Love Life 2, the review: a more balanced and black modern love story

Greater balance in the writing and characterization of the protagonist, who however always aims at a millennial hipster target. This characterizes the second and final season of Love Life, from January 13 on Netflix after the quiet passage on TIMVISION. Thanks above all to the black culture of William Jackson Harper.

Love Life 2, the review: a more balanced and black modern love story

We often say that if the series arrive on other less high-sounding platforms, they go almost unnoticed (especially if there is no adequate communication from them) and are later discovered by everyone when they arrive on Netflix. If they land on Reed Hastings’ streaming service, then they “exist.” With this in mind, after The Sinnerin the review of love life 2the second and unfortunately last season of the first original HBO Max series, we also recover the conclusion of the serial, which in Italy passed quietly on TIMVISION and is now available together with the first, in fact, on Netflix.

Love Life 2 William Jackson Harper 3

Love Life 2: a scene from the series

Given that Love Life is an anthological series whose protagonists in each season are different characters looking for love in New York, but linked to each other, the choice of the creators and producers would have fallen on Jim (Peter Vack, Mozart in the Jungle), already seen in the first season, as was rumored. Instead they went in another direction, choosing a new entry and linking it to the characters already seen in the inaugural cycle.

No more Darby, make way for Marcus

Love Life 2 William Jackson Harper Anna Kendrick

Love Life 2: a scene from the second season

Protagonist of the second season of Love Life is in fact Marcus Watkins (William Jackson Harper, who you may have liked in The Good Place or in The Resort), editor-in-chief trying to find the new successful up-and-coming black author at a white-run publishing house.
We meet him at the wedding of Darby (Anna Kendrick, who returns as a guest star) and Magnus, as his wife Emily is friends with the bride. From there the structure proceeds like the inaugural season: each episode has the name of a person who will be important in Marcus’ personal and sentimental life, to get him to the love of his life (which perhaps therefore will not be Emily). A less romantic and more pragmatic love, in the time of disillusioned and precarious millennials. If Kendrick’s Darby was enough buffer, Marcus’s William Jackson Harper manages to find some balance in outlining its many contradictions, starting from the script and the characterization of the creator Sam Boyd. The choice of a character like Marcus is due to the male and black point of view, different from that of Darby in the first season, which could lead to focus on love at the time of the millennials.

Love Life, the review: love in the time of the millennials

Relations and contradictions

Love Life 2 Punkie Johnson William Jackson Harper

Love Life 2: a moment of the series

Marcus’ social class, however, remains the middle class of the City: the character, like the others, never really has money problems and always finds someone to lean on, like his sister. Compared to the first season, the secondary characters remain in the background but it is Ida (Punkie Johnson) and her love adventure in the gay world in New York in the 2020s that emerges. Love Life 2 wants to reflect, once again, how difficult it is to move in the world of apps, meetings at the bar, blind dates and so on in a metropolis perhaps too full of possibilities, so much so that it finally has none. The New York that is depicted in the show is again that of the wealthy class, gods vernisage and social events, interspersed with simple outings through the streets of the Big Apple. Where you walk a lot, find alleys in search of magic and discover new and sought-after places to eat.

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Love in pandemic

Love Life 2 Jessica Williams William Jackson Harper

Love Life 2: A picture from the series

One of the most successful episodes of the season is certainly the penultimate one, set during the pandemic. An entire year that runs in a single half-hour episode is an interesting and surprisingly successful experiment. Not too much emphasis is given but the pandemic becomes the fabric of Marcus’ love, personal and work story. Especially when the death of George Floyd and the resulting movement of the Black Lives Matter. However, a parallelism that comes to mind when looking at the season is interesting, with Entergalactic, an animated experiment by Netflix always dedicated to a black love story in the Big Apple. A sort of story in a music video by Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) as long as a film, with almost photo-realistic animation and hyper-dynamic and captivating direction. Also because they also share an interpreter, Jessica Williams: in Entergalactic is Meadow, the female lead of the story, while in Love Life it’s Mia, a girl Marcus meets and who will keep strangely coming back into his life. Is she the love of his life?


A series always dedicated to the millennial hipster target but a little more balanced and open, thanks to the black protagonist. This is what emerged from the review of Love Life 2, the second and final season of the first HBO Max original series. The protagonist and the resolution of his love story work, together with the connections with the first season and the inclusion of the current affairs such as the pandemic and Black Lives Matter.

Because we like it

  • William Jackson Harper works, more than Anna Kendrick.
  • There is a greater balance in the narrative, thanks to the point of view of a black boy in New York today.
  • The episode dedicated to the pandemic and the BLM.

What’s wrong

  • The target that the series is aimed at is always the specific one of the millennial hipsters, of the wealthy class who don’t really trudge.
  • The supporting actors remain too far in the rear, but a special mention goes to Punkie Johnson.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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