With the launch of HBO Max, several new series have recently been released, and Sam Boyd’s LOVE LIFE (2020) is very solid, yet is also the most unexpected type of show that HBO has premiered lately. The series is an anthology that follows Darby (Anna Kendrick) as she falls for a different man every episode, attempting to find true love. I love the structure of this show, as it gives individual storylines time to breathe, instead of reducing them to a series of montages. Due to the unique structure of the story, I was sucked into the life of Darby.
Anthology series work really well at giving multiple directors the ability to work on individual episodes, while still contributing to the whole piece. Even though the same character is being followed, each romance is new so new voices are definitely welcome in the director’s chair. Each episode felt fresh due to the array of directors, and kept the series from feeling too repetitive and cliché. Nothing about this series felt uneven, which was a pleasant surprise, seeing as so many different voices were involved. Due to the light-hearted nature, it felt less typical of the dramatic and somber HBO tone, and more like a series you would see on Netflix or Amazon Prime, which isn’t a bad thing.
Creator Sam Boyd, assembled a great team to execute his vision, as well as directed the first and last episodes of the season. This makes sense, as the creative touches are very similar between the two. I loved where the season began, as well as where it concluded, leaving me happy to watch more. The only issue with this series though, is that it can feel slightly repetitive and formulaic in terms of how the majority of the episodes play out. LOVE LIFE is a very solid first season and the potential for a second is definitely there, even though it will probably have a very different feel. For fans of a good rom-com, this series may be for you.