HBO Home Video / 2007 / 600 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: February 12, 2008
List Price: $47.99 [Buy it at Amazon.com]
Jane Alexander ………. Dr. May Foster
Michelle Borth ………. Jaime
Tim DeKay ………. David
Sonya Walger ………. Carolyn
Ally Walker ………. Katie
Luke Kirby ………. Hugo
Adam Scott ………. Palek
David Selby ………. Arthur Foster
Katharine Towne ………. Mason
If one network has pushed the envelope on what can and can’t be shown on television these days, it’s HBO. Technically, the network can show a lot of things that other networks can’t since it is a “paid network”. Since it is not basic cable, one must pay extra to get HBO. But it’s not all about “mature” shows on HBO; more times than not, this also means that you get some of the most thought-provoking and intriguing television out there. Just when you thought you have seen it all, HBO decides to turn up the heat and shock you again. Welcome the newest show to its lineup, Tell Me You Love Me.
Tell Me You Love Me revolves around three couples. Jamie and Hugo (Michelle Borth and Luke Kirby) are in their twenties and they can’t seem to get enough of each other sexually, but argue all the time when not in bed together. Carolyn and Palek (Sonya Walger and Adam Scott) are in their thirties and they are trying to have a baby for the first time, but have failed numerous times. Katie and David (Ally Walker and Tim DeKay) are in their forties and are married with two children, but they stopped being intimate with each other for over one year now. Each couple seeks the help of therapist, Dr. May Foster (Jane Alexander), who herself has relationship issues with her partner, Arthur (David Selby).
The actors in this series are relative unknowns, but you will recognize a few people from other stuff like that guy from Lost who played Boone and that stunningly beautiful Burger King office commercial girl from a fews back (Google it!), who turns out to be Michelle Borth. Overall, though, the acting is top notch here. You wouldn’t expect anything less from a HBO series and Tell Me You Love Me is just another example. The six core members of the cast are playing couples and their depiction as couples is quite real. The believability and realism are a definite positive for this show and what ultimately make this series works.
While some will focus on the realistic depictions of sexual intercourse, oral sex, masturbation and ejaculation on this series and be shocked by it, this ultimately just adds to the realism element of the show. It should be noted that the sex is simulated, but this is as graphic as you will find on any television series. But really this show is not about sex. It’s more about relationships. It’s intriguing to find all every age group represented here. But even more interesting is that the minutiae of the characters’ day-to-day lives is graphically portrayed as much as their sex lives.
The series is shot in an almost voyeuristic style, which just adds to the realism to the show. The series borders on being a documentary about sex and relationships with real couples, and that’s a testament to the great acting in Tell Me You Love Me. This show does go where no show has gone before, but the sex scenes never feel that gratuitous since they serve a bigger purpose in the show. This series does have its flaws and moments of awkwardness and uncomfortableness, but then again so does any relationship. In the end, Tell Me You Love Me just makes you think and proves itself to be the most real “scripted” show on television today.
Katie confronts Dave after catching him in a personal moment; Carolyn and Palek face an ongoing fertility crisis; Jamie questions Hugo’s ability to be faithful.
Dave and Katie argue over the need for therapy; Carolyn convinces Palek to keep trying for a baby, although he may be losing interest; Jamie still has trust-issues with Hugo; May reaches out to an old flame.
Carolyn and Palek’s families find out about their fertility problems, after Carolyn talks about it at a party; Katie and Dave come up on another wedding anniversary, and Isabella helps picking a present out; Mason tries to help Jamie get over Hugo; May is forced to face her past by Arthur.
Jamie and Dave meet with Dr. Foster. A secret from Carolyn’s past haunts Palek.
Carolyn and Palek redouble their efforts. Jamie considers Nick. May addresses Katie and David’s problems.
Dave and Katie talk about the lock. Carolyn Palek want to end therapy. Nick returns to see Jamie.
Katie and Dave find themselves home alone. Carolyn Palek finds a buyer for the house. Hugo returns to Jamie and she must decide between him and Nick.
Dave and Katie ponder the future of their therapy. Palek has doubts about Carolyn. Jamie cannot open up to Nick.
Palek’s anxiety grows. Jamie must come clean with Nick. Katie receives some disturbing news.
May gets some bad news. Jamie goes after Hugo. Palek reveals a secret. Dave and Katie must settle their differences.
The video is in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Transfer is decent with minimal distortion. It’s not one of the most beautiful-looking shows on HBO today, but the video quality is up to par to most any show on network television today.
The audio included is available in either English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound or Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French as well. No real problems with the sound either as the dialogue comes out loud and clear.
Audio Commentaries –
There are four full-length audio commentaries featuring the cast and creator of the series. Cynthia Mort (creator) comments on “Episode 1,” Tim DeKay and Ally Walker (actors) comment on “Episode 4,” Michelle Borth and Luke Farrell Kirby (actors) comment on “Episode 7,” and Adam Scott and Sonya Walger (actors) comment on “Episode 8.” Cynthia does a better job of giving insight into the show with her commentary, which is to be expected since she is the creator. The actors pretty much laugh throughout their commentaries and stop talking to watch the episodes. There are a few bits and pieces of insightful commentary, but for the most part they just provide the entertainment. So overall it’s a mixed bag of commentaries that is pretty average at best.
THE INSIDE PULSE
If you haven’t seen the show, go rent it. Don’t be scared away by the graphic depictions of sex here. Everything just adds to the realism, which makes this show work in the end. Tell Me You Love Me is groundbreaking and interesting, and you will probably like it enough to purchase it to share with others.
|The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Tell Me You Love Me: Season One
||7.5(NOT AN AVERAGE)|