Let’s face it, rom-coms have always been a bit rubbish. Guy meets girl, some incredibly quick, love-at-first-sight occurs, there’s a complication, some comic-relief side characters, and then they get over it and get together and everyone cheers. Love condensed into an hour and a half. Lovely. Also, sadly, unrealistic.
Lovesick is here to answer what love looks like when you can’t resolve all your problems in an afternoon. Now onto Season Three, we’ve watched Dylan, Luke, Angus, and Evie find love, lose love, maybe find it again, and struggle in a way that Jennifer Aniston never has. When the film ends, Jennifer Aniston stops existing. All her problems are solved. When Lovesick ends, the characters are still the messy, broken people that we love.
“the characters are still the messy, broken people that we love”
Messy is certainly the word-of-the-season. We find Angus, with a baby on the way, trying to cling to a connection with his one night stand, now mother of his child. We find Luke in therapy, still reeling from the news of an ex-love’s death. Lovesick has always been a show that recognised the clumsiness of love. The characters have insecurities, internal blockages that will always get in the way. They are consequences of everything that has happened to them. In fact, whilst it might be Dylan and Evie’s complicated, messy relationship that opened the show with this message, and is still very much at its core, Season Three demonstrates the advantages of Lovesick as a series by allowing its secondary characters room to grow.
The choices of Angus and Luke, as they slowly piece together what they want out of life, are very much the centre of the series. With Evie and Dylan’s storyline effectively put on-hold around the Episode Four mark, it’s Luke who comes into his own. From this point onwards, we’re allowed a glimpse into what happens when a comic-relief stereotype suffers an existential crisis. It’s all the more powerful having watched Luke flirt and seduce his way through two seasons when he turns to wanting real love.
“Season Three wakes us up from the fairytale”
Angus, too, has to figure out what he really wants, now free from his dominating ex-wife. The optimistic note that Lovesick ends Season Two on, with Angus declaring his engagement to his one night stand always felt too easy, too much like those Jennifer Aniston films (sorry to keep having a go, Jenny). Season Three wakes us up from the fairytale, and forces us to look at what real love looks like. It’s unkind, clumsy, and never as planned. The conflict never comes from characters acting unreasonably, or unrealistically, but from a place of relatable emotions. Everyone are friends, everyone wants the best for each other. Yet, sometimes, this is where we do the worst things to one another.
When the season moves into these aspects is where its strengths lie. Yet, for the first two episodes, the season feels like it’s killing time before the drama-fuelled episode three. It’s a slow start that feels like the more run-of-the-mill sitcoms. All the elements are there – the cinematography, the music, the characters, but something feels very flat before the more melancholic moments are allowed to take hold. This has always been the show’s strength.
After this initial failure-to-launch, though, the show is back to its peak. Even though it has now moved past its initial premise, Season Three proves that there are still stories to tell, still messes to clear up, and still consequences that must be faced. Roll on Season Four announcement.