“Perfect Couples” is an affable TV comedy. It’s nothing new and not outrageous enough to be memorable, although it could get there. In its initial state, it’s something you wouldn’t mind if it was on, which is better than some obnoxious shows you want to turn off. We’ll see if it distinguishes itself or just coasts on Thursday nights.
The premiere opens with three sleeping women spread out on their beds. That’s hot. Each husband/boyfriend has his own trick for slipping into bed. Rex (Hayes MacArthur) wakes Leigh (Olivia Munn) to openly communicate how hogging the bed makes him feel. Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) has a pretty sweet trick to make the dog wake Julia (Christine Woods) up. Vance (David Walton) just screams at Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis.)
So you see we’re dealing with three different caricatures of couples. Rex and Leigh are the lovey dovey new age self-help type. Vance and Amy are the volatile, passionate type. Dave and Julia are the reasonable type, but they have enough crazy habits so they’re not just the straight men.
The couples are likeable enough in their schtick. Munn and MacArthur calling each other “cherished partner” and bringing Vietnamese hors d’oeuvres to game night is cute. Bornheimer and Woods really seem like they love each other and they’re just amused by the shenanigans that suck them in. Ellis really sells the bipolar emotions, singing “I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” with the wrong words but double the passion, and making out with Vance within seconds on fighting.
Vance is actually a horrible person. I won’t judge Walton yet because it’s how the character is written but this is beyond the caricature of the pain in the ass we may have in our lives. Vance actually wants to crash Julia and Dave’s anniversary. That’s a sociopath. So five out of six are likeable.
The show plays with time like “How I Met Your Mother,” showing a game night feud backwards, Memento style for comedic effect. Title cards say things like “How not to spend your anniversary,” which was more obvious than “Frasier” title cards ever were. So they’re going to have to find their own format if they want the show to last.
Obviously I’m not raving about “Perfect Couples” but I like it enough to see if it gets better. Maybe I’ll watch the first season or maybe I’ll just wait to hear if other people start liking it. Of all the midseason shows I’ve watched, it’s definitely in the upper half, if not the top percentile.