Matt Passmore plays a family man in mid life crisis whose life detours into the escort business.
There are two reasons why Satisfaction is such an easy watch: star Matt Passmore and writer Sean Jablonski.
Not to be confused with the Australian series of the same name, this is a 2014 series produced for the USA Network (it has since been renewed for a second season).
Passmore, in his second series lead in the US following a successful run in The Glades, stars as Neil Truman, a money manager and father who has it all: 18 years of marriage, a 16 year old daughter, house, pool, car and attractive wife, Grace (Stephanie Szostak).
But he also works 80 hours a week playing with other people’s money and has found himself stuck in a rut, with insufficient meaning. Is that all there is? “Buddha gave it all up,” he tells one colleague.
Something snaps when he is stuck in a plane on the tarmac for 5 hours, with a snippy flight attendant and not as much as a bottle of water. Frustrated, he grabs the in-flight PA, vents at the passengers, opens the emergency door and bails. Not only does it get him into trouble with the law, it’s all over YouTube.
Yet Neil feels somehow a-l-i-v-e for the first time in ages.
Satisfaction then flashes back six months and shifts focus to Grace, equally jaded about her work, being a taxi to her daughter, and a dull sex life. She convinces her Book Club pals to a girl’s night out at a club where she meets handsome escort Simon (Blair Redford).
Worlds collide in the present when Neil comes home to find Simon banging Grace. Suddenly his perfect world is imploding with both police charges and an affair behind his back.
Fuelled by anger and anarchy, he re-evaluates everything just as opportunity presents him with an unexpected challenge: after a fight with Simon (unseen by Grace), he ends up with the escort’s phone -and clients calling him for services.
With nothing to lose, Neil trepidatiously turns instant ladies man (it’s a little unbelievable one would have cheated on one as presentable as Passmore in the first place, but I guess it happens).
Satisfaction explores fidelity, suburban life and a yearning for more. It takes clever story detours crafted by Sean Jablonski (Nip / Tuck), that make this surprisingly entertaining.
Passmore is dynamic in the lead role, eminently likeable as the man torn by moral choices that present themselves and questioning a need for depth. Stephanie Szostak deftly plays his wife, lying one moment, smiling the next while Blair Redford turns on the sexual energy.
There are moments of Satisfaction that echo The Affair and Hung, but the strength of this piece is that Passmore is building on his reputation as a broadly-appealing leading man. He makes this all worthwhile.
Satisfaction airs 8:30pm Sunday June 14 on Showcase.