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Satisfaction Review: Finding a New Rhythm

by at .  Updated at . Comments

A security breach at Neil's office caused a cavalcade of interesting circumstances, but not the ones I was expecting. 

As soon as it happened, I thought for sure someone would read a text or see an email or some trace of Neil's double life. After all he never knew he had a tail taking photographic evidence on his date with Jennifer in Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 4.

But Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 5 was instead about finding your footing again even when the rhythm is off. At least for Neil and Grace. For Adriana, it was more about skipping a beat.

I know I rave each week about how intelligently this show is written, but it's stepping up its game rather than losing ground as the season progresses. This still isn't a show about affairs, but about the emotions that drive them and the changes in life that make you rethink who you are.

We're born solitary, and even though we can pick a partner for life, the growth we encounter together still affects us individually. I think that's what Neil and Grace have run into. Somewhere along the way they started going through the motions and lost sight of their combined path as a couple. The journey of Satisfaction is in determining if it they can correct course.

The dance instructor sure had wise words, didn't he? "It happens," he tells them," you get out of sync, loose each other's rhythm." He then tore them apart because he has discovered it's easier to find it again when you practice with new partners. Isn't that exactly what Neil and Grace are doing with their extracurricular activities?

I don't think I'm crazy when I suggest that Adriana has fallen for Neil. I don't know if it's because he isn't available (she doesn't seem the type who has to ask) or because he really is the the kind of guy that gets under your skin -- even if you're a pro.

Adriana: I know what you're looking for. A connection. You can find that in so many places, Neil. See?
Neil: What you're feeling is my phone.

Either way, I like it. It adds a delicious dimension to Adriana that was missing. She's not the cool cucumber any longer, but letting her emotions influence her decisions. She wants to know what Grace has that she doesn't. Why is Neil so hell bent on reclaiming what he had with his wife when he can sample many others? After all, Adriana doesn't consider herself clingy.

Adriana: I guess I'm not the kind of person who finds value in holding onto something after it's been used.
Simon: If something's good, why not enjoy it more than once?
Adriana: Because you miss out what's great when you settle for good.

That exchange between Simon and Adriana was also telling, as was Simon's question to Grace in the flashback, "If you're so happy when you're here, why am I the mistake?" The two professionals, who do their work for different reasons, are jealous of what Grace and Neil share, or what they did and likely will again.

It's absolutely fascinating to watch all of these characters grapple with feelings they are so unused to experiencing. At first I thought Michael Vartan's Dylan might be another fly in the ointment of the Truman's marriage, but instead his introduction gave Grace a different perspective of herself and that really worked. She really is so lovely, and yet (for lack of a better phrase) she's lost that loving feeling.

The disconnect between Neil and Grace has been jarring to them both, and they're being shaken into perspective. I still don't like that Neil has information on Grace that she doesn't have on him. I kind of wish they would level the playing field just a bit, but she did start matters -- in their own home no less.

Any other husband might have ripped the rug out from under Grace and her affair, but Neil continues to take setbacks and turn them into successful schemes to help him win back the woman he once loved, and who he still finds damned attractive standing across from him, lying next to him and everywhere else.

I also have no idea where they're going to go with the "happy app" idea, but I really liked that Neil took note of what made the man at work happy. He's using everything he's learning through this adventure with Grace and it's changing his entire life. I think it's up to USA Network to make good on this app. 

It's your turn! Do you agree or disagree with my assessment of things in the Truman marriage? I'm sorry I didn't hit on Anika, but something tells me there will be more to this part of her story soon, so I'm not worried about missing her this week. I really want to hear what you have to say! Don't forget, you can always watch Satisfaction online via TV Fanatic if you want more (and who doesn't?)!

Here's the poll question -- don't just stop at an answer. Use the comments to explain your reasoning!

Which character most fascinates you?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I voted for Grace because she is an interesting character and we have no clue what she really thinks she's doing right now, while we pretty much know how we stand with Neil. I love this show and reading your reviews is just a wonderful addition. Yes it's clever and well done and no to all comments below pointing to the fact that it's merely about cheating and sex. It's much much more, and I feel sorry for those of you who don't get it.

