Netflix series, “Uncoupled,” directed by Andrew Fleming, Zoe R. Cassavetes, and Peter Lauer, stars Neil Patrick Harris, Tisha Campbell, Brooks Ashmanskas, Emerson Brooks, Marcia Gay Harden, and Tuc Watkins in the lead roles. The series, created by Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman, explores the lives of the upper crust of New York, and in the process, gives us insights into relationships, friendships, and life in general. Apart from the enigmatic presence of Neil Patrick Harris, the comic timing of Tisha Campbell, and the suave and enchanting nuances of Marcia Gay Harden, one of the most notable things about this comedy-drama is the fascinating conversations that the characters indulge in. You might have seen the story a zillion times, and there is nothing authentic about it. The screenplay is scattered, and often it bites more than it can chew. But still, the nature of execution, the humor, and the lightheartedness are such that it would probably make you chuckle, if not more.
Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Michael Lawson, a real estate agent, was evidently the chattier one in the relationship. Colin, on the other hand, was not only a bit reserved but unintendedly coy in his mannerism and behavior. “Uncoupled” opens, and instantly you feel this strange sense of aloofness from Colin’s side. His 50th birthday was approaching, and Michael was excited to plan something special for that day. Colin had expressed that this time he didn’t want to throw a big party but wanted to have a quiet dinner with his partner. But Michael had no intention of agreeing to what the birthday boy wanted. He told him that they would go for dinner in the evening, but instead, he had planned a surprise party for him.
A few hours before the party, Michael got a call from his housekeeper, who told him that they had been robbed, though only a few select things were missing. Michael had a packed day, and he didn’t have any time to process the information thoroughly. He thought that maybe he would cater to the issue, later in the day, after the party gets over. Everybody arrived at the venue just in time, and Michael was eagerly waiting for Colin at the gate itself. Colin stepped down from the cab and told Michael that he was breaking up with him and that he had already moved out of the apartment. Colin had shifted his stuff to his new house, which is why the housekeeper thought that there was a burglary. What pinched Michael, even more, was that Colin had planned everything out without even giving him a hint. He had found a new house, shifted his stuff, and, more than that, made up his mind about ending the relationship, and Michael, like an enamored lover, was busy planning the perfect birthday bash for him. Also, Michael had revealed this information because he thought that they would talk about it at the dinner, which, according to him, was being attended by only the two of them. Little did he know that a bunch of excited people were waiting on the other side of the door to greet him.
The party was a disaster for everyone, especially Michael. He didn’t know what to do and what to feel, and moreover, being around people, he had to hide all those emotions now. Michael gave a speech at the end of the party and told Colin how much he loved him and what he meant in his life. But it was not going to bring Colin back. The man had made up his mind, and the next day, Michael was not only coping with a hangover but also with this newfound sense of loneliness. Michael told the three most important people in his life, i.e., Suzanne, who was also a colleague; Billy, the celebrity weatherman; and Stanley, who owned an art gallery, about his breakup. They were equally shocked because for the last 17 years, they had been used to seeing Colin with Michael, and now the breakup was like a shock that had come out of nowhere. Michael wanted to drown himself in work. At one of the soirees organized by Stanley, Michael met an art collector named Claire Lewis. They started talking, and Michael soon realized that the snooty and, at times, cold lady was going through a pretty similar situation in her life as he was. Her husband had left her for a much younger gym instructor, and like Colin, he had also not informed her about anything, till the time he finally left the house. Claire was going to sell her house, and Michael wanted to bag the opportunity and be the broker for the same. But Claire Lewis was already being vetted by a colleague of Michael’s, Tyler Hawkins, well known for his arrogance, exorbitant lifestyle, and good connections to people belonging to the upper crust of New York City. Michael also suspected that Colin had left him for Tyler, as Suzanne saw them both in Colin’s new home when she was passing by the same way. But Tyler cleared up all the rumors and told Michael that they were not dating. Michael felt even more depressed as now it was clear to him that Colin didn’t end their relationship for any other guy, but he did it only because, for him, the relationship was over a long time ago. The fact was eating Michael up, that what had happened all of a sudden had made Colin feel so claustrophobic, so much so that he wanted to end the relationship. From the extra toothbrush kept in the washroom to the shared Netflix account, which still had Colin’s name next to his, everything in Michael’s life reminded him of Colin. Michael had started harboring this feeling that he would end up alone. His friend Billy asked him to make a profile on a dating app called Grindr, but for 17 years, he had been out of the playground and had lost touch. He had forgotten to make an effort with another guy and have an engaging conversation. He had lived a non-pretentious and comfortable life in his pajamas, watching movies with his partner while nonchalantly blurting out anything that came to his mind without thinking twice. And now, suddenly, he had to put up a show. Michael was done pitying himself. He wanted to move on in life and stop thinking about Colin throughout the day. He made an account on Grindr with a flashy username: “New Hot Mike.” He entered uncharted territory and tried to find love once again.
