This is the first TV show I’m reviewing, because I haven’t seen any movies I want to write about recently and I’m feeling depressed and I want to feel productive but I don’t want to work out.
So here we are!
I just finished watching this show and I have to say I loved it so much. That’s not to say it was without flaws, but I was impressed by a lot of it.
-I really liked the Parents episode. The juxtaposition of the background stories for both his and Brian’s dads, next to their son’s unwillingness to do even the simplest tasks for them should they prove even a minor inconvenience was very funny and smart.
-I liked their (Dev and Rachel’s) relationship arch, they were both cool at times and unappealing at times, which felt realistic. I liked that he disappointed her about the flight back from Nashville because she got to be agitated and it reminded me of myself (how did she resist saying “I TOLD you” a zillion times?)
-His whole squad is amazing, even though the first couple of group shots felt like people reading a script. They definitely loosened up and got more comfortable (or I just got used to their dynamic) and the scene in Nashville where they’re all watching Sherlock was real a treat.
-I like how people are portrayed outside of their cultural roles; I liked that in Plan B the mom was truly a cool mom and not in an Amy Poehler in Mean Girls kind of way, but in a real way. Also I liked how Grandma Carol had opinions and personality although I will say there are a lot of old people who aren’t as with it as her, but I see the point he’s making about how we as a society kind of just write them off.
-I liked Paro. Where do they sell those seals?
-Arnold’s character is a gem. I like his vibe and his dialogue probably the most of anyone on the show that isn’t Dev.
-The Indians on TV episode was gold through and through, from the themes to the Busta cameo. A+
-I liked that the two times Dev tried to “do the right thing” in show business it ended up screwing him over. In the Indians on TV ep, when he took a stand to not do the accent, and in Ladies and Gentlemen when he told the director the setup was antiquated and he got fired from the commercial. I think that’s a not so subtle assertion about the nature of most businesses (especially that one) that we don’t live in a perfect after school special world and oftentimes you have to chose between your ethics and personal gain. OR that often there are sacrifices you make to uphold your own principles.
-In general I liked that the show did not shy away from disappointment. I liked that they devoted so much time to The Sickening, (multiple episodes, was a “turning point” in Dev’s career), only to have him get cut out of the whole thing. THEN even when Brian was trying to point out some good that could still come of it, they wrote in that those things didn’t really hold water. I think it’s valuable to have something bad happen but not to write in a “bright side.” Sometimes, things just suck for no reason and they just do. There isn’t a lesson to be learned, it isn’t really a blessing in disguise, etc. I’m not saying it never is, but I appreciate the nod that these situations exist and they’re something most people will encounter and have to deal with and there isn’t some enlightening viewpoint or parable to discover that makes everything all better.
-The jokes/nicknamification/lingo (especially with Arnold) is dynamite. I really like the way the dialogue is written, the jokes are quick and clever without seeming too scripted or wooden, and it’s still mostly very funny and/or cute, whatever they’re going for in that moment.
-I thought his mom was a terrible actress and clearly uncomfortable on camera, but his dad MORE than made up for it and really carried those scenes. It’s also adorable that it’s really his mom.
-The episode Ladies and Gentlemen was well-intentioned but a little explain-y and too generalized. Maybe this is just because I’m heavily immersed in internet culture but the “men tell women to smile” thing I’ve heard a zillion times. It doesn’t make it less true, but there were some parts of that episode that I had never heard someone articulate on TV (or almost anywhere) and it made me wish the whole thing was like that.
-Alice (jacket stealer) was a LITTLE too crazy-I would have loved it if it was a little more balanced so that we were questioning Dev’s decision to leave her a little more. I wish that had been just an ounce more complicated.
-Similarly, I wanted the cheating plot line with Claire Danes to be a LITTLE messier- I get it that people get back together/make up and there are people who are level headed and deal with those things rationally, but that was a little too much of a tied bow ending for me.
-One of my only ongoing criticisms (episode to episode) was how much money does everyone have?? Like, he can just buy plane tickets whenever he wants/an Italian meal for Grandma Carol/ALL the waffles?? Maybe a later episode will cover this but no one ever discussed money which is just as real a road bump as all this interpersonal stuff. I just wanted to hear it because I think it would be interesting and beneficial to everyone.
-The audition scene in the coffee shop just made me uncomfortable but that’s because I was imagining myself doing it and I would hate that.
-I had mixed feelings about his agent, I’m curious if she’s going to be in the second season more- I hope so, otherwise it seemed they just had her in there to say “As a black woman I’ve had it harder than you” and be out. It didn’t seem like that, but we shall see. I did like the phrase Schwimmer money though. I hope we see her more/she gets more developed.
-Did not like Todd Barry, probably because I don’t like Todd Barry.
I guess that was it, I’ll add more as it comes to me. 8/10 Paro’s, would masturbate again