On Oct. 18, Amazon Prime released “Modern Love,” an eight episode series about the variety and depth of love we encounter in the 21st century. The show is based on a column in the New York Times, including loves stories from real people. Although, it has been written and adapted for T.V. by John Carney (who I freaking love).
Each episode includes new characters, new stories and new themes of the love that is always existing around us, even when it feels impossible to notice. That is the heart of the show–love. It’s relatable, yet fantastical. The show presents what we’re familiar with, as well as what we’re striving for.
One of the best elements of “Modern Love” is the diversity that it presents in cast, as well as types of relationships that require love. Some stories revolve around romantic relationships, while others focus on family and platonic friendships.
The representation is fabulous. We meet a gay couple trying to adopt a child, a woman suffering with bi-polar depression and a doorman comforting a lonely stranger. It’s as if the show is saying “Love can be anywhere and everywhere.”
In one of my favorite episodes, starring Dev Patel (if you know me, you know this is a BIG deal), love is built, broken and fixed. It’s the story of a young couple that has one of the greatest meet-cutes of all time, but crumbles after a loss of trust. Meanwhile, an older, female journalist recounts the amazing young love she had once, but lost. The two romances are paralleled in what could have been and what still can be.
I won’t give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that the zoo is suddenly the ideal location for a first kiss. Especially if it involves Dev Patel.
In another episode, Anne Hathaway plays a young woman who finds herself in love with the world one day, and unable to get out of bed the next. She is unable to cope with a mental illness, pushing everyone in her life away. But at her lowest moment, she’s offered help. It’s just up to her to accept it.
Her story is one about self-love and self-care, something that’s hard, yet essential. How can we expect to love others, if we don’t love ourselves?
But what makes “Modern Love” different from other modern tellings of love is the hopeful message it brings to all viewers.
Often, love seems…hard. Love has failed and hurt me before. I’ve gone on really bad dates. I’ve been rejected countless times. Everyone has–that’s part of the game we play.
But I’ve also had some of the best days of my life with my best friends. I’ve built my “happy place” around my family. And I’ve been helped by absolute strangers in times when I felt completely alone. “Modern Love” reminds us that love is overwhelmingly present, even when it doesn’t feel that way.
It can be in the eyes of lovers or a new born baby. It can be at a funeral of a family member or a smile on the subway. Modern love is everywhere and we need that right now.
Story by: Amanda Walton
Photos Courtesy of IMDB.com &wnyc.org