“Love” on Netflix, or how smartphones kill love

Omnipresent without the center of attention, the mobile phone is a character in its own right in the new Netflix series, a kind of electronic Pandora box that materializes the troubles, worries and doubts of two heroes.

[Cet article contient des spoilers sur la première saison de Love]

Six letters and two emojis. On Gus ’laptop, Mickey writes his first name, followed by a tiger and a little ghost. The two-thirty-something, who didn’t know each other at the start of the day, had just spent a period chaining the joints of a car with closed windows and silly jokes on parking lot of a fast-food chain. But with these eight characters, by fixing a name next to a number, that series love has really begun. There are the following eight stages of wandering and hesitation, misunderstandings and undone actions, all consisting of exchanges of cold and distant text messages, which serve as a tacit guide in this 2.0 love story.

The third episode of the series perfectly illustrates the disconnection between sender and receiver: while Mickey has to manage his boss at work and barely looks at the message Gus sends him, the latter spends the day hanging out. on his phone. , desperately waiting for the answer to his ” what is it early in the morning. Seeing thirty years of jumping with each tremor, we find ourselves sharing his worries. First when he awkwardly grabbed his cell phone, then when he was frustrated when he realized it was already another text message from his friend.

on love, the smartphone has everything from the electronic box Pandora: the source of all evil, it is the only one that can give evidence of a sign of the life of the coveted creature. So we will wait. We stamped. Maglagot mi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym3LoSj9Xj8

where in Master of the LeftAziz Ansari takes time to analyze the dynamics of the central role of new dating technologies in the 21st century, love not very didactic. The characters don’t challenge the status quo, they accept the “game” that a person has to play when he or she has just met; the pretense of indifference, the dozens of draft messages that are never sent, the misunderstanding and the myth of the other.

Ghosting to avoid confrontation

Instead, the two heroes take on the role of rejection and are rejected. Because there is nothing good or bad in this contemporary game of seduction. Everyone, almost inevitably, is obligated to subject the other to what he or she hates to suffer. Gus suffers at Mickey’s distance, until he reflects his enthusiasm, and his messages suddenly sound like oppression, until the name on the phone screen no longer taps into his heart. joy but shame. Until the solution, radical, ice, imposes itself on him. His thumb presses the six letters followed by the tiger emoji followed by the ghost emoji, then “delete”. Mickey is gone.

Like all new “connected youth” practices, this one has a name: ghosting, or the art of ignoring another to avoid confrontation. Is this just a sign of humor, or does it allow the undecided to avoid making a radical decision and ultimately leave the door open to new twists? Is he the worst sign of disrespect, or an inevitable symptom in the daily lives of young townspeople plagued by fear of losing something (aka FOMO for the most modern)? The sixth episode of the series, which is entirely composed of unanswered messages and aborted, ignored, posted meetings, is in this beautiful and deeply saddening. As the telephone, which is far from being a communication tool to facilitate and foster the start of a meeting, poses itself as an additional barrier to developing romantic feelings.

This is the opposite when the characters are on love face each other, eye to eye, that the situation is unstoppable. First when Gus, who is angry, tells Mickey that he is angry with him for trying to get him to be with his roommate. Afterwards, when Mickey chases him to the convenience store where they first met, and tells him in detail about his fears and addiction. Human contacts: 1, iPhone: 0.

Mary Turcan

>> To read also: our review of the first season of love via Netflix

lovethe 10 episodes of the first season of Netflix France since February 19th

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