Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'Tell Me You Love Me'; Um, Not So Much

I remember when "NYPD Blue" came out in the early '90s, the show immediately drew a lot of buzz because it was going to air nudity and strong language on a network.

The buzz drew a lot of people in, and "NYPD Blue" became one of the most successful cop dramas of all time.

I'm not sure if the frank level of sex is a way of attracting viewers to the upcoming HBO series "Tell Me You Love Me," but I can almost guarantee viewers won't be sticking with it, even though the depictions of sex are so graphic, it makes something like "NYPD Blue" look like "Mr. Rogers."

I mean, there's literally nothing you don't see the characters doing. The problem is, once you get past the shock value of the sex, there's really nothing to draw you to the show.

The characters tend to whine a lot, but never develop. The show follows three couples — a 40-something couple (Ally Walker, Tim DeKay) who have an idyllic life but no sex life; 30-somethings (Sonya Walger, Adam Scott) who are having trouble conceiving a baby; and 20-somethings (Michelle Borth, Luke Farrell Kirby) who are engaged but can't seem to fully commit. They all end up going to the same therapist (Jane Alexander).

But all the characters seem to do is talk, grumble, have sex, whine some, have some more sex, talk, then grumble. There's no character development here. And despite the shock value of the sex, it doesn't help that director Patricia Rozema swings the camera all over the place.

I commend HBO for trying to do different things than what is the norm for TV, and the network has produced great series over the years. But the creative slump that led to fiascos like "John From Cincinnati" continues with "Tell Me."

If you want your sex fix from HBO, stick with the "Real Sex" documentaries. They are a lot more fun than this. But if you are caught up in the buzz, "Tell Me" debuts Sept. 9.

FNL NOT SO ROSIE: Proving once again there really is a God, TVGuide.com's Michael Ausiello reports that Rosie O'Donnell will not be portraying the school soccer coach on "Friday Night Lights." Though the stunt casting might have given the show a shot in the ratings, I'd prefer it maintain the high standards it has set for itself.

BYE-BYE, ANCHORWOMAN: For anyone who caught the premiere of Fox's "Anchorwoman" last week, both of you will be disappointed to learn it's been yanked after one episode. Chalk this one up to one of the biggest disasters for Fox reality guru Mike Darnell, but I'm sure he's already got six equally mortifying ideas on the drawing board.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Mea culpa on listing a new "Damages" last night. I had no idea FX was going to torture its viewers for four hours with "The Aviator."

I have double-checked my FX schedule tonight, and "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.) is all-new. After an extended slump for the first part of the season, the show has hit all the right notes the past two weeks, and with the return of guest star Amy Sedaris tonight, I'm expecting more great things.

I don't often promote reruns here, but tonight's "Bones" (Fox, 9 p.m.) repeat features the first appearance of Stephen Fry as Booth's shrink while Bones gets a new partner that marked a major story arc for the season.

1 comment:

zodin2008 said...

First, thanks for your snide comment aimed at "The Aviator". That was the most dull, overblown, overrated movie I have seen in years. Because it was a period piece in December and had a bunch of big names with British accents, it got a bunch of Oscar nominations it didn't deserve. Movies should also be judged by how mind numbingly boring they are too, Academy.

Mike Darnell, the Fox Reality guru, is someone along with Rosie O'Donnell, Scott Boras, Mark Cuban, Barry Bonds and all the Hollywood partiers like Paris or Lindsay, I wish would all be trapped in giant bubble, unable to ever spread their annoying ways.

I am pleased to hear about Darnell's failure (I wish all Reality TV would fail and I could pretend like it was 99, before "Survivor" premiered when Reality TV didn't even exist). Darnell's version of Television is a festering blister.

And bravo to FNL holding their standards high and not letting Rosie into an episode. Let hear spread her mean spirited rants and overwhelming political views online. Let FNL just be a great show.