Hump, Marry, Kill: It’s Avon Calling, Joan

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Hump: Okay, so Graceland is actually television for idiots. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s USA. Still, pretty young actors and sundrenched scenery can only do so much to distract from it. Nothing is left implied, and there’s absolutely no subtext. If someone mentions a character’s name, another person will then offer a detailed explanation about that person’s entire life. When a new guy, who is supposedly some kind of FBI wunderkind, asks, “So, why is this place called ‘Graceland?’” we get a long-winded history for a house that doesn’t look more than six months old, even though a real whiz kid would have looked that up before arriving so he wouldn’t have to ask such an embarrassing, obvious question.

Oh, and when you’re a supposedly smart person who’s supposed to be an undercover cop, maybe don’t write down a shopping list (with items like “shorts” and “flip-fiops,” which you didn’t realize you’d need when you moved to California, genius boy) in one of those little black notepads only law enforcement officials use in the middle of the boardwalk in broad daylight.Straight-up amateur hour, USA.

Graceland, which premiered on Thursday, is your classic fish-out-of-water, Lethal Weapon/The Other Guys scenario, where Broadway-turned-television hottie Aaron Tveit plays rookie/straight man to his new partner, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges, bad-boy cop who plays by his own rules but always gets the job done. And he wasn’t always like that, no way; he’s got a secret that only straight-laced Aaron will learn after they begrudgingly come to accept and even (though they’d never admit it out loud) respect each other.

Said character is played by Daniel Sunjata, and even though he costarred with Katherine Heigl in One for the Money and is now on this show playing a stock, one-dimensional character, he #cangetit. Aaron isn’t the only Broadway babe here — Daniel was nominated for a Tony for his role in a play called Take Me Out.


Marry: It’s about time Joan Holloway read Sheryl Sandberg’s book and started leaning in, no? When Avon calls, you answer, Joanie, and tell Pete Campbell to go suck it. And more Janis Joplin over the final credits, please, Matt Weiner.

Oh, and honorary mention to Amy Poehler and Adam Scott, stars of what is now the definitive Greatest Event in Television History. Yeah, Jon Hamm, you got served.


Kill: I don’t actually have words to properly describe how horrifying I find Princess: Long Island. The most egregious “princess” being Ashlee White, who actually had to issue a written apology to the town of Freeport, which she referred to as “the ghetto” while her father advised her over the phone to roll up her windows and lock her doors while driving through to pick up a friend.

Photo: James Minchin III/USA Network; Photo: Frank Ockenfels/AMC; Photo: Alex Martinez/Bravo