Here's Where the Real People From Amazon's Modern Love Are Now

We tracked down the whereabouts of the new show's subjects.

Human,

Episode One: “When The Doorman is Your Main Man”

The first episode of the season follows book reviewer Maggie (played by Cristin Milioti) as she braves the New York dating scene and an unexpected pregnancy with the fierce support of what seems to be the only constant in her life: her doorman, Guzmin (real name Guzim). The story is based on the 2015 essay of writer Julie Margaret Hogben, who currently lives in Los Angeles with her twelve-year-old daughter, Isabel.

In a new interview with The New York Times , Hogben reveals that in actuality, the father of her child proposed to her after she revealed her pregnancy to him; she declined his proposal. She also explains that, unlike in the episode, she never debated whether or not to go through with the pregnancy.

Today, Hogben is still single, despite her daughter's earnest attempts to sign her up for dating apps. “She wants a distraction for me and she thinks I should get a life, which I should. So, yeah, I’ve got to get out there,” Hogben told The New York Times . She hasn’t been in a relationship since her daughter Isabel was born, which makes the closing scene of the episode, in which Guzim finally approves of the man Maggie brings from California to meet him, entirely fictional.

And yes, Guzim the doorman still holds his post on the Upper West Side, where Hogben pops in to visit him whenever she’s in town.

Suit, White-collar worker, Conversation, Botany, Adaptation, Event, Businessperson, Formal wear, Sitting, Smile,

Episode Two: “When Cupid is a Prying Journalist”

Episode two recounts an interview that leads to both journalist Julie (played by Catherine Keener) and subject Joshua (Dev Patel) opening up about their romantic pasts, tracing not one but two gut-wrenching tales of lost love. The episode is based on author Deborah Copaken’s 2015 essay of the same name.

In reality, there was no job interview, whirlwind love-at-first-sight, or trip to the zoo for Joshua and his love interest. Nor was there an infidelity that caused their separation. The real Joshua, Hinge founder Justin McLeod, had actually met the love of his life, Kate, in college , where they dated off and on until graduation. Kate, however, was engaged to another man at the time of McLeod's interview with Copaken, and had not spoken to him in years.

The real-life Copaken was indeed heartbroken by the boy who never showed at her Paris flat, but their upstate rendezvous was imagined. It was Copaken who found him online by accident while doing research for a book she was writing, and they did meet up, albeit for lunch on a bench in Central Park. She in fact left her husband of 23 years while he stayed in his marriage, and the two still follow each other on social media, though they’re no longer in contact. Copaken is now in a happy relationship with a new man, who she met on Bumble, not Hinge, contrary to what her character reveals in the season finale.

However, Copaken's interview inspired McLeod to win Kate back in the wistful way the episode depicts. Kate left her fiance a month before their wedding (the invitations had been sent, the hall booked) after McLeod showed up on her doorstep in Zurich, eight years after they’d last seen each other. The two were married this year in Colorado, with Copaken in attendance.

People, Red, Yellow, Fashion, Snapshot, Human, Fur, Outerwear, Street fashion, Event,

Episode Three: “Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am”

In Episode Three, Anne Hathaway dazzles as Lexi, an entertainment lawyer who’s been hiding her bipolar diagnosis from everyone in her life. This episode stays exceptionally true to many of the details in Terry Cheney’s 2008 essay , down to the trembling hand with which Lexi applies her mascara before her date. The only fictionalized aspect of the episode is the character of Lexi’s coworker, played by Quincy Tyler Bernstine, who becomes the first person to whom she discloses her diagnosis. In reality, Cheney never lost a job .

Today, Cheney is no longer practicing law. She has authored two books, including a New York Times -bestselling memoir entitled Manic , with another book slated to publish next fall. In terms of her love life, she says that the men she dates usually read her book first, as a sort of prerequisite. “I don’t know necessarily if I’m in a relationship. I do love. I am in love. So that’s great,” she told The New York Times .

Even though she still goes to the same grocery store, she never saw or heard from the real-life Jeff again.

Snapshot, Night, Standing, Street, Urban area, Metropolitan area, Pedestrian, City, Infrastructure, Crowd,

Episode Four: “Rallying to Keep The Game Alive”

Tina Fey and John Slattery portray real-life couple Ann Leary and actor Denis Leary in episode four of the series, which follows their marriage as it teeters on the edge of divorce. The TV adaptation resembles Ann Leary’s 2013 essay quite closely; March of the Penguins is indeed the couple’s favorite movie .

What Leary didn’t mention in her piece, nor did the show explain, is that the couple’s therapist at the time didn’t think they had a bad marriage. “He pointed out that we would say things negative about each other, but if he said anything even slightly negative about either of us, we would jump to the other’s defense,” Leary told The New York Times in a new interview.

Ann and Denis Leary celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year, and they still play tennis.

Room, Furniture, Comfort, Interior design, Bed,

Episode Five: “At The Hospital, An Interlude of Clarity”

In the fifth episode of Modern Love , Brian Gittis’s 2014 essay in which he severs a major blood vessel in his arm on a second date is brought to life by John Gallagher Jr. and Sofia Boutella.

Although the TV version leaves the fate of the lovers rather ambiguous as they doze off in the early morning light of the Elizabeth Street Garden, in Gittis’s essay, his date ends up back together with her ex-boyfriend about a month after their night in the E.R.

On the 2016 recording of the Modern Love podcast, Gittis says the woman featured in the piece really enjoyed the essay, and after it was published, they met up to talk about it over drinks. They ended up going on a few dates before their relationship fizzled out again.

Brian Gittis works in book publicity in New York, and he is now married with a one-year-old son.

Photography, Vacation,

Episode Six: “So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?”

The sixth episode of the series features a young girl, Madeline (Julia Garner), who having lost her father goes searching for a paternal figure in an older coworker, Peter (Shea Whigman). He, on the other hand, is under the impression that their developing and ambiguous relationship is more than platonic.

