Love Life: Season 1 Episode 2 “Bradley Field” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

Darby in Bradley's bed, smiling.

Darby explores what it means to be with an older man, and it happens to be a familiar face.

Darby explores what it means to be with an older man, and it happens to be a familiar face.

Director(s) Craig Johnson
Writer(s) Bridget Bedard
Aired (HBO Max) 5/27/2020
Introduced This Episode

(Character | Actor)

Bradley Scoot McNairy
Kate Maureen Sebastian

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Bye, Bye Love – Bradley, Kate

For nearly 11 years, Kate and Bradley, who we met in episode 1, were together. However, after a year of marriage, they call it quits. It isn’t clear why, beyond a handful of little things that seemingly neither wanted to work on, but their long relationship comes to an end.

Kate (Maureen Sebastian) side eyeing Bradley in therapy.
Kate (Maureen Sebastian)


The Challenges Of An Age Difference – Bradley, Darby

Though in their relationship ending, it means Bradley and Darby get to reunite. You see, the company Darby used to work for, ran by Bradley, it went under. Perhaps adding a factor into why Kate broke up with him? Who knows. What is clear is that now Darby focuses on photography, and thanks to an investor, Bradley now has an app designed to do museum tours – thus showing how computers can take anyone’s job.

But, despite not finding a place for her in his new venture, a bit of conversation and alcohol leads to some kissing and sex. Then, the next thing Darby knows, she is in a relationship with Bradley, which is awesome – at first. For her, it’s cool being with someone that has wine galore, a washer and dryer, and also money.

However, on the flip side, there is the question of what she brings beyond her youth? Which as it becomes clear Bradley isn’t into partying and bar crawls, there comes a realization that won’t work. So, with Darby getting into photography, she tries to step that up. But, with the teacher not seeing anything special, Darby opts for just being absorbed into Bradley’s life and doing odd jobs so she isn’t a mooch.

It Was Nice While It Lasted – Bradley, Darby, Kate

However, after about 11 months, things end. Why? Well, upon the death of Bradley’s father, something seems to shift in his perspective. Maybe it is because he is realizing, as fun as Darby is, she isn’t at his level yet. Or it could be how Darby acted at the wake when Kate showed up, since Bradley’s family loves her. Either way, Darby makes a fool of herself, and when forced to leave his father’s wake to take care of Darby, that seems to be the end.

But, with knowing better comes doing better, so Darby, from someone she had a class with, buys a piece. Thus starting her art collection.


A Less Romanticized Look On An Age Difference

Bradley (Scoot McNairy) looking at Darbey lovingly.
Bradley (Scoot McNairy)

With exploring the highs and lows in bullet point form, “Love Life” sidesteps romanticizing what’s it like to be with an older man. For never mind him maybe not wanting to party all through the night, since he has been there and done that, but the better question is: What do you bring?

Which when most movies focus on this, the answer is their youth. However, in the case of “Love Life,” similar to “The Bold Type,” there is that need to question and be a bit insecure of one’s station in life. But, unlike Sutton, of “The Bold Type,” Darby doesn’t find the idea of proving herself a motivator. Rather, she decides to integrate herself into Bradley’s life. Thus losing herself a bit and likely realizing, upon coming face to face with Kate, all she was trying to do, or ended up doing, was an attempt to be all Kate wasn’t malleable enough to be.

Meaning, she wanted to be the woman who didn’t poke at Bradley’s weird nicotine patch use, and she essentially made herself small to nestle herself into Bradley’s life.

It’s Like Mini-Films, Each Episode

It’s interesting how each episode feels like a different kind of romance film. The first one was about young love that ran hot but wasn’t made to last. This episode covered the relationship that had a notable age difference but worked – at first. So, in upcoming episodes, should we expect more familiar plots? Should this just be considered an acting reel of some kind?

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