Uncoupled: Season 1
August 1, 2022 12:25 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Michael (Neil Patrick Harris) has had his life turned upside down after his partner walks out on him after 17 years and he's forced to confront dating in NYC as a single gay man in his 40s. A Darren Star production for Netflix.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (13 comments total)
I was surprised by how comforted I felt slipping back into Darren Star's world. Drink every time something about this show reminds you of "Sex and the City" - just kidding, don't, you will die. He only writes one show but I enjoy it every time.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:27 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]

posted by sixswitch at 1:08 PM on August 1

Sorry, that’s correct, Mr Patrick Harris is in his latest possible late 40s!
posted by sixswitch at 1:10 PM on August 1

I had it in my head that the character was in his early 40s, but I could be mistaken.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:19 PM on August 1

(was a failed joke not a jab at the post text, sorry, i’m happy you reminded me of this!)
posted by sixswitch at 2:16 PM on August 1

(Spoilers below)

I was so ready to be charmed because I love me some NPH. And on some levels I kind of was... Especially because he did great and the rest of the cast is also great. One absolute standout imo is the older Black gay man who lives in NPH's building. I don't know anything about that actor but that man bled history onto the screen, and I would not be surprised to find out that he was playing himself. His presence was palpable. What a phenomenal performance.

But gosh the writing was pretty bad! Tame example: the lesson-of-the-week arcs. You remember the bits in SatC where Carrie Bradshaw goes, "And I couldn't help but wonder... [insert pithy theme-of-the-week]?" It used to come at the 1/3rd-ish mark of an episode and worked as something of a framing device. That, to me, helped the episodes feel less like parables with a moral-of-the-story attached. But several episodes in this show have NPH's character being like, well, explicitly stating the lesson he learned like he's Kyle at the end of South Park, saying "You know, I've learned something today." There was no finesse to it, it had an infantalizing effect on NPH's character. And ultimately it meant that there weren't any twists or surprises at all, the whole story and every sub-story is told super duper straight (... ba dum tss).

And, okay, maybe I should just take a chill pill and stop unsuspending my disbelief but bear with me a minute while I point out what, to me, is the most egregious thing about how this show is written.

The entire season takes place over the course of TWO WEEKS. At the start of those two weeks, Colin ends his 17 yr relationship with Michael extremely abruptly... And within 3 days, Michael sleeps with that Italian guy, almost sleeps with a guy he bumps into at a grocery store, falls for the dermatologist his father sets him up with - hangs out with him for 7 days straight and gets all relationshippy with him, and then he's off to the gay ski weekend where he's crushing on a whole other guy whom he *totally* would slept with if he hadn't drunk-puked on him instead. And then Michael has even emotionally moved on from his 17-year relationship at the 2.5 week mark, feeling fully resolved, got his closure, able to be friends with his ex.

I mean. WHAT? This is bonkers. Real life doesn't work like this. No way, right? Not even for the campiest, raunchiest, most stereotypical gay men on the planet?

So my main beef is that this is a dehumanizing and bigoted timeline within which to cram this story, because it is a story about gay men about whom all these sterotypes really exist in the real world, and cause murderous levels of homophobia in the real world. This show agrees with the worst notions about gay men in the bigoted world - they just don't have deep enough relationships or the capacity to really grieve or mourn. That they'll just fuck half a dozen men in two weeks and that will lead them to complete emotional closure after the traumatic end of a 17 yr relationship. YIKES.
posted by MiraK at 5:57 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]

Whoops I made a mistake up there - he only has one encounter with the dermatologist and it's this other teacher dude he gets relationshippy with. One extra guy, SMH.
posted by MiraK at 6:14 PM on August 1

Oh shit look what google turned up: Netflix show ‘Uncoupled’ cuts a Latina housekeeper character that was criticized as offensive - this headline downplays what actually happened: the actor who was supposed to play the Latina housekeeper was the person who was shocked by how offensively the character was written. She was the one who made these criticisms. And instead of rewriting the character, they fired her and cut the character entirely.
> Ada Maris, known for her roles in TV series such as “Mayans MC” and “Nurses” and the 1986 film “About Last Night,” told Variety that she considered the character to be demeaning and one-dimensional and that she was surprised to see such a role after a few recent strides in Latinx representation.

> “When I opened it and saw that it wasn’t even funny – it was hurtful and derogatory – I was shocked because I walked in expecting something very different given the way things are nowadays and the progress we’ve made,” Maris said in an interview with the publication.
Ew ew ew ewww.
posted by MiraK at 6:27 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]

One absolute standout imo is the older Black gay man who lives in NPH's building. I don't know anything about that actor but that man bled history onto the screen, and I would not be surprised to find out that he was playing himself. His presence was palpable. What a phenomenal performance.

That’s Andre De Shields and you are picking up the vibe 100%. The casting is great - so many fabulous New York artists. I’m glad they found a spot for NPH’s husband (Jerry!).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:52 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]

This show was funny and frustrating and I wanted to like it because of the cast and the characters - in their 40s and older - was a good choice. Some of the humour is cringe, but it's a sitcom. Some of it is blatantly offensive though: an absolute torrent of fatphobia and some really questionable trans jokes as well.

So as much as Darren Star is finally writing for cis white gay dudes of a certain age, his own demographic, there's a lot of punching down to other groups. Thank god they cut that stereotypical Latinx maid! His colleague, the sassy best friend, is only this side of being offensive, too.

There was so much solid stuff in there, though. It is an interesting/different situation for a sitcom. There are great single gay dude jokes.

I just wish it didn't have all that other stuff in it. Because I can't recommend it.
posted by crossoverman at 6:54 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]

The entire season takes place over the course of TWO WEEKS.

Wait, are you sure? It seems like more - the Jonathans have time to send their wedding invite to Michael and Colin separately.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 PM on August 1

I have not seen this show but I have to tell you about the Fresh Air review of it - the reviewer basically spent a while saying, this is Darren Star doing Darren Star, it's always the same vibe and there is no growth. If you like that, it's fun nonsense and if you don't, don't watch this show. So really explaining, this is not a deep show, it just does what it does. Then, he talked about NPH's performance and was saying this is the most range he has really been offered and he does a great job with it! Look at NPH doing a big boy role so well!

I laughed my head off, it was the meanest thing I have ever heard in an NPR review but I think he somehow meant it kindly.
posted by Emmy Rae at 5:27 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]

I can agree with that!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:51 AM on August 3

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