Amazon Prime’s “Modern Love” is one of the services most recent series. Based on the personal essays from the New York Times column of the same name, it follows eight different stories, each with its own episode. I watched all eight episodes last weekend, and I will say it was a roller coaster of emotion. Because each half-hour story was completely stand-alone (except perhaps the last one), I felt that there were some hits and some misses. So here is my ranking, from worst to best.
- “At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity” Ep. 5
For me, this episode was just unspectacular. I didn’t grow particularly attached to either character and while the problems they described having seemed intense and interesting, but I felt that the episode fell short on revealing their emotions instead of just telling us. I just didn’t connect to them. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “So he Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?” Ep. 6
I think this episode was well done, but a little weird, in a way that was hard to get past, which you may be able to understand from the title. This may have placed higher on the ranking if my boyfriend hadn’t joined me for this one because his laughter at the weirdness kind of interrupted the actual emotional depth of this episode. I was irked by the characters, but I didn’t not understand them. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap” Ep. 8
This episode made me cry a little. It definitely was sweet and sad, but it being ten minutes shorter than the rest made it a little harder to attach to the characters fully. Additionally, I had mixed feelings about the ten-minute wrap up of the season. On one hand, it felt a little cheap, but on the other, I’m not opposed to a little cheesy-ness every once and awhile. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “Hers Was a World of One” Ep. 7
This episode seemed so made for television or a movie that it was hard to remind myself that it is based on a true story. I felt strongly for each major character, which made their conflict all the more heart wrenching because I understood each side. The only reason it isn’t ranked higher is that the rest of the episodes are also good. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “Take Me as I am, Whoever I Am” Ep. 3
So many emotions in this one. I loved the way that surrealism was so aptly integrated into a very real, gritty story. Could have done without the framed narrative, but even so, it brought me to tears. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive” Ep. 4
I really related to TIna Fey’s character in this episode. In relationships of all sorts, not just romantic. Her combination of trying and anger really resonated with me. I cried, per usual. Had a hard time deciding where to place this one, and it almost came in second. I did love it. Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist” Ep. 2
This felt like a romantic comedy with grand romance and cinematic cliches. And I am a sucker for a rom-com and for Dev Patel being desperately in love (preferably with me but I will take what I can get). Read the essay behind the episode here.
- “When The Doorman Is Your Main Man” Ep. 1
The introduction to this series nailed what every episode, and every essay for that matter is about; expanding on the emotion of life’s moments. This one episode you brings you through just about every emotion, in the best way possible. Read the essay behind the episode here.
Overall this series was fun (in a sad way, if you’re like me and you like to cry) with a cool soundtrack. I’d recommend it to anyone with half an hour, especially if you have a dramatically emotional crisis to work through.