Thinking She’s “The One” Without Taking a Moment to Think: That’s Compulsive Love
By Dan Berry
Casual hookup culture has officially won the battle against all forms of conventional courtship, yet whether we choose to admit it or not, we’re all still searching for that special someone. Does “the one” truly exist? How can we know for sure? And more importantly, how do we go about finding out?
The business of matchmaking is booming. Dozens of dating sites are raking it in by claiming they can present their clients with the perfect partner based on specific “analytics.” In other words, people are paired up based on similarities, whether those are color, creed, favorite episode of Lost, or the shared desire to get naked and eat ice cream while go-carting.
Of course, not everybody is willing to trust a website to score their soul mate. KoldCast TV’s newest romantic comedy, Compulsive Love, introduces us to the lovesick Aaron, who prefers to rely on good old love at first sight.
You are watching Episode 1 of
Compulsive Love: “Maria”
Unfortunately, love at first sight doesn’t seem to be working too well for Aaron. In fact, he may be blind to what’s right in front of him. Aaron tends to fall head over heels at a mere glance of a new girl, even while he’s mourning his latest failed relationship. Like so many young and ambitious lovers, Aaron doesn’t even understand his compulsive attraction to these women, let alone what true love is.
Love makes the world go ‘round and it also hurts like hell. Because it plays both sides of the fence, love brings out the best and worst in people, and is thus an indispensable aspect of pop culture. The chance at meaningful, lasting love is in many ways the difference between life and death for many of our favorite on screen characters.
A seemingly infinite number of TV shows and films have delved into the trials and tribulations of finding “the one.” Some are scripted while others are reality based, but all of them prove there is an eternal audience salivating at the chance to bear witness to a successful quest for true love.
Television shows like The Bachelor or for that matter, even Rock of Love present a group of people competing for an individual’s heart and, hopefully, their hand in marriage. Scripted shows like How I Met Your Mother derive laughs from one person’s prolonged and somewhat exaggerated search for a life-partner.
Compulsive Love, in its ability to push limits only an ITV series can approach, conveys the manic joy, angst, and sidesplitting outrage that reigns down on those searching for “the one” in vain.
Choosing only one just seems so… limiting.
Inspired by the idea that every relationship is a unique journey, episodes of Compulsive Love also stand up as their own short films, cheekily titled after Aaron’s latest obsession. The first episode, “Maria,” opens with Aaron beating the bejesus out of a garbage can with a bat. He’s been dumped and clearly it’s gotten to him. Luckily, his friend Zoe is there for him, but he fails to notice.
Zoe, a reimagining of sorts of our favorite New Girl, appears to be the one Aaron will wind up with, but he should be the one wearing the glasses. He doesn’t see how much she cares about him, completely oblivious to her emotions. Hell, he doesn’t even notice that her arm is in a sling! Aaron literally runs off after an angelic hottie on a bike, Maria. When he does get the peddling beauty’s number, not a second is wasted before calling.
When do you get off?
Aaron just tries way too hard, serving as a jester to warn us about the dangers of practicing Compulsive Love. Relationships don’t work that way. His perverted eagerness is readily apparent even in the way he ferociously peddles on a bike ride with Maria. He’s overexerting himself and going nowhere fast, though it does get him some.
Unfortunately for Aaron, sex with him causes Maria, who is at a crossroads, to make an unexpected major life decision—one that does not include him. And so it goes, thanks to an epic plot twist, that Aaron winds up right back where he started: talking to Zoe while beating the bejesus out of a trash can with a baseball bat. The cycle has completed itself and the viewer is left eager to see what, or more specifically who will be next.
Some things are just better left unresolved.
Compulsive Love is an ode to epic romantic love and epic batshit craziness. As the series progresses, Aaron, the pitiable epitome of a hopeless romantic, finds himself in increasingly insane relationships. The worse things get, the more determined he is to push through to the pinnacle of transcendent love he believes is out there… somewhere.
Whether Aaron’s compulsion is a recipe for success or disaster, only time will tell. People’s search for “the one” is very similar to a road trip. More often than not, the drive is better than the destination. So sit back and just enjoy the ride.
Click to watch the trailer for Compulsive Love
Dan Berry is a graduate of New York University. The warped mind behind The Prison Kite and HBO’s upcoming project The Bid, Dan has served as a network staff writer and is co-author of the soon-to-be-released biopic Madoff Uncuffed, documenting disgraced financier Bernie Madoff’s first year behind bars. Be the first person to follow him on Twitter @RealDanBerry.