I’ve been struggling to come up with something to say about Perfect Couples. The newest addition to NBC’s super-sized Thursday Night comedy block is a sitcom that’s neither hilarious nor horrendous. Every show surrounding it is capable of inspiring passionate adoration or equally passionate hatred in viewers. By contrast, Perfect Couples is just kind of… there.
The series stars three very different pairs: perky, preppy, insufferable Rex and Leigh (Hayes MacArthur and Olivia Munn, who’s totally inoffensive); immature, constantly quarreling-then-making-out Vance and Amy (David Walton and Mary Elizabeth Ellis); and the token straight man and woman, normal, likable Dave and Julia (Kyle Bornheimer and Christine Woods). The six are connected by relationships straight out of the Friends playbook: Rex and Julia are brother and sister, while Vance and Dave are old buddies from college.
There are certainly individual things to like and dislike about Perfect Couples’s pilot. Its opening sequence, in which each pair deals with the same problem using completely divergent methods, is kind of clever, and there are some funny lines peppered throughout. (In the middle of a fight, Amy calls Vance a “giant baby monster.” I also liked when Dave quipped that he and Julia are like the “Connecticut women’s basketball team of couples”: so good at what they do that nobody else should even bother playing.)
By contrast, there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to the two extreme couples. It’s tiresome to watch Vance and Amy do nothing but scream at each other, and Rex and Leigh are more irritating-irritating than funny-irritating. The pacing, too, seems a little off – individual scenes go slowly, even though quite a lot of plot is packed into an episode.
But neither the bad things nor the good things about Perfect Couples are bad or good enough: The bland whole of the show is less than the sum of its mildly stimulating parts. I’ll probably catch at least one more episode, if only to see how the pendulum swings (and because I’ll be watching the shows that sandwich it anyway).
How about you, PopWatchers? Did you love or hate it, or were you, like me, left with a distinct feeling of “meh”?
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