The episode is based on writer Abby Sher’s 2006 essay , which features several specific details that the show did adapt, like the golf pattern on Peter’s socks and the creaminess of their shared risotto. However, Sher’s essay concludes after she goes over to the man’s house for dinner, as she realizes that the relationship isn’t going to give her what she needs. Amazon’s adaptation extends the tale (and the relationship) far beyond this night, shaping it into something more complicated and uncomfortable than what it is in Sher’s original piece. Sher, however, loved the episode, and feels that the fictionalized elements of the narrative were true to the sentiment of her experience.

“I am a huge fan of Audrey Wells and was so honored that she wrote the screenplay. I especially loved the MRI scene and I felt like Julia Garner and Shea Wigham completely understood and personified this complicated, yet really primal attraction,” she told Esquire in an email.

In actuality, Sher never saw the older man again outside of work after that first dinner. No stuffed seal at the Zoo, red coat, or sabbatical came of their initial date.

And as for how the piece has aged?

“I mean, I think daddy issues will always be a thing, right? I'm so grateful that Emmy Rossum directed this amazing cast so thoughtfully and stirred up so many emotions between the two main characters. There's no clear cut right or wrong in this scenario, as far as I can see,” Sher wrote.

Today, Sher is married to man whom she says is a wonderful father to their three children, and says she will always miss and adore her father.

Town, Neighbourhood, Facade, Street, Pedestrian, House, Architecture, Home, Building, City,

Episode Seven: “Hers Was a World of One”

Episode seven is loosely adapted from author, sex columnist, and podcaster Dan Savage’s 2005 essay entitled “ DJ’s Homeless Mommy ,” in which he conveys the ups and downs of his and his husband’s open adoption experience. The episode is largely focused on the couple’s time hosting their future child’s homeless mother in their apartment, which was entirely imagined.

In the piece, Savage ruminates on the increasing difficulty of explaining to his small son, DJ, his mother’s complicated existence and long absences from his life, which we get a small sense of in the final bedtime story scene of the episode.

“The last time she visited, when DJ was 3, he wanted to know why his mother smelled so terrible. We were taken aback and answered without thinking it through. We explained that since she doesn’t have a home, she isn’t able to bathe often or wash her clothes. We realized we screwed up even before DJ started to freak. What could be more terrifying to a child than the idea of not having a home?” Savage writes in his essay.

The original piece is thought-provoking and in many ways more solemn than its TV adaptation. It details DJ’s mother’s battles with addiction and jail time, and it recounts Savage’s visceral fear that she was dead at various points over the years when she would drop out of contact.

While the episode draws inspiration from Savage’s piece, it also veers decisively away from his somber narrative. However, both the essay and the TV adaptation leave the fate of the adopted baby’s mother unknown.

“DJ's mom is alive and well. She's on her feet. She's housed. We talk on the phone occasionally. She and DJ speak on Mother's Day and on DJ's birthday. Things leveled out,” Savage told Gays With Kids in 2016.

Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller live in Seattle, and their son DJ is now 21 years old.

Yellow, Fun, Interaction, Event, Sitting, Photography, Flash photography, Night,

Episode Eight: “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap”

Before it interweaves all the season’s characters together in a tacky montage of entirely implausible New York happenstance, the final episode of season one adapts author Eve Pell’s 2013 essay on the love she found later in life. Amazon’s version stays faithful to the real-life events of her relationship with her late husband, Sam, with whom she ran, traveled, and saw movies for the last several years of his life.

In an interview with NPR in early 2017, Pell explained that her distress after Sam’s passing led her to a bereavement group, where she met another man and fell in love again. However, Pell said she won’t be marrying again.

“I can't stand the idea of having four husbands. It's just too much,” she told NPR, laughing.

Modern Love is streaming now on Amazon Prime, and has officially been renewed for a Season Two coming in 2020.

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How Amazon Picked Which ‘Modern Love’ Essays to Translate to the Screen

Anne Hathaway and Gary Carr in Modern Love

Where to Stream:

  • Modern Love

Amazon’s Modern Love is a cynic’s nightmare. Obscenely earnest, sweetly vulnerable, and unabashed in its optimism, the star-studded anthology series is out to prove there’s a whole lot of love in the world.

Each episode of Modern Love is a dramatization of one of the hundreds of essays that The New York Times editor Daniel Jones has selected for the popular column of the same name. “What makes a good column is a combination of vulnerability and intelligence. And those are kind of at odds in a way because when someone is really vulnerable it seems like they’re out of control and they’re not smart in a way,” Jones said to Decider following Modern Love ‘s panel at Summer TCA . “But being able to go through something that makes you vulnerable and come to an understanding and some sort of wisdom, that’s the tightrope you need to walk to do that kind of writing well.”

As the mastermind behind the column’s appeal, Jones was brought on as a consultant for Amazon’s adaptation of the column. He explained that he didn’t see much difference between an essay that worked well on the page and one that was perfect for adaptation, noting that’s how Modern Love ‘s producers approached their decisions. “They’re looking for stories that have real vulnerability, but it’s done in a smart way. It’s not simplified and it’s not exploited,” Jones said.

Shepherding Modern Love ‘s translation to the screen is showrunner John Carney. Jones praised Carney and said the Once and Sing Street director was “not afraid of being earnest.”

Cristin Milioti stars in the first episode of Modern Love , “When the Doorman is Your Main Man,” as a young woman who finds more solace in a friendship with her doorman than with her potential suitors. Milioti ironically starred in the Broadway adaptation of Carney’s Once , and she agreed with Jones’s take on why Carney was perfect for Modern Love.

