport in cringe, there’s are so many tender, heart warming moments, much like love itself.

For all these reasons and more, the answer to the above question is yes, ‘LOVE’ season three is totally worth your binge bucks.

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