Love Episode 2 “One Long Day” Review
by Joaquin Gonzalez
To put it bluntly, the problem with this episode is that it’s just not funny.
The pilot succeeded in that area because it made good use of situational comedy; Gus
unwittingly getting into a threesome with two girls who turn out to be sisters is funny. Mickey
wandering in to some weird hippy church when she’s on Ambien and thought she was going to
a bar is funny.
However, the structure of the second episode doesn’t do the protagonists any favors in that
regard: roughly three-quarters of the running time consists of them either walking-and-talking,
driving-and-talking or sitting-and-talking, and when they’re doing these things, nothing else is
really going on; there’s no real conflict to motivate them.
Consequently, Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs are basically left to perform stand-up, and that’s
really hard to sustain over long stretches. The co-stars are good, but they’re not so comically
gifted that they can make you laugh no matter what they’re doing.
Watching Gus be awkward and nervous all the time becomes kind of tedious. Mickey referring
to everyone as “dude” and swearing a lot gets a little old too; her rant at a convenience store
worker in the beginning of the episode plays like a diluted knockoff of the tirade that Leslie
Mann levels at Craig Robinson in Knocked Up.
Some of the blame for the deficiencies can be laid at the feet of the actors, but most of it has to
be assigned to the writing (although he was almost certainly involved, it’s worth nothing that
Judd Apatow does not receive a writing credit on this episode; his place alongside Rust and
Lesley Arfin is taken by Brent Forrester). Give the characters something to work with! A lot of
the dialogue during the talk-y bits is stale, and the one or two semi-dramatic situations that Gus
and Mickey do get put into aren’t compelling. No one expects a complex storyline from a
comedic television show, but it seems like the episode could have been compressed into a ten
or fifteen-minute segment without losing any of its essence.
There is a silver lining, however. So far, the relationship between Gus and Mickey has barely
hinted at romance, but it’s nice to observe them spending time with somebody else and
enjoying themselves, after having last seen them feeling somewhat lost and alone at the end of
the pilot. Whatever shortcomings this episode has, the main characters are still likeable, and it
feels good to see them be happy.