“I think what I love about John [Carney] is that he’s really comfortable in the uncomfortable, and I think that’s where the best stories come from,” Milioti told Decider. “He wants to delve deep. He wants to be like, ‘Yeah, let’s get into the stuff that’s grey. Let’s get into the nuance. Let’s not just package it.'”

“I love the phone conversations I have with [Carney] when he talks about how he thinks about this on a deeper level and how a show like this can have a positive impact on a world that just feels meaner by the day,” Jones said. “How returning to this kind of basic human one-on-one relationship, the dignity of that, is a positive force in the world today.”

Actor Gary Carr plays a handsome man who falls in a flirtation with Anne Hathaway’s character in the third episode of Modern Love , “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am.” Carr admitted to being a huge fan of Hathaway’s going back to The Princess Diaries — “ I wasn’t going to say it ,” he joked. But he was also hyped to work on a project that amplified that spirit of “love.”

“I feel like there is a lot of love in the world. I see it everywhere, all the time. It’s just not reported all the time,” Carr said.

“Anything that makes people open their heart and feel less alone, or like makes them want to reach out and have a connection to someone regardless of outcome is incredible,” Milioti said.

Stream It Or Skip It: 'At The Moment' On Netflix, An Anthology Series About Love During The Pandemic

Woman crush wednesday: look out for lucy boynton in 'the pale blue eye', stream it or skip it: 'little america' season 2 on apple tv+, with more heartwarming stories about the immigrant experience in america, stream it or skip it: 'modern love: tokyo' on prime video, the tv show inspired by the new york times column goes to japan.

Jones teased that there have already been conversations about which essays have the potential to work for a Season Two, but right now he’s more focused on managing the massive inbox of submissions he gets for the column. And yes, he’s worried that Modern Love might cause a tsunami of submissions if it becomes ultra-successful.

“My main concern is volume, an increase in volume that’s unmanageable,” Jones said. “There’s always something about the column that people think, ‘I could do that,’ when in fact it’s really hard to do.”

Even if Jones is concerned that there might be too many submissions for Modern Love , Carr sees the silver lining in Jones’s problem. “That’s good,” Carr said. “That goes to show that the amount of essays he receives, that’s a great example on its own of how much love there is in the world.”

Modern Love premieres on Prime Video on Friday, October 18.

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Modern love: best moments from each season 1 episode, ranked.

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Modern Love is adapted from the Time's Styles section essay column by the same same. It is a quasi-fictional show that tells eight different tales of various kinds of people. It talks about various variations of love paternal love, self-love, the love shared between family members, young love, and old love.

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Each story is fantastic in their own ways. Here they are, the best moments from each episode, ranked.

At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity: The Park Scene

The prelude to "At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity" is provided in the finale episode of Modern Love . It starts with a sudden summer storm in New York. John Gallagher Jr.'s Rob stands outside the restaurant he's been stood up at. Sofia Boutella's Yasmine takes cover at the very same place. "Life gives you another chance," proclaims Sofia and asks Rob out on a date.

The actual episode is a second-date story where Rob accidentally cuts himself and Sofia spends the night at the hospital with him. Very quickly she discovers Rob's medical history, in a way that's almost unnerving.

The ending stands out, for it is a  Notting Hill -esque park scene. The two are polar opposites, he almost can't function in social situations owing to his anxiety and she live-blogs every event on social media. What matters is that they have accepted each other for who they really are.

Rallying to Keep the Game Alive: The Epiphany

Tina Fey and John Slattery star as a middle-aged couple in "Rallying to Keep the Game Alive". They stay together for the sake of their kids. Tina Fey's Sarah rants about how tired and unhappy she's in their marriage. Her husband, Dennis, is an actor, who's emotionally absent from their marriage, and mostly from the family life. When he is around, only his kids have his attention.

Their therapist suggests that they do something together as a couple, find common ground, a hobby. And that's when they start playing tennis. But it is only the heart to heart conversation as a couple that acts as a catalyst to their romance. She admits that she has been an adult in their relationship, a role she's tired of playing. Dennis slowly pushed her out of his life and that is why they are where they are today. Finally finding a common ground starts with Dennis's apology and acceptance from Sarah.

So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner Right: Peter Does the Right Thing

Julia Garner's Madeline is a young adult who's spent her years without fatherly love. So she craves for it. The more Madeline craves for it, the more she looks it in for odd places. At her friend's 21st birthday party, she looks at her dad as if he's talking to her.

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Finally, Madeline gets a dad-crush on her boss Shea Whigham's Peter. She fixates on him and begins to take note of his fatherly characteristics: crumbs on his sweater, little flecks of silver on his sideburns, his smell. Knowingly, or unknowingly (best left to individual judgment), Madeline leads him on.

The end of the episode is affecting. Teary-eyed, Peter tells her he's leaving work. Peter walks off telling her she's the daughter of any father's dreams. And that's all that Madeline really wanted.

Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am: Lexi Accepts Herself

"Take Me Me As I Am, Whoever I Am" is the closest thing to a La La Land . Anne Hathaway plays Lexi, an entertainment lawyer by the day. The episode begins with her filling out her bio on a dating website. Soon, she's got herself a date with the supermarket guy and she's excited about it. The first odd thing you hear about her is that she's missed work. The next thing you see a montage of how her depression set in. Lexi has lived only half of her life, the rest of it, she's spent hiding and sleeping in bed. She's lost out on her date (Gary Carr's Jeff) and her job. The show couldn't have explained it better.

But confiding in a co-worker about her situation liberates her. She finally accepts herself for who is she, saying, "I felt almost proud of my condition." Lexi rings colleagues, old boyfriends to provide an explanation for her past behavior. Lexi ends on the note of self-love and acceptance of who you really are.

