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Sparks are sparse in season 2 of ‘Modern Love’

Andrew Rannells (left, with actors Zane Pais and Marquis Rodriguez at the "Modern Love" season 2 premiere in New York earlier this month) wrote and directed the “How Do You Remember Me?” episode.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

I was a fan of the first season of Amazon’s “Modern Love,” the series adapted from The New York Times column of the same name. Like so many anthology shows, some of the episodes were great and others were just OK. You know, some cookies have more chocolate chips than others from the same bag. But overall, it worked for me.

So I was eager for the second season, which is available on Friday. Like season one, the eight episodes are stocked with good actors, including Minnie Driver, Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo, Anna Paquin, and Tobias Menzies. But I’m sorry to say that, unlike season one, I was disappointed.


Sure, there are some pleasing moments throughout the eight episodes, and one or two half-hours that satisfy — “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One,” for instance, in which Dominique Fishback and Isaac Powell play friends, one of whom would like to become romantic. “How Do You Remember Me?,” written and directed by Andrew Rannells, is a formally playful surprise, as two men each recall their date differently.

But most of the episodes blur together into blandness, with ordinary premises given unremarkable treatment — a woman refuses to get rid of her late husband’s car, strangers who meet on a train vow to meet at the station two weeks later (because exchanging phone numbers is so predictable), and a man and woman click after finding out their spouses are having an affair. Alas, there’s just not a lot of spark and inspiration afoot, not a lot of urgent truths about love to ponder.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.