I know, I know— reading the words “the pitfalls of Netflix” makes you think the horror. Believe me, I am definitely a big fan of having endless television and movies at my fingertips, but give me a chance to explain my thought process. I was excited to tune into the recently released Netflix original series Love. Although the title left me a little dubious, I was encouraged by the fact that Judd Apatow had produced the series (think Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids, and Superbad). Plus, Netflix original series have had their fair share of awesomeness (Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, anyone?). As a result, I was ready to dive in binge-first.
Meet Gus (played by Paul Rust) and Mickey (played by Gillian Jacobs). Seriously, spend the first 35 minutes meeting Gus and Mickey, but without Gus and Mickey actually seeing each other. Gus is your typical dorky-but-sweet nerd, and Mickey is a sarcastic, off-the-wall junkie. The stage is set: Gus is set to save Mickey from her self-destructive habits, and Mickey will save Gus from his, well, uninteresting life.
However, there’s a problem. When you go for the classic predictable rom-com format, what saves it is the enjoyment of watching the couple with great chemistry fall in love. But…Mickey and Gus…they don’t have it. Gus is not really filling the cute part of dorky-but-cute, nor is he very nice. Mickey, although she has her moments, is a horrible person. After watching the show, I was left unsure as to how these people are anything but awful for each other. Picture this: Gus takes Mickey to a magic show (he loves magic) and she is told to choose a card. When the magician finishes his trick and asks if he picked her card, Mickey responds, “Uhhh, was I supposed to memorize it?” I mean, that is not quirkily endearing, that’s just really unlikable.
So, as for Love, I didn’t like the characters, the comedy, and I wasn’t invested in the relationship. Yet I watched all of it. How many of us are guilty of this? I remember back in the day, watching season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy and declaring to myself— that’s it, I’m done. I no longer put aside an hour of my week to watch Grey’s. In the world of Netflix, however, when the next episode plays before your opinion of the show has formed and you are constantly reminded of it in your “recently watched” section, quitting a show is not so easy.
I wondered if I had watched the pilot of this show on a regular, once-a-week format with commercials, would I have made it past the first episode? Or what if I had to walk to Blockbuster (remember Blockbuster?) to rent it? Does the binge-watching format promote lazy writing? Does it promote lazy show-watching? Anyways, it is still the most convenient way to watch T.V. out there, so I’m definitely not giving up on Netflix just yet. But when season two of Love comes out, I will be giving up on that.
Raquel Simpson, Online Columnist