When the Doorman Is Your Main Man: Guzmin's Approval

Christin Milioti and Laurentiu Possa have incredible tenant-doorman chemistry in "When The Doorman Is Your Main Man". She has a tendency to date the wrong kind of guys while he vets them for her. Maggie doesn't agree with what Guzmin has to say, but she does seek him out continually.

Guzmin's love for Maggie is thoroughly paternal, he watches over her, lends her advice when she gets pregnant accidentally. Guzmin establishes a beautiful form of paternal love between him and Maggie, by challenging various stereotypes about single-motherhood, pro-choice arguments, new age romance. The moment is stellar when they reunite years later and Guzmin approves of Maggie's new boyfriend.

When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist: Julie Learns Why She Was Stood Up

Catherine Keener's Julie wins hearts in "When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist". The story begins with The Times's Julie doing a profile on Joshua (Dev Patel), the CEO of a dating app named, Fuse. Julie and Joshua get to casually talking about dating and love, at the end of which she pries on his love-sickness.

Totally, off the record, Joshua narrates the story of how he and Emma split up. She'd almost cheated on him, he broke it off. Two years later, he still wanted her, only she was engaged. Emma gets hold of Julie's profile on Joshua, calls him up and the two of them begin dating again.

Julie tells Joshua about her own untested love, the young man she'd met in Paris 17 years ago, the man who'd stood her up.

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As fate would have it, she meets this man who tells him he'd lost the book she'd written her address on. We get one night of the two of them out together. Julie's narration of the following words is heartwarming:

"The love we had in our past, unfinished, untested, lost love seems so easy, so childish to those of us who choose to settle down. But actually, it's the purest, most concentrated stuff."

Hers Was a World of One: The Confrontation

"Hers Was a World of One", talks about a couple, Andrew Scott (Tobin) and Brandon Kyle Goodman (Andy) who share a strong paternal instinct to have a baby. They settle on open-adoption as means. Olivia Cooke (Karla) is the woman who provides them their baby. They learn that Karla is a free spirit in every sense of the word: she travels throughout the year, doesn't believe in permanent settlement, or things, that according to her, make human beings inhuman.

In her third trimester, Karla comes to live in with Tobin and Andy. It is here that the impending Tobin versus Karla happens, and it's worth every penny. She calls him a hipster-liberal who just claims things he doesn't do. He tells her she's insignificant, a world of one. Tobin and Andy are blessed with a baby girl, whom Karla sees on occasion.

The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap: Margot's Eulogy

"The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap" is creatively brilliant. Jane Alexander plays a grieving widow named Margot. She's lost the love of her later life, Ken to old age. This installment talks about old love and draws similarities with young love.

Margot's eulogy is an outstanding part of the episode. She makes a strong case for how similar love of all ages is. She acknowledges, as an old couple in love, they did all the things that young people do. At the end of this funeral, Margot decides to go for a walk all by herself in a New York summer storm. That point is the beginning, the mid, and the end of some of the stories in the anthology series.

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  • Modern Love (2019)

Entertainment

The Sneaky Way 'Modern Love' Connects All Of Its Love Stories

Sofia Boutella and John Gallagher Jr. in Amazon's Modern Love

Spoilers ahead for Modern Love Season 1. In the Season 1 finale of Amazon's Modern Love — "The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap" — a grieving widow named Margot goes for a run after delivering her husband’s eulogy. She met her husband while on a run, which lends the scene of her jogging through Manhattan in a black pantsuit a sense of poignance. It also confirms what fans of the series, based on the New York Times column of the same name, have always known: that the love stories it depicts are no more atomistic than our own. They are the invisible stories that Margot runs past without knowing it on one of the saddest rainy days of her life. "The rainstorm, that piece of electricity in the sky, connects them all in a very special way," showrunner John Carney explained in a press release. These brief intersections also provide additional context for the relationships explored throughout the season.

Episode 1 - " When the Doorman is Your Main Man "

In the series opener, Maggie (Cristin Milioti) leans on Guzmin (Laurentiu Possa), the doorman in her building, when she finds out she's unexpectedly pregnant. In the series finale, we catch an extra glimpse of what that support looked like when Guzmin follows Maggie to an early doctor's appointment on the same overcast day of Margot's husband's funeral. "I promise you I am here for no reason," he assures her in a heartfelt declaration. "You do whatever you need to do. Nothing will change me or any people who really love you. I'm just here with the umbrella."

Cristin Milioti and Laurentiu Possa in Amazon's Modern Love

Episode 2 - " When Cupid is a Prying Journalist "

In their early-season episode, journalist Julie (Catherine Keener) urges young app developer Joshua (Dev Patel) not to give up on a lost love, a mistake she made when she was his age. In the finale, Julie and Joshua run into each other again, and we learn that after rekindling the relationship, Joshua is still with Emma. Meanwhile, after leaving her husband, Julie is dating again. When they run into each other, she's on a date she met using Joshua's app.

Episode 3 - " Take Me as I am, Whoever I Am "

We only catch a glimpse of Anne Hathaway’s Lexi, a woman with bi-polar disorder, riding her bike down the street. It's impossible to place the moment chronology, but the scene reads optimistic: she's smiling in a pink coat.

Episode 4 - " Rallying to Keep the Game Alive "

In this episode based on a column written by the wife of actor Denis Leary, a couple (played by Tina Fey and John Slattery) learning to play tennis finds that their progress on the court mirrors the health of their marriage. In the finale, we see them squeezing in another rally even as the rain starts to drizzle down — a snapshot of commitment.

