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Uncoupled creator says it’s about a ‘universal experience’ not gay characters

Darren Star also brought us 90210 and Younger.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Netflix

The creator behind Netflix’s Uncoupled, Darren Star, has said he doesn’t think it’s a show about gay characters, it’s a show about “characters who happen to be gay” living universal experiences. 

Uncoupled stars Neil Patrick Harris as 40-something Michael who is unceremoniously dumped by his boyfriend of 17-year, Colin (Tuck Watkins), and left to reconnect with himself while also being introduced to the world of dating in 2022. 

Speaking to GQ recently, Star, who is gay himself, said the show was made of “lived experiences, from all the writers on the show”. 

On this point, he continues: “It’s a show about carrying a lot of pain and weight of a long-term relationship, and how meaningful and significant that relationship is to him.

“And for anyone that’s been in a relationship for 15 years or longer, you know that you’re not going to suddenly, the next day, wake up and run out and be single again. Even at the best of times, you’re going to be carrying a lot of the pain of that breakup around. This show deals with that through the first season.”

While you’ll find no spoilers here, the way the first season ends leaves it wide open for future seasons further down the line. On several occasions, Star teases in his interview with GQ that more seasons are indeed coming our way.

Left to Right: André De Shields, Dan Amboyer, Neil Patrick Harris, Emerson Brooks, Colin Hanlon, and Jai Rodriguez (Photo: Netflix)

Asked about the queer characters and whether the storylines are ones the 90210 and Younger creator has held back previously Star clarifies that’s not the case. 

“To me, this show is about characters who happen to be gay, who are living a very universal experience. You didn’t have to be a single woman in New York to relate to the characters of Sex And The City and what they were going through. You could be a gay man and relate to those characters.”

The same, Darren goes on to say can be said of his protagonist, Michael. “It happens to be told through the point of view of a gay man who breaks up.” 

He then points to the parallels between Michael’s journey on the show with that of his client, Claire played by the incomparable Marcia Gay Harden.

“That’s a big reason why we wanted a character like Claire in there, but also just to widen out the world — I mean, not to make it just solely about gay men.”

“I wanted to draw that parallel,” he also says, “but also be able to tell somebody else’s story because breakups are just— they’re universal.”

Uncoupled is available to stream on Netflix now.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.