Monday, September 24, 2007

"Oh my God, TiVo!": Tell Me You Love Me

There's less and less to say about this show with each passing week, but that's not because it's getting bad--it's stayed very consistent so far, but the themes established in the pilot are moving along pretty slowly. Really slowly. Still, it's a show that's not getting its due, so here we go!

I'm gonna start off with Dr. Jane Alexander, who I should really start calling by her real name (I do it with all the other characters, after all), so here it is: Dr. May Foster. Anyway, I mostly ignored her subplot in the last episode because it generally left me perplexed--basically, her husband making vague references to tragedy befalling a figure in her past. This episode cleared things up somewhat, as it's now far clearer that this person was a romantic interest in May's past, perhaps one that fractured her marriage (May made reference to turbulence in her past). Like last week, everything was heavily underplayed in these scenes, but they worked better I thought--a nice calmness to the drama when it is usually constantly tense and uneasy. Still, it's also true that I liked their stuff this week because it introduced some uneasy tenseness to May and her husband Arthur's relationship. So...I guess I'm a hypocrite.

Anyway, key point, one which I plan on making every episode: how good is Ally Walker? Man alive! Not an actress I was insanely familiar with beforehand, but she is turning in one of the most impressive, nuanced performances I've seen on a new series in a good while. Katie and David's stuff was a little more on the nose this time around--mostly because their storyline was centered around their anniversary, surely the holiday dreaded most of all by wedded, sexless couples in their 40s. Not surprised they dragged that milestone out so early on, to be honest. Anyway, Kate and David's dread was compounded by a device I had hoped the show wouldn't employ--the bizarre, left-field yet totally innocent daughter's suggestion to David that he should buy inappropriately scanty lingerie as an anniversary present. The generally massive awkwardness associated with every stage of this story--him buying it to appease his eager daughter (seriously, gross), his daughter eagerly presenting it to Katie in a restaurant (aaagh!), and Katie and David later quietly dismissing the very idea of her wearing it in the bedroom. However, this suspect material was totally redeemed by Katie's therapy scenes (brilliant, as usual) and, even better, Katie's anniversary gift for David--TiVo! His genuine, totally boyish excitement was so hilariously and perfectly done by Tim DeKay, and said so much about the deterioration of maturity their marriage is enduring. Just a great idea, too. I would have been just as excited!

With Carolyn and Palek, I like general idea and I like the acting, but their stuff is moving way too slowly for me to really stay that interested. What I like most about them is their quieter, funnier moments--Scott and Walger have real chemistry as a couple, but they also have too many "I'm tense about not being pregnant yet", "I see this as a slight to my masculinity and respond passive-aggressively!" scenes every week, and it's getting boring. However, the show threw a real curveball at me by revealing that Palek's sperm seems to be healthy (not completely ruling out a screwup by the doctor--this show IS that cruel, after all). In fact, Palek's brief exchange with the laconic fertility doc was pretty hilarious. Anyway, I'm quite glad they had Palek be fertile, because male infertility has been explored on so many TV shows beforehand anyway, and it also let them explore his sudden boost of confidence in the wake of the test results, a completely understandable reaction, but Carolyn's irritation at his bravado was also fair. Anyway, now that all that's settled, I really don't know where we're going to go with them. I sure hope it's not another seven episodes of them being miserable, then having makeup sex, but not producing any baby. Cause that's getting old.

I have nothing to say about Jamie. Except to note that Hugo, easily the most irritating character of all, was not even present this week, but this did not make Jamie at all sympathetic. If anything, she was even more brittle and whiny. Snore. Hope this gets spiced up in weeks to come.

Anyone still watching?


Carrie said...

Man, when Jeremy London's character was so happy he lost five pounds "before the reunion" I laughed so hard. I had just finished thinking he'd put on a few.

It's hard to talk about this show week-to-week when so little changes. I'm still enjoying the ride and looking forward to the therapy sessions next week with Jamie (God, could she BE any more annoying and/or have more horrible friends?) and Katie and David.

Justin said...

I'm still watching and I'm still liking it. I finally got around to the latest episode today....

But yeah, it is hard to talk about. It is moving very slowly in the same direction it seems.

I suppose I will be patient, although I have to relegate this to recording on HBO East because of a Sunday at 9 PM conflict. Sigh. No HD!