In these days of Peak TV, there are many good shows getting lost in the shuffle, including inspired half-hour comedies (with dramatic elements) such as FX’s “Better Things” with Pamela Adlon, HBO’s “Insecure” with Issa Rae, Hulu’s “Casual” with Michaela Watkins, Netflix’s “Lady Dynamite” with Maria Bamford, Hulu’s “Please Like Me” with Josh Thomas, Amazon’s “Fleabag” with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and FX’s “Man Seeking Woman” with Jay Baruchel.
Oh, and “Man Seeking Woman,” which I am mentioning twice on purpose, because I was madly in love with the season that just ended.
So before another comedy slips away, I want to mention “Love,” whose second season drops on Netflix on Friday. I was awfully fond of the first season of this series, created by Lesley Arfin, Paul Rust, and Judd Apatow of “Freaks and Geeks” and “Girls.” The title is painfully generic, but the story is endearingly specific as it follows Rust’s Gus and Gillian Jacobs’s Mickey into an unlikely relationship in Los Angeles.
I can’t say the show treads unusual TV territory: It’s about the mixed signals and missteps of courtship, the way two people fight against their inevitable connection. We’ve seen this kind of romantic comedy before. The pacing is very gradual, too.
But Rust and Jacobs are each thoroughly endearing in very different ways. He’s a geek and a softie whose ex-girlfriend mistreated him; she’s a recovering party girl who thinks she only deserves to date creepy men. Together, they’re a match of opposites, if they can only figure out how to get past the oppositeness. He’s too nice, she’s not nice enough; can they meet in the middle?
Another plus: Rust and Jacobs are surrounded by good supporting characters, including Mickey’s lovable and endlessly cheerful roommate, played by Claudia O’Doherty.
Sure, there are plenty of big dramas out there awaiting your consumption. But here’s a little treat, if you’re in the mood. “Love” in the afternoon?
Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.