*Alexa, play 'Love Is All You Need'.*
On the back of the hit anthology series from 2019, 'Modern Love' S2 arrives just in time for all of those summer loves of 2021 to either become a distant memory or a potential other half. Watching all eight episodes of the John Carney series should help you make up your mind with its uplifting yet often poignant premise.
A word of warning though: do not start with the Kit Harington and Lucy Boynton episode of the pair of them travelling from Galway to Dublin - because it will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth for the remainder of the series.
'Modern Love' S2 is a series bursting with all sorts of love - whether it be one of lost love, a new love, unrequited love, or the love of oneself - everything is catered for here. Inspired by The New York Times column of the same name, it highlights the complexities and the beauty associated with that four-letter word.
While season one boasted the likes of Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, and Andrew Scott, season two features stars of a similar calibre including Anna Paquin, Tobias Menzies, Sophie Okonedo, Minnie Driver, and Kit Harington among many more recognisable actors.
Carney once again serves as writer, director and executive producer. Broadway, film and TV actor Andrew Rannells also makes his directorial debut on the episode entitled 'How Do You Remember Me?', which is based on a personal essay that he penned for the New York Times column, and even though it follows the brief encounter of two young gay men, it could be seen as one of the most relatable of all of the episodes, no matter your age or sexual orientation.
Now, back to that Galway to Dublin train ride. While Kit Harington does a passable Irish accent, when compared to the other entries of the series, this episode pales in comparison. The dialogue feels hammy, and the"meet-cute" of it all on that train ride is very cheesy. Their journey takes place during the beginning of the pandemic last March, a time most of us would rather want to forget. Jack Reynor and his moustache are fine. The premise is fine. The brief sights of Dublin are fine. The ending is abrupt (and the word "cocooning" is also dropped, which doesn't really make sense either), and there's a smattering of corniness that is hard to shake. Unfortunately, it's the weakest of the bunch.
However, the Minnie Driver creation is worlds apart. Also set in Dublin, and featuring the beautiful sights of the Wicklow mountains, this story is one of the strongest of the series. All about the love shared between a woman and her vintage car, the actor lives up to her name and drives around the Irish countryside reminiscing of a time gone by; a moving episode that will have you reaching for the tissues.
All in all, 'Modern Love' S2 is exactly what you'd expect from a romance anthology. While not every single episode will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, the series certainly does its job at telling a diverse range of stories from all walks of life. Plus, it's always nice to see Ireland on the screen - even if it's Jon Snow with a shaky Dublin accent.
'Modern Love' seasons one and two are available to stream on Amazon Prime.