Past experience has shown actress Gillian Jacobs that "a lot of terror" comes during the first season of a network TV show, but she's had a freer, much more easygoing time with her latest series Love.
Jacobs is perhaps best known for the comedy series Community, which garnered a devoted cult following but endured a wild ride of ups and downs, show changes and near-cancellations until it finally ended in 2015 after six seasons.
With ratings the priority for TV networks, a new series doesn't often have much time to find its footing.
"If, four episodes in, you don't have ratings, they either cancel you or really start meddling," Love co-creator Judd Apatow said during a CBC interview in Los Angeles. The hit writer-filmmaker, who also produces the HBO comedy-drama Girls, is the mind behind popular films like The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Knocked Up and Bridesmaids.
But for Love, a series about self-obsessed, foul-mouthed singles in Los Angeles who are prone to bad relationships, streaming service Netflix has done something out of the ordinary: it ordered two seasons up front.
That's allowed a sense of ease for the cast and given the writers more freedom to create bolder storylines and characters, without interference.
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"It does help lend an integrity to the show because you're not wondering week-to-week how can I hook people," said Paul Rust, who stars in Love as a pushover named Gus and also writes for the show.
"It's nice to have this vacuum to do what you want."
That commitment is also why Love's creators chose to suck the life out of the very idea of romance and slow down the process.
Mickey, played by Jacobs, is a jaded radio producer who makes poor decisions. Her anti-love interest is Gus, a nerdy guy who just broke up with his cheating girlfriend. The pair form a relationship across a drawn-out period, full of situations that would normally be skipped over in a typical romantic comedy.
They might not be likeable but they're relatable, with the show capitalizing on "I can't look away" moments that will have viewers happily cringing.
"I think that it's really fun to see people struggling, to see them grappling with issues, to not have figured it out," Jacobs said.
"Given the amount of television shows now, there's room for each sensibility, that it doesn't require everyone to fit into the same box of comedy."