|Index||7 reviews in total|
This is a terrific show. I just happened to stumble on it one night on
Bravo, and was immediately hooked. It's hilarious. I hope they avoid the
excesses of Woody Allen style nebbishness and neuroses, but it's pretty
great so far.
I hadn't realized it was improv, though in retrospect I guess it sort of has that feel.
Props to Bravo for some interesting new directions. Keen Eddie is also quite good. It's nice to see a network taking a few chances, since the regular main network fare is just abominable. I haven't watched anything on a regular network in prime time in quite a while.
As Karen and Jack so eloquently put it on a recent episode of "Will and
Grace", TVLAND has been filled with "fat husband, pretty wife", "fat
husband, pretty wife", and "ugly husband, pretty wife". So much for many
today's sitcoms. This show, although not a sitcom, blows many of the
out the water. Fresh, irreverent, and purely entertaining, this show (and
these entertainers) deserve so much more than they are destined to
It does have the advantage of being on Bravo. Hopefully Bravo will give
the carte blanche needed to attain the success it so rightfully
P.S. Eleanor and Ethan are my favorite couple. However, the rest can hold their own. I would like to see a gay couple on this show for added diversity.
This is a really funny show that allows the actors to improv their parts to get a naturally funny dynamic. The stars of the show are, without question, James (Brian Palermo) and Chelsea (Andrea Savage). They have a great chemistry so their exchanges on each episode are always the funniest. Episode 104 focuses primarily on them and it is absolutely hysterical (and the best show of the season!). Episode 105 was a bit weak, so if you've only seen that one episode then go watch some of the others. It really is a great show! If you've ever been in a long-term relationship (especially marriage) you'll laugh your tail off at this show. I highly recommend it!..
Being that there are only two comments (now three) for the insanely, original, uproarious show, Significant Others, it's obvious there aren't enough people watching. I usually comment about horror and cult films on imdb, but the word needs to come out about Significant Others. When watching the show, the viewer knows this is improvised because the acting and chemistry is unbelievably natural. For the people that have wasted their time with Good Morning Miami, Emeril, Happy Family, Coupling (strangely all NBC shows as is Significant Others), spend your efforts wisely and invest in Significant Others. The situations are hilarious. The acting flawless. It's near perfect. From the bickering sisters, spilling dirty secrets as they wait for their mother to pass on to the side splitting dinner scene when Ethan's wife instigates him to question his brother's sexuality, Significant Others must be watched by anyone waiting for next best thing.
The big advertising draw to "Significant Others" is that it's entirely
improvised. And it's a sitcom. About relationships. That's three
strikes against it already, but the show is hilarious.
The show deals with three couples with dysfunctional relationships, their problems ranging from pregnancy to infidelity to histories of promiscuity. Half the show deals with their everyday lives, and the other half straight-to-the-camera chats in the form of therapy sessions (even *these* are funny. Who would have thought?).
The comedy may be improvised, but it's done with incredible skilland no doubt, hours of rehearsalwith nary a dead spot or muffed joke in the entire thing. Be the couples eating at a restaurant with a parent, inviting friends over for a dinner party, or cheating on one another with in-laws, the show keeps finding the comedy within and milking it mercilessly.
Is it accurate? Kinda. It finds the perfect way to condense realistic situations into minutes without making them thoroughly absurd; everything is just absurd enough to be funny. It would be more than easy for stuff like this to cross the line into ridiculousness in search of a laugh, but so far "Significant Others" hasn't made that mistake. In fact, it hasn't made any.
First things first...back when Comedy Central did their send-up of "Project Greenlight" called "Contest Searchlight" I had no clue that it was all a joke. The concept was that Denis Leary would set up a television show in the vein of "Greenlight." The thing was that it was a tumultuous set and seemed to be a failure from the get go. But one thing did strike my interests. The guy who "won" the contest came up with the idea of an improvised television sitcom. I thought "how brilliant! If they pull it off, it could actually work!" The concept was so interesting, I was hoping that it would somehow make come to pass. Finally, it has in the form of "Significant Others." I watched the other day, and i was completely floored by the improvisation. That entire cast is talented when it comes to thinking on their toes. Kudos to Bravo! for having the guts to put up a very funny show that actually, beats any other cable sitcom to a pulp.
Network: Bravo; Genre: Improv Comedy; Content Rating: TV-14 (frank
sexual dialog, strong language, suggested sex); Available: DVD;
Perspective: Cult Classic (star range: 1 - 5);
Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (2 seasons)
Is it me or does every show that tries to pull off the Improv sitcom for some reason seem to act like they are the first to break the mold and blaze that trail? As we've seen, improvising your way through a story can go either way - be a brilliant comic insight into real human dialog and behavior ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") or simply a self-involved train wreck ("Fat Actress"). Add Rob Roy Thomas and Peter Tortorici's "Significant Others" - a fast-paced comic look at a handful of couples in therapy - to the top of the short list of great Improv comedies. And you know what? This one actually does break the mold and do something fresh. I really just loved every bit of it.
The show itself is basically a revolving door for these great characters to pass in and out of. Hysterically uptight James (Brian Palermo) and tough, bull-in-the-China-shop, been-around-the-block Chelsea (Andrea Savage, by any account the star of the show) are the most functionally dysfunctional couple of them all. Eleanor (Faith Salie ) and Ethan (Herschel Bleefeld) are the newlyweds with a baby on the way watching their cool former selves disappear. Then there is Bill (breakout star Fred Goss), depressed, unemployed husband to Connie (Jane Edith Wilson) who cheats on his wife with her sister. Hilarious late editions Devon (Chris Spencer) and Alex (Nicole Randall Johnson) are the marriage veterans with an 8 year old child who is picking up all of their bickering.
There is something wonderfully simple about all of this. Playing with a premise that requires little more than the actors on a couch talking to the camera, Thomas and Totalicini do exactly the right thing: strip the concept down to the bare bones and let that spontaneous, naturally-sounding rhythm that improv dialog affords take center stage. With the fat trimmed they move like a firecracker from one laugh to the next. They fill it back up with endlessly original stories, told with maximum efficiency. We've seen the couple get mugged before, but we haven't seen them go to the mugger's suburban home and steal the stuff back. We've seen an extra-marital affair being exposed, but not while the guy was sitting between both women at a funeral.
What feels so forced and contrived in "Curb" or so unfocused and spotty in "Reno 911!" is consistent, effortless and smooth in "Others". There is hardly a false note in the show. This is a clever series cut way to short by Bravo apparently a network allergic to having anything except crap on it. It is adult and sophisticated, while at the same time wacky and screwball - qualities usually only reserved for the best British shows, yet it is as distinctly American as apple pie and divorce. "Significant Others" is a laugh-out-loud blast from start to finish. You really must see it.
* * * * ½ / 5
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