Filmhounds Magazine

All things film – In print and online

An Emotive Litmus Test Of The Twentysomething — ‘Everything I Know About Love’ (TV Review)

3 min read
Everything I Know About Love (2022)

Platonic gal pals have taken a backseat in televised drama over the last few years. Giving airtime over to steamy affairs, grizzly crime and near-the-knuckle dystopia, the pits and peaks of female friendship haven't been best represented in their messy authenticity. As a fictitious adaptation of 's synonymous memoir, enriches the BBC with an emotive litmus test of the frayed boundaries that our twenties can solder or break through.

Set in 2012, Maggie () meets a guy on a train while convinced he has changed the course of her life for good. Moving into her first shared house with friends including childhood BFF Birdy (), the four learn to navigate the endless trials and tribulations of adult life. While Maggie's rocky situationship fizzles out, Birdy's connection to her first boyfriend only goes stronger, putting their intense connection in danger.

If life truly follows the saying of ‘fries before guys', Everything I Know About Love actively looks to challenge that. With its 2012 backdrop, there's a sense of whimsical nostalgia the millennials will look back on with tears in their eyes, but it's also a time where anything seemed possible. Dating apps were just starting to come into their own, LMFAO was hitting the big time and we were delusional enough to wear huge elasticated belts with our dresses. It makes complete sense for this to be the breeding ground of friendships that seem virtually indestructible, and present obstacles that could the whole Jenga tower tumbling down. The show effortlessly captures that unique pain of losing your way with a friend who feels like your second skin, and the momentum that comes with trying to fill that void. Leading ladies Powley and Appleton play this with an impeccable aplomb, rounded out by the housemates who take no BS and call it how it is.

From risky hookups and first-time love to stagnant relationships and dating self-confidence, there's not much Everything I Know About Love doesn't tackle — yet each subject provides a narrative meat that's fully fleshed out. Maggie heads home to have uncomfortable conversations with parents and town hall parties, and becomes wrapped up in her boss () and the fledgling world of constructed reality TV. When they're pulled apart, none of these topics are overly groundbreaking. Perhaps some would argue that exploring them again adds little value to our social framework. Yet the series delivers on something uniquely special, almost like that one friend who never lies to you while you're bearing yourself in the mirror. This might come from the fact a fictional narrative has been crafted and shaped by a beloved non-fictional text, capturing the tone and balls-to-the-wall honesty that Dolly Alderton has held all along.

What's most gripping is that viewers will feel like they've known this quartet their whole lives. Viewers sit down in their mold-infested living room with them, grabbing some takeaway leftovers to gossip about this week's love interest on the telly. It feels so organic, yet completely rejuvenating. For a national audience that's been steeped in sadness and overly-fraught drama for far too long, Everything I Know About Love toes the line between drama and comic relief in the perfect, disco pant wearing package.