Tell Me You Love Me – or, as it should really be called, The Boring Problems of Annoying Rich White Straight People, is a 10 part series from HBO that follows the trials and tribulations of three couples and, to a lesser extent, their therapist and her husband.
It is also terrible.
In the opening two episodes, we meet the characters and discover the problems they are facing. Hugo and Jamie are about to break up, Carolyn and Palek can’t get pregnant and Dave and Katie have stopped having sex.
This set-up is basically the storyline for the next nine episodes. Nothing. Happens. Okay, in the last episode the storylines get to a place where you expect they will (Hugo and Jamie’s perhaps has a slightly – very slightly- more interesting trajectory than the other two), but basically it is 10 episodes of horrible people being horrible to one another and repeating the same old same old. Not one of these characters is likeable. Dave and Katie have moments where they appear vaguely redeemable, but these are outweighed by their general all-round grumpiness and reluctance to talk to one another. The most interesting character is probably the therapist, and even she goes downhill mid-series.
Now, I get that in real life people’s situations often get stuck in a rut. In real life, people are not always very nice. However, most real lives are not made into a 10 hour drama serial. There is not enough plot development across the whole series to sustain even a feature film, never mind 10 episodes.
On the sort of plus side, it’s HBO, so if you like watching sex and nudity, there is a bit of that-refreshingly, the men and the women are equally exposed. However, most of this sex isn’t especially sexy and some of it is just plain upsetting or miserable. There is fairly graphic older people sex as well, which, if nothing else, is a tick for diversity. That would be the only tick for diversity this show gets, having forgotten what a black, Asian, Latin or Hispanic person looks like, never mind a gay, bisexual, single, poor or even just nice person.
Honestly, I didn’t mind the first two episodes. From time to time there are some nice lines and some nice shots-it seemed like it might become an interesting character study at that point. Watching the intervening episodes where absolutely nothing happened other than my getting more and more annoyed with these irritating, selfish, entitled whiny brats of characters somewhat soured my mood on the series. I’m not really sure why I continued watching to the end, other then I thought I could at least get a blog review out of it. I think part of me was waiting for some kind of SHOCK! TWIST! but there was nothing of the sort. If you hate your telly and think it would look better with a shoe thrown in it, by all means watch this show. Otherwise, give it a very wide berth or else just skip straight to episode 10 from episode one and miss out all the nothingness and meandering and moaning in between.