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Some people will have heard about this show because of its controversy.
I did myself. Admittedly, I was intrigued because of the promise of
sexual content on TV - HBO, nonetheless. Having now seen the first
episode of "Tell Me You Love Me", I know what the show is actually
If you're expecting "porn TV", think again. Yes, the show does have several moments of sexual contact, both oral and intercourse, but when they occur it is anything but arousing - instead it's uncomfortably realistic - down to moments of climax, the show does not flinch from showing the explicit.
But soon enough, if you actually watch the show, you'll realise that this isn't what the show is about. Many people will make the mistake of thinking this show is about sex, but it's about relationships, and how sex is used to shield us from the problems of our relationships.
Three different couples are the focus each dealing with different problems; one tries desperately for a baby, one's physical relationship is intense but unreliable in terms of commitment, and one married couple struggles to deal with the lack of sex in their lives. Both the issues raised in the show and the dialogue are uncannily realistic, to the point that you can't help but compare the relationships in the show with your own, and this can sometimes make for uncomfortable viewing - I'd strongly advise against watching this with your partner.
"Tell Me You Love Me" represents a watershed event in American
There are many of us who have waited for such a series. This is a production that depicts sex as it is. This is entertainment that gives sex the treatment that it deserves. It is a profound type of intimacy --- a type which is guaranteed to repel some viewers from this show.
In the United States, sex is commonly depicted in either one of two ways: as an idyllic, sterile, and clichéd occurrence, which is typically found in movies and television --- or as an avaricious, cheap, and vulgar act, which is the usual portrayal in pornography. Neither of these are representative of sex in the real world.
Now, Cynthia Mort has challenged us to look at what happens in the bedroom without any illusions. It is doubtless that she and her production crew are wondering whether we can handle it. Certainly, there will be viewers who watch the show solely to enjoy all the skin, as well as others who will excoriate it as nothing more than pretentious dirt.
Yet despite its highly graphic depictions, this series is far more concerned with the repercussions of sexual relations in committed relationships. A viewer who loses sight of this fact should question whether one's attention was paid to the whole show or merely to the sex scenes. "Tell Me You Love Me" is not about the sex act itself. It is about what sex means to men and women.
H.L. Mencken wrote that anyone "who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood." Hopefully, this is the case for HBO, the production team, and especially the cast of the show. This is a brilliant and courageous achievement --- one which may not be fully appreciated in its own time.
If you are uncomfortable about therapy, this show is not for you. The marriages depicted here are all broken - as 99% of relationships are - and they're broken enough that therapy is the only way to rescue them. The characters are interesting and deep, and their problems are realistic and almost scary in their accuracy. My favorite is the comments I've seen on some boards and even in HBO's little viewer comment section after each episode - when one of the reviewers said they couldn't imagine sex becoming annoying just because you have to have a lot of it to conceive, my wife and I laughed uproariously and yelled at the screen. Clearly some people just don't understand what it's like to be married! Fortunately, the writers of this show apparently do. There's good and bad, and sometimes you need help figuring out which is which. The show presents a fascinating view of modern marriage without any of the romantic crap and idealism that underlies most of TV today. Bravo, HBO! We're addicted.
I like this a lot. Very new pace, daring way to go about telling stories. I am a big fan of this style,I think it is riveting and relevant to life, just my kind of thing. God I love to see sex that seems somewhat real. Good writing, true, insightful, fresh. GREAT ACTING!!! Ally Walker is brilliant, had these moment where I just sat with my mouth open, I knew exactly the inexpressible conflicting place she was at. All the choices were subtle, very right, exactly catching the moments of marriage and the pain. The pilot also was brilliantly directed, so quirky and confident. Not surprising coming from a woman who directed "I Heard the Mermaids Singing" Bravo Patricia! It is a show that seems to cash in on honest and patient Canadian integrity while remaining thoroughly entertaining. Note, give it more than 10 minutes before you decide it's not for you. Hope it manages to last- it is a bit risky, not what we're used to. Also, I'm not sure it will appeal to everyone, a little worrisome that I like it so much but I also am a big fan of Six Feet Under, Gray's Anatomy, House and Entourage (but I also liked John from Cincinatti) so who knows?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a review of the pilot only, and I think that it can be a worthy
review because of that - the point of any pilot is to make you want to
watch the rest of the series, and in that this pilot failed rather
And that is a shame, considering that the show is filled with potential. It's about time that a frank, European-style depiction of sex appeared on North American television, and it is even a breath of fresh air. And, from the beginning, the show gives the sense that there are immense depths for it to explore. Unfortunately, while the concept is very good, it is in the execution that the show fails.
The greatest weakness is in character development. The characters simply aren't developed beyond their genitalia, or more specifically, their problems regarding said genitalia. By the end of the first hour, in the three main couples, I only knew what two people did for a living, and the show only gives you the occasional flash that these characters have any sort of life beyond their sex (or lack thereof). The only subplot of the pilot was about a 10 year old girl getting a period - so even the kids are defined by their genitalia.
