TV review: Love life is an educational rom com

I watched season one of Love Life in an evening. It’s that good. But of course it would be; it stars the very relatable Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect fame. I’ve never seen a performance from Kendrick that I haven’t liked.

In Love Life, Kendrick plays Darby Carter, a young woman living in a shared apartment in New York. The first season (2020) charts her relationships from 2012 to 2020. Love Life is mostly a rom com, but takes in family, career and friendship issues along the way. I really like that about this series. The writing presents Darby as a fully-rounded, complete human. She’s not simply a funny girl in pursuit of Mr Right. She has a job, a history and other people she cares about.

Season two of Love Life comes out in late October 2021. If it’s anything like the first season we can expect some really strong scenes. I love how the show explores Darby’s belief in her lack of lovability and the way it causes her to accept shoddy situations. I also like the development of Darby’s understanding of her mother. No doubt, rom coms of the past caused real problems for viewers by peddling unrealistic, idealistic relationship scenarios. Love Life feels like progress. I’d even go so far as to call it educational.

Overall, Love Life is feel good television. However, there are scenes that made me cover my eyes. In the most memorable one Darby tries too hard to console an older man at a wake. Kendrick brilliantly communicates the awkwardness of the moment. There’s also a fantastically awkward episode set in Darby’s schooldays.

A special mention should go to actor Audrey Bennett for her role as young Darby in the flashback scenes. And to Hope Davis for her performance as Claudia, Darby’s mother. I also love British actor Lesley Manville’s role as the narrator. I take it that the English-accented voiceover is intended as a nod to Jane Austen. It works very well!

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