HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me," and the line between porn and not-porn

Elizabeth's picture

"Jamie and Hugo" of HBO's Tell Me You Love Me A friend just showed me some clips of an HBO series called Tell Me You Love Me. It features actors playing couples, and it seems to have a kind of "reality show" format while being a scripted drama at the same time. I haven't seen any full episodes, but it seems that each episode intersperses clips of the "couple" in their "real-life" situations, including having sex, with clips of the same couple seeing a therapist. It aslo includes clips of that therapist May Foster (played by Jane Alexander) and her husband Arthur (played by David Selby) in their "real life" situation, including having sex.

Part of what I thought interesting was the way that the awkwardness around sex (both the having of it) and the talking about it was so clearly drawn out. I aslo thought it interesting that May and Arthur appear to be the most sexually together of all the couples in the show, and they are both clearly of retirement age. They are shown as "hot for each other" as my friend said, and in the clips I watched depicting the actors talking about the show, they all seemed to agree that the relationship between Arthur and May have the most desirable relationship on the show.

The other part of what I found interesting was that in all those conversations between actors about the show itself, not one addressed the similarity between this acting and porn acting, and not one mentioned being a sex worker.

Now, all this is said without having seen any full episodes, so I pose these question to our readers:

Are any of you familiar with the show?

What do you think of it?

Does it blur the lines between porn and not-porn? Is that interesting or useful or problematic?

(HBO's Tell Me You Love Me home page, episode guide, and video clips .)

Photo is of couple "Jamie and Hugo" from the Tell Me You Love Me "about" page.