HBO Max’s anthology series Love Life is back for a second outing and this time it’s William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) taking the lead, with viewers watching his character Marcus Watkins trek down another messy path on the hunt for one true love.
After giving the world a fun but somewhat familiar tale about a white woman (Anna Kendrick’s Darby) and her friends trying to find love in modern New York City, season two provides a welcome change of pace. Here we find the story centered around a black man who is sensible, kinda nerdy, and just trying to do the right thing.
Yep, Marcus is just a somewhat average African-American man living his life and it is so wonderful to get to see this type of character have their love story play out on screen.
When we are introduced to Marcus, we learn that he’s working in publishing and has been happily married to his high school sweetheart Emily (Maya Kazan) for many years. However, a chance encounter makes him start to realize that might not have been the right decision.
The choice to approach the dating game from the viewpoint of a newly divorced man in his thirties immediately means the series avoids the chance of being similar to Darby’s journey in any way.
Seriously, if you thought dating was a struggle for Darby, please prepare yourself for some truly disastrous ‘entanglements’. Much to our amusement, Marcus suddenly finds himself trying to make a lasting connection through dating apps, hookups, and incompatible pairings.
Most people would be able to imagine how hard it might be to try and find romantic fulfillment again after splitting up with the woman you thought was going to be your person forever.
What co-showrunners Sam Boyd, Rachelle William, and Bridget Bedard do well throughout the ten episodes is bring those exact expectations to life in a way that’s comical, groan-inducing, and heartwarming.
In fact, the show isn’t afraid to get into the complications of interracial relationships, Black love, and the ways racial bias has a profound impact on our relationships, careers, and other interactions.
Luckily for Marcus, he has a great group of friends and loved ones who guide him along on his journey in ways that help him to ‘make the happiness happen’.
Just like with Darby’s journey, viewers learn as much about love through the relationship and interactions of those who play a large part in Marcus’ life.
William Jackson Harper is a great choice for leading man as he delivers the same endearing performance that helped make Chidi Anagonye such a fan favorite on The Good Place.
With Love Life, he gets to flex different acting muscles and showcases his ability to have a great on-screen rapport with just about anyone, especially the likes of Jessica Williams (2 Dope Queens) and Ego Nwodim (Saturday Night Live), who both star as potential love interests.
Elsewhere, the series sees Rick and Morty star Keith David narrate the story, providing viewers with a soothing link into Marcus’ inner thoughts and feelings as he attempts to take control of his love life and progress in his career.
As hinted by the trailer, there is some connective tissue to season one as Anna Kendrick and a few other familiar faces appear at different points in the season.
However, care is taken to ensure we detach enough from Darby’s story in order to truly get settled into the world of Marcus.
Verdict on Love Life Season 2
As promised, the anthology series focuses on the love life of a new individual, and season two highlights just how much this show has to offer with its continued exploration of modern dating.
As a Black man, Marcus’ journey is rather different from the first season protagonist but the desire to find true love and be loved is a current that remains the same.
One of the main joys about season one for many female viewers was the feeling of being seen. The characters were familiar, flawed, and very clearly faking their way to success like we all feel we are.
Now this second season offers the chance to see things from another perspective. One that might be more familiar to some than others, but also serves as a fun eye-opener because, honestly, the search for love isn’t necessarily much easier for men sometimes.
You don’t have to have married young to relate to Marcus’ love journey. You don’t need to live in New York or work in publishing. You just need to strap in for another wild ride showcasing the quirks of dating in the modern age that will ultimately leave you with all the feels.
The series once again makes the journey from first love to last love an entertainingly relatable watch, as we’re reminded that ‘happily ever after’ often comes in very different forms these days.
The first three episodes of Love Life Season 2 are available to stream on HBO Max from October 28 in the US. Season one is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK.
Credit: Original article published here.