Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

HBO's new series Tell Me You Love Me examines the lives of three couples as they move through different stages of their lives. There is Jamie and Hugo, a 20-something couple who are engaged, but rather than develop an intimate relationship with one another, they use sex to avoid talking. Next is Katie and David 40-somethings who have been married for 10 years and definitely love one another, but they have not had sex in a year. Finally there is Carolyn and Palek a 30something couple who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.

There is also a 4th couple on the show, Mary and Arthur Foster. Mary is a therapist and Arthur is retired. They've been together 42 years. Mary provides couples counseling to Carolyn and Palek who during the first session we see tell her everything is great, even though it isn't. During the second session Palek finally admits they are having problems brought on by the strain of trying to conceive a child. Carolyn gets upset that he would say that and leave the session. Um, isn't that what you are supposed to do at couples counseling, bring up the bad stuff and work it out? But I digress, Mary also counsels Katie who is so out of touch with her own body, that she cannot even masturbate despite knowing she is alone and no one can see her. I believe Jamie will be next of Mary's couch to deal with her break up with Hugo and trying to get on with her life. Obviously Hugo is not completely out of the picture as the show is about 3 couples, not 2 couples and a single.

Mary and Arthur have their own issues. So far what they are has not been completely revealed, but it does have something to do with someone from their past. Possibly someone Mary cheated on Arthur with.

There is a lot of sex on this show, except from Katie and David that is. Although we did see David jerk off in the first episode. The sex is pretty graphic. Nothing is suggested, it is all right there to see. It is more graphic than Skinemax or Showtime After Dark. It is difficult to believe there is no penetration going on. One scene is filmed so you see Hugo and Jamie doing the deed. Jamie is on her back, Hugo is on top and the scene is shot from behind so you see his butt flexing and even see his twins hanging down. We even see Mary and Arthur having sex. It ain't always pretty, but it is more real than porn sex.

This show is raw. The characters raw emotions are right there for all to see. There is no subtext or suggestion of feelings. At times I find the show uncomfortable to watch because of this raw look at humanity. However, I can appreciate the show for the risks it takes by being so bold.

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