Incomplete Couples

Olivia Munn as ‘Leigh’ in “Perfect Couples”Back in September, UK digi-channel E4 launched their “Funny Thursdays” block of American sitcoms, built around reruns of established hits The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, along with two new shows, Happy Endings and Perfect Couples. As any Americans reading this will already know, back in their country of origin Endings was renewed for a second season, while Couples was curb-stomped after only eleven episodes, with the final two episodes being burned off online. E4 has been nice enough to broadcast them all in the correct order… but that still leaves us with a nagging cliff-hanger, related to the (now indefinitely postponed) wedding of two central characters, the preparations for which formed the major story arc of this season.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Who cares?” Well, the sad truth of it is that I care, because I actually prefer Couples to Endings. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate that Endings is a much more proficient joke-delivery system… but it’s proficient in a way that I find quite irritating… there’s something so mechanical and slick and smug about its style of humour (although clearly the majority of comedy fans disagree with me). By contrast Couples is a bit of a lame duck… and it does have the ugliest opening title sequence I’ve ever seen in my life… but there’s something so odd and “off” about it, that it’s won me over anyway.

Olivia Munn as ‘Leigh’ and Hayes MacArthur as ‘Rex in “Perfect Couples”For those who don’t know, the show revolves around three couples at various stages in their relationships, tackling thematically similar problems in their own wacky ways. For me the keystone of the show’s appeal is Rex and Leigh’s relationship… the two of them are over-achieving perfectionists, who consider themselves the alpha couple, and stride through life with the sort of all-conquering arrogance and zeal which is often off-putting in real life, but strangely mesmerising to me in fictional characters. There’s something rather sweet about the way they challenge and cheer each other on to greater success, in all their various endeavours. In the past I’ve said and thought many, many mean things about Olivia Munn’s contributions to The Daily Show, but More4 stopped showing that yonks ago (boo!), so I don’t have that chip weighing on my shoulder anymore, and I found myself genuinely enjoying her performance here as Leigh. I don’t necessarily think all of the jokes she’s given are that funny… but her character is so darn cute and perky, I just couldn’t help falling for her. The other female characters don’t really do that much for me… and one of them comes off as a blatant Liz Lemon clone at times… but overall the cast have a goofy, breezy charm, and the show makes for a pleasant and painless time-passer. But now, I guess, its time has passed…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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