TV veteran Neil Patrick Harris has found success on Netflix could be set to make a similarly sized splash. No stranger to success on the small screen, having started out with Doogie Howser, MD before playing Barney Stinson for nine years on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, NPH is one of those actors Netflix must have been looking forward to working with.
Uncoupled debuted on Netflix last week (Friday, July 29) and it jumped straight into the streamer’s 10 most-watched list currently ranked at #5. That puts 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 Decoupled about?
From the mind of Sex and the City creator Darren Star, Uncoupled sees Neil Patrick Harris play Michael Lawson, a New York realtor who seems to have the perfect life with his longtime partner of 17 years, Colin McKenna. (Tuc Watkins) by his side.
However, Michael suddenly finds himself single after Colin abruptly leaves him. Bizarrely, this unexpected spill comes just as it is revealed that Micheal had planned an elaborate surprise party to celebrate Colin’s 50th birthday.
Heartbroken after losing the man he thought was his soul mate and now single in his 40s, Michael arrives on the dating scene in Manhattan hoping to find love 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 are critics saying about Uncoupled?
Uncoupled currently scores a solid if unspectacular 74% on rotten tomatoes (opens in a new tab) critics. However, it seems viewers are doing better and the romantic comedy series earned a relatively high viewership score of 84%.
James Jackson of The temperature (opens in a new tab) called the show “quick-witted as you’d expect” with “the kind of finesse that makes it eminently easy to hit the ‘next episode’ button.” NPR (opens in a new tab)‘s Glen Weldon expressed a similar sentiment, saying “Uncoupled goes down easy and makes for a frictionless weekend frenzy.”
Nina Metz from The ChicagoTribune (opens in a new tab) gave the show a backhand complaint saying “there are worse things to have in the background while you’re folding laundry”. Of course, the value of easy-to-watch shows shouldn’t be ignored, and if you’re looking for something of that ilk, then Uncoupled seems to fit the bill nicely.
Inkoo Kang from The Washington Post (opens in a new tab) called Uncoupled “flat, joyless and surprisingly cold”. The Financial Times (opens in a new tab)‘ Dan Einav was also not a fan 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’ new TV show will last nine seasons like How I Met Your Mother did. After all, Netflix has a nasty habit of canceling shows too soon. But, if you’re looking for something that goes easy, then Uncoupled could be a big shoutout, and with just eight 30-minute episodes, it’s also a relatively quick watch.
The show is very close to the same mold as its megahit creator Sex and the City, which should tell you exactly what you’re expecting if you give its latest effort a chance. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, or even a lot of depth, but Uncoupled is still a thoroughly enjoyable show that wears its heart on its sleeve at all times – and there’s a lot of value in a TV show like that one.
Netflix’s top 10 is often dominated by twisty thrillers, big-budget sci-fi, or gritty true crime, so it’s somewhat refreshing to see a straightforward rom-com pique subscriber interest. And, in Neil Patrick Harris, Uncoupled has a very capable leader.