“Uncoupled” Series it is Comfort Food

In the new “Uncoupled” series produced by Netflix, Neil Patrick Harris leads Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman’s rom-com series as a 40something gay man who finds himself newly single after getting dumped by his partner of 17 years.

“Uncoupled”. (L to R) André De Shields as Jack, Dan Amboyer as Luke, Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson, Emerson Brooks as Billy Jackson, Colin Hanlon as Jonathan #1, Jai Rodriguez as Jonathan #2. © Netflix.

Depending on your perspective, that may be a salve or an irritant. Uncoupled demonstrates little curiosity over its eight episodes about the world outside Michael’s bubble of wealthy, mostly white cis gay men in their 40s, although the characters do occasionally express bafflement or mild contempt about those who exist outside of it. Michael, a Gen Xer, grumbles about Millennials under his breath and at one point lectures a younger man who’s never heard of the AIDS quilt about the sacrifices “we” made for future generations — though he, and the series, are self-deprecating enough to add a bit of clarification: “Well, not me. A little bit older. But I’ve seen Angels!”

Uncoupled is comfort food first and foremost, intended for people old enough that they no longer feel as cute and hip as they once did, but not yet old enough that they’ve stopped minding. In one episode, Michael is relieved to be able to bond with a date his age about how “crazy” dating has become since they were young’uns learning about sex from Dr. Ruth. “I miss clock radios,” Michael declares wistfully. Not everyone will be able to relate. But if you can, Uncoupled should go down almost as smoothly as an ice-cold glass of Grey Goose.

The best thing I can say about “Uncoupled” is that, between its frank discussions of PrEP, the logistics of anal sex, and graphic displays of Tom of Finland-esque vintage gay art, Star is at least taking advantage of Netflix’s lack of prime-time prurience. But it feels too little, too late, and is hardly likely to open the eyes of anyone besides the urbane in-group talking to six-figure gays with summer houses in the Hamptons.

On Netflix from July 29, 2022. 


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?