One thing making original series on streaming services so popular is that the streamers can take chances broadcast networks cannot, which allows for more unique shows. And unique is definitely a word I would use to describe Amazon Prime Video’s newest offering, “Modern Love.” The half-hour anthology series brings romance to life through different experiences and points of view, creating varying definitions of just what romance is. You’ll laugh a little, you’ll cry a little, but you will be entertained a lot by each well-written and beautifully acted episode.
Based on essays from The New York Times column of the same name, the eight episodes of “Modern Love” tell one story in each half-hour, self-contained episode. Episode one, “When the Doorman is Your Main Man,” features Cristin Milioti as a young book reviewer struggling to find love, who develops a special relationship with her doorman (Laurentiu Possa). It’s a great start to the series as it presents a very unique perspective on dating and family. Dev Patel stars as an IT expert who created a dating website after letting the love of his life get away in episode two, “When Cupid is a Prying Journalist.” This one throws a few curves along the way to a happy ending. In episode four, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” Tina Fey and John Slattery ooze chemistry galore as a married couple struggling to find common ground. This one is also special because it allows Fey to show off some dramatic acting chops.
But the real standout of the four episodes I watched was episode three, “Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am,” featuring a tour-de-force performance by Anne Hathaway as a woman struggling to date while trying to hide her bipolar disorder. The episode is an emotional roller coaster itself as it swings from funny to unbelievably heartbreaking more than once in just 30 minutes.
Anthology series don’t tend to work very well on broadcast TV, where people expect to see the same characters every week. But on Amazon Prime, it works perfectly as “Love” is given the room to explore its beautiful stories in its own way without commercial interruption. And the 30-minute run time eliminates any unnecessary filler, although some stories will definitely leave you wanting more.
If you’re into romantic stories, you definitely need to check out “Love.” I should warn you that this modern version is nowhere close to your everyday boy meets girl rom-com. But you will completely fall in love anyway.
“Modern Love” is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video beginning Friday, Oct. 18. For more information on how to watch, visit Amazon.com.