Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"What am I, a heroin addict? How am I supposed to sleep in a chair?": My Boys

When we left our boys (groan) last season, P.J. and Brendan had just shared an unexpected kiss, Mike had just lost his job, and Andy had just moved to the suburbs. Season two picks up six months later and there are even more changes afoot, as Bobby has a new job covering NASCAR, Kenny has a new girlfriend, and so does Brendan...but it's not P.J..

In flashback we learn the aftermath of P.J. and Brendan's kiss and it wasn't pleasant, as P.J. made an excuse to immediately run out the door and Brendan didn't take that rejection well. He took it so badly, in fact, he finally moved out of her apartment and started dating a new girl, Colleen. You see, P.J. is afraid of ruining their friendship. We've heard this song before, so I will move on. P.J. and Brendan have reached a shaky truce, but it all goes to hell when Brendan invites Colleen to their fantasy baseball draft and starts complaining that Colleen is bored. Dude, Brendan. That is totally unacceptable! As P.J. pointed out, you don't bring a date to the draft! Brendan takes offense to her objection that Colleen is there, and it leads to a huge fight where he accuses her of hating all of his girlfriends because she can't stand being the center of female attention in their group. Ouch. Brendan 1, P.J. 0. They make up, however, and Brendan finally moves back into the apartment.

The second episode revolved around P.J.'s appearance on a local sports show (hosted by Javier from Felicity!), the kind of horrible sports show that makes Around the Horn look sane and tame in comparison. P.J. completely chokes, spitting out catchphrases like "And with that you get egg roll!" and "He puts the lotion in the freaking basket." It's no boom goes the dynamite, but it's pretty close. The boys break it to P.J. that she was terrible, and she takes it rather well. Until she finds out about YouTube, that is.

The B-story of the first two episodes is about Kenny's girlfriend, who just happens to be a 7 month pregnant, drinking, crude surrogate mother. Kenny gets a bit too attached to the baby they will not be keeping, and gets dumped. I am only mentioning this storyline because it features an awesome cameo by Jack McBrayer (aka Kenneth on 30 Rock). I talked to him once and he called me "ma'am," which was pretty much the best thing ever. Kenneth rocks.

Speaking as a girl who loves sports and feels more comfortable in a sports bar drinking beer and yelling at the TV screen than in a fancy club sipping froufrou drinks and trolling for men, I completely relate to this show, and more specifically to P.J. as a character. The fact that she's a sports nut defines who she is and who her friends are, and it's realistic to see that all of the pressure she feels as a female in a male-dominated world comes from outside her inner circle of friends, because they respect her opinions and even defer to them. (It's those jokers who don't know you who look at you like you just spoke Klingon when you rattle off Tom Brady's season-to-date stats or something. Jerks.) Jordana Spiro does a great job toeing the line between a guy's girl and just plain girl, and her comic timing has improved immensely. Also, she's smoking hot which doesn't hurt.

As for her boys (groan again, sorry) Jim Gaffigan steals the show as P.J.'s married brother. He consistently gets the best lines, but also elevates even the most mediocre material into something resembling hilarity. By now, I should really be sick of his "I'm married, therefore I'm trapped" shtick but let's face it, I'm just not. (It doesn't hurt that we found out last season his wife was actually awesome and he only pretends to be burdened by her.) When a character calls his wife and gives her a hilariously over the top impersonation of a drunk in order to stay out longer with the guys, and then actually gets drunk because he "loves his wife and doesn't want to lie to her," I just can't not be on board with that. Especially when it's someone as funny as Jim Gaffigan who is doing it.

The other boys in the gang are sufficiently unique and all add their own flavor to the mix. The only one who is still a bit of a mystery is Brendan. All we know about him is that he works at a radio station and loves music, and has an endless supply of annoying band t-shirts. He's definitely "the hot one," but if we are supposed to get on board with an eventual P.J./Brendan relationship, he needs to be developed just a bit more.

I'm not sure this is the best comedy on TV, but the characters are likable and feel like people you would want to be friends with, the situations are relatable, the actors are almost universally spot-on, and there are a few laugh out loud moments in each episode. That's a lot more than can be said about former comedy golden boy Entourage these days, that's for damn sure. If only they would get rid of that horrid "Carrie Bradshaw in a sweaty locker room" voiceover, then we might be getting somewhere.


Bianca Reagan said...

Jim Gaffigan is so good. I was worried for a moment when Kyle Howard was transferred to NASCAR. I thought he wouldn't be on the show. More Nicole Sullivan, please.

Sazbo said...

You forgot to mention how much baseball sucks.

Carrie said...

Sazbo, I thought that was obvious and therefore not worth mentioning. ;)

tiff said...

Love PJ! And well, when it comes to sharing an apartment with Brenda, I kinda want to be her.

Nea said...

I watched this show for the first time the other night. I liked it more than I thought I would.