Love & Death (Pilot Review) | All that prep for a few seconds of Bliss

Lesli Linka Glatter (Director) & David E. Kelley (Writer)

Elizabeth Olsen
Jesse Plemons
Patrick Fugit
Lily Rabe
Keir Gilchrist
Elizabeth Marvel


I was waiting for that show to drop, not realizing that Jessica Biel‘s Candy on Hulu was telling the same story. I didn’t see that show so the story here is newish to me since I haven’t finished the book. My initial plan was to review the three episodes that dropped for the premiere of this show but I’ll discuss just the pilot because this is just great.

First of all the opening theme puts you in the mood, the vibe, and the era. It immerses you in the story right away, plus there’s a filter or some kind of sheen over it that suits the series nicely. I also love when a dramatic and/or thriller type of show starts with a hint of what’s to come, so the hint here is perfect, just enough to tickle one’s curiosity.

As for the story, it’s slowly unfolding in quite an effective way. The life of this community is set up well, and through dialogues and comments, you get a sense of who these people are. The way the catalyst of what’s to come later is presented could have been awkward. At least, I didn’t think it was, the way Candy is straightforward and clear about her intentions is something I can appreciate, and Olsen sells those scenes very well. There’s also a bit of a role reversal because Plemons’ Allan is the one with the mixed signals and the vague comments. There’s a practical approach to this affair that I living for, the pros and cons lists, the rules, etc. I love the contrast of treating something as emotionally charged as an extramarital affair with cold precision, calculation, and dare I say politeness.

The pilot gives an ora of innocence to the whole affair when most of us would not consider it innocent. There’s no judgment felt in what they’re doing, which is interesting. The first episode is well-written and the rest looks just as good if not better. There’re also a lot of compelling aspects to it, like when it’s touching on women’s lives during that time, late 70s early 80s. I can’t wait to see more, Olsen and Plemons are doing an amazing job so far.

In case you didn’t know the pilot is on HBOMax’s Youtube channel

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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