Hump: I know, I promised no more Parks and Recreation. But the best character on television made his triumphant return last night, so I have to. Not just because I want to marry Ben Schwartz and watch The Simpsons with him every night before bed. And, no, it’s not weird that I know he does that; he talked about it on a podcast, I swear. I’m not, like, sitting outside his house every night watching his before-bed routine...mostly because I don’t know his address, but I’d never do that.
Anyway, on the last Parks, Tom had a business idea, which of course meant one thing: The world’s worst business partner had to come back (on loan from shooting House of Lies for Showtime). I’m talking, of course, about Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, the only person in Pawnee who thinks he balls harder than Tom Haverford. His hair is bigger than ever, and he’s still got the best ideas, like condoms with pictures on them. (I can’t believe Lisa Frank never thought of that.) I’m basically halfway finished with my Saperstein-Le Vine Unity Quilt right now — JR needs something to keep him warm at night because he’s homeless. Pawnee’s most eligible Jewish guy is quite the catch.
Marry: True confession: I kind of love The Neighbors. Yeah, the sitcom is about a typical New Jersey family that moves into a gated community inhabited by aliens. It’s pretty formulaic: The humans celebrate a holiday/go on a trip/do something pretty typical like start school, and the aliens somehow get involved and must be taught about said holiday/trip/activity, which starts to seem pretty silly when it’s broken down and explained to someone from another planet. The ingenuity lies in the way the writers see the basic premise through.
For example, when the Weavers (humans) decide to spend time with their old friends with a poker game and a girls’ night out, the aliens educate themselves about “real housewives from New Jersey” using a certain ubiquitous program on Bravo so they can fit in. Boom, she’s at girls’ night dressed like Teresa Giudice, stirring up drama between the ladies by narrating the night to an imaginary camera.
All of the actors playing aliens do a great job playing blank slates that also reflect and cast judgment on human nature and fallibility, but Toks Olagundoye completely nails it as Jackie Joyner-Kersee (all of the aliens took the names of professional athletes), the alien leader’s wife. She’s smoking hot, can pull off a smug-naive expression like nobody’s business, and somehow looks fetching in the cardigan, collared shirt, and skirt ensemble all the female aliens wear.
Kill: This clearly must have been the scene at a recent Bravo programming meeting:
Bravo exec. 1: "We’re killing it in the married housewives demographic, but we’re just not reaching that key 18-24 demo."
Bravo exec. 2: "That’s because they’re all wasting time on the Internet. What’s so great about the Internet, anyway? I joined that Facebook thing, and my own kids wouldn’t be my friend. It’s just mean."
Andy Cohen: [looking at Instagram on his iPad mini]
Exec. 1: "What about those stupid pictures?"
Exec. 2: "People do post stupid pictures on Facebook."
Exec. 1: "No, not on Facebook. Those dumb pictures of animals with white writing on them. My wife is always showing them to me."
Andy Cohen: [checking Twitter]
Exec. 2: "Who makes those? I bet people would want to see a show about the geniuses that make the most popular nonpornographic content on the Internet."
Exec. 1: "Even if it’s inane, and one day when alien’s take over the planet, they’ll point to the cat pictures as the exact moment they knew we were just insufferable, asinine obstacles standing in their way of total universe domination."
Exec. 2: "Yes, even if that’s true."
Andy Cohen: "LOLcats as a show. Are we done here? I’m meeting Ramona Singer for acupuncture pottery Zumba in five minutes."
Exec. 1: "Yes, master of Bravo, we are done."
Andy Cohen: Good. Oh, while we’re on the Internet thing, let’s also do a show about pretty young things in Silicon Valley who think talking about coding and venture capitalists investing in their crappy apps is sexy and interesting.
Exec. 2: Yes, master, of course, master.
Thus, LOLwork was created...and it was terrible. Especially Will, the self-righteous, self-involved, self-proclaimed cat lover/dog hater. He is the worst of them all.
Photo: Courtesy of Danny Feld/NBC; Courtesy of Bob D'Amico/ABC; Courtesy of Kevin P. Casey/Bravo