Gus and Mickey were back to dysfunctionally dating in Season 2 of Love. But besides watching the Netflix show for the unromantic romance, you may watch Love for all of its pop culture references. Just like in Season 1, the Los Angeles-based series is very focused on Hollywood and the entertainment industry. As an aspiring movie writer and pop culture geek, Gus is good for commentary on movies, television, and celebs. And since the latest season picked up right where Season 1 ended, there was no break in the flow of culturally relevant references in Season 2 of Love.
Along with having a killer soundtrack that's not acknowledged by the characters, Love Season 2 is full of the same entertainment industry banter that occurred in Season 1. And something else that's the same from the first season is that Bertie's pop culture references were the most delightful for me. (Even if it doesn't count as a direct "reference," Mickey's Australian roommate sadly listening to "Heart Full of Love" from Les Miserables in Episode 11 killed me.) Yet, I'm not trying to take away from Gus' strong pop culture game since his group of friends were still creating songs for movies that don't have theme songs.
No matter which character made the reference, the nods to pop culture old and new were always enjoyable — and that's much more than I can say for the behavior of the characters. To help you keep track of it all, here is a list of almost every pop culture reference from Love Season 2 to make Gus proud.
To cover up that she was having sex with Randy, Bertie told Mickey and Gus that she had been listening to a TED Talk about city infrastructure. Even when TED Talks sound boring, they really are cool like Gus said.
When Gus tried to explain why he had slept with Heidi in Season 1, he told Mickey how he was not equipped to juggle women because he's no Warren Beatty. Realizing that comparing himself to Warren was a stretch, he admitted he wasn't even like Ned Beatty (no relation). Hey, Ned may not be such a notable lady-killer as Warren, but he has been married four times.
3'The Real Divorced Dads Of Sherman Oaks'
Mickey mocked Gus' sad, pre-decorated living space by saying it was like a reality TV show set for a spinoff of The Real Housewives. Gus countered by saying his show would be called Home Makeover: Sad Asshole Edition.
Gus loves his Hollywood comparisons and in this Episode 1 moment, he said his relationship with Mickey was like Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep's relationship — because, as Nancy Meyers showed, It's Complicated.
5Osama Bin Laden & 'Home Alone'
When Mickey and Gus woke up from their non-sexual sleepover in Episode 2, Gus said he had a dream that he killed Osama bin Laden, who then turned into Macaulay Culkin. Mickey theorized that maybe bin Laden would still be alive if he had booby-trapped his house like Culkin did in Home Alone.
That Mickey didn't know who Michael Landon was is a travesty to me, but Gus helped to set her straight as he informed her that his mother said he had the hair of the Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven star. Then, weirdly, Little House on the Prairie was playing at the bar Gus was at. Also, I'm with most people that Gus looks more like Rachel Maddow than Landon. (And Gus should take that as a compliment!)
7'Friends' & Bruce Willis
Gus showed what a pop culture nerd he truly is when he analyzed how the characters in Friends, who discussed Die Hard earlier in the series, should have acknowledged that Rachel's boyfriend, Paul, was portrayed by the one and only John McClane — Bruce Willis. Later, in Episode 4, Mickey and Gus watched Die Hard together to bring it full circle. And Matthew Perry even got a shout-out in Episode 9.
8Mr. Belvedere & His Balls
The writers of Witchita said they liked being present for Gus' writers room freakout in Season 1 because it was like being in the room when Mr. Belvedere sat on his balls. As S.E. Shepherd for Kentucky Sports News explained, the story goes that actor Christopher Hewett, who portrayed Mr. Belvedere in the sitcom that ran from 1985 to 1990, came in for a read-through and sat on his own testicles. The story was originally told by Adam Sandler to Jay Mohr, although Shepherd did some digging to find the true origins of the story.
Don't mess with Gus when it comes to Alfred Hitchcock. He ranted that Heidi's stuntman (who allegedly does all of Tobey Maguire's stunts — except the ones in the Spider-Man movies) wouldn't have fallen off the steeple if the show had gone with his idea of a quarry. In typical Gus fashion, he was more concerned with winning an argument about how Witchita was ripping off Hitchcock's Vertigo than the well-being of the stuntman.
