‘I Love Dick’ Review Roundup: Artsy Show Earns Rave Reviews
I Love Dick is a new Amazon Prime series adapted by Transparent‘s Jill Soloway and stars Kevin Bacon as professor Dick Jarrett. Despite it’s raunchy name, the show is quite artistic, as well as provocative and arresting. Dick finds himself in the middle of a love triangle between his newest teaching fellow, Holocaust scholar Sylvère (Griffin Dunne), and his wife Chris (Kathryn Hahn).
Dick is condescending when they first meet, but Chris finds herself oddly turned on by him. She pens “Dear Dick” letters that she meant to keep just to herself but ends up sharing one with her husband, making this invisible Dick a third party in their marriage. The series really gets going when the letters make it out to the public.
I LOVE DICK REVIEW ROUNDUP
“I Love Dick, like Transparent, owns its seriousness and its characters, but it has a sense of humor about it. Early on, Sylvère is introduced to the president of the fellowship’s board, who, he’s told, is “a big fan of the Holocaust.” But the series is best when it does what art does: to express what can’t be said literally, to be the painting — or the brick — and not the plaque next to it… Watching I Love Dick is like attending an exhibition for which the artist has supplied her own curator’s notes. It’s an experience as much as a story: arresting, disorienting and provocative. It’s also very conscious of explaining to you how and why it arrests, disorients and provokes.”
–James Poniewozik, The New York Times
“I’m making the show sound like a desert-parched romance of the doomed, and it’s not that at all. It’s a comedy about how stupid smart people can be when they’re stricken by yearning or lust, and how both conditions give people permission to act out, flout taboo, and otherwise jolt themselves free of whatever ruts they think they’ve gotten stuck in. The most striking thing about I Love Dick is the anthropological exactness with which it captures a particular subset of the American arts scene, the bourgeois bubble of residencies, grants, retreats, and the like… This is also, unfortunately, one of many recent series that runs out of gas well before you want it to; a shorter run of episodes or more ruthlessness about pacing and cast size might’ve helped with that, albeit at the expense of fresh points of view on the main action. But it’s sexy, funny cringe-comedy with a surprising affinity for serendipitous, cosmically beautiful moments. It’s at its best watching the characters think about what they’ve done to themselves, and what they can’t wait to do next.”
–Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture
“I Love Dick is a spiky, ambitious, open-hearted and occasionally exhausting exploration of many things. There’s a lot going on inside each episode, and if the dizzying array of ideas is almost too much to grapple with at times, its greatest heights are worth the sometimes jagged ride. At the core of I Love Dick are lively thoughts, theories and questions about the genesis of creativity and the nature of female desire, and it’s also intensely interested in how those things co-exist, feed each other and come into conflict. The show also plays around with the limits and attractions of traditional gender roles, the challenges of being in a committed relationship and the importance (or lack thereof) of modern art, as well as ideas about connection, oppression and how identities and energies can be co-opted or harnessed. And this roster of concepts just scratches the surface of what the show delves into in its eight installments… I Love Dick is exhilarating when it pulls off this kind of delicate, potent mixture [of funny and beautifully sincere], and throughout its first season, its directors provide a master class on how to explore the contours and quirks of a woman’s body and her desires without falling into the cliched and boring tropes that TV typically relies on… Whooo boy, this show can be a lot.”
–Maureen Ryan, Variety
“Like Transparent, this is a world of privilege mostly inhabited by obnoxious people, where the punchline of a joke is allowed to be: “Susan Sontag, she was great.” And, like Transparent, its claims to be a comedy are tenuous, although based on the early episodes, it’s more slapstick-leaning, and loosens up as the series progresses. Still, it’s likely to be divisive: it takes a certain willingness to embrace its rarefied world to find the mockery of it entertaining, and some may find it a little pretentious. But it has plenty of charm, is astonishingly beautiful, and it’s exciting to see a TV show that’s willing to try something entirely new.”
–Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian
“At one level, I Love Dick is hipster Desperate Housewives, a domestic saga wrapped around a love affair at the heart of a small community… But where Soloway and Gubbins have succeeded is in making meat from [Chris] Kraus’s novel without losing the powerful delicacy of her sentiment. With patience, I Love Dick has the potential to be revolutionary television.”
–Alice Vincent, The Telegraph