TUCSON, Ariz. — Thematically coupled with the upcoming movie "Bros," Netflix's groundbreaking series "Uncoupled" could make 2022 the year the gay romantic comedy genre comes of age in the mainstream.
Consistently funny and effortlessly charming, the eight-episode season is an irresistible one or two-session binge.
Neil Patrick Harris plays Michael, a New York real estate agent who scrambles to put his life back together after his partner of 17 years, Colin (Tuc Watkins), abruptly leaves him.
Everything Michael took for granted, including his living situation, circle of friends, and social status, is obliterated instantly. "Uncoupled" is about Michael's quest — the way he sees it, he was "forced into a mid-life crisis" — to rebuild from the ground up.
He fumbles through hook-up apps, has rusty flirtation skills, and obliviousness to the way dating customs have changed since he was last on the market.
Playing the antithesis of his oversexed Barney Stinson role in "How I Met Your Mother," Harris merges Stinson's wry cynicism with a vulnerability he'd rarely shown in previous roles.
The series comes from Darren Star, whose creative vision fueled "Sex and the City" and its follow-up, "And Just Like That..." as well as "Younger" and "Emily in Paris." The new series has the trademark Star feel, with its well-worn cliches and distancing obsession with rich people's problems, as well as his considerable power as a storyteller.
The season — which definitely sets itself up for future entries — goes by in a blur of laughs, awkwardness, and heartbreak. Season two can't come quickly enough.
RATING: 3 stars out of 4.