Before episode two of Tell Me You Love Me hits the five minute mark we have our first use of the phrase, "Don't go there." I'm starting to get a sinking feeling about this show. Here the plots move forward by mere inches. Katie and Dave are still not fucking. Palek and Carloyn are still failing to conceive. Jamie is still insanely jealous of Hugo, so jealous she calls off the wedding. Okay, maybe something did happen after all. I almost forgot it amidst the sea of handheld angst.

What else happened? Katie and Dave went shopping and Dave seemed perplexed that she could be happy while playing with their kids and still need therapy. He tried to sabotage her therapy then almost refused to buy her a car whose suspension would no doubt buckle under the psychic weight it had to carry. Carolyn practically had to pry Palek away from his sandwich to have sex. (To be fair, it did look like a really tasty sandwich.) And, before the break-up, Jamie and Hugo got really high, drove around their unnamed city, and frolicked in an empty stadium. (Once again, this show veers uncomfortably close to my own life.)

We are at least starting to get a look at the big picture. Dr. May makes reference to a mystery widower named John who would seem to be Jamie's dad and leaves him a therapy speak-heavy "leave me alone" voice mail. We meet Carolyn's sister Mason (Kate Towne) and learn that she's friends with Jamie. But I'm still not sure why we should care. About anyone. The characters aren't likeable, which would be fine if their lives were more dramatically compelling. It's not that I've given up on the show. I'm in it for the long haul. But it might start to feel like a long haul if subsequent episodes keep amplifying what bugs me while making me lose sight of what I initially found intriguing. Given the freedom of HBO, did creator Cynthia Mort find nothing more to add to a fairly standard relationship drama than explicit sex? And if that is going to be its reason for existing, it's going to have to try harder. Last week had a literal money shot and nothing here tops it. You can make your own joke about the series blowing its load too soon.


Grade: C+

Stray obvervations:
- How long can Dave just not get it? Seriously. Is he suffering from head trauma? - I'm still looking for humor. And still not finding it a bit. I guess it doesn't have to have it but boy it wouldn't hurt. - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Your soundtrack to failed bathroom masturbation since 2007 - Dr. May: "Many couple who can't have sex dread going to bed." Way to pimp your forthcoming book Bed Dread, Dr. May - What was in that sandwich, anyway?