"Perfect Couples" -- Episode 3, "Perfect Health"

2/05/2011 Posted by Admin

"Perfect Couples" -- Episode 3, "Perfect Health"

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

For a burgeoning new series, the first season is the hardest. Trying to predict what's going to work and what doesn't requires trial and error for those creating the series, as well as patience on the part of the viewer. It's a tough system, but the only way to move forward is to experiment.

"Perfect Couples" understands this concept but is still in an awkward spot. While the writers indulge in some extra-marital intermingling, they must be careful to keep things plutonic. "Perfect Health" walks this line cautiously and ultimately succeeds. There are some surprising pairings in episode three, which, truth be told, don't always work. 

But it's still a test worth taking.

"Perfect Health" takes us down the familiar avenue of control and honesty. Dave, despite being able to jump atop a table from a standing position, has high cholesterol. His doctor's urge him to watch what he eats, and fearing for his health, Julia does the same. Similarly, Amy spends money compulsively, ignoring Vance's pleads to slow down.

Enter Rex, or more specifically, enter "The Man-cave" (Rex's den, which Lee fashioned into a bachelor haven free of judgments and rules). Things pan out as you might expect--Vance and Julia search out ways to cure Dave and Amy's addictions, while Dave and Amy feed them in The Man-cave.

While things pan out somewhat predictably, the episode makes good use of their weaknesses by creating some new teams to solve them. Julia turns to Vance for advice on Dave, and he instructs her to curb Dave's pizza cravings with sex. Meanwhile, Vance's wife spends her nights at the Man-cave, stashing her new outfits and chewing tobacco with Rex.

It's nice to see "Couples" branching out from the pre-ordained twosomes. The premise of the show can be restricting, forcing these characters to be defined by their spouse. So, trying their personalities in different combinations helps the show grow. It's also impressive that "Perfect Health" does this couple switch without sexual tension, which would reduce the show to a glorified primetime soap opera.

"Perfect Health" explores the right avenues with the right mindset. The writers want to test out possible chemistry among other characters without spoiling the central idea of the show. Because "Perfect Health" successfully tries something new, and doesn't rely heavily on flashback and cliché, it is a cut above the rest.

Grade: B-

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