"Perfect Couples" -- Episode 2 “Perfect Proposal”

1/30/2011 Posted by Admin

"Perfect Couples" -- Episode 2 “Perfect Proposal”

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz


"Perfect Couples"'s second episode acts more like a pilot than the show’s pilot does. Its first five minutes act as a prologue, setting up the characters combative personalities through their contrasting proposals. Dave and Julia's friends interrupt and ruin their romantically planned moment; perfection and love characterize Rex and Leigh's proposal (even though this scene is foolishly contradicted later in the episode); and Vance proposes out of spite, which sets the course for the plot.

Vance's ill-conceived and hasty proposal describes his relationship with Amy perfectly. But as the episode stretches this concept thinner, it gives the actors surprisingly little to work with. The episode ends up repeating itself, and because the repetitive plotting confines the characters, they never develop.

If the prologue introduced the characters economically, the actual episode deals with their personalities indulgently. Dave instructs Julia to support the proposal, because he's sick of involving himself in Vance's life. However, when Vance sees Dave, he accuses him of not being supportive.

Later, Vance admits to Dave that he doesn't want to get married and asks him to intervene. Dave accepts, but as you can guess, the whole thing blows up in Vance's face, when Amy finds out about Vance's fear of commitment and Dave's involvement.

Sitcoms work best when the plotting brings out the characters. A simple plot can remain in the background and give the cast room to grow. Episode two does the exact opposite. The combative routine limits Vance, Amy and Dave.

Vance and Amy have good chemistry and are the show's funniest couple, but we're only shown one side of them. Amy, who plays the waitress on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," brings the snappy delivery and clever malice she learned on that show to "Perfect Couples." She's funny, but doesn't develop a rounded personality, and the same holds true for Dave and Vance.

Rex and Leigh have the hardest time. Not only are these characters alienating, their history is inconsistent. The diverging proposals (the prologue's Shakespearian one, and the final scene's drunken one) make it impossible to get a sense of whom these people are. So, much like last week, we're still at a loss for these two.

Everyone bosses Julia around throughout the entire episode. Since she accepts everyone else's demands, Julia has a hard time creating her own personality.

Vance and Amy's complicated engagement restricts everyone to his or her respective archetypes. Therefore, with little room to explore, the show presents few surprises and very flat characters.

Grade: C-

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1 comments:

  1. sarah said...

    I loved this episode but I just love "Perfect Couples" in general. The dry humor can be a little boring but it's funny all around. I have been mainly watching the show on my phone using TV everywhere with DISH. I don't get to do that with any cable company because most you have to stay home to use their TV everywhere. Working for DISH I don't have to miss a single show of "Prefect Couples" and I love it! I'm never late to watch it.