Apparently there was a direction that the writers of Rules of Engagement had available to them as far as Timmy was concerned that I hadn’t considered. And wouldn’t you know it, but that was the one they chose — integrate him into the group … possibly as a replacement for Adam instead of Russell?
We’ll get to the speculative part of that sentence in a minute. But I did not see Timmy being assimilated into the boys club on this show. Because, really, how many put-upon and abused assistants does that happen to? In fact, when Timmy got excited about the trip to Atlantic City, I was a little surprised not to hear Russell make some joke about how he was most definitely not invited. Can the writers really include him with the rest of the boys while still maintaining the abusive relationship that he and Russell have?
And as for my speculation that Timmy is actually replacing the slowly disappearing Adam? Well, that’s just basic arithmetic. It made some story sense for Timmy to become an extension of Russell, what with Timmy running all of Russell’s incredibly awkward personal errands. But if Timmy becomes a hangout buddy, and Adam continues to be as non-existent as he’s been this season … well, what else is a viewer to think?
Which would leave the show’s success contingent on three things: Audrey and Jeff’s chemistry, Russell and Jeff’s banter, and Timmy. The first two are as strong as ever, and while Timmy’s still a bit of an unknown, he has the potential to open up a great dimension on the show. But no Jeff and Adam? No Russell and Adam? That’s 50% of what makes this show so funny. Jennifer, on the other hand, can be eaten by bears.
All of that being said, last night’s episode wasn’t actually all that good. What it had going for it was that the “they don’t know we know they know” was between Audrey and Jeff, a great combo team. But the execution could have been a whole lot better.
And Russell could stand to be a whole lot better in general this season. Last night was him at his best since the premiere, but most times it feels as if David Spade is just phoning it in, which he hadn’t been doing for the past three seasons. He’s a funny guy, and when he’s putting in some effort, it shows.
Although I did laugh at his Foghorn Leghorn. You have to wonder where those ideas come from. The writers decide Russell’s going to pretend to be a doctor. Then somehow he, or they, decide he’ll do so impersonating a cartoon chicken. Or Spade does a good Leghorn, and the writers figured out a way for him to show off his impersonation while playing a doctor. Either way, the creative process involved seems rather interesting, no? What would be cool is if Spade’s attempt at whatever voice he wanted to do just came out as Leghorn, and he improvised the catchphrases and nuances as he went, from some buried childhood memories. I wonder.
And while I haven’t checked it out myself, it looks as if CBS is picking up on the slew of successful How I Met Your Mother fake websites. Go see what Timmy has up his sleeve at Timmystrikesback.com.