In the process, Michael grew close to Claire Lewis. He became her 4 a.m. friend, though he was getting a little annoyed by the nagging lady, who had become too emotionally dependent upon him. Claire started looking for a house in the same neighborhood as Michael’s and eventually bought a penthouse in the same building. She didn’t know how to live alone. All her friends had gone with her husband, and that’s when she realized that she had sacrificed her independent life long back. She felt this need to be around people all the time, and that’s why she had decided to come and live near Michael, even though his apartment was not as sumptuous and posh as she would have wanted. The adults were stuck in this mid-life crisis kind of phase. Each one of them yearned for a change, and internally they were facing an emotional turmoil. The only difference was that for people like Claire and Michael, the vulnerability was evidently showing on their faces and their actions, but for others like Colin and Billy, it was pretty deep-rooted, and they were still living in denial, though subconsciously it was affecting them.
‘Uncoupled’ Ending Explained: What Happens Between Michael And Colin?
Michael does whatsoever there is in his power to get over Colin. He starts having flings and frequently going out on dates. It always seemed nice from the outside, but there was always some attribute or trait that made him cringe or made him instantly lose his interest. Michael attends a session, and the presiding “Guru” does something that miraculously changes his outlook towards life. He feels that he is over Colin. That very day, his father sets him up with his dermatologist, named Josh Gibson, but he also freaks him out. Michael meets a guy named Luke while he was attending the “Roller Disco Night” with Stanley and Billy. The two instantly struck a chord. They meet every day for a week, but then Michael starts to feel that Luke is a bit too much. He felt like he was encroaching upon his mental space. He wanted to go and meet his friends on poker night, even when he didn’t play poker, and started keeping his things at Michael’s house. Michael addressed the issue, but the confrontation didn’t end too well, and Luke left the house fuming with anger. Billy knows that his boys need some downtime and so he takes them for the “Gay Ski Weekender,” and that’s where one thing is established for certain: no matter what Michael says or how cool he pretends to be about the whole situation, deep down he is still not over Colin. He still wanted to know who he was dating and what was happening in his life. Michael met a guy in the ski weekender, who was showing interest in him, but all Michael was worried about was who Colin had gone to Miami with.
The Jonathans, who were the mutual friends of Billy, Michael, Colin, Suzanne, and Stanley, were getting married, and had invited all of them to their grand Jewish Gay Wedding. Michael was all jittery because he knew that he would meet Colin and his new flare at the party. But he, once again, had let his insecurities overpower him. Colin was not dating anybody and as always Michael had misinterpreted the whole situation.
Meanwhile, Stanley had come to know that he had breast cancer, but luckily it was only in the first stage. He asked Michael to come with him to the hospital, as he felt really scared and anxious. Billy had gotten a young date with him, named Wyatt. For once, it felt like Billy would stop having flings and commit to a serious relationship. But Wyatt saw him giving his number to a waiter, whom Billy had known from before. This made Wyatt very angry, and he left the party. But before going, he showed Billy the mirror. It stirred something inside him. Billy went to Stanley and asked him why he had asked only Michael to come to the hospital and not him. Billy realized that maybe he was not empathetic enough towards others and was full of himself. He decided to change things for the better. Suzanne, too, was distressed about the fact that her son, Kai, had found out who his birth father was and had decided to meet him. But in the end, he cancels the meeting as he realizes that his mother was the only family he needed, and if his father didn’t care about him for all those years, then he probably didn’t deserve to meet him.
In the final episode of “Uncoupled,” we see a sense of liberation inside Michael. He was present at the wedding party together with Colin, but it wasn’t affecting him anymore. Maybe he had moved on. He was in a comfortable space and seemed to have gotten his closure. Colin makes him privy, for the very first time, to whatever he was feeling at the time he made the decision to end the relationship. For 17 years, they had been living together, and Colin could see that everything in his life had been already planned for him, and there was no scope for any other possibility. He felt claustrophobic thinking about it.
On the other hand, Michael felt good about that “forever” feeling and was very content with his life. The ex-partners dance together at the party, and Colin, maybe for the first time since their breakup, sees Michael not getting affected by anything. Not even the controversial topic of Colin petting a dog irked him, even when for those 17 years, he didn’t let Michael do that. Michael was happy with what he had and didn’t hold any regret for not having certain people in his life. He reached home after the party and almost jumped in shock when he saw a man standing in the dark. It was Colin. He said that he had started to feel it was a big mistake and that they should never have parted. The screen fades to black and the series “Uncoupled” leaves us on a cliffhanger.
Maybe Colin moves back in with Michael, or maybe this time, Michael decides that he wants a break from the proceedings. Though, what really happens will be explored in the upcoming seasons of “Uncoupled,” in my personal opinion, I don’t see Michael moving in with Colin, anytime soon. It was only after Colin saw that Michael was no longer affected by their breakup, it struck him that he had committed a mistake and that he wouldn’t find anybody as loving as him. It is not that Michael doesn’t love him anymore, but he has moved on in his life. He had battled his inhibitions, his insecurities, and his vulnerabilities day in and day out after Colin left. After reaching that stage of contentment and making peace with his inner self, it is highly improbable that he would move back unless and until he is sure of what he is getting into. Maybe, for now, Michael would want to tread on this exciting journey of self-exploration and see where it leads him.
“Uncoupled” is a 2022 Drama Romance series created by Jeffrey Richman and Darren Star.