Sex in “Tell Me You Love Me”… So What?

By at October 7, 2007 | 12:54 am | Print

Michelle Borth in Tell Me You Love Me

UPDATE: See our most recent Tell Me You Love Me post

HBO’s new series Tell Me You Love Me started off with lots and lots of sex. Lots of it. Fast, panting super humps, maybe even the real thing. At first, all that banging just seemed like a sad attempt to ensure the show would be called “controversial.” And since when is a highly visible handjob controversial? 

When it’s attached to a plot, I guess. Which, sadly enough, Tell Me You Love Me seemed to lack. But I stuck with it. And after four episodes, storylines started to emerge within Cynthia Mort’s creation. But here’s the thing: Those storylines are really whiny.

A married couple has no intimacy and plenty of issues. A sex-crazed chick can’t commit. Another couple is obsessed with having a baby. And the shrink they’re all seeing has been messing around.

It’s all quite standard, if you ask me. Thankfully, there are some intricate emotional situations that allow for some pretty solid acting, especially by Ally Walker and Tim DeKay. But even the ensemble is uneven, and much of the total output is just sort of annoying. If HBO thinks it’s all so “real” because they follow episodes with feedback from “real” viewers, they should think again.

TALK WITH US about Tell Me You Love Me

If you do like the show — or are remotely curious — here are the players and their roles:

Tim DeKay and Ally Walker in Tell Me You Love Me:: Ally Walker
Katie, an unhappy, unfulfilled wife with two kids and a frigid husband. In the late 90s, Walker was the star of the series Profiler.

:: Tim DeKay
Dave, the frigid husband. You’ve seen him on another HBO series, Carnivale.

Adam Scott and Sonya Walger in Tell Me You Love Me:: Sonya Walger
Carolyn, baby-crazy and unable to get pregnant. She’s been in about a bajillion TV series including Lost, CSI: NY, Coupling and The Mind of the Married Man.

:: Adam Scott
Carolyn’s suffering boyfriend, Palek. He played the male nurse in Knocked Up — that’s enough of a resume for us.

:: Michelle Borth
Jaime the non-monogamous sex nut. She played a really small role in the John Holmes bio film Wonderland, which may or may not have been a good setup for this show.

:: Jane Alexander
The shrink. Alexander has been nominated for four Oscars. And she goes down on her husband in the first episode. Just thought you’d want to know.

Check out the Tell Me You Love Me Episode Guide

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  1. […] The whole “is the sex real” thing is getting tired. Boyce commented on a previous post that director Patricia Rozema stated it isn’t real. Good, we’re done with […]

  2. ally walker says:

    […] … Advent Ally Walker A Martinez AMartinez Artikel Carrington Garland Clips Dies & Das … Sex in Tell Me You Love Me… So What? :: Meet In the …UPDATE: See our most recent Tell Me You Love Me post HBO’s new series Tell Me You Love Me started […]

8 Comments


  1. Boyce, 10 years ago Reply

    The sex is simulated – the director Patricia Rozema has said so in a recent interview –

    ‘But it’s not real, it’s simulated. At one point, one of the producers was floating this idea in the trade papers that it would be real sex in the series. I immediately said, “Well, find another director, I don’t want to do that.” I wasn’t interested in that.’

    http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/rozema.html


  2. Norm Schrager, 10 years ago Reply

    - Boyce –

    Thanks for the reference. I guess I was trying to make the point that it really didn’t matter, especially with show spokespeople being shifty about “the truth”. It’s good to know, especially when those show creators or the press want to lean on the “controversy”. Let’s break it all down and see if the show is actually any good.

    And I’m glad you mentioned Patricia Rozema. The show boasts some solid film directors: Rozema (Mansfield Park), Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, “Six Feet Under”), Ernest Dickerson (“The Wire”, former Spike Lee cinematographer), Melanie Mayron (“Arliss”, The Baby-Sitters Club).

    Maybe we’ll do a post just about the directors who do dramatic HBO and Showtime programming. Thanks for the tip!

    -Norm S.


  3. Bob Andelman, 10 years ago Reply

    Michelle Borth, a star of “Tell Me You Love Me,” talks about the show in this audio interview.


  4. Norm S., 10 years ago Reply

    - Bob Andelman –

    Cool, Bob, thanks for the interview.


  5. josh, 5 years ago Reply

    So using a dildo in a porn is “Fake”?…….Sonya wagler strokes a dildo to ejaculation..and its not Softcore Porn?????

    Michelle borth Rides some Dude Balls showing and all ..Thats not teetering on the line of pornography ..

    Heres how you know your show is Porn with a plot .. It only Last’s One Short season..

    Why did writers run out of ideas ?…Because theres only so far you can go with a sexually Subjective show Before it becomes porn
    If people are getting away with stuff like this..

    We should start objectivfying Pornography..Let people like sasha grey work her way to and academy award ..You can subectify sex in movies to the extreme
    Because it becomes something else ..Like a legit Sex tape of the stars of the show


    • Gennaro, 1 month ago Reply

      Michelle Borth Rides some Dude’s ERECTED PENIS showing and all ..That’s real sex, aka pornography ..

      YOu are right: That was Porn with a plot ..

      The other scenes with other actresses used fake penises, but that one was real, plus in an interview Borth intended that she was fucking the male actor off set….
      Assuming there was no penetration on set, it would be irrational, girl’s BS, cause if that is the case (if he didn’t penetrate her while his dick was hard) it would have been only because the director instructed the guy not to penetrate her. Any woman who allows a man to rub his erected penis on her vagina (on or off camera) has no problem whatsoever in getting fucked by him; it’s never been otherwise since the beginning of human history; plus they were fucking off set, so….


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