REVIEW: Perfect Couples

After last night’s finale of Sing Off (which I did not watch), NBC chose to run a sneak peek at it’s new mid-season comedy Perfect Couples. I had been hearing bits and pieces about it for a few months now, and I’m always one to want to experiment with my TV shows (and there’s nothing new on until January anyway), so I figured I would give it a look.

The premise of the show is that there is a group of friends consisting of three different couples, and they all explore, relate to, and help each other with common relationship issues – supposedly all while hilarity ensues. From this initial episode (which I am being told is not the pilot) I’m not sure if all of the couples are married, though I assume they are, or how they’re all related to one another. Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) is married to Julia (Christine Woods), who is Rex’s (Hayes MacArthur) sister, and the two of them have a real estate business with Vance (David Walton). Rex is married to Leigh (Olivia Munn) while Vance is married to Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), but it’s unclear if there is any further relationship connections those two have to the other characters.

Originally, I had heard that Kyle Howard (My Boys, Orange County) was playing Dave, but, due to NBC’s uncertainty of his commitment to My Boys with its fate (at the time) uncertain, decided to go with Bornheimer instead. For me, that’s unfortunate because I had grown to like Howard over the course of My Boys‘s duration, and now that it has been cancelled, he’s left with nothing on his plate (that I am aware of). I wasn’t really a fan of Bornheimer in She’s Out of My League – where he shared screen time with MacArthur as well – and as the show started I felt the same way about him here, but by the end of the episode I felt like he might work out.

Why did I not like him in this show, you ask? Well, it’s because in this show all of the men seem like idiots. I’m not sure if it’s the way the characters are supposed to be portrayed, the direction, or the actors portraying them, but they all seem one-dimensional. Olivia Munn (the main reason I wanted the watch the show to begin with) is the same way. I’m used to her wild antics from Attack of the Show!, but this is something else. On the other hand, we have Mary Elizabeth Eliis (nice to see her here as well as in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) and Christine Woods doing decent jobs with their respective roles. As the show progresses and finds its niche, hopefully the characters will flesh out a little more. With Kyle Bornheimer, I started to see a little more in just this one episode, but the rest of the cast definitely needs some work.

There were a lot of times in this inaugural episode where they kept switching from one couple to another. I assume it was meant to show all of the couples working with similar problems, but all it did was break up the flow of the show for me. Once you were committed to a single couple and storyline, they would switch to someone else, and for the life of me I couldn’t see how they related. When you have to focus on so many characters in a single episode, I guess it can be a bit tricky to nail down how best to approach it, but this is also something that needs to be ironed out.

The show has promise. I tend to say that about every show, so I don’t know how much I actually mean it (or how much they deserve it). But given the right direction the show could find it’s legs. I’m just not sure what direction it needs to be pointed. We’ll have more to work with when the show premieres properly in January, but until then I feel as though it won’t make it past its initial episode order.

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