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Oh, I didn't get when you said Grace started everything "in their own home no less". Didn't she meet Simon in a bar and then went to his house? She also got angry when she thought he went to her home, but it was the photographer.

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@ Jojobobo

no it was a realistate property she was showing part time, where Neil showed up to surprise her at the job and saw her with Simon.

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@ pollyho

That's were Neil caught them. But the first time Grace bicycled to Simon's house right after her Bar Fight.

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@ Jojobobo

Your correct. The affair started 6 months ago, at Simons apartment. I clearly see the photographer as another flu in the oniment. He clearly was flirting with her this week, and next week, she's striping for him at a photo shoot. After watching the episode once again, I have to disagree with you Carissa, this is a series about cheating. We have seen it every episode up till now, and it appears we will see it again next week. I am beginning to think you and I are giving the writers alot more credit then they deserve. With next week's promo , it's really starting to come off as just another salacious sex series, with a touch of human insight thrown in, to keep it save for tv . But I will keep watching and I will definitely check your reviews, every week.

Modwild
@ reality adictt

I stayed on Twitter on Thursday for the session with the creator and Matt Passmore. It's not a series about cheating, but that is the vehicle used to get us to think about the ideas they're tossing around. I also don't think Grace is doing something nasty with the photographer but rather that he's doing a piece with many people using the nude form as expression. Of course, Watching the show next week is the only way to know for sure!

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@ Carissa Pavlica

This is why I enjoy the reviews and comments that you offer up on episodes that I also watch. TVF is truly lucky to have you on board. I tend to be a bit impatient, shallow minded, if you will and seeing things in black and white, where you have a lot more insight and deeper thought process then I. You rock.
So ,if the series isn't based on cheating spouses, then why are we still subjected to sexual affairs every week? Even the promos, are referring to Fifty Shades, while not about cheating, is yet another reference to beyond normal sexual activities. Again, I think that the extramarital sex every episode, is overkill. Six episodes in of what maybe 12 is enough to get the point across of what a semi happily married couple will have to deal with when infidelity becomes along.
As for Grace, I don't think I used the word nasty, but my point is, that we are seeing the glimmer in her eyes and actions, when Neil surprises her ,with his new found attempts to make her feel better about herself and the marriage .it's just that she's so quickly, dismissing those moments, and running back to Simon, or in the case of the photographer, clearly flirting, and, call it what you will , stripping naked, to supposedly help her find the parts of her she lost before becoming a wife and mother. I see this , even if it is just a expression of art, as just another sign that she doesn't want to be married, but free to do as she pleases, with out judgements. Still thinking that photographer will go further than just art shoot.
Plain and simple Carissa, don't you think they could stop with all the extramarital sex, and focus on the repairing of this marriage? Do you think it's beginning to take A insightful great story line, and just drawing in viewers for the sex? Ratings dropping each episode.
Your great! And I need a life.

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I tend to agree with both of you. "Reality Addicted" is correct that even though Grace is now getting the attention from Neil which drove her to Simon. She is delving deeper into the abyss. Simon did tell Neil "maybe too little too late". I do understand that the show has to be a little unrealistic to keep the story alive. However, in the upcoming trailer, Grace is seen to be joining an Orgy with her sister. OK? That was, her sister standing next to her? Then the photographer is back taking pictures. Does she really want pictures of her naked, at an Orgy, for her Corporate Clients and or daughter to see?? Didn't Neil get rid of any Video evidence? I'm just afraid that they will go down the "Nip Tuck " road where they solved nothing and everyone ended up unhappy or messed up. Plus Neil is upset that Grace went back to Simon. But, he doesn't wonder why he keeps going back to Adrianna?
Grace was truly wrong because she started the infidelity but at this point Neil has caught up to her.

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@ Jojobobo

Your right that Neil is now making some poor choices, with the 3 escort dates, and justifying it with, he's trying to understand what Grace needs, by no means makes it any better than what Grace is doing. Grace on the other hand, is not just having sex but is now emotional invested in Simon, and appears to be headed for another adventure with the photographer. As Carissa said earlier, this is becoming more of a fantastical show, and much farther away from reality. I mean come on, next week, it appears that Adriana seduces both Neil and Grace. Unless this is the moment, were they both discover the truth, it's just too far over the top.

