Love Life (2020– )

TVSeries


Love Life (TV Series 2020– )

Anna Kendrick stars in a fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series about the journey from first love to lasting love, and how the people we're with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever. With Zoë Chao, Peter Vack and Sasha Compere.
USA
IMDb   7.5 /10
Metacritic   54 %
TheMovieDb    7.7 /10
RottenTomatoes  65 %
FilmAffinity   6.1 /10
Creators
Creator Sam Boyd
Information
Release Date2020-05-27
Runtime35min
GenreComedy, Romance
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
Awards1 nomination.
CompanyFeigco Entertainment, Lionsgate Television, Lionsgate
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Darby 11 episodes, 2020-2021
Sara Yang 11 episodes, 2020-2021
Jim 11 episodes, 2020-2021
Mallory 10 episodes, 2020
Narrator 10 episodes, 2020
Claudia Hoffman 6 episodes, 2020

Love Life (American TV series)

Love Life is an American romantic comedy anthology streaming television series created by Sam Boyd that premiered on the HBO Max streaming service for its launch on May 27, 2020. In June 2020, the series was renewed for a second season which is set to premiere on October 28, 2021.


Premise

An anthology series that follows a different person each season from their first romance until their last romance.


Cast

Main

  • Anna Kendrick as Darby Carter
  • Zoë Chao as Sara Yang, Darby's roommate and best friend
  • Sasha Compère as Mallory Moore, Darby's other roommate and friend
  • Peter Vack as Jim, Sara's boyfriend and later ex-boyfriend
  • William Jackson Harper as Marcus Watkins (season 2)
  • Jessica Williams as Mia Hines (season 2)
  • Chris Powell as Yogi (season 2)
  • Punkie Johnson as Ida Watkins (season 2)

The series is narrated by Lesley Manville (season 1) and Keith David (season 2).

Recurring

  • Jin Ha as Augie Jeong
  • Hope Davis as Claudia Hoffman, Darby's Mother
  • Janet Hubert as Donna Watkins, Marcus' mother (season 2)
  • Jordan Rock as Trae Lang (season 2)
  • Leslie Bibb as Becca Evans (season 2)
  • John Earl Jelks as Kirby Watkins (season 2)
  • Arian Moayed as Kian Parsa (season 2)
  • Steven Boyer as Josh (season 2)

Guest

  • Scoot McNairy as Bradley Field
  • Maureen Sebastian as Kate Field
  • Nadia Quinn as Lola
  • Gus Halper as Danny Two-Phones
  • Nick Thune as Magnus Lund
  • James LeGros as Larry Carter
  • Jackson Demott Hill as Hunter Carter
  • Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Darby's therapist
  • Courtney Grosbeck as teenager Darby Carter
  • John Gallagher Jr. as Luke Ducharme Griffin Gluck portrays teenager Luke Ducharme
  • Griffin Gluck portrays teenager Luke Ducharme
  • Kingsley Ben-Adir as Grant
  • Maya Kazan as Emily Hexton (season 2)
  • Kimberly Elise as Suzanné Hayward (season 2)
  • Ego Nwodim as Ola Adebayo (season 2)
  • Blair Underwood as Leon Hines (season 2)

