When Netflix announced that season 3 would mark the series finale for 'Love', fans were quite taken aback, considering its romance was unique. Why would you want to end their story so abruptly? Having seen the new season, though it is very clear why it is a boon to have it end where it does.
This is not to say the final season does not live up to the standard set up its predecessors. It does not seem hurried or in a race to achieve closure. Instead, the untimely end is a reflection of life itself – it's messy and incomplete. It would, in fact, be a disservice to the characters of Mickey and Gus to try and pack their lives neatly within cookie-cutter borders.
After two seasons worth of chasing after each other, chasing after other people, cheating, addiction and not being on the same page, season 3 is all about the duo pursuing their dreams as individuals and as a couple. The first few episodes of the season were so excruciatingly boring I wondered if I had ever even been a fan of the show at all.
In one of these earlier episodes, Gus and Mickey relate their fear of only enjoying the relationship as long as the latter is "f**ked up" to each of their respective support groups. Being in a steady, "normal" relationship would translate to boring, which is exactly what viewers would feel about Gus and Mickey's relationship in the beginning of the season. These are the episodes that make you wonder "did I only root for these characters because they were f**ked up?"
In the age of feel-good dramas like 'This is Us', am I in turn f***ed up to want the chaos? The answer is probably yes, but things start to get interesting four episodes in and you realize you don't have to ponder about it any more. Instead, you start to believe that these characters can do better – not because in a scripted show they have to, but because they may be fictional beings but the emotions that drive them are real and the choices they make are driven by real passion.
Creators and writers Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Paul Rust and David King have taken extensive care to ensure that the show in general and this last season, in particular, is in no way preachy and respect the fact that every individual's journey is different. Old friends grow apart and there is nothing you can do about it, some friends may be too s**tty to remember your birthday but you just don't stop being friends with them, good people are capable of cheating too, and big lies do not always get exposed for the sake of catharsis.
Despite these non-closures, there are no loose ends in the story and that is why the writers deserve to be lauded. The show's success lies in their talent at incorporating the messiness of life in all its imperfect glory and making a beautiful love story out of it.
Gillian Jacob and Rust embody their characters Mickey and Gus-Gus more beautifully than ever before. Ultimately, they are what make this show work and they are who we root for. It is their love bubble we are invited into – more so than ever before in season 3.
Another love story budding in the sidelines is that of Bertie (Claudia O'Doherty) and Chris (Chris Witaske). As much as you love her sweet and well-meaning Randy (Mike Mitchell), it is difficult to root for this couple, because you know she deserves a lot more, someone whose dream is to become a stuntman and lives in a retirement home, perhaps?
This is the other reason to appreciate 'Love'. Despite being a through-and-through Mike and Gus show, it still finds ways to show the perspectives of the other characters and their lives. We see why Bertie chooses to be with Randy despite his glaring shortcomings, why Randy is unable to identify or pursue his passions and what haunts of Arya (Iris Apatow), the loner teenager who is worth a million bucks.
For anyone who has watched Gus and Mickey's journey so far, season 3 is a must-watch and if you haven't so far, 'Love' is definitely worth investing your binge-watching time on. The show can be streamed on Netflix from March 9th.
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