‘Modern Love’ – Amazon’s smart new anthology series
Love, it is said, can come in many forms.
There is romantic love, love between a parent and child and between best friends. And then there are a good many that are harder to define. And a few are explored to entertaining effect in a smart new comedy anthology series dropping this week on Amazon.
“Modern Love,” inspired by the popular New York Times column of the same name and premiering Friday, Oct. 18, looks at love in all of its complicated forms, with each episode brought to life by an impressive cast including Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Cristin Milioti (“How I Met Your Mother”) Gary Carr (“The Deuce”), Catherine Keener (“Capote”), Andy Garcia (“The Godfather Part III”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), John Slattery (“Mad Men”) and Sofia Boutella (“Hotel Artemis”).
The opening episode, titled “When the Doorman Is Your Main Man,” introduces us to young New York singleton Maggie (Milioti), whose everyday comings and goings are observed by her apartment building’s doorman, Guzmin (Laurentiu Possa, “The Bourne Ultimatum”). He’s a former Albanian sniper with a protective streak and an eye for character, and what he sees in some of Maggie’s dates, he doesn’t like. And he tells her so.
“I was really touched by the nuance of it,” Milioti, seated in a quiet corner of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel, says of the storyline. “And it wasn’t romantic love. It was a love you couldn’t put your finger on. And I was really touched by her, too, because I feel like there’s multiple love stories that go on within it. It’s her and the love with the doorman, platonic but also father/daughter, also something you can’t quite put your finger on. …
“And then I think … it’s a love story between her and herself,” she continues, “that she tried to conform to be what other people wanted her to be, like on all those failed dates, dumbing herself down and going out with guys who weren’t even listening to her. And she makes this really brave decision and she sees it through and she comes into her own.”
A subsequent episode, titled “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am,” deals with mental illness as told through the story of Lexi (Hathaway), a bipolar woman we meet as she’s going food shopping at 7 a.m., dressed to the nines. There, she encounters Jeff (Carr), a nice guy who shares her sense of humor. They immediately hit it off and agree to go out on a real date. And then her disorder asserts itself.
“It’s this huge block in Lexi’s life,” Hathaway says, “and she talks about that. She talks about just needing one person, just one person to accept all of her. And that’s really what we all, I think, want. And she gets it. She doesn’t get it from the person that, I think, any of us expect her to get it from in the beginning of the episode. But that one person giving her the space, being patient, being compassionate, and being a true loving person in her life changes everything for her. It gives her hope and gives her a future.”