Look, is An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts going to win awards? Honestly, ever since Emily in Paris got nominated for an Emmy, I don’t even try to guess about what will and won’t win awards. But, my general point is that this is not prestige television. No, this is tasty-but-uncomplicated, rom-com comfort food where the first episode felt like it took five hours to play out and by the end of the sixth episode I knew my life would never be the same if  there wasn’t a second season. I may be prone to hyperbole, but you get the picture. 

Alice (Claudia Gusmano) is an extremely capable but overlooked production assistant at DoraTV. She is still patching together the pieces of her heart since her long-time boyfriend Carlo (Alberto Paradossi) broke up with her. Of course, that’s harder to do since they’re ostensibly still friends and they still work together at the TV station alongside his current girlfriend Cristina (Lucrezia Bertini), who is tall, long-haired, stylish, toothy, and willowy. Let’s be clear, Alice is freakin’ adorable with her brown, shoulder length hair, straight bangs, edgy tortoise shell glasses, and layered outfits. But it’s obvious that Cristina is supposed to have that intimidating kind of socially acceptable external beauty that might make another woman’s self-esteem crumple at the edges. On the night we meet them, Carlo is asking for Alice’s thoughts on the engagement ring he’s about to give to Cristina who, he casually mentions, is also pregnant. Now, I’ve only just met both characters, but I still really want Alice to just pop Carlo in the nose and tell him to fuck off. She does not. Instead, she grabs a bottle of champagne and leaves Carlo and all her coworkers in the bar to celebrate the happy couple while she drinks herself into oblivion and drunk dials her best friend Paola (Esther Elisha). 

View from outside the restaurant. Carlo is down on one knee an Cristina, in a blue dress is standing and has her back to the camera. She has long wavy hair and her hands are over her mouth. All of their work colleagues are at the table with them and they are applauding.
Alice is just out of frame popping a bottle of champagne that she is going to drink all by herself.
Carlo, who has brown wavy short hair and is wearing a brown blazer over a black turtleneck, looking at Alice.
I’m not one of advocate for violence, but I do want to advocate for all kinds of fictional violence on his fictional face.
Cristina dressed in white showing off her engagement ring.
Personally, I’m always slightly skeptical of anyone who can make it out the door in an entirely white outfit without any stains. Is it dark magic? A pact with a particularly powerful demon? Perhaps they had to part ways with their soul? I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust them. Cristina hasn’t necessarily done anything wrong. It’s just my personal bias.

The next morning she wakes up hungover and late only to remember she has an Important Meeting. No, seriously, it says RIUNONE IMPORTANTE!!! on her chalkboard, which made me laugh out loud, because who the hell labels their meetings that way? You might be underestimating our intelligence, Dear Writers!

Alice sitting on the toilet with her underwear around her knees and balled up tissues all over the floor.
Is it even an international Netflix show about an independent single woman finding her way in the world if there’s not a scene where she’s sitting on the toilet with her underwear around her knees? Probably not.
Chalk board with RIUNIONE IMPORTANTE!!!! 9:30 written on it. The subtitles say IMPORTANT MEETING 9:30 AM.
This is how I plan to list all my meetings from now on. It shouldn’t be confusing at all. Important meeting 9:30am!!! Important meeting 11:45am!!! Really Important meeting 2:30pm!!! Wicked Way Important Meet— I’m just kidding. Thankfully, I don’t have that many meetings.

Anyway, Alice catches a taxi in the pouring rain where she sits on a newspaper, which leaves the imprint of a crossword puzzle on her butt. I thought it kind of worked as a funky addition to the outfit, but she disagrees. So, once at work, she dives into the costume room to change, but not before having a somewhat snarky interaction with a Stranger with a Genetically Blessed Face who just happens to be loitering in the office.  

