Once more, an extremely funny sitcom has failed to find an audience. Definitely one of the best in recent years, NBC has pulled Perfect Couples from its schedule beginning next week. That means that this week’s episode, “Perfect Wedding”, will likely serve as a series finale. It’s not fair, when Outsourced got an entire season and Perfect Couples only aired ten episodes. In a perfect world, quality would be the most important factor in choosing which TV shows live and die, but that is sadly not the case. I just wish there was some way to better highlight quality where it is found, other than relying on networks to promote it.
Several episodes have dealt with Vance (David Walton) and Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) getting ready for their wedding, so perhaps it is appropriate to end the series on the day of their nuptials. That way, a major arc is not left hanging. This being Vance and Amy, who can both be downright insane, things do not go smoothly. Amy worries that Vance will split, and Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) and Rex (Hayes MacArthur) spend their time trying to keep Vance calm and not let him over think things, as he has a tendency to do. This culminates in Amy seeing Vance fret, and both end up running out on the wedding. Finding each other at the airport, they agree they are not ready to get married.
I applaud the series for this level of thinking. Many shows in their ilk would marry off the characters, and then deal with things as they come, either changing them to make it work, or allowing divorce later. Vance and Amy are smart enough to realize their weaknesses, and work on them. It makes very much sense in the story for them to call off the wedding, even after everyone has gathered at the church. That is not to say they would not revisit matrimony down the line, should the series get picked up, which doesn’t look likely. But they aren’t ready now.
As much fun as Amy and Vance are, my favorite couple is Dave and Julia (Christine Woods). They are the best man and maid of honor, and both want to tell the same story during their speech. That simply will not do, and Julia gloats when she finds out that she will be talking first. Dave won’t give up loosing the story to Julia, and goes around telling everyone ahead of time. She doesn’t get angry. They both know all is fair in love and war, and they love each other despite their competitive contests. It’s a very healthy relationship, without grudges.
Woods’s evil laugh is so good in this episode, it bears rewinding for instant replay. And no one can ugly cry like she does. Woods, while a decent dramatic actress, has shown unexpected comedy chops on this series that easily belong in any future clip reels she sends out. Bornheimer has already proven his worth in other failed sitcoms, and he continues to be magic. Woods and Bornheimer are the rare genuine geniuses in the comedy world, that praise cannot be heaped too highly on them. Both will find new work soon enough. But I want to see them together! They are fantastic!
Rex and Leigh (Olivia Munn) are no slouches either, of course, though they are less complex than Dave and Julia, the ‘real’, ‘normal’ couple. Leigh, the wedding planner, actually hires a professional calmer for the wedding to soothe the nerves of anyone who freaks out. She herself got to make use of his services. Rex, on the other hand, is the only one who doesn’t have a job. He feels so left out, he gladly volunteers to be ‘flower man’ when the flower girl gets sick. You’d think the concept would be too goofy, but watching Rex practice dropping petals in the hallway is priceless!
Perfect Couples has some of the best writing and acting in current sitcom land. Though it got off to a rocky start, recent episodes have been an absolute joy from beginning to end. I beg of you NBC! Renew this show!