2015 is coming to a close. We thought we’d get together with some of our favourite guest stars to answer some burning questions about TV this year.
1.) What TV character would you have wanted to go on a date with this year?
Kerri: Bertie from The Knick. When thinking about this question, I started realizing that most characters on TV shows that I watch are dicks. Like real deal jerks. There’s a few exceptions. I’d go on a date with Stan from Mad Men but even he was a bit of a womanizer. I couldn’t bring myself to pick Frederick Bellacourt from Another Period, he’s just too dumb, even if I think Jason Ritter is the bees knees. Abbi and/or Ilana from Broad City would be good fun but no one is getting between those two. But Bertie is a nice, sweet, smart guy and a good person and appeals to my overwhelming practicality. And, this season, he’s even a bit sexy (his little strip-tease for his new and equally delightful girlfriend, Genevieve, using only a towel and a top hat was adorable, awkward and hilarious). He might not be the most sexy choice of dates on The Knick: Thack is the bad boy, Algie is the hottie, Cleary is the funny one, Lucy is your go-to gal for kinky sex and Cornelia…well, she whispers. But, at this point, Bertie’s certainly the most sensible choice – he might be the only “normal one”, if such a thing is possible on a show like this (it’s not). I mean, he’s got the market cornered on enunciation. He’s got a good (semi-progressive) family. He’d probably take me to that weird hall of oddities/carnival that seems like the hot spot for dates this season. I’d get to drink fun old-timey cocktails. And, yeah, I’d probably end up contracting some horrible illness or scrape my knee or something and die young. But At least we’d have those cocktails. And that top hat.
Mike: Who would I date from this year’s slate of TV shows? I’d like to try dating Jessica Jones. Sure she’s a super-hero, but in the dating world…if you’re gonna aim…why not aim high?
What I like about her is that she’s the kind of woman you could call at 1 AM (you know she’ll still be awake) and go out for late night ramen. Our conversations would be filled with film noir nihilism and fashionable irony. Awesome! She loves hard liquor. Another selling point. And she knows all the great divey bars! And not the dangerous, take your life into your own hands kind…but the safe, hipster kind. Not to mention, she’ll have a great taste in music – Patti Smith, Velvet Underground…anything with self-destructive chic.
Maybe we’ll go bowling one night and – well…maybe not such a good idea. She’d probably turn the pins into dust with her super strength throws. We could never go back. And when I take her to meet my parents, she’d probably be on her best behavior. But when the family games come out, like Yahtzee or Connect Four, her eye rolls and gentle sarcasm will scream, “I’d rather not be here”. In the area of romance and physical intimacy, I’m sure she’d be amazing…but might possibly put me into the hospital. Hmmm…
On second thought, I don’t want to date Jessica Jones. I’ll ask out someone drama-free and uncomplicated. Like Carrie Mathison from Homeland.
Graeme: If you wanted to have the ultimate night out then it would have to be with Pierre from Danger 5. He’s the epitome of cool, lives to party and makes all the perfect cocktails.
Jane: Boyd Crowder because:
Katie: Lincoln from Broad City and Hannibal Buress in general. He’s so chill! He laughs at everything!
Raph: Judy Greer as Lina Bowman from the FX show Married. She’s a very tired mother who is very understanding of her goofball husband. I would like to be her goofball adulterer.
2.) What was the best gift given on TV this year (or of all time)?
Kerri: Paro the robotic seal on the “Old People” episode of Master of None. I mean, who wouldn’t want this little guy?
Graeme: While I’m not a fan of Seth Meyers’ extremely safe, boring, utterly forgettable, MOR take on the Late Night franchise, I will say this sweet present from Nathan Fielder really sets the tone for their interview.
Raph: The best gift ever in TV history begins and ends with the Sesame Street Christmas Spectacular. Where at Hooper’s store (which is also apparently some sort of pawn shop and barter barn), Ernie trades his Rubber Duckie for a cigar box to give to Bert so he can store his paper clip collection; and Bert sells his paper clip collection for a soap dish to store Ernie’s rubber duckie. Mr. Hooper, realizing what is happening, (and being a terrible store keeper) returns Rubber Duckie and the paper clip collection to Ernie and Bert in the spirit of Christmas.
3.) Who was your favourite TV family this year?
Kerri: What happened with the Jennings’ family dynamics on The Americans this season, especially in relation to Paige, was smart and moved the story forward in a way that I didn’t see coming. The Pfeffermans on Transparent are selfish and nasty but also unwaveringly loyal and loving in a way that feels real, if sometimes hard to take. But for my money, no other family feels as precise as The Belchers from Bob’s Burgers. There’s just something about Linda’s ability to turn everything into a Broadway show tune, or Gene’s blue humour, or Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction, or Louise’s mastery of manipulation, or Bob’s overall exasperation that feels very much like a family I’ve known in real life.
Graeme: I certainly enjoyed the Shive-Overly family in the You’re the Worst episode where Jimmy’s family comes to visit. They fly all the way from London to L.A. just to spend the week sitting in his living room, drinking lager and watching the EuroVision Song Contest. When Gretchen takes his older sisters to an American supermarket, an existential crisis occurs due to its dramatic superiority to Tesco.
Jane: The Bravermans. Carrie Raisler of the AV Club provided this great observation of Parenthood, “life is just a bunch of stuff, held together by the family you share it with.” The Braverman’s aren’t perfect but they are good people who I loved spending time with. I’m so grateful that the show and those characters exist.
Katie: The Huangs from Fresh Off The Boat. I started watching Fresh Off the Boat after having seen one of its writers, Ali Wong, perform stand up. During her set I laughed so hard that I started weeping and couldn’t stop. I figured, if she writes for a TV show, that TV show must be worth watching.
Raph: I love the family on The Americans, The Jennings. The stereotypical nuclear family or that’s what those Commies want us to believe. For a mom and dad team who have full-time jobs as travel agents as cover that they are also full-time Soviet spies, they sure do cook a lot. I mean elaborate big family meals on a nightly basis. You’d expect there would be some pizza or frozen chicken nuggets in there somewhere but no. Family meals from scratch are not sacrificed for murder and espionage.
Stay tuned for Part 2…