And, ultimately, at the end of the episode I couldn't care less about what happened to any of these people. A realistic depiction of relationship problems is a good thing, but you have to have some emotional investment in the characters for said depiction to actually be meaningful, and the show just doesn't show you enough to allow for that. We are introduced to these characters through their problems, we see their problems throughout, but we never explore any of the good things in their lives, or the interaction between the positive and negatives in said lives. With character development that poor, it renders what could be a wonderfully deep series very shallow indeed.
I found this show to be revealing and honest and fun. I personally
thought that it was hysterical....in a quiet, subdued way. Its real,
and the humor comes from the truth....or revealing the truth or
What i love most about this show is that i can sit back and watch the show, and feel like I'm learning about my own mind....how my thinking can be irrational even though I've convinced myself I'm right.
the acting ROCKS! The writing is spot on....i feel like each character is different, and reacts differently...when i often feel like every character on TV is the same.
The sex is not nearly as explicit as people said it was, but it definitely can throw you out of the show.
the season finale left you hanging....and it is going to be fun to return to in the fall
I think that this is a great show. It gets into the relationships closer and it shows more realistic life experiences. The sex scenes are not pornographic but are realistic I think. The ups and downs that everyone goes through are amazing. Also, I'd just like to point out that someone made a comment attacking the show or the woman on the show because of how shaved the girls are, and I felt that I wanted to defend that. I don't know what part of life you are currently in, but THAT is NOT just for porn, real people are like that. I've not seen a woman under the age of 30 who does not look similar to either Jamie or Caroline. However, I digress. I suggest that this is a great drama for someone who wants to take some of the cliché out of the typical Hollywood type stuff.
"HBO's" new adult only drama relationship series "Tell Me You Love Me" clearly is unlike anything before that was shown on TV even cable for that matter. A viewer can see this series explores relationships and sexuality to new heights showing the most sensitive matters in the most frank nature leaving the viewers to feel the raw emotions of the characters. Most for sure this is the series to watch if your concerned and interested in couples with sexual problems, pregnancy issues, commitment fears, masturbation, and passionate love making. The series focuses on two couples and one young female and the relationship problems they face are all guided along by a veteran and strong female Dr. May Foster(Jane Alexander) who despite her characters age has the healthiest sex life of all. The most and best likable couple is middle class and hard working Dave(Tim DeKay) and Katie(Ally Walker) both married for years and they have two children yet all of a sudden the action in the bedroom has stopped. Is it loss of sexual desire or personal lack of security? It's very interesting to watch this couple get counseled as you just feel like rooting for them to return to a normal and active life between the sheets. Second is the business and successful career orientated couple of Palek(Adam Scott) and Carolyn(Sonya Walger) who are happy and have a very active and passionate love and sex life, yet the one little problem is the couple can't get pregnant! The issue grows on each causing many stresses and mind changing feelings as Carolyn wants desperate to become a mother and Palek losses interest. Clearly a couple that sparkles yet you wonder if the difference of interest will let them last. Finally young girl Jamie(Michelle Borth) who has a commitment fear she just doesn't want to settle down after being hurt from a previous relationship, after each and every bed she hops in and out of it's more worry on finding the right one she even wonders to satisfy herself should she be celibate? Clearly a show that any adult can relate to all the above mentioned relationship problems no matter if married or not. It proves it's okay to receive therapy for complex issues. Again I must hand it to HBO it pushes the envelope again this series should be a lasting winner for the way it deals with adult relationship problems direct and in a frank manner it really grows on viewers emotions. A final word the performances of Ally Walker and Sonya Walger are worth mention, Ally is cool calm and strong in her role, while Sonya is just as sexy as ever while dealing with her struggles as a conflicted yet successful business lady.
HBO has finally won me over after canceling Six Feet Under and Deadwood. "Tell Me You Love Me" is a one hour show on the lives of three women and their significant others: Meet Jaime (Michelle Borth), a young chef with commitment fears and trust issues. She has ended her engagement to Hugo and tries to move on with her life. Now meet, Katie (Ally Walker, who is amazing) and Dave (Tim DeKay), a suburban married couple with two children and the passion has run out of their marriage. And then there is Carolyn and Palek, a yuppie married couple with no children and plenty of passion in their marriage and trying to have a baby. In fact, Carolyn (Sonya Walger) obsesses about getting pregnant to the point that Palek (Adam Scott) is now doubtful of his ability to be good husband and a good father. The show is very graphic in sexuality, but that is the point. It is often times painful to watch because (for myself especially) there are moments in the show that you can actually relate. From the desperation of bringing passion, joy, and fulfillment into the lives of our characters to emptiness and loneliness they feel. It is heartbreaking to see Katie and Dave become so faraway when they do love each other still. What these people have in common? They are seeing therapist, Dr. May Foster (the formidable and incredible Jane Alexander), who has issues of her own with her long time marriage to her husband but still is adult enough and knows better. The show is honest, raw, and real with amazing performances from the cast. Truly the best dramatic series HBO has put out.
I've watched the first two episodes of this series and I truly enjoyed
it, and not for the explicit scenes. The drastically different couples
all have very deep character profiles that seem to parallel in
unexpected ways. If you can look below the surface of being a
"glorified porno" like jrpk1964 thinks it is, the true intentions of
the show will become apparent. To portray the lives of these couples
each with unique situations that all seem to share commonalities which
you can relate to.
Overall I wouldn't call this show ground-breaking but it is definitely a well executed drama.
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