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Augie Jeong"Sam BoydSam BoydMay 27, 2020
While at a karaoke night in 2012, Darby meets Augie Jeong, who immediately begins flirting with her. The two spend the night together and she gives him her number before he leaves the next morning. After several agonizing days of not hearing from him, Darby talks to her roommates about whether to text him first. He finally texts her and the two start a relationship. After several months, Augie announces he'll be leaving town to report on the Obama re-election campaign. On his last night in town, they attend Darby's boss's wedding, where the two say "I Love You" for the first time. They discuss staying in touch via Skype, but it seems unlikely their relationship will continue. He leaves the next morning. The final seconds of the episode flash forward to Darby walking down the street, pregnant, with a bare ring finger.
22"Bradley Field"Craig JohnsonBridget BedardMay 27, 2020
One year later, Darby starts a relationship with her former boss, Bradley, who's recently divorced. He's older and successful, feeding her insecurity. She attempts to rekindle her interest in photography by taking a class, but receives only criticism and drops out. The difference in age and maturity between Darby and Bradley comes to a head when she gets drunk at his father's wake and embarrasses them both. Following their breakup, she purchases a photo from a former classmate, her apparent first stab at collecting art.
33"Danny Two Phones"Tricia BrockAli LiebegottMay 27, 2020
Another year passes, and Darby runs into Augie, who's quit his job and is preparing to travel the country in a van with his new girlfriend. Darby's roommate Sara drags her to a party to make her stop thinking about Augie. But Sara feels guilty she skipped her boyfriend's cousin's bris to go to the party and, after kissing another guy in a game of spin the bottle, Sara leaves for the bris, where her boyfriend's relative tells her to let Jim go if he's not the one. Meanwhile Darby ends up sleeping with Danny, a guy from the party, but she's turned off by his intensity and lies that she's moving to Cleveland. Later, she runs into him while she's working at the Whitney and Danny says she hurt him. Darby apologizes, realizing she's made him feel the way guys have made her feel. Again she runs into Augie, who's arguing with his girlfriend about the road trip they're embarking on the next day. Darby leaves for a job interview at an auction house. As Augie's girlfriend loads the van, Augie scrolls through Darby's social media.
44"Magnus Lund"Craig JohnsonBrig Muñoz-LiebowitzJune 4, 2020
After a series of casual relationships, Darby begins dating Magnus Lund, a chef. He seems perfect: fun, successful, affectionate, and great with Darby's mom. After a vacation to the country, he moves in with Darby. But on the same day Darby gets a promotion at the auction house, Magnus is fired, sending him into a depression. He watches sports and drinks a lot, and Darby begins to resent that she's supporting them both. After a fight, Magnus seems motivated to look for a job, but he leaves the house one morning and doesn't return for 24 hours. Darby, scared and worried, goes through his stuff and finds a birthday card from another woman, past-due bills, and credit card debt. Her friends describe Magnus as shady and a flirt. When he finally comes home, still wearing his job-hunting suit, he reveals he's gotten her name tattooed on his chest and he asks her to marry him. Meanwhile, Sara begins to worry she's outgrown Jim like a youthful tattoo.
55"Luke Ducharme"Stephanie LaingSam BoydJune 4, 2020
Darby tries therapy to discuss her relationship with Magnus and realizes her fear of rejection has made her a people-pleaser. After the therapist asks her to recount the first time she felt rejection, Darby describes her first relationship as a teenager, during one year she spent at boarding school. While stuck there over Thanksgiving break, feeling unwanted by both her parents, she has an intense fling with fellow student Luke Ducharme. However, after break ends, Luke ignores her and hooks up with her roommate. When Darby's roommate finds her crying, Darby lies and says she has cancer. The news spreads throughout the school, Luke takes her back, and Darby is showered with affection and support. When she's caught in her lie, she's humiliated and leaves school to return home. In the present day, Darby's therapist asks her to come back again, but she's too scared. At the end, Magnus and Darby are grocery shopping, with Darby wearing an engagement ring.
66"Magnus Lund Part II"Jennifer Kaytin RobinsonJaclyn Moore and Brig Muñoz-LiebowitzJune 4, 2020
An unemployed Magnus frustrates Darby by starting a wrongful termination lawsuit against his previous employer but doesn't have much luck. Darby connects with Luke on Facebook and they meet up when he is in New York. They kiss, but Darby stops it and tells him that she's just frustrated at her husband. Luke, now a lawyer, offers to help with Magnus's lawsuit, but Magnus behaves rudely when Luke tells him the case doesn't have much merit. An angry Darby sleeps with Luke, which shows her the possibility of a life without Magnus. Darby tells Magnus she wants to leave him and he's pissed off. Meanwhile, Sara and Jim realize they want different things when he announces he's moving to New Jersey and she refuses to go with him.
77"Claudia Hoffman"Anu ValiaMegan MercierJune 11, 2020
Seven months after getting divorced from Magnus, Darby has quit her job at the auction house and is working with Bradley's friend Lola at a gallery. Darby needs to have her appendix out and her mother Claudia comes to take care of her after the surgery and takes over. Darby is annoyed with her overbearing, critical mother and it escalates into a fight. Darby tries to smooth things over but then Hunter calls and Claudia's focus is shifted to her son. Darby starts crying in a shop when she sees how easily Claudia bonds with Hunter. This results in a serious talk between mother and daughter, helping them see the other person's point of view about their relationship. Meanwhile, Jim still refuses to take Sara's calls, so Sara crashes Nicolette's birthday party to "accidentally" run into Jim. He tells her they're on different paths and he doesn't want to get back together or even be friends.
88"Sara Yang"Stephanie LaingAli LiebegottJune 11, 2020
Darby's friend's roommate Mallory is getting married, so the girls head to a cabin for the bachelorette weekend. Darby catches Sara and Ramona doing lines of coke in the bedroom. At dinner, Sara gives an emotional toast. Later, when everyone is asleep, Sara sneaks out and goes for a drive while drunk. Darby finds her sleeping in the car in the morning and tells her off. In the evening, the girls head to a strip club. Sara gets drunk and sneaks off to the bathroom to do more coke and finds a bag with money in one of the stalls. She returns the bag, but later the owner accuses Sara of stealing the money. Sara tells Darby she stole the money for fun; she feels betrayed by Jim, she lost her job, and she feels like Darby doesn't need her anymore. Darby encourages Sara to get professional help and go to rehab. The next morning, Sara acts like she doesn't remember their talk. Darby gives Sara an ultimatum: go to rehab or the friendship is over. Sara hides under the covers and Darby leaves the cabin.
99"Augie Again"Stephanie LaingFranklin HardyJune 11, 2020
It's Thanksgiving, two months after the bachelorette party. Darby attends a "Friendsgiving" party hosted by Jim, who tells her Sara is in rehab. At the party, she runs into Augie. After the dinner, Augie and Darby have sex and decide to get back together. Darby takes Augie to a work party at the gallery, and he makes some comments that make Darby feel uncomfortable. She begins to question whether they really are a good fit and whether being 'comfortable' with each other is enough. Darby asks Jim for advice, and he tells her that if you're not bringing out the best in each other, it's okay to leave. During their breakfast meeting, Darby notes a weird smell, and Jim suspects she may be pregnant, which she confirms by taking a number of pregnancy tests. She catches up with Augie and tells him they're too different now and that things aren't really working out. Augie says he's glad she broached the subject and he's happy she's breaking up with him so they can both be and do what they want to do.
1010"The Person"Sam BoydBridget Bedard & Sam BoydJune 11, 2020
Two years after the pregnancy test, Darby has tracked down an artist for her new exhibition. She is co-parenting baby Theo with Augie. Darby spends her first night apart from baby Theo to go to Sara's wedding (who is now sober) and Darby's mom Claudia comes to babysit. At the reception, Darby meets a man named Grant and they spend the entire night together talking. Darby invites him to her hotel room, where they kiss but she falls asleep when Grant goes out to get some drinks. She runs into Grant a few weeks later and they hit it off again. A little while later, Darby and Grant (who the narrator announces is Darby's soulmate) are still dating and she is finally content with her life.

