Nobody likes going through a breakup. It can be a slap in the face for someone you love to just leave. Not only is it difficult to deal with the end of an era, but it can be even more difficult to start over. That is the premise for the television show “Uncoupled.” Released on Netflix on July 29, this show takes a look at what it is like to not only be newly single but also newly single as a middle-aged gay man. This show stars the always charismatic Neil Patrick Harris as well as a wonderful cast of characters. Even if you are not a middle-aged gay man, you can still relate to the show’s themes of love and heartbreak. It shows many perspectives on dating and the reality of dating in 2022. It is only eight episodes, each around half an hour long, so you can knock this out in a spare four hours. Despite its brevity, there is still a lot of excitement and romance packed into this show, and that is what makes it a must-watch.
Michael (Neil Patrick Harris) is a successful real estate agent who has been with his boyfriend Colin (Tuc Watkins) for seventeen years. Everything seemed to be perfect. Then on Colin’s 50th birthday, he tells Michael that he is leaving him without giving a reason. This shocks Michael and he does not know what to do next. He hasn’t been single in almost two decades and it is a whole different ballpark since the last time he was single. Fortunately, he has some great friends to help him out. There is his promiscuous friend Billy (Emerson Brooks), his lonely friend Stanley (Brooks Ashmankas) and his energetic business partner Suzanne (Tisha Campbell). There is also his new rich client Claire (Marcia Gay Harden) who is going through a divorce and finds a kindred spirit in Michael. Despite all of this help, the dating world presents Michael with many different problems. From figuring out Grindr to being offered butt botox, Michael learns that it is a crazy world out there. He is learning how to move on, but his feelings for Colin aren’t going away overnight. Micahel has to learn how to get over the past and face his romantic future.
Even though there is one lead, all of the main characters of this show feel important and fleshed out. Everyone had their own stories and I was interested in all of them. I felt that Michael was the perfect character to lead them all. He was not as exaggerated as the rest of them but still had some amusing quirks. Harris did an amazing job bringing the character to life. He was able to show all of Michael’s flaws, like his slight narcissism and obsessing, yet still made him lovable. He could make some funny quips and then show sadness over his heartbreak. Even though we don’t have much in common, I felt I could relate to him. His terrific friends were also big reasons I stayed interested. I loved Tisha Campbell’s performance as Suzanne. When the show starts out, you think she is just going to be one of those characters that serve as the sassy friend. However, she becomes so much more than that. She is also dealing with her own struggles of dating on top of being a single mom. Campbell is able to make sure that we laugh along with her while understanding the character’s problems. I also loved Marcia Gay Harden as Claire, who gives some of the best humor in the show. She is a strong woman who seems a little overbearing and particular, but hearing about her divorce humanizes her. Only Harden could have made you like and laugh with this pristine character, so I applaud her.
This show was created by Darren Star, who is known for creating “Sex and the City,” “Emily in Paris,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210,” What all of this means is that Star’s shows don’t take themselves too seriously. They are full of witty lines and light romance. That is certainly the case of “Uncoupled.” It is a show that you are able to relax with after a long day. Maybe it’s because this is already a fairly short show, but the script felt very tight. Every plot line was enjoyable and even if it did not connect to the central story, the side plot lines were still interesting. There were also some great quips and some sharp humor. The jokes felt very natural and I was laughing a lot. Even so, there are still some great serious moments. The grief over loss and midlife crises are not exactly happy subjects, but they are still able to blend into the show nicely and are approached well. It is a sign of great writing when you can seamlessly combine humor and drama into your episodes. One minute Michael is feeling lonely in his own apartment and the next he is throwing up in a hot tub. And the show knows how to pace so that this all works. The New York City landscape also really adds to the fun of watching this show. Since Michael works in real estate we get to see some gorgeous apartments. Altogether, this is a delightful show to watch, both in how it looks and the content.
The main idea of this show is the importance of love. Love can come in many forms. There is the love of a past partner, of current partners and, most importantly, of friends. Some people may not realize that, but the love of friends is always real. That is what makes this show so great. All of the characters have their problems with themselves and with each other, but they still care about everyone. It is a show that will make you grateful for what you have. Dating can be difficult for many people. Putting yourself out there can be hard, but sometimes you just have to power through. With the right people in your corner and some confidence, you can make it happen. This is a very sweet show that feels like an episodic rom-com. So if you are someone who likes rom coms, or you are going through a break-up, or you are tired of all of these deeply serious and mysterious shows, watch “Uncoupled” on Netflix today.