Netflix's Love dropped on Feb. 19 and the Judd Apatow-created dramedy has got me hooked with all its awkward moments, flawed characters, and hey, it's funny too. It also seems to reference one of the greatest episodes of Friends ever. Netflix's Love Episode 5 has a Friends homage and it's hilarious to see how the famous episode "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" could've happened if text messaging was involved. To refresh your memory, that episode of the NBC comedy, which aired in 1999, showed secret couple Monica and Chandler facing off against Rachel and Phoebe, who knew about their coupling but they weren't supposed to know. Joey acted as a reluctant go-between.
Love appears to pay tribute (though it could be coincidental) to that episode in a purely 2016 way. In Episode 4, Mickey goes wild at a party and is comforted by Gus and her roommate Bertie. Mickey then suggests that they date, despite the fact that Gus clearly likes Mickey. So Episode 5, called "The Date," shows us Gus and Bertie's, well, date. It's a pretty lame time at a restaurant with negative Yelp reviews, but then Bertie accidentally sends a text about the date's lameness to Gus, but he can tell it was meant for Mickey. Both decide to text Mickey about the mishap and bomb the date. Mickey keeps them updated on the situation — "He knows you know he knows," one text from Mickey reads, echoing Phoebe's classic line from Friends: "They don't know we know they know we know." The date's absurdity escalates to Gus literally choking and vomiting at the restaurant and Bertie thinking it's part of the act. Well, that part didn't happen on Friends.
The "love story" of Love's Mickey and Gus is a far cry from the '90s romances of Friends' Ross and Rachel or Monica and Chandler. The always-early Gus gets dumped by his uptight ex-girlfriend for being too "fake nice," while Mickey is struggling with addiction. At the end of the second episode, the series even points out that rom-com movies gave Gus unrealistic expectations for love and he literally throws his Blu-Ray collection out the (car) window.
Although just like Friends, Gus and Mickey don't seem to fall in love right away — they don't even meet right away in the first episode. But from there, the road to romance is a 2016 love story filled with Ambien-fueled work situations, AA meetings, "sarcoma" tattoos, sassy neighbors, exes, and a significant orange rug.
But I can't wait to see if perhaps Gus and Mickey are each others' lobsters — the 2016 version, anyway.
Images: Suzanne Hanover (2)/Netflix