Here's Why Netflix's Newest Sitcom, Lovesick, Is Binge-Worthy
I remember scrolling through Netflix's “Suggested for You” menu one afternoon, and seeing a show titled, 'Scrotal Recall.' I was instantly intrigued- the name and the show's synopsis (“In his quest for true love, Dylan found Chlamydia. Joined by friends Evie and Luke, he relives past encounters as he notifies all his former partners.”) gave me a good chuckle- and I recognised one of the show's stars, Antonia Thomas, as one of my favourite actors from the British TV show, Misfits. I added it to my queue, but like the other hundred or so TV shows and movies currently on the list, it eventually got pushed down and forgotten about.
Fast-forward to a few months ago, when I got a notification from Netflix about one of the shows in my queue having new episodes. I opened up the app to see that a show called Lovesick now had another season added to it...but what was Lovesick? Ah, it was Scrotal Recall, with a more charming, albeit less amusing, name.
I ended up watching the show over a weekend while I was home sick. It was a classic weekend of binge-watching, where I started the first episode randomly on Saturday night and literally couldn't stop until I finished all the episodes from both seasons. I have absolutely no regrets.
An Unconventional Plot
Have you seen Lovesick?
As the synopsis says, the show follows Dylan (Johnny Flynn), a hapless sort of hopeless romantic, who's diagnosed at the beginning of the show with Chlamydia. Since he doesn't know when or from whom he contracted it, Dylan makes an alphabetical list of all his sexual partners, and goes about contacting them to let them know that he may have passed on his STD.
Each episode is named after a girl from Dylan's past, and features a flashback concerning their relationship and usually, what went wrong with said relationship. The show flips between the past and the present with Dylan's struggle to reconnect with his past lovers and trying to figure out his current love woes.
Speaking of which, from the first episode, you're introduced to a juicy side-plot: Dylan's best friend, Evie (Antonia Thomas), is secretly in love with him. I was really drawn to their story, particularly because the chemistry between the two characters is fantastic; from the first episode there's something magnetic about the two of them, and these kind of “will-they-or-won't-they” relationships in sitcoms are always appealing.
It's also really interesting to see the story of Dylan and Evie played out while we revisit Dylan's exes; the past and present story lines still manage to weave together perfectly, and give the characters a history and backstory which makes their relationship that much more compelling, and one you'll probably be rooting for after a few episodes. I know it only took me two episodes before I was officially shipping Dylan and Evie.
As a side note (but related to the topic of the way the show handles relationships), I personally appreciate how racially diverse the cast is, and the fact that Dylan doesn't seem to have a “type” when it comes to dating. It's always nice to see interracial relationships on TV, where the focus isn't just about their race, but about the kind of people they are and the relationship they have. It's rare to see a white guy dating a black girl on TV when that's not the main focus of the story (because really, how many "Look Who's Coming To Dinner" type stories do we need to see?) so it was definitely refreshing to see normal interracial relationships portrayed on TV.
Stellar Acting and Writing
It's also worth noting that the show has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in ages; there's tons of little indie-rock gems from bands like The Horrors, alt-J, Wild Beasts, and Tame Impala.
The song above was played in one of the most touching scenes of Season 1- get your tissues ready!
The plot might not sound terribly thrilling on paper, but each episode has a perfect balance of humour, heartfelt moments, and that aforementioned tension between Dylan and Evie. Dylan and Evie also share a best friend on the show- Luke (Daniel Ings)- who also brings a lot of comic relief throughout both seasons (though his character does go through a bit of emotional growth in the second season).
The show's writer, Tom Edge, has really captured the joys and pains of dating in your 20s; the heartache of unrequited love, the thrill of a new relationship, that confusion that comes with falling for your best friend, and just about everything else that encompasses being young and single. Instead of being just another love story or silly comedy, the show is just as much a coming-of-age tale...except the protagonist “comes of age” in his late 20's, after finding out he has a sexually transmitted disease.
The Cast of LovesickClick thumbnail to view full-size
Lovesick: Netflix's Best Original Comedy Show
I don't want to give too much away, but both seasons of Lovesick are utterly brilliant. Season Three hasn't been confirmed yet, and that's part of the reason I'm writing this article- I'm hoping more people will watch this amazing show and encourage Netflix to start production on a third (and fourth, and fifth...) season.
Though the premise might sound like a gimmick, Lovesick actually has lot of depth: with an emotional plot, relatable characters, lots of humour, and a wonderful cast. Make sure you add this to your queue, and don't bother saving it for a sick weekend- just start it up whenever you're in the mood to discover your next favourite show.