It could almost be interpreted as a tradition. Every decade HBO debuts a series starring a strong woman, who engages in some kind of liberal profession, has a solid group of friends, loves New York City (where she also lives), and has a series of adventures and misadventures. loving and sexual with different individuals (usually male).
The pioneer was Sex and the City, which premiered in 1998 and put HBO in the firmament of chain producing quality series in which it is now located (The Sopranos and The Wire they also contributed, of course). The series starred Sarah Jessica Parker in the role of Carrie, a columnist with the kind of job that is no longer found, and opened the doors to representation of female sexuality on television. In the pilot of Sex and the CityBased on Candace Bushnell’s novel of the same title, Carrie had an occasional sex encounter, had oral sex, and was master of her sexuality.
Then it would be Lena Dunham’s turn, who in 2012 premiered on the network Girls. A series that was created, produced, starred and sometimes even written and directed by her. With Girls we understood that Brooklyn is cool (after Miranda’s Sex and the City I would have shown him the contempt of someone from Manhattan.) We discovered Adam Driver’s pecs. And we saw how the dynamics of relationships changed, much more dominated by mobile phones. Our protagonists were also slightly younger than those of the previous series and with a much more precarious professional life.
This 2020 has been the year of Love Life. The series stars Anna Kendrick and in the United States is one of the original titles of. It premiered on May 27 on Max and in Spain it can be seen on HBO Spain from May 28. With Love Life We go back to Manhattan. Darby (Kendrick) shares an apartment with several friends while trying to climb into a profession related to the art trade.
The series makes the mistake of traveling through time and encapsulating very specific moments of certain Darby relationships within each of its half-hour episodes, of which I have seen six from a first season of 10. There are numerous temporal ellipsis between episode and episode and many things that happen off camera. I would almost say that plots that in other series would hardly have been left out or would represent outstanding episodes, are the ones that we did not get to see here. The series has “spent” a lot of drama for being so committed to this fragmented structure. This is not so much an example of delivery television or serialized, but a series based on snapshots.
Love Life It is also one of those “comedies” that is only for the duration of its episodes, the half hour is a length traditionally associated with this genre. And because from time to time there is a joke camouflaged in the midst of much discomfort. Like the moment when Darby’s assistant is surprised that she still uses Facebook (denoting that she’s getting older) or the fact that another character decides to put on the podcast. Serial to go running (reminding us of the great popularity of that program among a certain population sector at a certain time).
But overall Love Life It is one of those comedies that leave you sad. The series integrates interesting themes that govern relationships right now, such as dating apps or texting labels so as not to denote extreme interest. But its protagonist is even more irritating than Dunham’s Hannah in Girls. Hannah was irritating to have a very strong personality and always say what was going through her mind. But Darby irritates by adapting at all times to others, especially the men who cross her life.
Love Life It seems to me a bit of a missed opportunity that does not just add much to a genre of which we have already seen several examples. The series also focuses excessively on Darby’s character and does not spend time or development on other interesting characters such as Sara (Zoe Chao), one of Darby’s best friends.
It is true that Sex and the City It is not seen well with the eyes of a spectator of 2020. And that Girls nor is it one of those series that manages to lift anyone’s spirits. So I’m going to stick with another HBO comedy starring a young woman trying to navigate her professional and personal life: Insecure. It premiered in 2016 and is now airing its fourth season. It is created, starred and produced by Issa Rae, who also writes some of the scripts. Of course, I warn you that it is set in Los Angeles.