Olivia Cooke as Karla in Modern Love

Episode 5 - " At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity "

On the same day as Kenji's funeral, we see the meet-cute that led Yasmine (Sofia Boutella) and Rob (John Gallagher Jr.) to the emergency room adventure from the fifth episode. Rob has just been stood up. He's actually fleeing the restaurant when the rain forces him under the same awning that Yasmine, as gregarious as she is beautiful, decides to duck under. When she strikes up a conversation, he tells her his tale of stood-up woe. To his surprise, Yasmine suggests that she fill in for his missing date — or, as she calls it, an act of " universe recalibration. "

Episode 6 - " So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right? "

We don't learn much about Madeleine (Julia Garner), whose romantic life is dominated by self-described " daddy issues " in the sixth episode. She kisses a boy below a park bridge, looking happy, but it's unclear where this moment fits (it's possibly the same nameless boy she slept with?).

Episode 7 - " Hers Was a World of One "

The series finale dives deeper into an early moment shared between a gay couple (Andrew Scott and Brandon Kyle Goodman) and Karla (Olivia Cooke), the woman experiencing homelessness whose baby they adopt. In their dedicated episode, the trio is full of uncertainty — three very different people working to understand and trust each other with this new life they're all related to. The finale, though, reveals the audience never had much to worry about. When Karla arrives to stay at their apartment in the weeks leading up to the birth, she asks a friend to wait for her, just in case the couple don't seem like the loving parents she envisioned for her baby. Within moments, as the couple warmly bickers over baby prep in the background, we see her go to the window and wave off her getaway car, sure in her decision before they hardly know each other at all.

This article was originally published on Oct. 18, 2019

modern love season 1 essays

10 Facts About Amazon's Modern Love

By escher walcott | feb 17, 2021.

Brandon Kyle Goodman, Olivia Cooke, and Andrew Scott in Modern Love.

Amazon's anthology series Modern Love became a critical hit upon its release in the fall of 2019 and continues to be discovered and enjoyed by new viewers, as they await its second season. Based on the popular The New York Times column of the same name, the series tells tales of love in various forms through the depiction of contemporary, and sometimes unconventional, relationships.

Each standalone episode presents a unique story full of layered characters played expertly by some of today's most accomplished actors, including Oscar winner Anne Hathaway, Academy Award nominees Dev Patel and Catherine Keener, two-time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey, and Golden Globe nominee Andrew Scott. Here are some facts about the series' literary origins and its acclaimed first season.

1. The New York Times column upon which Modern Love is based on has been running since 2004.

Gary Carr, Anne Hathaway, Cristin Milioti, and Daniel Jones of Modern Love speak onstage during the Summer 2019 Television Critics Association Press Tour.

The New York Times 's "Modern Love" column came about after husband and wife writers Daniel Jones and Cathi Hanauer each wrote their own books about the challenges of balancing life, work, and family obligations. Hanauer's book, The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage , was published in 2002; in 2004, Jones wrote a companion title: The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom .

After The New York Times wrote a story about the couple, they received a call from Trip Gabriel, one of the paper's editors, asking if they'd be interested in working on a new column that would allow others to share their own unique "love" stories. Together, they commissioned and edited the first batch of "Modern Love" essays. However, due to her novel writing obligations, Hanauer could not commit to the project full-time, so Jones became the column's main editor, and still works in that capacity today.

2. The "Modern Love" column receives more than 9000 submissions each year.

As the popularity of the column grew, so too did the number of submissions. Stories can be submitted as either longform essays (running about 1500 words) or as a shortform "Tiny Love Story" (which runs approximately 100 words), and all recollections must be completely true with no fictional characters or names. (You can read more about how to sumit your own "Modern Love" story here .)

Jones curates a selection of essays from the thousands he receives and looks for a mix of unique and impactful stories. “The essays that stick with me are the ones that are instructive about relationships in ways I haven’t heard before," Jones told Oprah Magazine in 2019. “Finding a new voice and a new perspective is always energizing and fun.”

3. The "Modern Love" column has led to a number of book deals for its writers.

Getting published in the "Modern Love" section of The New York Times has been a springboard for many writers. Jones estimates that the column has led to approximately 50 to 60 book deals. “One of the reasons the column has a large readership in the publishing world is because we showcase the work of so many unknown writers who are telling their most important story,” Jones Jtold Literary Hub in 2019.

Significant books that were born out of "Modern Love" essays include The Thirteenth Horse Won by Ellen Graf, about marrying a stranger, and The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After by Melanie Gideon, about a woman rediscovering life at the age of 43.

4. Amazon’s Modern Love anthology series is based on real "Modern Love" essays.

Running at approximately 30 minutes per episode, each episode of Modern Love is a standalone story based on an essay published in the "Modern Love" column, though some of the details have been altered. Series creator John Carney—the writer/director behind Once and Sing Street —had the challenging task of selecting which of the column's many essays would be ripe for filming, which meant that they needed to be able to live off the page and resonate with viewers.

5. The original essay writers were not involved in adapting their stories for a very good reason.

Although the writers of the original essays were compensated for the use of their work and allowed to give approval of the final episodes before airing, they were not involved in the actual adaptation process—and for a very sensible reason. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter , Carney explained that while he wanted the writers' final approval on the finished episode, he didn't want them involved in the creative process so that the series did not "get bogged down in memoir or biography."

6. Modern Love star Catherine Keener may have broken the rule when it came to keeping the original essay writers uninvolved in production.

Catherine Keener and Dev Patel in Modern Love (2019).

While Carney preferred to keep the original writers separate from the production process, Catherine Keener—who starred opposite in Dev Patel in "When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist," one of the series' most critically acclaimed installments (it earned Patel an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series)—couldn't help but break that rule in order to give the most authentic performance she could. Deborah Copaken, who wrote the essay the episode is based on but wasn't even allowed to read the script, told Salon about how she met with Keener ahead of filming.

