Welcome to The A.V. Club’s Love binge-watch. From Friday, February 19 through Sunday, February 21, A.V. Club contributor Shelby Fero will be watching and reviewing every episode of Netflix’s new romantic comedy. You can watch and comment along with her here, or chime in on the individual episode reviews. For those watching the show at a more moderate pace, reviews by Molly Eichel will run daily starting Monday, February 22.
In a pseudo-real-time-continuity, episode two picks up right where episode one leaves off, as Gus and Mickey meet for the first time. Yes, it’s contrived that Mickey forgot her wallet, leading to Gus’s intervention, and a long walk back to Mickey’s house to pay him back (which turns into a long car ride, and a long drive thru order, and a very long confrontation with Gus’s ex-girlfriend). But everyone has to meet sometime, and what could have been a moment of their lives, turns into a moment in their lives.
Because, you guys. You guys! They’re falling in like! What “One Long Day” nails is encapsulating that feeling when you meet someone new and don’t….want …to stop…being…around them… When you keep making weak excuses or light offers to keep them around for one more minute.
In the pilot, our two protagonists are viewed through separate and objective lenses, but in this episode we’re treated to scenes shot from one character’s perspective, in relation to the other. We get to see how Gus and Mickey see each other, in their limited time together, and how that differs or reaffirms the characters’–and our own’s– assessments of themselves. We see what they notice about the other, what keeps them keeping the day going. When we meet a new person, our feelings towards them–and image of them–is a loose amalgamation of first impressions. They’re not a real person yet, but a caricature sketched from hasty observations as your brain tries to process all this new, exciting, information. By switching up the POV from scene to scene, we’re offered little glimpses from Gus and Mickey’s respective perspectives: He sees her as cool and a little dangerous, she’s surprised by his assertion that he’d put a wallet with money in it in the lost and found.
When Gus accidentally gives Mickey the wrong address it leads to a confrontation with his ex-girlfriend on the lawn, wherein she admits she never actually cheated, but said it to keep him from suffocating her with affection. Forced vulnerability forces people to grow closer. Gus and Mickey have shared something, whether they wanted to or not.
Of course, then there’s the moment when you want to be alone: He’s too high, you’re not high enough. So Mickey takes Gus home. As she puts him to bed, he hesitantly asks for her number. She complies, stating “Normally I hate meeting people but I don’t hate you,” (which is honestly the thesis of romance to me.)
Also, real quick: This show is really funny. With the over-arching thesis being as weighty as “falling in love,” it’s easy to overlook how many jokes get packed into a single conversation (“I don’t usually like to gossip, but did you hear Jacob needs a nap?”) Claudia O’Doherty–over whom I haven’t gotten to gush, or even mention, yet!–is a wellspring of punchlines and perfect timing as Bertie, Mickey’s sweet, off-kilter new Aussie roommate.
And the sound editing? Exquisite. KRS-One’s crashing refrain of “Suicide…it’s a suicide” played over idyllic scenes of suburbia conveys all of Gus’s fears and anxieties in that moment. And the Psycho-esque sound effect as the camera pans to Mickey’s thieved token of interest in Gus: Gus got her number, Mickey got this.
Look, I guess if I’m being totally honest, there’s one huge fault I have with the show so far: The orange/blue rug isn’t a bad recurring gag, but oh man why couldn’t the Omaha Steaks have become their cute-sy runner?
- Awesome retreading of the same argument against love we hear all the time: love is concocted by songs and movies, followed by Gus’s sad “Why did I throw out all my blu-rays?” In moments of panic, we destroy the things we love.
- Is that drive-thru restaurant a real place? Why haven’t I been there yet.
- The small characterizations peppered through the show are so rich and spot-on: Mickey agreeing to help move the desk then begging off because she has to pee is so Mickey, and I feel confident saying that even though it’s only the second episode.
- OHGODTHEYREFALLING IN LOVE OH GOD WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES ITS SO FUN AT FIRST BUT ITS ALL LIES