HBO Max’s ‘Love Life’ is a Raw and Engaging Experience that Redefines the Word “Love”

Minutes after putting on Love Life starring Anna Kendrick, I was fully immersed. The HBO Max Original, created by Sam Boyd, follows Darby (Anna Kendrick) through a span of nearly ten years as relationships both romantic and platonic come and go. The show mimics real life in a way that so few do. It felt like a magnificently sequenced indie film that pulled at your heart strings and most intimate thoughts. Love Life also has an impeccable score that is never disappointed.

Darby’s story begins in her early 20’s as a young artist living in New York City. She lives with three other people, her best friend Sara (Zoe Chao) and Sara’s boyfriend Jim (Peter Vack) as well as their other friend Mallory (Sasha Compère). In episode one of the ten episode season, Darby meets Augie (Jin Ha) through Jim. After spending the night together, the two dated for several months. 

Ultimately she and Augie don’t work out so she begins dating her former boss Bradley (Scott McNairy), a much older man. Following her breakup with Bradley, Darby takes some time to herself by only engaging in casual sex. Then Darby meets the man who she thinks might be the one, a sous chef named Magnus (Nick Thune). 

When Darby discovers that her love life might not be as perfect as it seems, she decides to talk to a therapist for the first time in her life and takes a trip down memory lane back to her teenage years. Aside from that, she opens up about her relationship with her mother Claudia (Hope Davis) who subsequently enters the story and the episodes then shifts to becoming more about her relationship with her mother than her romantic pursuits.

Although Darby is the main character, Sara’s story was also a recurring arc of the show and a whole other story to unpack. Claudia also had her own big moment when she finally came to visit Darby in Episode 8. 

What I love most about this show is how many love stories are unpacked within so little time. Somehow, I felt like in just ten episodes, I was able to understand Darby as well as a number of the other characters through the show’s enthralling and expertly calculated scenes. 

As much as I wanted Darby’s story to be closed in the final episode of the season, I am elated it was not — as the series was renewed for a second season. I am looking forward to Love Life returning and spending more time with each and every one of these characters. There is so much more to unfold. 

Love Life is rich in the way it follows each character and relationship. As a millennial woman, I found it effortless to relate to Darby’s life. It is certainly a show I would recommend to every woman in her 20’s or 30’s. The show additionally depicts the changing of seasons in New York beautifully, making it the perfect Fall watch. So grab some tea and start watching.

By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake

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