"Catherine Keener sent me an email, using her secret email address, saying, 'I'm playing you, but I'm not allowed to tell you this, and I'm not allowed to meet with you. But how am I going to play you if I have never met you? Can you please meet for lunch?'" Copaken explained. "So, we sort of secretly met. I told Dan Jones afterwards, 'Hey, I met with Catherine Keener.' He told me, 'Wait, you're not supposed to.' I was like, 'Well, we did.' We ended up meeting for lunch at Odeon for four hours. We just sat there and chatted and chatted and chatted. And like moms with kids at the same college, we talked about that. It wasn't necessarily talking about the story itself. We were just talking about who we were in our lives."

7. New York City is its own character on Modern Love .

Each episode of Modern Love was filmed in New York City, providing the focal backdrop to each love story. This was done in homage to The New York Times column and the essayists featured who reside in the city. Much like the human characters portrayed on the show, who are tied to each other through love and other feelings, New York City and the people and places that make it so vibrant are also part of each story.

8. One episode of Modern Love handles mental illness in a uniquely creative and sensitive way.

"Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am," the third episode in the first season of Modern Love , depicts what life is like being bipolar and the effect this has on one's personal relationships. The episode—which is shown through the lens of a character named Lexi, played by Anne Hathaway, as she grapples with the disorder—received particular praise for its heartbreaking, personal approach to showcasing mental illness yet managing to finish the episode with a surprisingly uplifting ending.

9. Modern Love isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues.

The most controversial episode of Modern Love 's first season is undoubtedly "So He Looked Like Dad, It Was Just Dinner, Right?" The episode stars Ozark 's Julia Garner as Maddy, a young woman enthralled by her much older colleague Peter, played by Boardwalk Empire 's Shea Wigham. Maddy confuses her feelings for him as romantic when, really, she is simply yearning for a father figure in her life—giving way to the age-old “Daddy Issues” complex. As a result, the episode is filled with awkward and disturbing exchanges between the pair that border on inappropriate as themes of parental replacement are explored.

10. While waiting for a second season, there’s also a Modern Love podcast you can enjoy.

In addition to books and a TV show, the "Modern Love" column launched a podcast in 2016 which can be enjoyed while waiting for the show's second season (which has already been confirmed ). The podcast is narrated by an impressive host of actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Issa Rae , and Brian Cox. Even so, Jones was initially surprised by the impact this medium has in retelling these stories. “It’s just a much more direct and sort of intimate experience," he told Oprah Magazine. "And that has proved to be true with the television show too.”

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Modern Love Recap: A Disastrous But Opportunistic Second Date

Amazon Series Modern Love Season 1, Episode 5, - At The Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity

This recap of Amazon Series Modern Love Season 1, Episode 5 , “At The Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity” contains significant spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

At the start of episode 5, Rob ( John Gallagher Jr. ) and Yasmine ( Sofia Boutella ) are about to embark on their second date. As they move up the escalators, all awkward and shy, Rob notices plenty of men looking at Yasmine and is irked by it. It’s evident from the first few seconds that Rob has a range of insecurities that are heightened by being in the presence of a beautiful woman like Yasmine.

Rob even overthinks the date. When they return to his new apartment, he slams his new mattress down and then wonders if he will be sending the wrong signals to Yasmine — he does not want her to believe he was expecting sex. The situation and the awkwardness were created by what he said, not what he did.

The date takes a weird turn when Rob and Yasmine start kissing. Yasmine leaves the room momentarily, and when she returns, Rob is attempting to do a pose to make her laugh. He falls off the sofa and hits the martini glass. A shard of glass wedged into his arm, and there is blood everywhere.

Their second date turns into a serious hospital visit, where Rob requires surgery on his arm. “At The Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity” sees the Rob and Yasmine share their thoughts and feelings well early into their friendship. Rob opens up about his anxiety, how he feels around her and his tendency to put himself down. Yasmine, on the other hand, talks about her father, her need for attention (she expected the hospital visit to get likes on Instagram) and how at the start of the chapter, when they were going up the escalators, she was purposefully trying to get men to smile at her — a game she started with a close friend.

The disastrous date becomes a surprising clarity for the two as they have skimmed passed the bulls— and learned more about each other in one night then if they just had sex at Rob’s apartment. They truly enjoyed the company of each other. Modern Love Season 1, Episode 5, “At The Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity” is a thoughtful piece of work.

You can read the recap of the sixth episode by clicking these words

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Modern Love: Season 1 Reviews

modern love season 1 essays

For every episode that gives you good ol' lurrve on a platter — there's an episode that explores the breakdown of a relationship and the complexity of ordinary life.

Full Review | Oct 9, 2023

For the most part though, Modern Love is an uplifting experience with more than enough 'aww' moments to keep you ploughing on through all eight episodes...

Full Review | Jul 14, 2021

[An] exquisite series. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Jan 21, 2020

I found myself cheering each set of lovers on, hoping they could work it out. Watching it with my husband I felt a warm buzz of happiness at the end of each episode -- and there aren't many shows you can say that about.

Full Review | Jan 17, 2020

Modern Love is an anthology series that is unfortunately a mixed bag. It has episodes that show its true potential fulfilled, but there aren't enough of them to warrant a full recommendation.

Full Review | Dec 27, 2019

A stellar cast of actors and well-known writers work hard, but only a couple of the episodes are exceptional. Still, at 31 minutes long, it can be a nice break from the world's insanity.

Full Review | Dec 6, 2019

The series is worthy because of the exercise of transferring the real stories of the readers from the paper to the screen, giving life to those stories in fiction. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Dec 4, 2019

What saves it from being overly saccharine is that the stories are real, and not every one wraps up tidily.

Modern Love, the short story series, is successful not because it operates with the same tools of a rom-com-but because these are real romances told by real people.

Modern Love really feels like it would have benefited from less tidiness, less ponderousness - maybe even, dare I say, a little less New York Times-iness.

It was a brilliant move to adapt those slice of life dramas from the Times. Now, it's just a matter of time before aspiring writers use the column as their conduit to Hollywood.

