Season 1, Episodes 7-10
Recently, I reviewed the first 6 episodes of Love Life, throughout the first 6 episodes I was delighted to see Darby’s character progression, it’s clear the show isn’t just about finding love, but makes sure to develop the character as well to give better understandings of their emotions and motivations on the realistic choices they make which I feel is a fantastic focal point. While watching these final 4 episodes, I myself felt disappointment, and I’ll go into why I feel that after giving my thoughts on these episodes and finale.
Episode 7 - “Claudia Hoffman”
Seven months after getting divorced from Magnus Lund, we see Darby who has quit her job sometime between those months, and is recovering from her appendix being taken out. Darby’s mother, Claudia, is taking care of her post-surgery. Claudia begins to question Darby’s life choices and relationships which makes Darby feel uncomfortable. Throughout this episode we learn Claudia herself has had trouble with the idea of love in her life, we see her and Darby fight which leads to her storming out. At the same time, Sara and Jim’s subplot takes a turn for the worse when things start to get highly awkward towards each other which leads into a fight as well. Thankfully, towards the end of the episode things take a positive turn for Darby and her mother, not so much for Sara and Jim. Darby decides to make amends with Claudia and gives the idea to do what her mother wants with her. Claudia decides she needs to buy a mattress for Darby’s brother, soon her and Darby fight in the store that leads to them revealing how they both feel and I thought it was an emotionally thoughtful moment for both characters. The mother daughter relationship focused in this episode was so far my favorite of the series. 9/10
Episode 8 - “Sara”
This episode takes a turn from the main story line and takes the focus to Darby’s friend, Sara. Which is one of the most pointless episodes I’ve seen, and is my least favorite. Sometime after Sara and Jim’s break up. Sara and Darby are celebrating at their friend’s Bachelorette party at a cabin in the woods. Here we see Sara hooked on cocaine and depressed since her break up. That’s the whole episode. Despite Darby’s offers to help Sara recover, she simply doesn’t want to. While yes, focusing on her addiction and depression may seem interesting, which it did at first. It felt like there wasn’t much of a focus and it all just feels like nothing was there. Felt emotionless and stilted to me. I think the show ‘Euphoria’ did a way better fantastic job at exploring these issues, however I feel that show had way greater scripts and had a focus. There’s nothing here. It doesn’t add much to the overall plot of the season. It disappoints me because there was definitely potential here but it felt like filler, it didn’t feel genuine at all to me. Part of this I feel is because the writers haven’t done much of a very solid job of making Darby’s friend, Sara, a likable character. 3/10
Episode 9 - “Augie Again”
That’s it, that’s the episode. It replays the same notes and plots of the first 6 episodes of the series. Don’t expect anything new besides this time Darby realizes that her and Augie aren’t right for each other, and that she finds out she is pregnant at the end of the episode. 3/10
Episode 10 - “The Person”
FINALLY. Darby FINALLY finds her person. I felt so happy to say that. Okay so like 3 years after episode 9 events, Darby now has a child and is on speaking terms with Augie. They both are trying to juggle being a parent and dealing with their careers as well. Darby now has her own art gallery which personally brought me lots of joy to see. She is now fully matured and successful and her attachment with art that we saw glimpses of throughout the season was personally relatable. I loved to see her finally finding her career path. Thanks to the narrators exposition, we learn of this old widow who is a long time painter. It’s interesting to me because we have this little focus on this lady who’s experienced love in her younger days and how she connects to Darby’s story. Darby is simply there because she’s looking to use this lady as the theme of her new art exhibit. Focusing on all the art this lady has made herself throughout her years of being alive that she kept most to herself, but now gets the opportunity to show to way more people than her family. Very wholesome and authentic to me. That isn’t the main plot though, there isn’t much of an obstacle for Darby to get this lady’s acceptance and all. The episode is solely about Darby being invited to Sara’s wedding, yes she got off screen development by the way. At this wedding Darby meets this suave British man named Grant and they both hit it off by the start. Queue generic romance story and there you go. We learn at the end this is indeed Darby’s “person.” And that’s the end of season 1 and Darby’s journey. Some things have its charm in this episode and some things play it off too easily. There’s not much of an edge here, and that’s ok. 8/1
Throughout this series run, I’ve said what Love Life is about. Which in retrospect feels disappointing now. I feel there was a lot of potential. Instead of this series being an anthology series focusing on a new person each season and them finding love. I felt like this could’ve been a whole series starring Anna Kendrick with actual development for all these characters and relationships. This could’ve essentially been HBOMAX’s own “Sex and the City” (which I always thought it was Sex IN the city but it wasn’t??). Episode 7 reminded me of ‘Gilmore Girls’ a lot with the mother daughter relationship focus. It felt so genuine and made me wish we got more episodes like that expanding on those ideas. Or have actual episode arcs developing these relationships and these characters besides just Darby. Because simply, Anna Kendrick carries the entire season with her performance. The writing does not make me care much for anyone else. Despite the fact I myself didn’t like a few episodes, I thoroughly enjoyed this season. It had its own flare for a little bit. I hope the next season takes to their advantage and improves the show. Because from a standpoint. The show does feel “same generic romance per episode and nothing.” This season overall I feel is around a 6-7/10. Can be good at times, but can leave you feeling underwhelming at the same time.