TV veteran Neil Patrick Harris has found success on Netflix could be set to make a similarly sizable splash. No stranger to small screen success, having started out with Doogie Howser, M.D. before playing Barney Stinson for nine years on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, NPH is one of those actors Netflix must have been itching to work with.
Uncoupled debuted on Netflix last week (Friday, July 29) and it’s jumped straight into the streamer’s top 10 most-watched list currently ranked at No. 5. That places it ahead of All American Homecoming and Resident Evil, and just a place behind popular docuseries The Most Hated Man on the Internet.
What is Uncoupled about?
Coming from the mind of Darren Star, the creator of Sex and the City, Uncoupled sees Neil Patrick Harris play Michael Lawson, a New York City real estate agent who appears to have the perfect life with his long-term partner of 17 years, Colin McKenna (Tuc Watkins) by his side.
However, Michael suddenly finds himself newly single after Colin abruptly leaves him. Awkwardly, this unexpected dumping comes just as it’s revealed that Micheal had planned an elaborate surprise party to celebrate Colin’s 50th birthday.
Heartbroken after losing the man he thought was his soulmate and now single in his mid-40s, Michael hits the Manhattan dating scene in the hopes of finding love once again. As you can probably guess, he gets into various hijinks along the way, and maybe even proves that you’re never too old to find love a second time.
What do critics say about Uncoupled?
Uncoupled currently scores a solid if unspectacular 74% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. However, it appears to be faring better with viewers, and the romantic-comedy series has pulled a relatively strong 84% audience score.
James Jackson of The Times called the show as “quick-witted as you’d expect” with “the kind of slickness that makes it eminently easy to hit the “next episode” button.” NPR’s Glen Weldon expressed a similar sentiment saying “Uncoupled goes down easy and makes for a frictionless weekend binge.”
Nina Metz of The Chicago Tribune gave the show a backhanded complaint saying “there are worse things to have on in the background while folding laundry.” Of course, the value of easy-watching shows shouldn’t be dismissed, and if you’re looking for something of that ilk then Uncoupled seems to fit the bill nicely.
Inkoo Kang of The Washington Post called Uncoupled “flat, joyless and surprisingly cold-looking.” The Financial Times’ Dan Einav wasn’t a fan either saying “It’s a shame that a release that should be seen as a sign of progress is so dated and uninspired in other ways.”
Should you stream Uncoupled?
It seems unlikely that Neil Patrick Harris’s newest TV show will run for nine seasons as How I Met Your Mother did. After all, Netflix has a frustrating habit of canceling shows too early. But, if you’re looking for something that goes down easy then Uncoupled could be a great shout, and with just eight 30-minute episodes it's a relatively quick watch as well.
The show is very much from the same mold as its creator megahit Sex and the City, which should tell you exactly what you’re in for should you give his latest effort a chance. Don’t expect anything revolutionary, or even much depth, but Uncoupled is still a very enjoyable show that wears its heart on its sleeve at all times — and there’s plenty of value in a TV show like that.
The Netflix top 10 is often dominated by twisty thrillers, big-budget sci-fi or gritty true crime so it’s somewhat refreshing to see an uncomplicated rom-com draw plenty of interest from subscribers. And, in Neil Patrick Harris, Uncoupled has a very capable leading man.