Alice, who has dark brown hair with bangs and wears round glasses, walking through a doorway. She is looking to one side and holding her hair back with one hand.
Here’s Alice trying to make it into the office unnoticed so she can change before the meeting.
Image of the back of Alice's cream colored wool mini skirt that has an imprint of the crossword puzzle from the newspaper that she sat on in the taxi.
I still maintain that she could have pulled off this look, but I also acknowledge that her run in with Signor Genetically Blessed Face was also extremely important to the plot.
The handsome stranger that Alice has a run in with outside the wardrobe room. He has dark brown hair and a dark beard.
Yes. Absolutely. If I saw this man loitering my office I would think that I should immediately respond antagonistically to all of his comments even if that wasn’t particularly my usual style.

Are you sitting down? Because it’s going to shock the pants off you to learn that the Stranger turns out to be Davide Sardi (Michele Rosiello), the new boss who is going to shake things up at Dora TV. No! They got off on the wrong foot AND he’s attractive? It’s true! Surely these two will not develop an immediate attraction for each other that they try to deny for as long as possible, even though life keeps tossing them into awkwardly close situations where there is so much attraction that their genitals seem in danger of spontaneously catching on fire, but in a good way!?! (Spoiler: They most certainly will. Why the heck else would we be watching?) 

Davide wearing a motorcycle jacket and holding his helmet in his hand as he shakes out his hair.
Because I want to make sure that you have access to adequate information to make educated choices about what you stream, I’m including another picture of Davide.

Thinking she has royally screwed things up with the new boss and might lose her job, Alice stomps off the bathroom to fret and feel sorry for herself. She’s so caught up in her thoughts that she accidentally stumbles into the men’s room where she meets Tio (Lorenzo Adorni), an actor with his own Genetically Blessed Face, living with his aging grandmother who fervently believes in the power of astrology, but definitely not true love or heteronormative standards. Even though she initially snorts at his astrological beliefs, they become immediate and fast friends. He sends her a voice memo of her horoscope every day, and outlines why each star sign would or would not be a good fit for her. (Admittedly, I let a lot of the astrology stuff wash over me without listening too closely.)  

Tio, with dyed blonde hair, a moustache and a blue hoodie, and Alice meeting in the bathroom.
I adore the look that Tio is giving Alice here. It’s just after she’s told him that she doesn’t really believe in astrology and he’s setting her straight. Plus, she’s just a total mess who is in the wrong bathroom and can’t even get the faucet to work.
Tio and Alice sitting on the loading dock behind the TV station, drinking beers after work.
I do adore Tio. And I love watching these two together. They have the perfect chemistry for this kind of series.

In order to try to get past her hang up on Carlo, Alice goes on dates with some really terrible guys. There’s one who gets back together with his ex while they’re on a date; one who calls himself Lupo (Wolf) and is clearly trying to take advantage of how much she’s had to drink; and one who ticks all the boxes, except her box, if you know what I mean. Meanwhile, she drunkenly pitches an idea for an astrological dating show hosted by Tio to Davide that turns into a great success. 

  • Blonde man with a beard who is looking to one side.
  • Lupo, who has blonde hair and a goatee and looks very smarmy.
  • Attractive Argentine man with dark salt and pepper hair and a beard.

From the very start it’s obvious that Alice is the glue that holds the studio together. Her producer Enrico (Fausto Maria Sciarappa) relies on her for everything from accompanying him on pitches to soothing the talent. She can pull together everyone for a shoot in less than five minutes and fix the vending machine. Carlo, ugh, we already discussed how much he relies on her for personal feedback, but he also wants her to be his support for work-related projects as well. When she gets to head up her own show he’s intensely jealous and treats her like trash, so basically what you’d expect of someone with an inflated, fragile ego. On top of that, Alice protects Carlo far more than he deserves. I’m hoping this is just part of her growing pains as a person, but for the time being it’s a real pain in my ass as a viewer and I can only hope that eventually she squashes him like a cucaracha. Or I suppose he could mature, realize all his past mistakes, and make amends, but the former sounds far more satisfying to watch.  

Carlo sitting in Alice's apartment, which has accent's of yellow and teal.
Carlo (ugh) is sitting in Alice’s apartment here. I do love all the bright accent colors that are used throughout the series. I like them even though Alice’s apartment looks a lot like a lot of other apartments in other Netflix series about young women. Her bedroom has dark floral wallpaper behind the bed that looks suspiciously close to the wallpaper in Lola’s bedroom in VALERIA. So it’s not a bad thing, but I also wouldn’t want it to get to the point where they were all indistinguishable. You know?