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Well I have to say Carissa, you have shown a lot more insight and patience for these two, especially Grace, then I. You could probably just copy and paste my comments from episode 1 right thru last night's episode. I do see that Grace is starting to see and on a slight scale, enjoying what Neil is attempting to do for what is left of their marriage. I , however still think her emotional connection to Simon, is still over the top, to the point she's still daydreaming about their dates. I didn't see any money exchange or mention of payment, for her last visit. Neil on the other hand, was clearly crushed, as he took inventory of Simons apartment. I actually thought he was going to finally confront her about everything, at dance lessons, but he was once again able to reel in his emotions, for what he sees as the better choice, to save his marriage, which is making his character, almost unbelievable, and completely unrealistic. Now it looks like the photographer, may also end up as yet another one of Graces questionable choices. Neil is by no means being a saint, with his 3 dates for hire, and what appears to be a romp with Adriana next week, but from my perspective, Neil has been doing all of this to try to figure out who he is and more importantly how to make Grace happy. I see Grace, only thinking about herself. I am happy to see her start working and discovering that talented woman that she's kinda of pushed aside since her marriage, but I don't see anything from her, in regards to all her extramarital sex, and I think it will also involves the photographer and Adriana, that supports her working on her marriage, or even guilt for that matter. The way this is going, this marriage will not make it once the secrets are revealed or they stay married, and join the Swinger Society.
I still will continue to watch, but the whole thing is becoming a little too unbelievable. Just hope that Neil is the one that finally exposes everything to Grace.
Sorry, one more thing, that maybe better for a round table discussion, but given the preview for next week, as ridiculous as I find Neil and Grace sharing the same sex partner, wondering if Neil will catch Adriana with Grace, and the secrets will finally come out or maybe Adriana set the whole thing up to show them both something. The pimp becomes marriage consultant.

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Modwild
@ reality adictt

The way I look at it is that if the story were realistic, we wouldn't have the opportunity to look at some truly interesting aspects of relationships. In real life, insecurity or fear would keep Neil from behaving as he does, but by being unrealistic, we're able to dig into the human psyche a bit. A lot of what you feel about Grace could be different if she was given some of the information Neil has, but then he wouldn't have the unique perspective that's driving his character to do all of this deep thinking. It's a conundrum. Keep it real or fantastical? I vote for the latter because of the amazing insight we can get when we don't let our human foibles taint our decisions.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

This is why I always enjoy your thoughts and perspectives, in your reviews. I have yet to find anyone in my circle of friends, that watch Satisfaction, so here is the only place I can discuss and share my opinions about the show. Thank you.
Now I am not the deep thinker as yourself, which probably causes me to see this in a more simple, maybe a little unimaginable lite.I see insecurity and fear driving Neil to make the decisions and actions now, in a desperate attempt to save his marriage. In reality, I think it would have more, hurt, feeling of betrayal, and anger, which would have caused him to confront Grace immediately. As for Grace, she has all of the information, except that Neil knows . She has been carrying on this affair for 6 months, and I don't believe Neil is aware of how long it's been going on. She appears to be considering yet another man's advances, Neil doesn't know about. She seems to be seeing the changes in Neil regarding her feelings, desires, and her drive to get back what she gave up . But still she runs back to her lover. I've seen those romantic moments, when it looks like they may connect on a physical nature, but it just doesn't seem to happen. Shoot it looks like she may have gifted Simon, the book of zen that she knows Neil is practicing. Does she know that Neil has been on 3 escort dates, in an attempt to try to figure out what she's feeling? No.Does she know that Neil knows that she's still carrying on an emotional affair? No but that just makes her look even more resolved to destroy the marriage, given what she's seen from Neil lately. Kinda cold inside in regards to respect of her marriage, and more importantly Neil and her family. I have to admit that your right. I need to start looking at this as more fantasy, then reality. Thank you, because this show drives me nuts.

Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Adriana: I know what you're looking for. A connection. You can find that in so many places, Neil. See?
Neil: What you're feeling is my phone.

Neil: I will say. The dancing left an impression. On me, anyway.
Adriana: The dancing. Really. Why?
Neil: It took me back. Made me remember.

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