A Look at USA Network’s ‘Satisfaction’

07adco6-superJumboI’ve been seeing ads for USA Network’s new summer drama ‘Satisfaction’ the past few weeks. I was skeptical, so rather than be presumptuous, I dove in and watched the first two episodes this weekend on Hulu.

I’m now anxiously awaiting this week’s third episode. And not because there was a dramatic cliffhanger. Because this show is (at least so far) approaching these timely, necessary, and – yes – candid topics in a new way, both on and off screen.

‘Satisfaction’ focuses on just this one couple. Sure, there are other key players. But rather than have multiple story lines at once crossing over a number of couples (think ‘Modern Family’), or play into exhausted stereotypes (the wife with no sex drive, the woe is me/I’m a victim stay-at-home mom, the father/husband that can’t let go of his sports and partying filled college days, etc.), ‘Satisfaction’ puts its energy into uncovering every facet of the journey these two people are on. A journey all too familiar to couples everywhere that have followed life’s traditional path.

USA Network describes the series as:

A provocative drama that explores modern marriage at its midpoint. Through the lens of one couple, Neil Truman and his wife, Grace, this series answers the question, “What do you do when having it all is not enough?” by delving into their shocking and unconventional choices.

We discuss this midpoint (or “middle”) here,  but it’s refreshing to see a television show take on this topic so candidly.


In the second episode (no spoiler alert), Neil is talking to someone who points out, “I think you’re a regular guy that went insane for a few decades. Marriage? Monogamy? That’s not who we are.”

I don’t point this out as a vote against marriage, or monogamy. Rather, as a vote for revisiting what our expectations and approach perhaps should be, in light of decades of failed marriages at a rate of nearly one in every two.

To that end, ‘Satisfaction’ is doing more than bringing us just a drama. It appears they, too, are looking to change the conversation.

satisfaction_modernlove_survey_10They commissioned a national study among Gen X and Gen Yers “to uncover provocative insights on modern day romance.” I’m sure their legal department had them include “provocative” as the results reflect these insights are actually opinions held by a strong minority, or majority of us. Here’s one of my favorites:

The show’s homepage has an active blog, has started the hashtag #AreYouSatisfied, and had Jenny McCarthy moderate a “Candid Conversation” at their premier screening.

Towards the end of the second episode Neil tells someone, “If we’re going to get into a long-term relationship, you need to know that I will always be honest with you, even if gets uncomfortable.”

So far, it’s looking an awful lot like a #CandidUprising to us! Tune in Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network, or catch it on Hulu next weekend, then let us know your thoughts.

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