TV Review: ‘Perfect Couples’ is Adequate But Far From Perfect

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CHICAGO – Since practically the beginning of TV, sitcoms about the trials of being in a couple are a dime a dozen. Today it takes innovative, highly intelligent writing to make the mundane, everyday challenges of being in a relationship seem exciting and—most importantly—watchable, week after week. Television Rating: 3.0/5.0
Television Rating: 3.0/5.0

NBC’s midseason pilot “Perfect Couples” is not innovative, nor is it highly intelligent. Still, though the format of the new show is nothing new, there are genuinely funny moments throughout this first episode.

While the hot-and-cold tempestuousness of couple Vance (David Waltoon) and Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) is grating; buttoned-up self-help book devotees Rex (Hayes MacArthur) and Leigh (Olivia Munn) are sometimes deliciously funny; and “perfect” couple Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) and Julia (Christine Woods) are vanilla but likable. Yes, “Perfect Couples” features a sexy couple, a type-A couple and a “normal” couple, and the presentation of these relationship sitcom archetypes are trite at best.

Perfect Couples
Perfect Couples
Photo credit: NBC

Despite these formulae, or maybe because of them, the funniest scenes are those that happen among the men only. The larger-than-life Vance is pompously self-obsessed and melodramatic, and the scene in which he accuses Dave of abandoning him during a particularly messy fight with girlfriend Amy, and then caps off his displeasure by playing Dave a “Dave Betrayed Me” playlist on his iPod, is surprisingly funny.

Even if “Perfect Couples” isn’t reinventing the wheel in formula, writing or characters, it’s reasonably entertaining. Nevertheless, with all the shows that exist about couples, it’s doubtful that anything that’s “reasonably entertaining” will be enough to keep audiences coming back week after week.

The pilot of “Perfect Couples” airs Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 CST on NBC. It was created by Jon Pollack and Scott Silveri, and it stars Olivia Munn, Hayes MacArthur, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, David Walton, Christine Woods and Kyle Bornheimer. TV critic Emily Riemer

TV Critic

Anonymous's picture

I saw the midseason pilot

I saw the midseason pilot and it was bad. Not funny at all. The characters were way over done.

Anonymous's picture

I agree, I got half way

I agree, I got half way through the pilot when I stopped watching and instantly deleted it from my PVR for ever, I hope this one dies a quick death so I don’t even have to watch any previews for it

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I love to watch TV shows.

Uncle Sam's picture

I want everyone fired, including the reviewer

I want to preface this comment by saying I have nothing against the actors involved. I recognize some of them from commercials or bit parts on other shows, so I understand that this represents an opportunity for advancing a career…at least on paper. But I watched this pig-headed attempt at comedy tonight, and ended up so angry I’ve been signing up for forums just so I can trash this abortion of a show. It if my firm belief that everyone behind the scenes of this one deserves to be fired immediately. I mean it. If you wrote for this show, or sat in a meeting and defended it in any way, you are severely incompetent and should be ashamed of yourself. There are a lot of people out of work in this country who are more funny than you. My cat is more funny than you. You do not deserve to have this job, and should take a long, hard look in the mirror and consider a career change.

Reviewer, you’re FIRED. There is no excuse for defending this show in any way. You cannot be trusted.

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