Modern Love Season 2 Review & Summary

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Video Source – Amazon Prime Video (Amazon Prime Video YouTube Channel)

Modern Love is a romance-drama anthology developed by John Carney. The series is based on the New York Times column of the same name, although certain aspects of the stories have been fictionalized. It is co-produced by Amazon Studios and the New York Times. The second season aired on Amazon Prime on August 13, 2021. Modern love explores love of all hues, shapes and sizes.

Modern Love Season 2 Cast

  • Minnie Driver as Stephanie Curran
  • Don Wycherley as Neil
  • Zoë Chao as Zoe
  • Gbenga Akinnagbe as Jordan
  • Lucy Boynton as Paula
  • Kit Harington as Michael

Modern Love Season 2 Plot

Modern love follows a different story of love in each episode, a total of eight stories. These stories explore love among different age groups and relationship dynamics.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 1

Dr. Curran and her family are facing some financial issues. In order to lessen the burden, her husband suggests she sell her Triumph Stag. Even though the money would benefit them, and even though the Stag breaks down every now and then, Curran is reluctant to let it go. Soon we discover the reason for Curran’s reluctance, and the heartbreaking story behind it.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 2

Zoe has delayed sleep phase syndrome, and that causes her to live out her ‘day’ during the night and sleep during the day. When she meets and starts to date Jordan, all is well initially but soon, her lifestyle starts to inconvenience Jordan. These two people that serve as a metaphor for day and night, try to find a way to make their relationship work.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 3

Paula meets Michael on the train to Dublin. Heading home due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the two of them form a connection. Paula agrees to meet Michael at the station in two weeks. With too much faith in the lockdown opening soon and in their connection, they make a decision which some find romantic, while others find just plain stupid.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 4

Young Lil moves to Brooklyn from Ohio, and falls in love with her schoolmate Vince almost immediately after she meets him. She never confesses, and the two of them grow up to be best friends. Reluctant to ruin things between them, Lil continues to hold back on her feelings, while still putting Vince before all her other relationships.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 5

Katie finds herself developing a crush on Alexa, a girl from her school. However, the quizzes she takes on her phone confuse her about her sexuality. As the girls get closer, Katie is further unsure about her feelings for Alexa, even after she kisses her.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 6

Spencer finds out his wife Jeannie is cheating on him, and is distraught. He loses purpose in life until he starts to develop a relationship with Isabelle. The twist here is that Isabelle is the ex-wife of the man who Jeannie cheated on Spencer with. Initially just connecting because of their shared grief, the two form a bond that goes beyond the element of relatability .

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 7

Two men, Ben and Robbie, spot each other from across the street. They both think back to the one date they’d been on, but both have slightly different recollections about the events that transpired.

Modern Love Season 2 Episode 8

Elizabeth is a divorcee who lives with her two daughters. Her ex-husband Van is very involved with the upbringing of the children, and once while visiting Elizabeth’s place to see the kids, Van starts an intimate relationship with her. They start to reconnect. Feeling optimistic, Van decides to propose to her again, but she has some other news to break.

Modern Love Season 2 Review

Modern Love Season 2 Review

The most inviting thing about a series like Modern Love is the diversity. And diversity doesn’t necessarily just mean the choice of protagonists or the nature of the relationships they are a part of. It also includes the style and direction of each episode, the tone and mood and even the sub-genre. Let’s look at this in elaboration.

Speaking of the protagonists, Modern Love makes sure not to make the Caucasian, twenty-something couple with the perfect  build and clear skin the focus of every story. So basically, not your typical The Kissing Booth kind of romances. The characters belong to different ethnicities, races, ages and sexualities.

Additionally, the representation doesn’t, even for a second, feel like it exists for the sake of existing. Each character is fleshed out, real and grounded. These half-hour long stories made me care for their characters more than some  movie-series could. Each character had believable personalities, problems and approaches. Be it the shy teenager Katie, the forgiving divorcee Spencer, the cynical college girl Paula or the gregarious comedian Lil.

The varying relationship dynamics were something I loved to explore. Some dynamics I could relate to, others came across as a novel situation. Lil being in love with her best friend and never telling him is a story almost everyone has experienced, or witnessed. However, Zoe’s delayed sleep phase syndrome becoming an obstacle in her love life is a circumstance not many might have specifically encountered- yet the general idea might still have hit home.

The kind of situation where a physical or mental condition is deemed an excuse when you’re not overtly suffering is not uncommon. Dr. Curran holding onto the memories of her first husband translating into her attachment to his car hit me the hardest. How often do we attach value to things because they remind us of someone or something, especially someone who’s left us forever or a memory that can never be experienced again?

The meetings and connections aren’t like a match made in heaven, where two people like the exact same thing and ta-da, they’re a couple. The conversations and disagreements feel realistic. Zoe and Jordan have barely anything in common, yet they click so easily and make it work for them. Even the things the characters do have in common make sense in their respective situations.

Spencer and Isabelle connect over their shared grief of their spouses cheating on them with each other, while two teenage girls, Katie and Alexa, bond over their love for anime. I’d give the series a couple of plus points just for the anime reference. I’m pretty sure anime is on the ‘top five things to bond over’ list. Although, Alexa…Black Butler? Really….out of all the anime in the world…never mind.

While the overall genre is romance, each episode has a different subgenre. ‘On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down’ is mostly a family-drama, while ‘Strangers on a (Dublin) Train’ is a self-aware comedy and ‘Am I …? Maybe This Quiz Will Tell Me’ is a teen love story. The style and structure of some episodes such as ‘On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down’ inserts us in the middle of the situation the characters are going through. Other episodes, such as ‘The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy’ and ‘A Life Plan for Two, Followed By One’ have a more Hollywood style to it, with a proper beginning-conflict-end structure. While I prefer the former, both styles have their own appeal.

The episode ‘How Do You Remember Me?’  follows the flashback format, and does a great job of making an entire episode out of two men seeing each other on a sidewalk and reminiscing their time together. The phenomenon of how our mind alters memories to fit a perspective has been dealt with subtlety. They could’ve worked on the narrative of the episode a bit more, but the concept is nonetheless appreciable.

The song choices and background music definitely help the storytelling, and fortunately aren’t jarring or distracting, for the most part. The ‘meet-cute’ song in ‘Strangers on a (Dublin) Train‘ and the sheer awkwardness of that scene is probably what makes it my favourite scene in the entire series, even if there are other stories I appreciated more.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Modern love Season 2 pulls at your heartstrings and makes you think, relate and introspect on various occasions. Out of all the crazy phenomena in the world, the mysteries of the ocean and the secrets of outer space- the one thing you can never tire of exploring is human relationships.  If you hold a similar opinion, then this series is certainly for you.