HBO Max launches May 27 with a library of 10,000 hours of existing content, as well as the first three episodes of “Love Life,” the first of many primetime-style scripted series for the streaming service. Creator Sam Boyd reveals about the title in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above), “There are a lot of meanings to it and my favorite titles always mean many things.” He explains about how “love” can be an adjective or a verb, “We’re looking at a person’s love life, so it’s called ‘Love Life’ and yeah, it’s a directive with this verb, telling people to love their lives. It was about the push and pull between those two words as separate ideas (love and life) and looking at a person’s life through their loves and looking at love as a way to understand a person’s life.”
The 10-episode first season of the romantic comedy anthology stars fellow executive producer Anna Kendrick, with each episode focused on a different relationship and subsequent seasons to follow new protagonists. Boyd notes that later episodes delve into non-romantic relationships and concludes, “Ultimately, it’s not as much about a woman looking for love as it a person looking for connection.”
With the show drawing some on personal experiences, Boyd says about making the story female-centric, “If I make the character a man, then the character automatically becomes this surrogate for myself. There’s no separation and it gets weird.” He admits, “A lot of what I try to do is know my own limitations,” with the show staffing primarily female directors and writers, including fellow co-showrunner Bridget Bedard and drawing structural inspiration from “Girls.” “I love writing female characters,” he adds, “Because there’s a gap where I have to try and put myself in another person’s shoes and really understand their experience.” Noting that “you see so often an element of tokenism,” Boyd responds about casting Asians in multiple key roles, “It was really important to us to have the world feel as realistic as possible, which means having a breadth of diverse actors.” He continues, “There was something that felt fresh to me and nice about being able to write and to cast two Asian-American actors in those parts and not have it be part of the story.”
“Love Life” will be releasing a new episode weekly through mid-July, but the whole season qualifies for 2020 Emmy consideration because it premieres before the May 31 eligibility cutoff. The show is submitting in Best Comedy Series, away from fellow seasonal anthologies like “American Horror Story” that contend in Best Limited Series. “We’re so proud of how funny the show is,” Boyd explains after noting, “We definitely all talked about it and there were reasons to go one way or the other for each option.”
Boyd is submitting his work on the pilot (named “Augie Jeong” after Jin Ha‘s character) for both Best Comedy Directing and Best Comedy Writing consideration, with the show additionally entering the Zoë Chao-centric eighth episode titled “Sara Yang” in the latter category. Boyd explains, “The more we saw Zoë on set and the more her chemistry with Anna was just unbelievable and everything we wrote for her, she just knocked out of the park, being able to see that story through and build that episode for that character to learn more about her and to take it to hopefully this really unexpected place and especially with the ending that the episode has, it felt like the script that was written by one of our writers, Ali Liebegott, was one of the more memorable pieces of writing that we had.”
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