like the star of Netflix’s “Uncoupled,” Neil Patrick Harris had no problem portraying physical intimacy with his co-stars. However, it was more challenging to cover up his genitals as he prepared for the show’s steamy love scenes.
“I’ll tell you what’s weird: you’re literally ass-naked, except you can’t show your genitals,” Harris told The Bharat Express News. “When you get in your trailer, there are six or seven options for things you should do around your stuff. Some have drawstrings, some have double-sided tape, some are much bigger – size-wise I don’t mind, but they’re just a giant piece of fabric – and I had no idea what to do with any of them.”
Fortunately, the Emmy- and Tony-winning actor came up with his own solution.
“It’s called the NPH – the Netflix penis holder,” he joked. “It’s kind of rubbery” [cock] ring that is attached to a stretchy flesh colored package thing that you wrap around all the gear.
That custom-designed accessory got a lot of use on the set of “Uncoupled,” which premiered last week. Created by Jeffrey Richman and Darren Star, the eight-episode series follows Michael Lawson (played by Harris), a 40-year-old New York real estate agent who plunges back into the singles scene after his boyfriend, Colin (Tuc Watkins), comes to an abrupt end. to their 17-year relationship.
With the help of his pals Billy (Emerson Brooks) and Stanley (Brooks Ashmanskas), Michael tries to navigate a dating world dominated by phone apps. He also comes to rely on his sassy co-worker, Suzanne (Tisha Campbell), and finds a kindred spirit in a cash client, Claire (Marcia Gay Harden), who is also recovering after being caught off guard by an unfaithful ex-husband.
With its affluent, cocktail-savvy characters and candid, if presented comically, tackling matters of the heart, “Uncoupled” has drawn its fair share of comparisons to another of Star’s New York-based creations, “Sex and the City.” But the writer and producer believes critics and viewers who dwell on the perceived similarities between the two shows are missing the point.
“‘Sex and the City’ was about seeing women define themselves — not with men,” he said. “It was very much a show about female empowerment. This show is about heartbreak, and that is a very universal experience. You get there through the eyes of a gay character, but the emotions are universal.”
“Uncoupled” joins a number of mainstream Hollywood efforts, including Hulu’s “Fire Island” and Billy Eichner’s upcoming “Bros,” to broaden the scope of the romcom genre to include queer characters and stories.
But the show is also being released amid a disturbing wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation in the US. After the Supreme Court ended its term in June with a number of ultra-conservative rulings, many Americans fear that LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage, may soon be reversed at the federal level.
While “Uncoupled” isn’t overtly political, Harris believes the series’ ability to “appeal to a wide range of people” has its own merits.
“Regardless of the clutch, anyone who looks at it will understand the emotions surrounding it,” he said. “We are now more than ever in a divided world, and if we can create entertainment that can be appreciated by many, I think it helps the cause in its own subjective way.”
“Uncoupled” is now streaming on Netflix. Watch the series trailer below.