Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Boys, "The Boyfriend Hat": The greatest bar in the world

Quick spoilers for last night's "My Boys" coming up just as soon as I choose a name for my club...

I'm usually wary whenever "My Boys" tells a story about PJ's job, because she always comes across as amazingly naive about her own profession, despite being a beat reporter (and now columnist) for one of the bigger newspapers in the country(*), covering one of the most popular teams in baseball. Those stories always tend to ruin the illusion the show has created about PJ the cosmopolitan sportswriter in the same way the "Studio 60" sketches always ruined the illusion that we were watching a great comedy show. But "The Boyfriend Hat" didn't trouble me much, even though it somehow hadn't occurred to PJ that her looks might have played a role in the promotion, and even though PJ had to once again turn to Jack Briscoe to ask him to explain her career to her.

(*) This episode, of course, took place in an alternate universe -- or a time bubble -- where newspapers aren't in danger of extinction and where most reporters' first, second, and third concern isn't their continued employment. But I'm okay with that. The real world of newspapers is depressing enough without bringing it into one of my favorite bits of pure sitcom escapism.

"The Boyfriend Hat" worked for me more than most PJ work stories because PJ for the most part did seem dialed in, and because the story's focus was less on her own conflict than it was on Bobby struggling to wear the titular hat, with typically hilarious advice from Andy. (Gaffigan, as always, gets all the best lines, like, "Everyone knows what men want: a nap.") And I thought Jack's explanation -- that the Sun-Times passed on hiring an even hotter woman, which means they must really like PJ's writing -- was both surprising and funny.

The story was also interesting because it created, even temporarily, some real tension between PJ and Mike. They've toned down Mike just enough this season that they could use him in a (relatively) dramatic scene like the one where he compared her to a boxing kangaroo -- while still being able to tell jokes about him carrying a beeper(**) -- and it's interesting to see occasional moments where things aren't all light and banter-y for the gang.

(**) Do you think he got the thing as a hand-me-down from Avon Barksdale's crew on "The Wire," or from Liz Lemon's ex-boyfriend Dennis?

Another good episode, including Kenny's vastly different experience at the beer commercial bar. What did everybody else think?

11 comments:

Claire said...

"This feels dumb."

Hands down the best line of the night. I love Andy.

olucy said...

"The boyfriend hat?"
"Well, it's more of a helmet, really..."

I love this show. I'm new to it, happened onto it by accident while channel surfing the week before S3 started. There were a couple S2 reruns, and I was hooked. Am now 'flixing S1. I look forward to spending time with these people every week. This show is low key and yet genuinely funny.

Henry said...

I immediately thought of Dennis from 30 Rock when the guys mentioned that Mike had his pager.

Jim Gaffigan does get most of the best lines in the episode. Shame I can't remember any of them right now.

amy said...

Question, did I miss a joke or comment about what happened to Mike's mustache? They mentioned Kenny and Brenden's being gone at beginning of ep two.

Good episode, lots of laughs, but not as good as first two this season...and I think it was entirely because of going to the older sports reporter. I've never liked that character or bought that relationship. Maybe they could pull in some sports writers as consultants if they really want to keep bringing the job into it...

LA said...

Gaffigan is hilarious. This season continues to make me happy.

Rachel said...

Loved all of Brando's bar name ideas and how quickly they were all shot down.

I've really enjoyed these first few episodes of the season. After a promising start and a middling sophomore effort, the show seems to be hitting its stride. Mike and Andy have been particularly great this season.

amysusanne said...

I'm so glad to have first season Mike back after having to deal with brain damaged second season Mike. I'm also enjoying Brendan quite a bit this season and that's a nice change.

Right now I'm seeing which shows up first: the repeat later tonight or a download because tivo decided that I didn't need the last two minutes. Not cool, tivo.

olucy said...

@amysusanne -- grrr! that happened to me too last week. So I added padded my record time. thank goodness for the repeats.

ithor6 said...

I really liked that after getting kicked out of the "beer commercial" club, Kenny and Mike did they're own beer commercial at Crowley's. Only it wasn't the flashy T&A type, but more of the "hey, our beer actually tastes good" type.

ithor6 said...

their^

yikes, freshman English mistake, got to proofread more.

amysusanne said...

@olucy: Yeah, this one was my fault for not thinking ahead and forgetting that I also had changed the time I was recording "Reaper". The tivo flipped and instead of cutting off the end of "Without a Trace", which I am many episodes behind on and kind of don't care about getting caught up, it decided to kill one of the few shows I look forward to. Thanks, tivo. Except...yeah. My fault. It's been corrected.

If you've liked these episodes then you'll have a lot of fun when season one arrives. If nothing else, the end of "Douchebag in the City" is a work of art that must be viewed multiple times for maximum enjoyment.