Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, and Dev Patel are just a few of the stars in Amazon Prime’s new series Modern Love based on the successful New York Times column and podcast. The series released today and is already is getting lots of buzz — people aren’t loving it.
Criticism of the show has centered around why Modern Love feels fake and that the addictive quality of the stories on the page don’t quite translate. The truth is, Modern Love is too sexy for its own good. If you’re claiming to tell honest stories about love and dating in New York, you need to be willing to get ugly!
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Nothing about Modern Love seems real. The people are too pretty and the apartments are too nice. The scenes feel very forced, almost as if it were staged (because it was) and the more serious storylines don’t carry the weight they deserve.
In the episode “Rallying To Keep The Game Alive,” Tina Fey and John Slattery play a couple on the brink of divorce and their lowest low was an argument on a tennis court and storming out of dinner. Where is the yelling? Where are the tears?
The Modern Love column is not the stuff of a Hollywood romcom. It became popular only because it reads like a peek into the icky, unmanageable parts of love that people aren’t often willing to talk about. While they are funny, romantic, and self-aware, they also show us what fear looks like; fear of ending up alone, of losing someone, of a family falling apart, that’s what the TV adaptation lacks.
In more of a “style” section fever-dream of love and sexy real estate, the production value is high, but stakes are low. It’s pleasant, but forgettable — exactly what the best Modern Love columns aren’t.
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