Off-Beat Romantic Comedies Shows Worth Streaming

by Camille Borodey

Love: Judd Apatow co-created this rom-com about two emotionally dysfunctional people trying to make their relationship work in Los Angeles. Both in their early 30s, Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) is a program manager at a radio station who struggles with alcoholism and is a sex and love addict. Gus (Paul Rust) is a tutor for young actors. He is also emotionally needy and prone to outbursts in moments of inconvenience. After they both experience a nasty breakup, the two have a run-in at a gas station and spend the day together. Gus admires Mickey’s bold personality, and Mickey sees a nerdy guy like Gus as a change of pace from the jerks she’s dated in the path. While they appear to be an unlikely pair, Mickey and Gus share the flaws in that they are both insecure, self-sabotaging, and have issues with honesty. The leads in “Love” can be highly unlikeable at times, but throughout the show (a reasonable three seasons), we get the satisfaction of seeing Mickey and Gus confront their issues in order to help their relationship grow. Mickey’s character shows the difficult cycle people with addiction go through, while Gus deconstructs what it means to be a “nice guy.” “Love” is an awkward, hilarious, and emotional modern love story. (Netflix)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom, also writer and creator) is an overworked Yale and Harvard-educated lawyer whose mental health isn’t exactly in the best place. After being offered a promotion at her prestigious New York law firm, Rebecca flees her office and, by chance, runs into her old summer camp boyfriend, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III). Seeing Josh’s happy-go-lucky attitude reminds Rebecca of a time in her life when she was truly happy, so she impulsively decides to follow Josh to his hometown West Covina, under the false story that she “just happened” to get a job offer there. After moving, Rebecca slowly starts to build a content life for herself while also being forced to confront some of her issues and obsessive behavior. While Bloom isn’t the greatest singer, she shines as Rebecca offering a remarkably complex, funny, and vulnerable character. If you’re not a fan of musicals, don’t let that stop you, for the musical numbers do not overpower the episodes. Plus, with clever lyrics and a talented, multifaceted cast to perform, the songs are hilarious. While “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is a rom-com, it is often satirical and pokes fun at many of the outlandish romance tropes that Rebecca unrealistically clings onto for guidance. At its core, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is really about Rebecca’s mental health and her journey to love herself. (Netflix or AppleTV)

Lovesick: “Lovesick” is a British sitcom revolving around three roommates, Dylan (Johnny Flynn), Evie (Antonia Thomas), and Luke (Daniel Ings), living in the West End of Glasgow. After Dylan is diagnosed with chlamydia, he pursues the uncomfortable task of contacting all the women he’s been intimate with. The narrative alternates between the present day and the past, with the majority of each episode being told in flashbacks. As Dylan revisits each of his past lovers and what went wrong, one common theme in his failed relationship is his bond with Evie, but being such good friends, both hesitate to admit their true feelings for each other. At three seasons and only 22 episodes, “Lovesick” reminds me a lot of a better, less cliche “How I Met Your Mother” in the sense that our protagonist is a hopeless romantic who reflects on his past loves, and his best friend is a playboy that is fiercely loyal to his friends. Another refreshing aspect of the show is that, unlike many romantic comedies, our main characters do not live glamorous lives, making them more relatable and down to earth. The humor is a little raunchy at times, but “Lovesick” is an often moving story about the complexities of relationships and the journey they can take us on. (Netflix)

Posted in