TV Features

For Your Consideration: Lovesick

In this week’s segment of “For Your Consideration,” we’re featuring Netflix’s romantic comedy/drama Lovesick. If you were to make the active decision to bypass the series called Scrotal Recall based on the title alone it would be hard to blame you. Admittedly, the title is as dumb as they get, so much so that the show runners made the smart decision to change it to Lovesick for it’s second season. Regardless of name drama however, this was a must see series, one where I saw multiple episodes from season one again and again and again over the course of three weeks. So good was this series that myself and a friend visiting from Chicago completely bypassed the outdoors and touristy hot spots to instead binge watch the first season, slapping the arms of our chairs and crying out in distress whenever something exciting, BIG or game changing happened. Despite the brevity of the seasons (each episode is a half hour long) and the will they won’t they pull between Dylan (Johnny Flynn) and Evie (Antonia Thomas) that lasts far too long, the series is an absolute must see. These character, Evie, Dylan and Luke (the tremendous Daniel Ings), are the ones you’d like to spend a Saturday night and then more subdued, hungover Sunday morning with.

 The Premise

The basic conceit is that Dyaln, after discovering that he’s got an STD, creates a list of the women he’s had sex with and inform them of the bad news. Of course on paper this reads rather shallow when in reality, Dylan uses this list to deal with past heartache, new love and a simmering romance that lays dormant under the veneer of friendship. It’s about Evie, Dylan and Luke going through breakups, finding new hook ups and being there for one another when shit hits the fan.

Why You Should Watch

It’s a genre hybrid with excellent execution, with the funny bits hilarious, the romantic ones heart string pulling and the dramatic ones poignant. For such a small, intimate show it creates big moments through small ideas, capitalizing on the want to see such earnest love stories play out onscreen. The benefit of how short the series is is that we can both speed our way through the episodes but also, it allows for no connection to feel underdeveloped and uses the time that it has to only showcase the strongest aspects of the series.

Dylan, Evie and Luke are as great as any leading trios that have come before them, all living in a sort of archetypal bubble that sitcoms have created in the past but manage to make them all distinctly their own and beautifully modern. Dylan is the hapless young man who falls in love too easy but instead of riding in on the Ted Mosby train of “nice guys”, he is instead remarkably aware of his faults and good natured not as a ploy to get women into bed or to use as an excuse when women refuse, but because he’s genuinely sweet. He feels honest and good unlike so many other leading men in the genre. Evie similarly could’ve been a stereotypical role as the aloof love interest who is too unaware and dismissive of her friends feelings but the first thing the series does to flip that idea on its head to have her being the one infatuated and dealing with (at the time) unrequited love. Antonia Thomas is spectacular, giving Evie such a sense of agency while also wearing her yearning on her face.

Luke however is the character to be the most concerned about at the start as he seemingly gels with the womanizer best friend role that for too long has been a nuisance on television but he immediately veers to the left in turns of how we believe the depiction will go. Much of this is due to Daniel Ings’s beautiful work as the character, being equal parts shallow and hilarious while also being vulnerable and tender with his friends. What makes Luke stand out from characters of his ilk that have come before him is that we know immediately he prioritizes his friendships over any romance and watching his journey to self-acceptance has been one of the shows greatest assets.

Show creator Tom Edge has created something special with Lovesick , series that has everything from witty, heartfelt scripts to beautiful scenery and excellent music choices. The performances are superb, yes, and the chemistry between the three leads vital to the shows success but it’s all of the other moving parts that make it a great show and not just a trio we’d grab drinks with. From a journey to the Highlands for an old school crush and the emotional description of Point Break, to the melancholy sense that you’ve missed a integral moment of truth and the yearning of watching the one you love be in a happy relationship, to a friend who will wake in the early morning with you to mope and then be there at the end of the day, holding down the emotional fort, Lovesick gets the big and small moments of life. It understands why we’d care about these characters, how we’d identify with them and understand their triumphs and losses absurd jokes. It’s a series that above all else is a success because it’s sincerity feels true.

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