Stream it or skip it?

As any married person will tell you, the institution of marriage is full of ups and downs, and the idea of ​​a lifelong commitment is tested by those ups and downs. This is probably why many shows that focus on the institution focus on the most trying aspects rather than the couples who are more in love now than they were when they got married. This is certainly the subject of a new Netflix series from Portugal. But there is more than that. Read on to find out more.

Opening shot: A man proposes to a woman, who rejects him because it’s way too soon. She goes to the beach to swim and camp. The next morning, a handsome man is camping right next to her. Then his fantasy redoubles when his friend comes out of the waves after spearfishing.

The essential: Some time later, we see the three of them making a video as part of pre-wedding preparation – one of the men is called the “best man”, but it’s just ceremonial. Interviewing them is Rita Paixão (Madalena Almeida); his mother Vanessa (Rita Loureiro), who is in charge of the family wedding planning business, is at the gynecologist having a hot flash. She receives an estrogen test and the doctor warns her that she might experience some vaginal dryness.

When she goes to get her car from the store, Vanessa fantasizes that the employees are all flirting with her and that the owner says that everything wrong with the car is related to her menopausal symptoms. She then has dinner with Vasco (Albano Jerónimo), the father of the groom from the group whose wedding she is preparing. They’ve known each other since college, when they could have gotten together, but the two thought better of it. She tells him that their business is not going well because an increasing number of people are getting divorced. In fact, she and Rita are going to attend a divorce party planning conference.

Daniel (Dinarte Branco), photographer, is awakened in his studio by his son Marco (Diogo Martins). His business has also been on the rocks lately; he also feels dissatisfied with the inevitable wedding and party jobs as he wishes his more artistic endeavors more exposure. He is supposed to meet his friend Vasco in his gallery, thinking he wants to exhibit his pictures as part of an exhibition, but Vasco just wants him to photograph the vernissage. He then visits his parents’ estate; he rents the family villa from them, and his mother coldly tells him that the rent is rising to a level he cannot afford. He has a rash on his eye from stress.

It’s only after Daniel shoots the art exhibit — arriving right after Vanessa leaves in the middle of a particularly stressful fantasy — that we see that Daniel and Vanessa are married. They go to dinner to celebrate 30 years since they first slept together, and things don’t go well, especially when Daniel shows Vanessa a photo of her he took when they were in college. . It just reminded him of the woman who “always believed in happy endings.” At the couple’s wedding, Vanessa asks Daniel for a divorce.

Until life do us part
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

What shows will this remind you of? Until life do us part is not so different from Kinshipexcept the fact that Kinship looks like a love party in comparison.

Our opinion : The shape of Until life do us part showcases the struggle of the Paixãos through the different types of couples (or triads) who will use their wedding planning business. It’s the blush of new love and the hope of being happily ever after filtered through the inevitable changes that longtime couples go through. That’s a big part of the appeal of this show.

Yes, there are complications in this story, mainly the presence of Vasco, who was friends with Vanessa and Daniel in middle school. While it seems Daniel “won” Vanessa’s heart in the love triangle that developed between the three of them, that dynamic never left the relationship the three of them had. And while Daniel is depressed by his family controlling the purse strings and the idea that he still has to make a living filming weddings, Vasco has an art gallery, young girlfriends and tons of cash. . All these factors influence Vanessa’s life in the future.

But there are also their children, Rita and Marco, and the parents of Vanessa Joaquim (José Peixoto) and Luisa (Henriqueta Maia), who will all be in their phases of finding and/or maintaining love and relationships. So there’s a lot of territory to cover, and we liked that Manuel Pereza and the show’s producers decided to introduce us to the family in a way where their individual stories come out before it’s all woven together à la end of the first episode.

This happened differently than getting information piecemeal, as some shows like to do. Here we are shown what happens in the lives of the main characters before the complicating factor that they are part of one family all living in the same villa is revealed. It helped us understand what Vanessa and Daniel go through before seeing them as a couple, a couple who have gone through their decades together so much that they have inevitably changed, and so has the nature of their relationship.

We can’t wait to watch Daniel and Vanessa try to figure out if time apart is useful or not, while we watch the rest of the family work through their own dramas, all with the various weddings the family has to plan. the backdrop.

Sex and skin: Nothing more than a bare back here and there.

Farewell shot: As the group walks away, Vanessa hugs Daniel and says, “I think I want a divorce.”

Sleeping Star: We loved Madalena Almeida as Rita, who only seems slightly embarrassed when Vanessa tells her about “the fallopian tubes that made you perfect” and how they don’t work anymore.

The most pilot line: The bouncers at the club where Daniel has a photo assignment constantly talk about the bouncer’s living arrangement with his girlfriend. It’s supposed to be a funny gag, but it’s just entertaining.

Our call: SPREAD IT. Due to the attractive performances of Loureiro and Branco, Until life do us part hits the right emotional notes, even if the series starts off as a bit depressing.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he’s not fooling himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.



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