IT’S NOT AS IF IT’S HARD to find your fill of naked flesh. There are Web sites devoted to paparazzi snaps of nipple slips and underwear-less crotches stepping out of limos. “You can watch the Playboy channel and get that,” said Mr. Star. “It’s when you put nudity together with good storytelling and actors. That’s when it suddenly becomes taboo.
“Europeans have a totally different attitude about it,” he added. “I think the fact that we haven’t seen it in this country before is why it is so shocking when we do see it.” (He added that as far as he could recall, there was little if any frontal male nudity in Sex and the City.)
Many would argue that the real drama behind Tell Me You Love Me is not the sex, but what fuels (or deadens) it in an unhappy relationship: anger, frustration, desperation, and sometimes a little bit of hate. “I don’t think I could do an honest show if we closed our eyes in what I believe are people’s most intimate and complicated and painful moments,” Ms. Mort said. “If you’re not honest there, I think that hurts all the other attempts at honesty on the show. I never wanted to shy away. I always thought it stupid, I thought it was irritating—people are too savvy and too aware, to follow cutaways and sex under a blanket. Those dissolves? They’re so old-fashioned.”
It remains to be seen how people will respond to the show. “I like any show that tries to be entertaining and truthful and honest at the same time—which is what I think they’re attempting to do,” said Mr. Star.
As for Ms. Mort, she clearly has no problems foraging into places men—and women—haven’t gone before. “There is a moment of shock,” she admitted. “But I really believe it’s less about women having to do it, or men having to do it, but more that there is no reason any longer to not show what you need to show—male or female. Guys just have to get used it. That’s just the way it is.”