REVIEW: Tell Me You Love Me, The Complete First Season (DVD)
Maaaaaan. Considering I chose this out of our Free Pile based on the triple-threat of ridiculousness that is its cover image + title + tagline, I feel like a bit of a goon for actually having enjoyed it in earnest. So goonly, in fact, that I’ve avoided slopping together a review for about a month in hopes that I’d eventually stop getting bugged about putting one up. But since that doesn’t look like it’s happening, and since I enjoy enjoying free things, let’s kick the ground and get this over with.
Tell Me You Love Me is a good television show. Its working title, though the network wouldn’t have it, was the far more charming/appropriate Fuck Me, Please and as such there are loads of dinks and boobs on the television screen.
It’s about three couples, all of which you see the dinks and boobs of, who are in various stages of their respective relationships, and are narratively linked by a common therapist (who you also see the boobs of… and she is 70!). The cast apparently had to do a bunch of tequila shots in order to get past the first-date-y-ness of the pilot where they barely knew one another but were still groping each other’s bits (see, I even listened to the episode commentaries for that nugget. WHAT HAS BECOME OF OUR HERO?)
Anyway, despite all the nudity, it’s not really all that sexy, nor is it meant to be – unless you dig watching old people hump, because whoomp there it is and it’s kind of an oddly respectable place for the creators to go – it’s more unflinchingly awkward and voyeuristic, the kind of sex you and your ugly girl/boyfriend have. Which is awesome.
It does get kind of stuffy though, the show is so moody and deadly serious with nary a poor attempt at comic relief. I don’t care how authentic you’re trying to be, sometimes someone just has to slip on a banana peel or blow a pennywhistle to keep me from tipping the line between being into the show and being tricked into brooding along with it.
All the pent up, slow-moving weirdness is only amplified by the complete lack of a musical soundtrack. That and the fact that it was shot on 16mm in Winnipeg of all places (subbing in as whatever Midwestern-ish U.S. city), so it looks and feels like some box-office-surprise Canadian indie flick that all the kids are yammering about.
Where the show really suffers though, or maybe it succeeds — I dunno, is in its tendency to be more about character types and broad relatable situations than plot or character development. It’s like a relationship horoscope for miserable jerks. And at times it’s weirdly conservative in its approach to what a “normal” relationship is, or in its stance on marriage, or kids, or monogamy, or whatnot. Still, it’s a pretty solid portrayal of the dissolution of relationships, the distances created therein, and the attempt at getting back to the days when you were so into each other that those around you didn’t want to be around you anymore.
But yeah, dinks and boobs. Complicated stuff. Don’t know if it’ll get/got a second season, but this one was pretty alright. (HBO)