Uncoupled review: The jokes feel like stabs at relevance that have already started going stale
Darren Star has, in recent years, had a Netflix success with “Emily in Paris” — a show that, depending on your vantage point,
is either a death knell for TV comedy or a sunnily surface-level jaunt whose idle pleasures are just that
Star, the creator of “Sex and the City” and “Melrose Place,” has a gift for skating the viewer across smoothly luxurious settings.
Which may be the problem, or one of them, with his latest series for Netflix, which he created with Jeffrey Richman.
“Uncoupled” features Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson, an haute-Manhattan real-estate agent whose long-term relationship
to a character played by Tuc Watkins, falls apart before Michael even knows it’s broken.
Michael is forced to carry on with work and to begin to date, all while pretending he’s not devastated.
The trouble is that the show comes to seem distracted by all the pleasures surrounding the challenging character of Michael
refusing to stay still and deliver much of any insight about what a midlife breakup might look like, or mean, for a man who’s been in a monogamous relationship for 17 years.
The show thrusts its jitteringly antic “Emily in Paris” energy against a subject, and a character, too lachrymose to generate sparks.