Production

Development

On May 23, 2019, it was announced that WarnerMedia had ordered a romantic comedy anthology straight to series with the first season consisting of ten episodes for HBO Max. The series was created by Sam Boyd who was also expected to executive produce alongside Anna Kendrick, Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson, and Bridget Bedard. The pilot was also written and directed by Sam Boyd. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Lionsgate Television and Feigco Entertainment. On June 11, 2020, HBO Max renewed the series for a second season. Janet Hubert, Jordan Rock, and Maya Kazan joined the second season as executive producers.

Casting

Alongside the initial series announcement, Anna Kendrick was also cast in a lead role. On August 13, 2019, it was reported that Zoë Chao, Sasha Compère and Peter Vack joined the cast in starring roles, with Scoot McNairy joining in a recurring role. On November 5, 2020, William Jackson Harper was cast to headline the second season with Kendrick set to reprise her role of Darby as a guest. On May 3, 2021, it was announced that Jessica Williams and Chris Powell joined the main cast. On July 20, 2021, Punkie Johnson was cast in a starring role while Leslie Bibb, John Earl Jelks, and Arian Moayed were cast in recurring roles for the second season. Kimberly Elise, Ego Nwodim, and Blair Underwood also joined the cast as guest stars for the second season. The following month, Keith David was cast in the role of the season's narrator while Steven Boyer joined the cast in a recurring role.

Filming

Filming had begun by August 2019 in Queens, New York. The final scene of the finale was filmed on March 12, 2020, and production was forced to shut down the next day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While several more days of filming pick-ups had been planned, they were able to complete the season without those additional shots.


Release

The series premiered on May 27, 2020, on HBO Max. In Australia, the series was released on May 27, 2020, on Stan, and public broadcaster BBC acquired television broadcast rights in the United Kingdom (where the series started airing on the broadcaster's main BBC One channel) to the series on September 10, 2020. The series is streaming on Lionsgate Play in India. In the United States, the series was aired on TBS on August 22, 2021. The second season is scheduled to debut on October 28, 2021, with the first three episodes available immediately, follow by three episodes on November 4, and the final four episodes on November 11.


Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes it has approval rating of 64% based on reviews from 47 critics, with an average rating of 5.84/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Love Life first season breezes by on Anna Kendrick's charms, but those looking for a real connection may find its featherweight familiarness frustrating." On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".