Review of Netflix Original series LOVE.

Like Jimmy Fallon’s Random Picture Word Association game where you have to react with the first word that pops into your head in relation to a picture, since I ran into Love being available in Netflix, my mind screamed ANNIE HALL. Sometimes when I get those associations I immediately look around to see if anyone thought the same -humans, they sometimes seek corroboration on their thoughts-, but on this I couldn’t find anything.

It is not just the dorky male main character and the cooler female lead, it was more than those first obvious similarities, it was the vibe that got me to compare. Two human beings connecting on an interesting way and trying to figure out love, its meaning and its many ways. I believe that’s where the series is going, even if they couldn’t quite capture it in a ten episodes season as the one hour thirty three minutes of the movie did. But they could get there, there’s another season on the way.

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The Original Netflix series was launched on our current 2016 under the creative mantle of Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin and Paul Rust (who also plays Gus). We know Apatow from his involvement in the production of multiple movies and TV shows (which you can find on the info linked to his name), say some of my personal favourites are Girls on HBO and Begin Again (2013), movie that I reviewed on this same blog, but heads up it’s all in spanish.

When it comes to the cast, let’s say that I see these unconventional characters clashing together and I really liked the result. Gillian Jacobs is a must love, having lots of facets to choose from, we can go from the freakishly nice person she played as Mimi-Rose in Girls, up to the complicated addict, sort of jerky trying to improve girl that we see along these episodes as Mickey Dobbs. Paul Rust is as well an instant charm who I just have known as Denis Cooverman in I Love You, Beth Cooper but was pleased to see again on this show as the sweet nerdy guy who just had his heart broken and is trying to figure out his next step, named Gus Cruikshank. And even Charlyne Yi, who I found utterly and completely annoying on House MD -in a lovely way, of course- has a presence on the show, to add a bit of IT to the parade. For the complete cast list, just hit it here.

Alongside the lines, we are signing to see a symposium on love that comes non-lineal, non-boring, not directed to a room full of people expecting to hear about it, it is just what you take of it and again, reminded me of Annie Hall, just that in the latter everything is more explicit and you got the sense that you’re being taught a thing or two.

Love truly is a roller coaster.

I have a soft spot for these kind of material, from where you can extract basically whatever you want, it all depends on you and your points of view. This show could end up being another romantic/comedy/drama that gets tiring after a few episodes or it can live up to its true potential through the eyes of the viewers and the meaning they are able to extract from it all.

Already expecting Season 2 and in the mean time will probably watch Season 1 again, not because it was such mind blowing but because that is what good friends and partners often have to do for their love ones. We’ve all been there.

So, this was just a reduced review mostly wanting to throw into the net the idea of similarities between these two pieces of filmed entertainment.

 

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Book Review: A Man called Ove.

a-man-called-ove-by-fredrik-backmanGetting old provokes a mixture of feelings, some look forward to a long life while some others fear what might happen to them as time progresses. The truth is time never stops, at least not objectively; and times are always changing, leaving behind everything and everyone which or who refuses to cope — oh, hello Darwin’s natural selection. Could this be the real reason why we develop relationships? why we come together as groups, couples or friends? To have someone to grow old with, to have witnesses, a thread to the world, connections to reality, to avoid being left behind, feeling left out of the race…

What happens when we lose all of that and end up alone with ourselves? We would say that we still have ourselves and our skills, but what about when this happens at an age where we are also being displaced from a productive working life, when society finds us obsolete, where ways narrow and doors close? This is where we find Ove.

Ove is a tough old man that has been brought up with strong values, believing in fairness, in the clearness and weight of actions over words. To him things should be done in a certain way and as this allows little space to flexibility, ends up putting to the test the patience of others that surround him.

To have your life resumed on paper could be difficult, all of your struggles and hard moments, surfacing to those shallow waters of memory’s deep sea. Sounds smart to be avoided and yet memoirs are so popular nowadays. Let’s say that Ove didn’t sign up for this but we have been given a ticket to sit through glimpses of his life, those that defined his character, to better understands how a person becomes what a person presently is.

As it is common in life, plans change course most of the time, as ships thrown into stormy waters. So, as non-oficial guardian of his neighbourhood, Ove sets himself to keep busy with his customary tasks and making sure everyone follows the rules. Nonetheless some days these little things become minimally fulfilling and Ove, as a practical man, has his mind set on his next logical step.

If we think about it, the relationships that are most meaningful for us today surely started in a peculiar way, by chance, creating havoc inside our little closed worlds, marking us forever. To Ove was a turmoil indeed to have new neighbours moving in the house in front of his, mostly in moments he most wanted to be left alone with his business.

From that moment on we will meet a display of characters that soon invade Ove’s reduced bubble, allowing us to meet him not all over again, but then again not as a loner and inside himself, and more as the caring and sweet being we knew was in there all along protecting itself from a cruel environment.

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Fredrik Backman delivers a well elaborated story that gives us lots to think about, mostly on regards of the ways of our current society. A Man Called Ove was published in 2012, originally in Sweden, was -to our delight- translated to English around 2014 by Henning Koch and published by Atria Books with an approximate of 337 pages on his paperback presentation.

I personally listened to this story on Audible, narrated by George Newbern, with a duration of 9 hours and 9 minutes. This is one of those books that I have listed “have to own”, so I will be buying it soon and giving it a home on my bookshelf.