By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz
“Perfect Couples” started in a funk, and despite short bursts of energy raising it above the level of mediocrity, resolved to stay there. This week’s episode, entitled “Perfect House,” requires little explanation, simply because of how redundant and frustrating it was.
It all starts when Dave and Vance, who are relators – though, it’s unclear why or how they got into the field – decide to stay at a client’s house for the weekend. Unethical? Yes, but Dave’s bringing over pizza, a copy of "Robocop" and promises it to be “classic.” The two alert their wives of the sleepover, and Amy heads over to impede on their good time.
Dave’s hurt. Suddenly, his dude time has turned into a make-out sesh between Amy and Vance.
Dave’s not the only one who’s jealous. Rex and Leigh enter a couple’s tennis tournament, but when Leigh’s diagnosed with the dreaded tennis elbow, she requests Julia take her place. Rex and Julia make a great pair. They grunt and mock on cue and even make up little dances. However, the real casualty of the tournament isn’t the competition that lay wasted at their feet, but rather Leigh, who feels left out.
Everyone learns another lesson about trust and not being twenty anymore, which is all well and good, I suppose. But why is everyone in this episode acting so stupid? Granted, a show like this struggles to find its footing -- we have six main characters, three intensely close relationships and a wide audience to capture. However, the way to lose all of those things is through inconsistent characterizations.
From episode one, “Perfect Couples” presented Dave and Julia as the dorky, clearheaded couple. They found their friends to be annoying, stupid and intrusive. They were the straight-couple, a force for which the idiocy could bounce. By the end of "Perfect House," Dave is chasing Vance underwater without even thinking of swimming. The shot lasts a painful 15-seconds and only reinforces Dave’s stupidity.
“Perfect Couples” wide range of humor requires a couple that’s quirky, yet practical. Dave and Julia should be that couple, but if we keep catching Dave in these moments of total idiocy, it’s going to be hard to take him seriously.
It seems fair to give these first season shows the benefit of the doubt, but “Perfect Couples” shows less promise every week. The cast continues to shine, but without a decent script, the show’s going to continue to run in place, submerged in four feet of water.