Netflix presented its new Judd Apatow-produced series Love to the Television Critics Association on Sunday. The show stars Paul Rust (who created the series) and Gillian Jacobs as single people working in the entertainment industry who meet awkwardly and develop a relationship. After the panel Apatow spoke with reporters further, and praised the new television climate that allows shows to blend comedy and drama more commonly. When he was producing network shows, it was much harder.

“When we did Freaks and Geeks, our show seemed crazy to everybody,” Apatow said. “It was just a vibe that didn’t exist on television and as a result, there wasn’t a lot of energy behind making it survive. The same with Undeclared. It was a single-camera show about college but there were no other single-camera shows to put it with because it didn’t exist. It was just us, Bernie Mac and Malcolm in the Middle so I’m glad there’s tons of them now.”

After the jump, Apatow also discusses the freedoms of working with Netflix, the recurring themes in his work, his daughter’s role in Love, and his upcoming pilot for HBO. Read More »

Note: This Is 40 opens everywhere December 21. We saw an early screening made possible by Film Independent at LACMA. 

For 132 minutes, This Is 40 is non-stop Judd Apatow. The jokes; the emotions; his wife; his kids; and maybe a bit too much of the writer/director’s personality. It’s a jackhammer of propulsive character action that shoves everything you need to know in your face every second. Which is both a blessing and a curse.

Almost instantly, the film demands we relate to Pete and Debbie (played by Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann, married to Apatow in real life), an upper middle-class married couple. They’re each celebrating their 40th birthday in the same week. Apatow doesn’t care about setting these people up; we’re just dropped into their lives as they struggle with the issues that arise when you hit the big four-oh.

Thankfully, Apatow knows how to make us laugh and This Is 40 does that on an almost too-constant basis. There are so many laughs you’ll miss other laughs. Without a strong story to hold to outside of the loose concept of “turning forty,” however, the movie tends to lose its way, then find it, then lose it, then find it again. This happens right up to – and during – the final credits. It’s a mixed bag with lots to like but lots of problems too. Read More »