It's a pro job, though at times it feels professional in a Madison Avenue kind of way, as if you are being sold something, rather than told a story.

With an ensemble that also includes Tina Fey, Andrew Scott, and Julia Garner, the show feels like something of a missed opportunity.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Dec 4, 2019

The first three and last two episodes of Modern Love make for passable fluffy entertainment. The middle two are entirely skippable, and watch the dad episode at your own risk.

Full Review | Nov 29, 2019

The show is uneven but well worth a look.

Full Review | Nov 15, 2019

What does it tell us about love and New Yorkers? That there is no amount of money Amazon won't throw in order to bring some synthetic sub-Nora Ephron/Woody Allen cutesy-cute blah to its offering.

Full Review | Nov 14, 2019

Real life-based romance series both charms and annoys.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Oct 24, 2019

Modern Love, I guess, is the version for those who think smoking pot is naughty? Those people are mostly bores; perhaps appropriately, this show is about mostly boring people.

Full Review | Oct 24, 2019

Modern Love had the chance to build upon the Times' original essays, but to its detriment, the show adapted them as faithfully as possible, yielding mostly dull interpretations.

Full Review | Oct 23, 2019

Modern Love is at once empty and retrograde. Its stars, and viewers, deserve better.

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Modern Love

  • Cast & Crew
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The Amazon Original series Modern Love returns for season two with another impressively star-studded cast and new stories of love and relationships in all their complexities and beauty, inspired by The New York Times column of the same name. The season was filmed in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York and Dublin, Ireland, and will premiere on Prime Video later this year in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide. Joining the anthology series in season two are  Gbenga Akinnagbe   (The Deuce) ,  Susan Blackwell   (Madam Secretary) , Screen Actors Guild Award nominee  Lucy Boynton   (Bohemian Rhapsody),   Tom Burke   (Mank),  Zoë Chao   (Love Life),   Maria Dizzia   (Orange is the New Black) , Academy Award nominee  Minnie Driver   (Cinderella),  newcomer  Grace Edwards ,  Dominique Fishback   (Judas and the Black Messiah) , Tony Award nominee  Kathryn Gallagher   (Jagged Little Pill) , Emmy Award nominee  Kit Harington   (Game of Thrones) , Screen Actors Guild Award nominee  Garrett Hedlund   (Mudbound) ,  Telci Huynh  (God Friended Me),  Tony Award winner  Nikki M. James   (Book of Mormon) , Golden Globe Award nominee  Tobias Menzies   (The Crown),  Aparna Nancherla   (Corporate) , Golden Globe Award nominee  Sophie Okonedo   (Ratched),   Larry Owens   (High Maintenance) ,  Zane Pais   (Room 104) , Academy Award winner  Anna Paquin   (Flack) ,  Isaac Powell   (Dear Evan Hansen),   Ben Rappaport   (For the People) ,  Milan Ray   (Troop Zero) ,  Jack Reynor   (Midsommar) , Golden Globe Award winner  Miranda Richardson   (Stronger) ,  Marquis Rodriguez   (When They See Us) ,  James Scully   (You S2) ,  Zuzanna Szadkowski   (Gossip Girl) ,  Lulu Wilson   (The Glorias) ,  Don Wycherley   (Wild Mountain Thyme),  and  Jeena Yi   (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). Carney serves as writer, director and executive producer. Additionally, John Crowley ( Brooklyn), Marta Cunningham  (Insecure)  Jesse Peretz  (Glow) , and Andrew Rannells ( Black Monday) , will also direct episodes of the anthology series with Celine Held and Logan George  (Topside)  co-directing an episode .  The episode Rannells will direct is based upon a personal essay that he penned for the New York Times column. Todd Hoffman, Trish Hofmann, and Anthony Bregman also serve as executive producers on Season 2, along with Caitlin Roper and Choire Sicha of The New York Times, with Sean Fogel serving as a producer and Daniel Jones, editor of the “Modern Love” column, who serves as co-producer. The series is produced by Amazon Studios, Storied Media Group, Likely Story, and The New York Times.

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Show Description

Episode descriptions, on a serpentine road, with the top down.

A woman’s only remaining connection to her late husband is her vintage car but now, 30-years later, she’s confronted with the difficult choice of selling it – and saying goodbye to her old love forever. Minnie Driver & Tom Burke star.

The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy

A woman with delayed sleep phase syndrome meets the love of her life. The catch is: he’s awake while the sun is shining and she is not. Zoë Chao & Gbenga Akinnagbe star.

Strangers on a Train

Two strangers meet on a train from Galway to Dublin in March 2020 and decide to go old school: no numbers exchanged, only a promise that they will meet up on the train two weeks later. And then a worldwide pandemic shuts down all of Ireland. Lucy Boynton & Kit Harington star.

A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One

The new girl in school falls in love with her best friend and is convinced that they're meant for each other... even though she can’t seem to ever get out of the 'friend zone.' Dominique Fishback & Isaac Powell star.

Am I …? Maybe this Quiz Will Tell Me

A middle-school girl questions her sexuality when she finds herself having feelings for another girl. She turns to social media quizzes for answers. Grace Edwards & Lulu Wilson star.

In the Waiting Room of Estranged Spouses

After a chance meeting in a therapist’s office, a former marine and a housewife develop an unlikely connection when they discover their respective spouses are having an affair with each other. Anna Paquin & Garrett Hedlund star.

How Do You Remember Me?

For two young men, running into each other reminds them of their first and only date together. But do they remember that night the same way? Marquis Rodriguez & Zane Pais star.

Second Embrace, With Hearts and Eyes Open

Two parents, after being divorced for several years, begin a casual fling and reignite their old flame, only for one of them to receive a life-changing medical diagnosis. Sophie Okonedo & Tobias Menzies star.

