It pays to consciously tie Darren Star’s split into the town sitcom with

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The most hated man on the internet
Netflix

Decoupled was one of those annoying words that entered slang a few years ago, possibly popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow during her split from her Coldplay man, and was intended to indicate walking away from the pair in a calm and respectful way.

In the new Netflix series of the same name, Michael (Neil Patrick Harris) bravely attempts such an orderly exit when he discovers his longtime partner Colin (Tuc Watkins) packing up all his stuff one night, including terror. , the Hermès towels! – and moves. Michael continues with the gigantic surprise 50th birthday party he has thrown for Colin (which turns into a shame fest) and the two enter couples therapy together. But it soon becomes clear that they are whipping a dead horse.

When Michael’s best friend Suzanne sees the ex making out with Michael’s arch-rival at work (a delightfully condescending Tyler Hawkins), she knows for a fact that it’s over and she’s faced with the horror of returning his expired products. . in the dating market.

The series comes to us already battered by bad reviews from the United States and it is not difficult to understand why. A better name for him might have been ‘Backlash’. He comes courtesy of Darren Star, who recently featured TV atrocities like Emily in Paris and the sex and the city restart, and just like thatand clearly a lot of people aren’t ready to put the horror of those behind them.

There is also a feeling that it might be a bit premature. After all the feel-good talk about gay relationships in recent years, and the legalization of gay marriage on both sides of the Atlantic, we may not yet be ready for the age of gay divorce. “Bad” is a descriptor for the series that has come up quite a bit.

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The same as sex and the city itself, disengaged has an unpleasant central character. Like Carrie, Michael appears narcissistic and self-absorbed, while his friends are casually amused around him. Instead of the wounded dignity one might expect, the painfully underweight Patrick Harris plays the character with a kind of frenetic energy.

And yet, for real queers who’ve had to deal with any kind of middle-aged move, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Uncoupled is actually far superior to any of Star’s recent work. While it does have its signature sparkle: the gorgeous Manhattan skylines, the glittery parties; it ventures into gritty corners that few major shows have touched and is full of thunderous bon mots.

When Michael’s friends ask him to download Grindr (a gay dating app), he pleads that he wants his “first time with someone new to be special” and one of them jokingly tells him “honey, special is when you get to the door and they still want to have sex with you.”

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The differences between coming back to market as a middle-aged gay man and a middle-aged straight woman are brilliantly explored in a friendship Michael strikes up with one of his work clients, whom her husband has dumped (“just admit it! As a man you’ve always been a man!”). You’ll have it easier!” he growls at her.) And Michael’s prim judgment of millennial ways, he lectures on one of his young conquests on PrEP (an HIV prevention drug) use, becomes feels removed from real life.

In recent years, we’ve had quite a few series, both dramas and documentaries, that have explored the Wild West of the early days of the Internet. The most hated man on the internet It picks up a generation after Pam & Tommy and their revenge porn origin story, but focuses on another time when technology seemed to trump morals and the law.

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In 2010, Hunter Moore, the embodiment of all the sociopathic ‘brothers’ that walk the earth, created a website called Is Anyone Awake?. Through it, he posted explicit photos of ex-girlfriends and invited others to do the same. He destroyed lives and terrorized women until one of his victims, Kayla Laws, and her mother, Charlotte, decided to confront him. In the face of threats from Moore and his followers, they got the FBI involved and Moore is now serving time in prison.

It should be a happy ending, but the body of this series, with its tear smear and pixelated rape, is so profoundly depressing that it’s hard to enjoy the payoff when it comes.

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Halston
Netflix
Dear old Liza Minnelli once said she hoped there wouldn’t be any “garbage” TV about her old mucker and designer to the stars, Halston. Hopefully she’s never seen this gloriously trashy and often hilarious series starring Ewan McGregor as the title character.

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Armistead Maupin is something like the gay American Maeve Binchy. She managed to tackle the big issues of the day while retaining an essential warmth in her writing. This fantastic series, starring a young Laura Linney, brought her work to the screen better than any other.

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All4 / RTÉ2 on Thursdays
There was a period when you couldn’t watch another gay AIDS-themed drama (for much of the 1990s, that’s all there was), but this funny and heartwarming series, set at the height of the 1980 epidemic, he is never hampered by his weight issue. Brilliant on every level.

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