Clearly, her talent at the studio has been overlooked for a long time, but it irks me that Alice is largely passive in her rise to power. We see Davide watching her as she capably handles things, so it’s through his perspective, not hers, that we’re seeing her abilities. Then, she’s barely conscious and doesn’t even remember giving the genius pitch for her show. It’s only because Davide was giving her a ride home, and ferrying her away from Lupo’s carnal desires, that it becomes a reality at all. 

Alice and Davide wearing motorcycle helmets as he drives her home late one night.
The moment when Alice drunkenly pitches her idea to Davide. There are also a LOT of stars and individual constellations visible as they drive through a well-lit city , which is a lovely bit of fantasy.
Alice's best friend Paola, a light skinned Black woman with shoulder length curly black hair. She is sitting at a table with a lot of pink drinks.
I’ve been remiss in not showing you Alice’s best friend Paola before. She also has an adorable son. But I need someone to explain what’s going on with the drinks. Did they order ten drinks at once? Did they only drink half of each one? It makes for a very cool effect on the table, but it’s also very distracting.

Aside from being Alice’s newfound friend and Paola’s competition for bestie, Tio’s storyline isn’t subtle—in the same way that Wile E. Coyote’s attempts to trap the Road Runner aren’t subtle—but it’s still sweet to watch it unfold. I mean, any time a character says that they don’t “believe” in long-term love or relationships, you KNOW some monogamy is coming barreling toward them like a very on-time train. Our only job as viewers is to relax and watch them get blissfully hit full force by it. Honestly, the only part of Tio that I could do without are the cut-ins where he, as the host of the dating show, tells about the qualities specific to each astrological sign. Yes, part of this due to my own disinterest in astrology, but it also breaks up the flow of the series and feels unnecessarily expositive. We already have Tio the character giving Alice daily horoscopes and Tio the character telling Alice why she shouldn’t date certain signs, do we really need Tio the dating game host explaining the signs to us again in a different format? It seems like astrological overkill, but then again I still can’t remember what differentiates a Leo from a Scorpio, so maybe take what I say with a grain of salt or stars or whatever. 

Tio as the game show host. He is wearing a black blazer covered in gold sparkles and crescent moon pin. Behind him is a large yellow star lit with large bulbs and gold beaded strings hang in front of it.
My apologies to Tio for catching him with his eyes closed, but it does reflect how I felt during these brief segments.

Obviously, neither you nor I need to be able to read the stars in order to see where any part of this show is going. No, it’s obviousness is part of its appeal, thank you very much. The characters are charming, the friendships believable, the romantic tension palpable, the faces blessed genetically, and the dating mishaps entertaining. My fingers are so itchy to end this with yet another astrology-ish joke, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already exceeded my legal limit. But if you like quirky rom-com series, signs do point to you enjoying this one. Oh my stars, I did it again. I’ve lost all control. Someone please stop me.

Overall Rating on the Chronically Streaming Pain Scale:

Pain scale from zero with a smile face to 4 with a very unhappy face. The 1 is highlighted in this case. A happy face that is smiling, though not quite as large a smile as the zero.
1-Comfortable: Maybe there are some annoying twinges here and there, but overall the good outweighs the bad.

2 thoughts on “Review: Prospects Are Good For Enjoying AN ASTROLOGICAL GUIDE FOR BROKEN HEARTS

  1. I love this show! I love hearing the Italian and occasionally knowing what they’re saying without the subtitles. I’m interested in how everyone thinks Tio’s name is funny when they first meet him. I need to ask an Italian person why this is… all I can think of is that it’s uncle in Spanish. Or is there some other joke I’m not getting?

    Like

    1. It’s such a fun show! I need the second season. I can’t figure it out about his name either. I searched online and found nothing. I hadn’t thought of the Spanish connection where it can also mean more like friend, dude, etc. But at some point her friend Paola makes it sound like his name means he’ll be down for hooking up or something, so I’m still confused.

      Like

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