Tell Me You Love Me: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Sex. Life. This is the story of three couples trying to stay afloat - and one woman's efforts to show them how to do it. HBO's newest adult drama series explores issues of intimacy - through the point of view of a 20-something couple, prenumpital concerns and fidelity are examined, while the series' 30-something couple confront their failed attempts to start a family, coping with the effects it has on their sex life. And after two kids and 12 years of marriage, a couple in their early 40s question why their love and devotion hasn't translated into physical intimacy in nearly a year. Tell Me You Love Me explores the telling, everyday moments that can make or break a couple's commitment to one another, both emotionally and physically.
This 10-episode first season of HBO's drama, Tell Me You Love Me, is a semi-sexy romp into the world of coupledom, though in total it casts a depressed glow on the possibility of long-term connection. In it, three couples plus their endearing shared therapist, May (Jane Alexander), feud over various issues arisen due to marriage, aging, differing sexual desires, and sheer boredom. Episodes rotate couples' scenarios and are spliced with scenes showing each seeking refuge in May's office. The youngest pair, sous chef Jaime (Michelle Borth) and her fiancé Hugo (Luke Ferrell Kirby), break their engagement over feared infidelity, while Jaime lands pretty boy Nick (Ian Somerhalder) to temporarily ease her pain over the broken commitment. Thirty-somethings, Pawlik (Adam Scott) and Carolyn (Sonya Walger), struggle to get pregnant. As their situation escalates they detest what they recognize in each other as parental traits they've both worked so hard to avoid. The most riveting and mature situation develops as Dave (Tim DeKay) and Katie (Ally Parker) realize that after 13 years of marriage and kids they're incapable of having sex. DeKay and Parker make an eerily convincing acting team, mirroring oodles of couples who lack passion but don't know how to fix it. Dave and Katie most successfully ask the core question of whether or not marriage can truly work. Here, sex and love are separated into two distinct categories. Failed intimacy abounds as emotional overload and stress sets in for each team of lovers. The first several episodes set up the dilemmas and are rife with fighting and despair; midway through, relief comes as Dave and Katie take their therapist's advice and have some nights alone with no kids. Similarly, Jaime gives Hugo a break after he nearly overdoses. Episodes nine and ten are the juiciest, as one begins to wonder who will stay split up and who will weather the desperation. Carolyn reconsiders her anxiety-inducing job, while we see Katie and Dave still crumbling under tension as they remodel their already-perfect house yet again. Throughout, sex scenes amongst the two sexually active couples provide some respite from the bickering, though they mostly illustrate how sex serves as both sanctuary and escape. Tell Me You Love Me shows marriage as an uphill battle, though seemingly this means to inspire viewers to assess their own relationships for preservation. --Trinie Dalton