CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
TV Review: ‘Perfect Couples’ is Adequate But Far From Perfect
CHICAGO – Since practically the beginning of TV, sitcoms about the trials of being in a couple are a dime a dozen. Today it takes innovative, highly intelligent writing to make the mundane, everyday challenges of being in a relationship seem exciting and—most importantly—watchable, week after week.
Television Rating: 3.0/5.0
NBC’s midseason pilot “Perfect Couples” is not innovative, nor is it highly intelligent. Still, though the format of the new show is nothing new, there are genuinely funny moments throughout this first episode.
While the hot-and-cold tempestuousness of couple Vance (David Waltoon) and Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) is grating; buttoned-up self-help book devotees Rex (Hayes MacArthur) and Leigh (Olivia Munn) are sometimes deliciously funny; and “perfect” couple Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) and Julia (Christine Woods) are vanilla but likable. Yes, “Perfect Couples” features a sexy couple, a type-A couple and a “normal” couple, and the presentation of these relationship sitcom archetypes are trite at best.
Photo credit: NBC
Despite these formulae, or maybe because of them, the funniest scenes are those that happen among the men only. The larger-than-life Vance is pompously self-obsessed and melodramatic, and the scene in which he accuses Dave of abandoning him during a particularly messy fight with girlfriend Amy, and then caps off his displeasure by playing Dave a “Dave Betrayed Me” playlist on his iPod, is surprisingly funny.
Even if “Perfect Couples” isn’t reinventing the wheel in formula, writing or characters, it’s reasonably entertaining. Nevertheless, with all the shows that exist about couples, it’s doubtful that anything that’s “reasonably entertaining” will be enough to keep audiences coming back week after week.