Pop culture advent calendar, Day 10: Lovesick
Inspired by NPR, every day (gulp) from December 1st to 24th, I will be highlighting
a pop culture moment from this year that I loved. Today I talk about a romcom sitcom everyone should be watching.
Lovesick, previously Scrotal Recall has slowly become one of my favourite shows in the last few years. First on Channel 4, now a Netflix show, if follows Dylan, who contracts Chlamydia, as he contacts all his exes to tell them. Each episode is dedicated to a girl - whether she be a fling, a one night stand, a mistake or a long term relationship. Meanwhile, he is sorting through his present day feelings for his best friend Evie. It's becomes a really wonderful meditation on regret, bad timing, not recognising what you want and how to pursue it when you do. As the show goes on and the format develops (as the initial premise of course has a natural end date) it's become a really endearing sitcom about the development and growth of three friends, (Dylan, Evie and their other friend Luke) and how love and bad timing shapes their lives. Luke’s development, which takes place as a character unravelling, from posh playboy to actual heartbroken softie, is particularly noteworthy. On top of all that’ it’s funny. I love it a lot!
The scene I want to talk about is from Lovesick comes halfway through season 3, when Evie finally gets together with Dylan. Because rather than it be a Big Romantic Moment, Dylan has to break up with the very likeable and charming Abigail, who has been a recurring love interest throughout the whole series, and has great chemistry with Dylan. Bim Adewumni at BuzzFeed interviewed the creators, and they didn’t want to take the easy route because ‘somebeody is waking up across town and feeling terrible’.
This kind of compassionate storytelling in romantic comedies/situations is quite refreshing. Often, when we’re shipping two people, their other relationships seem like nothing more than obstacles in a race for them to get together. They’re indispensable. They’re written as shallow or self-involved or many other variants of awful so that getting rid of them is an easier loss. It’s a much more realistic and empathetic choice to flesh out the other significant others. It makes for a better show, and a more complex look at life and love and how the choices we make along the way.
Watch Lovesick you cowards! It’s all on Netflix!