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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kenyon chapter.

Last week was a particularly slowtime for me in this crazy semester, and so I took some much-needed time to facetime my sister and start a new show. I did not expect to spend the entire next day finishing it in one sitting while avoiding homework, but such is life. I feel somewhat bad reviewing a show on HBO Max because I know it’s not necessarily accessible to everyone. And while I do want to talk about what I think the show did well, I also want to reflect on what it made me think about and how it’s made me think about my own life.

Love Life is an HBO Max original starring Anna Kendrick that covers her character Darby’s journey with love through a few relationships until she meets “the one.” Darby’s journey to find love is messy and complicated in a really moving way that shows how true love comes in many forms. She gets married and divorced, she gets pregnant and ultimately meets someone at her best friend’s wedding in the final episode. We see her character grow with each failed relationship. As she moves from one relationship to another, we see her learn what she wants in a partner and also what she deserves. Each relationship is unique and we are able to see clearly how the negative and positive aspects of those relationships ultimately shape her and where she ends up in her life, choosing to be a mother mostly on her own. 

couple watching sunset
Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing from Unsplash

The supporting characters get just as much time to shine which I really appreciated. There is a whole episode focused on Darby’s best friend Sara in which we get to see her own experience with the way she gives and receives love Sara’s relationships and the way her alcoholism shapes that was really compelling as well. Sara is in a committed relationship at the beginning of the series, and as she gets older and her alcoholism begins to present itself more clearly, there is tension in that relationship. Her boyfriend, Jim, is looking to have a more stable, adult relationship but Sara’s alcoholism keeps her tethered to a different lifestyle that ultimately causes them to split. In the episode specifically about Sara, her alcoholism finally causes a breaking point with Darby herself and their friendship temporarily ends.  The show does a good job of exploring a variety of forms of love. Through Sara’s story, we get to see love in friendships. We also get an episode dedicated to Darby’s mother which shows parallels to Darby’s own story and also explores motherly love as a form of love. The way you love family and friends does not exist separately from how we love romantic partners and this show does a great job of showing how it’s all connected. 

Girls clinking wine glasses
Photo by Kelsey Chance from Unsplash

Darby’s character was what really kept me watching. While I admittedly do not have much of a love life to see reflected in the media, her own self-discovery really resonated with me. She feels like she is unlovable in a way that I really understood. When she gets married, she thinks that’s an indication once and for all that she is worth loving, and yet that relationship does not work out and is ultimately not the best for her. Through these failed relationships, she learns that someone else choosing you isn’t necessarily proof of your worth and that love is more than that. Love isn’t super simple or easy and finding someone isn’t as important as finding yourself. When Darby does finally find love, she is settled in her career and has a kid. She’s not searching for worth in other people

Emi is an English major at Kenyon College who loves Taylor Swift, her cat, and her twin sister.