Gbenga Akinnagbe

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Reid J. Epstein covers campaigns and elections from Washington. Before joining The Times in 2019, he worked at The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Newsday and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. More about Reid J. Epstein

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COMMENTS

  1. Here's Where the Real People From Amazon's Modern Love Are Now

    Before it interweaves all the season's characters together in a tacky montage of entirely implausible New York happenstance, the final episode of season one adapts author Eve Pell's 2013 essay ...

  2. How Amazon Picked Which 'Modern Love' Essays to Translate ...

    Modern Love editor Daniel Jones and stars Cristin Milioti and Gary Carr explain why the Amazon show works, and what it takes to make a Modern Love story.

  3. 7 'Modern Love' Essays To Read Before The TV Series Premieres

    Below are seven of my favorite of the 42 essays that appear in the Modern Love book, a great refresher for seasoned readers and a perfect precursor to the series for new fans, too:

  4. Modern Love (TV series)

    Modern Love is an American romantic comedy anthology television series developed by John Carney, based on the weekly column of the same name published by The New York Times, that premiered on Amazon Prime Video on October 18, 2019. [1] In October 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, which was released on August 13, 2021.

  5. Modern Love Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: A Complex Open Adoption

    Modern Love Season 1, Episode 7, "Hers Was A World of One" closes with Tobin telling stories to their daughter about her mother, and how their worlds are opposites but also similar. I truly enjoyed this episode, that tackled various themes; a gay couple adopting, open adoption, capitalism, homelessness and the mother's bond with a child.

  6. Modern Love

    The online home of "Modern Love," featuring a complete archive of columns (since Oct. 2004), animated videos (since Aug. 2013), and information about essay contests and submissions.

  7. What 15 Years of 'Modern Love' Teaches You About Heartbreak and

    The new "Modern Love" series, whose first season's episodes are streaming on Amazon, is inspired by the essays and has a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey and Dev Patel.

  8. Modern Love Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: A Chapter On Bipolar Disorder

    Modern Love Season 1, Episode 3, "Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am" is a near-perfect chapter, present a character dealing with bipolar in an impactful story.

  9. Modern Love: Best Moments From Each Season 1 Episode, Ranked

    Modern Love: Best Moments From Each Season 1 Episode, Ranked. Modern Love is adapted from the Time's Styles section essay column by the same same. It is a quasi-fictional show that tells eight different tales of various kinds of people. It talks about various variations of love paternal love, self-love, the love shared between family members ...

  10. The Sneaky Way 'Modern Love' Connects All Of Its Love Stories

    Spoilers ahead for Modern Love Season 1. In the Season 1 finale of Amazon's Modern Love — "The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap" — a grieving widow named Margot goes for a run after ...

  11. Modern Love

    Episode 8 of Modern Love sees everything come together in the most beautiful way possible, as our stories converge against the backdrop of love through the ages. We begin with Margot answering the door for her son, Chris, before getting back into bed. We then cut back in time and see her preparing for a run.

  12. Season 1

    Season 1 - Modern Love. Watch Modern Love — Season 1 with a subscription on Prime Video. Carried by its charming cast, Modern Love sweet and simple sensibilities are easy enough to enjoy, even ...

  13. Modern Love

    Much like other anthology series of its kind, Amazon Prime's Modern Love is a bit of a mixed bag. From deeply thematic and thought provoking episodes through to simplistic plots that border on pointless, Modern Love explores the timeless feelings of love and lust across 8 episodes of varying quality. Based on the New York Times' column ...

  14. 'Modern Love' Season 2 Is Here

    Catch up with some of the writers who inspired eight new episodes of 'Modern Love' on Prime Video. The show's second season will begin streaming on Aug. 13 on Prime Video. Courtesy of Amazon ...

  15. 10 Facts About Amazon's Modern Love

    4. Amazon's Modern Love anthology series is based on real "Modern Love" essays. Running at approximately 30 minutes per episode, each episode of Modern Love is a standalone story based on an ...

  16. Every Episode of Modern Love Ranked from Worst to Best

    Here are every episode of Modern Love ranked from worst to best: 16. "Strangers on a (Dublin) Train". Season 2, Episode 3. Directed by: John Carney. Stars: Lucy Boynton and Kit Harington. Ugh ...

  17. Watch Modern Love Season 1

    Season 1. An unlikely friendship. A lost love resurfaced. A marriage at its turning point. A date that might not have been a date. An unconventional new family. These are unique stories about the joys and tribulations of love, each inspired by a real-life personal essay from the beloved New York Times column "Modern Love.".

  18. Modern Love Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: A Disastrous Second Date

    Modern Love Season 1, Episode 5, "At The Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity" explores how a turn of events can genuinely allow you to get to know someone.

  19. Watch Modern Love

    Season 1. An unlikely friendship. A lost love resurfaced. A marriage at its turning point. A date that might not have been a date. An unconventional new family. These are unique stories about the joys and tribulations of love, each inspired by a real-life personal essay from the beloved New York Times column "Modern Love.".

  20. Modern Love: Season 1

    Modern Love had the chance to build upon the Times' original essays, but to its detriment, the show adapted them as faithfully as possible, yielding mostly dull interpretations. Modern Love is at ...

  21. Prime Video: Modern Love Season 1

    These are unique stories about the joys and tribulations of love, each inspired by a real-life personal essay from the beloved New York Times column "Modern Love." IMDb 7.9 2019 8 episodes X-Ray HDR UHD 16+

  22. Modern Love

    The Amazon Original series Modern Love returns for season two with another impressively star-studded cast and new stories of love and relationships in all their complexities and beauty, inspired by The New York Times column of the same name. The season was filmed in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York and Dublin, Ireland, and will premiere on Prime Video later this year in more than 240 ...

  23. How Trump's Conviction Could Reshape the Election

    The guilty verdict in his Manhattan criminal trial is set to become a key piece in the 2024 campaign.