Neil Patrick Harris is teaming up with Emily In Paris creator Darren Star on what could very well be my new favorite show.
In the upcoming Netflix series Uncoupled, Harris stars as Michael, a man whose life is flipped upside down when his “perfect” husband walks out on him after 17 years. Struggling to confront his new reality, Michael must accept losing the man he thought was his soulmate and figure out how to be a 40-something-year-old single gay man in New York City.
In addition to starring in its main role, Deadline reports Harris will executive-produce Uncoupled, alongside series creators Star and Jeffrey Richman (Modern Family). Production is set to begin in New York later this year, which is an especially exciting prospect given Star’s history of New York City TV shows. Sex and the City is one of the most famous cases of New York being, dare I say it, its own character in the show. Star’s more recent series, Emily In Paris, similarly shows off the beauty of its setting, and Uncoupled is very likely to take the same approach.
Adding to the fun is the series focus on Michael finding himself. What better place for exploration than the most famous city of them all?
High Hopes for Uncoupled
Funnily enough, we’ve seen Neil Patrick Harris be single and searching in New York City before. His How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson spent years trying to find himself, sleeping around, and dealing with the rough realities of aging. But Barney was also aggressively straight and generally terrible. Not as a character, of course: he was incredibly entertaining to watch for someone who was utterly reprehensible. Barney often orchestrated the show’s funniest moments and delivered its most iconic catchphrases. But the series definitely leaned into comedy when it came to Harris’ character, and often let jokes win over his growth (just ask the final season).
By all means, Barney gets his fair share of emotional moments — in large part due to Harris’ ability to find the emotions at the core of his many issues. We get a glimpse at how skillfully he can tug at our heartstrings when Barney actually confronts his commitment issues and unresolved feelings about his father. And when he falls in love, he always starts to change for the better. Harris brought out the very best of the character with his performance, so effectively that audiences could forget how irredeemable Barney was. Now imagine how much more Harris can do in a starring role, that’s centering themes of personal growth!
Sex and the City, for all its many criticisms, has been praised for its portrayal of adult women, allowing them to lead the series and dispelling the fantasy of being married by your 30s. The show certainly dipped into the fantastical when it came to the rest of their lives — the incredible fashion, handsome men, and general image of New York. But that’s also what helped garner its large following. Uncoupled has the potential to be an update on many of the same ideas and themes, as Michael figures out how to date later in life.
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