Sitcom Superlatives – The best, the worst, the cutest
Every week on Sitcom Superlatives we take a look at the best and worst in sitcoms, and this week we tackle ‘Go On,’ ‘The Mindy Project’ and the new, cutest unlikely couple in town.
Best episode of the week – Go On, “Gooooaaaallll Doll!”
Okay, so Go On was maybe not the total best (as usual, it’s hard to compete with 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation), but this week’s Go On was, even in my Tuesday overload of sitcoms, a surprise delight. Once again, this show gets therapy and the healing process so, so right. Gimmicks like this week’s goal dolls may inspire short-term change that feels like progress, but real progress is a slow, grinding process. The Sonia and Yolanda subplot was not only hilarious (“Three sugar cubes. Like the number of men I’ve been with… Today.”) but effortlessly illustrative of that. Putting on a brave face and changing everything in your life by a certain deadline isn’t how healing works. It’s a labor of love.
Show I’m Over – The Mindy Project
I wanted to like The Mindy Project so badly, you guys. I tried and I tried and I tried. I made excuses for why I didn’t like it — it was just one bad episode! It suffered because it was the last in a two hour block of comedies and I was worn out! But I can’t make excuses any longer. The fact of the matter is The Mindy Project just isn’t very good. There’s no focus, the characters are ill-defined and it’s simply not that funny. There are a few standout moments that make you think maybe, just maybe the show is worth watching (Mindy’s brother last week was a particularly good addition), but the slog of stress-vomit jokes to get through to them is excruciating.
Cutest Couple – Tessa and Ryan, Suburgatory
Tessa is right — on paper, her budding relationship with dumb jock next door Ryan shouldn’t work. He’s, well, simple, and the complete opposite of the type of person you would think that urban, sophisticated Tessa would end up with. And yet, against all odds, I’m loving the development of their relationship. The scene where Ryan brings Tessa her homework (and how hilarious was it that Lisa thought bringing Tessa her homework was the ultimate romantic gesture?) was beyond sweet. And it made me admit to myself that yeah, I really do want those two crazy kids together.
I think what works about Tessa and Ryan is that Tessa’s relationship with Ryan is ultimately like her relationship with Chatswin. Maybe she shouldn’t like it or feel at home there. It’s not her beloved New York and it’s certainly got its downsides. But like Ryan, Chatswin is a place where people have the courage to care, even if it’s about something as dumb as Junior Secretary’s Day. People in Chatswin may be dumb, but they’re kind and warm and that, in the end, is what matters.