It’s time for you to start watching Lovesick. There are only two seasons, with 14 episodes, and each one’s around 25-30 minutes. Get it on it now. Here’s the deal:
The dumbest way to describe Lovesick is How I Met Your Mother, but British.
Smarter way to describe it: It’s a show with a more sophisticated conceit than that—one that’s dedicated less to a cloying plot device (meant to extend the show into perpetuity forever and drive viewers insane), and instead one with a hilarious (but believable) plot device designed to elucidate poignancy where the agony and ecstasy of trying to negotiate a life between romanticism and reality is concerned. While also understanding all of the various ways your past relationships impact your present. And letting all of your exes know you might’ve given them an STD.
Here’s the second season trailer:
It’s a phenomenally funny, wonderful, warmhearted show. And it’s got a funny little past: At one point, the show was called Scrotal Recall—thankfully, showrunners decided to rename it for the second season, and (shocker) it gained a following.
The plot, in its most basic form:
– Dylan (Johnny Flynn) goes for an STD test in the pilot, and finds out he’s got chlamydia.
– Each episode, named for one of Dylan’s exes, generally begins with Dylan informing an ex that they might want to get checked out, too.
– From there, the majority of the episode runs as a flashback of a significant moment in that past relationship.
– But the flashbacks aren’t about Dylan’s past girlfriends so much as how each one represented a significant moment in his current life, involving him, his friends, and his current relationship, and how they’re affecting his life now.
– Those people are Dylan’s cad best friend Luke (Daniel Ings) a walking, talking lad-mag/ticking time bomb of an existential crisis, who once introduced Dylan to his best lady friend, Evie (Antonio Thomas). Evie’s been secretly in love with Dylan for quite a bit. Dylan’s been in love with Evie. The timing’s always been just one minute south of right.
– That timing is complicated in the pilot by the arrival of Dylan’s newest girlfriend, and the first woman he told about the chlamydia, Abigail (Hannah Britland). Also, there’s Angus (Joshua McGwire), the one with an ostensibly picture-perfect marriage and future which, of course, goes hilariously, wonderfully wrong. And forces him to reinvent his entire life.
If this sounds a little too toploaded with Nick Hornby for you, well, (A) disdain for Nick Hornby is cliche and myopic and (B) we’re living in the golden age of mature romantic comedies for adults (see: Insecure)that we haven’t had since the days of Frasier or Living Single. This is something we should deeply embrace because it’s been long overdue.
Moreover: The structure’s brilliant. The characters are funny without descending into caricature. You’re forced to root for everyone on the show. There aren’t great people or terrible people or right decisions or wrong decisions in the world of Lovesick—it’s a show about the way feelings of love evolve through the lens of our own lives, and how that can affect our choice of romantic partners, for better or worse, no matter how wise or dumb or selfish or cynical or prudent that might be.
And if you don’t take our word for it: Slate loves it. The AV Club loves it. Paste loves it. The Guardian loves it. And yet: Lovesick is one of those shows TV critics don’t spend too much time kvelling over. Instead, so many of the stories about it are like this one, in which someone writes a personal ode to a wonderful little show with a dedicated audience.
That’s fine. Not every show needs to be the epic conquerer of day-after Slacks and podcasts and Woke Olympian Twitter Fights.
And all the better: In 2018, here’s hoping we get a more diverse range of television shows that don’t force overanalysis, or superfandom, or those absurd “Are you kidding me?!” reactions some people give others when they admit they’ve never seen Game Of Thrones. At the end of 2017, television that’s great and a small hit and not a cultural force is also television that hasn’t had the fun sapped out of it by overindulged saturation point internet bullshit. How refreshing does that sound? (So very refreshing, is the correct answer.)
Lovesick is so many of the things we should aspire to be in 2018: Warm, empathetic, grounded in reality without being overly cynical, and funny. It’s also just a great, easy watch. And it’s something you’ve been missing. It’s not that your life will be incomplete without it, or that you’ll miss out on some important conversation/moment in pop culture history if you don’t watch it. But again: All the better for those of us who do tune in.
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