Our love life can easily be reduced to data. By the time the average person ends up with the love of their life, they will have been in seven relationships.Lesley Manville, Love Life
Airs: HBO Max | Air Dates: 2020 – Present | Number of Seasons: 1
Love Life follows Darby, a recent college grad as she works through the many relationships in her life. Each episode details a different relationship from beginning to end, as well as her character development as a whole. While most of the relationships are romantic, a few episodes focus on her friends and the development of platonic love stories.
I have to say that there’s not much good about this show. I really wanted to love it with Anna Kendrick playing the main role and her consistently upward developing acting style. There just wasn’t much to say about this show. Anna Kendrick’s character does tend to fall really flat most of the time, like she’s a shell of Anna Kendrick’s sarcastic self. It almost feels like the character was based on Kendrick but the writers didn’t seem to capture the scrappiness behind her. I think that Darby could easily have represented the challenges of many new college graduates, especially with the career path that she chose. While I understand that the focus was on much of the main character’s love life, each relationship didn’t do much to help the audience get to know the main character, so it was hard to become invested in her life.
While the main downfall of the show is its lack of characterization for any of the characters, I think that the main success of the show is its dealings with relationships. Many relationships can be seen as having realistic beginnings or endings. Not all of the stories have a need for an elaborate “meet-cute” that so defines the romantic comedy genre. Moreover, most rom-coms don’t go into the ever-after aspect, which Love Life does well. Despite having many initially happy and content relationships, the relationships hit a point where they shift ever so slightly into a space where both partners feel unhappy. While Darby doesn’t always handle each relationship end well, she does manage to portray a realistic sense of what happens when you lose a partner.
I think that with only one season in the books it’s hard to determine where this show is heading. There’s not too much room for development to keep the original premise of the show. While Darby’s standing at the end of the season does leave much to be desired, the show does need to slowly transition into a place where the focus is Darby’s development. This show can’t have a long and successful run without helping the audience form an attachment to the main character. This might cause it to stray from the original premise which honestly might make the show a little more watchable. The episodes are short which helps in the long run, but that only means that padding the runtime isn’t a smart option. There were too many scenes that didn’t contribute to the overall story and just served to add time to an already overstretched story.
Overall, it’s not a bad show to watch if you’re just in a mood for some lighthearted fun. But, I think that from a channel that produces gems such as Euphoria, Game of Thrones, and Watchmen, this is just a low note for HBO. I can’t really see this show being as strong as Sex in the City, which it seems to draw many elements from or having as much of a cultural impact as Euphoria or even Gossip Girl. Anna Kendrick, as always, gives her all to this performance but without much of a substantial script, her performance seems to be below her usual standard. Love Life just seems to be an average show with average characters and an average storyline.