10'While You Were Sleeping'
In a nice tie-in to the fact that Susan Cheryl said Heidi will go insane if she doesn't become Sandra Bullock-famous, the first theme song that Gus and his friends wrote in Season 2 was for her 1995 rom-com, While You Were Sleeping. And yes, it is a little distracting that Peter Gallagher played a character named Peter Callaghan.
11No Dinosaurs In 'Jurassic Park'
While tripping on mushrooms, Randy and Gus freak out how their lives aren't going anywhere and it would be like being over half an hour into Jurassic Park and the dinosaurs haven't shown up and never will — and what's Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs?!
Bertie showed off her American accent by quoting Melanie Griffith's character in Working Girl to Gus. As they bonded over their shared love of the '80s film, Bertie made the astute observation that, "Yeah, Han Solo looks great in a suit."
Gus told Mickey she was beautiful like the movie star from the '30s who died in a plane crash. He was most likely talking about Carole Lombard, who was married to Clark Gable at the time of her death. Bonus pop culture points for Mickey quoting "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera in this moment.
Mickey's first job in Los Angeles was being an assistant to a publicist who represented the entire cast of The Hills. She learned the hard way that poor Justin Bobby felt left out.
15'Terms Of Endearment'
After Gus cried at the movies (I disappointingly couldn't detect if they were seeing a real movie), Mickey said she cries at movies where the characters face death with dignity and Gus referred to Terms of Endearment as a prime example. Grab a box of tissues and watch it right now if you haven't seen it before.
16'Homicide: Life On The Street'
Gus asked Arya's dad (played with perfect despicableness by David Spade) if he had seen him in a Season 4 episode of Homicide — most likely referring to the '90s police drama. Homicide: Life on the Streets is no Just Shoot Me!, but it will have to do.
Bertie got screwed over by her coworker Cynthia, who called out sick, but was really at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter enjoying butterbeer and Quidditch. Bertie was outraged since her coworker had never read the books while she had read each of the seven books twice — in Bertie's words, "That's 14 books!"
Dr. Greg made Gus doubt his relationship with Mickey at their work party, but Mickey told Gus to ignore him since Dr. Greg wasn't a real doctor and compared him to Dr. Phil. Gus was aghast at the idea of Dr. Phil not being a real doctor, but don't worry, Dr. Phil fans, he does have a doctorate in psychology. Mickey and Gus then danced the night away to George Michael's (RIP) "Freedom! '90."
19Rupert Murdoch & Jerry Hall
When Mickey told Gus that she wants to marry an old, rich man, they discussed the recent marriage between former supermodel (and ex-wife of Mick Jagger) Jerry Hall and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who have a 25 year age difference as Murdoch is in his 80s. Marriage aside, Gus noted that without Murdoch, there would be no Simpsons since he was the CEO of FOX.
Mickey's job wanted to woo Stella, a girl who runs a sex podcast from her bed. Although Stella's podcast is fictional for the show, she apparently gets a lot of big-name stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicki Minaj. Later in Episode 10, Mickey's coworker Truman referenced another fake podcast that had Anthony Anderson on to talk about dead alien bodies at Fort Knox.
21'The Sun Also Rises'
As Mickey and Gus tried dating long-distance, Gus wanted them to read the same book together — Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. While Mickey didn't read it, Gus noted how he hadn't realized how anti-Semitic the book was in regards to the character Robert Cohn.
22'Ride Along 2'
Spade's character Steven used Gus for his hotel room to do coke, while Gus thought they would enjoy a quiet night of chicken fingers and Ride Along 2. The Ice Cube and Kevin Hart movie got another shout-out when Steven used it as an excuse to explain why he was hanging out with Gus to Arya.
23'The Cider House Rules'
The only other music theme song that Gus and his friends wrote in Season 2 was for The Cider House Rules — and the cider house doesn't suck because it rules. Honestly, if Gus only wrote theme songs all season long, he'd be a much better character.
24Katy Perry & Russell Brand
To cut the tension after he returned to California, Gus joked to Mickey that his best friends are Katy Perry and Russell Brand. As Gus knows firsthand, time apart really messed up their relationship as they got divorced in 2011 after just 14 months of marriage.
While Mickey and Gus (hey! they both have Disney-themed names as Gus pointed out in the season finale) might have even a more dramatic relationship than Perry and Brand, fans of Love won't know how it will continue until Season 3. But no matter what happens to this couple, there will definitely be plenty more pop culture references when the show returns.