Hump, Marry, Kill: MTV’s House of Stiles

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Hump: After last week’s ode to Nathan from Misfits, it’s pretty obvious I have a thing for tall, goofy guys responsible for delivering one-liners to ease tension on teen dramas. On Teen Wolf, that boy is Stiles Stilinski, played with tender, awkward care by Dylan O’Brien. Week after week, he continues to bring a great mix of comedic timing and gravitas to what could merely be the role of court jester and class clown.

He’s even tackling more serious subjects these past few weeks, what with getting his father fired from the police department. And by “more serious subjects,” I mean “playing Stiles Stilinski: Sixteen & Sleuthing” with a yearbook that may hold some clues about all the people that keep getting murdered in Beacon Hills. Although a better, bigger question might be: Why do people continue to live in this town?

So, yeah, I’m really digging Stiles this season. If Lydia, the love of his life since kindergarten, wasn’t in a month-long fugue state following a werewolf ghost attack, she’d probably open her eyes and finally realize that he’s a total catch. Except this is still a high school show — despite the supernatural elements — and girls like Lydia won’t realize how great boys like Stiles are until they’re my age and writing about them on the Internet like total creeps.

Marry: Put a bird on it, we can pickle that, one more episode, he’s a mixologist...if any of those phrases don’t ring a bell, you need to start watching Portlandia ASAP. I highly recommend the hour-long director’s cut of “Brunch Village,” (it aired this past Friday on IFC), which reunites several of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s charming and quirky Oregon-dwelling characters as they wait in line to dine at the titular city’s most hopping brunch joint. Well, unless you ask the Mayor. He seems to think a different dining joint is the best brunch spot in town.

I just want to be Fred and Carrie’s best friend and put birds on things with them. Is that too much to ask?

Kill: Call me jaded, cynical, Miss Havisham, whatever, but Valentine’s Day has never been my jam. Specifically, pop culture’s stereotypical ideal of what’s supposed to happen on February 14 — wherein women want flowers, chocolates, and dinner at nice restaurants, and men are supposed to fail at making those things happen — has never been something with which I agreed. That’s one of the things I like about summer television: There are no “event” episodes timed around sweeps periods, meaning the writers don’t have to craft themed episodes about holidays like Valentine’s Day.

Enter The Newsroom, which operates on an alternate timeline roughly two years in the past (but can also skip ahead in time at any moment because Aaron Sorkin has the power to manipulate the space-time continuum). In Newsroom alterna-reality, forget about hot-as-balls mid-July; nope, this past Sunday was Valentine’s Day, which meant that all the women had their panties in a bunch over the dates and flowers they knew their male companions would surely mess up planning for them. How very droll and rom-com, considering the rest of the episode covered the uprisings in Egypt, teacher protests in Wisconsin, and a review of the Glass-Steagall Act. Juxtaposition...Sorkin-style.

Now, I’ve never worked at a news network, but I have worked in professional offices for several years now (#humblebrag), and during my time in said offices, I have never seen anyone, ever, act as histrionic about anything as Maggie (Alison Pill), who is an associate producer on what we’re supposed to believe is a serious, Anderson Cooper 360-type news program — although MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) is definitely a close second. The wild gesticulations, the head in hands, the yelling at her obvious crush, the making out with her on-again, off-again boyfriend...is this your job or the hallway of junior high, Maggie?

Well, since you like Valentines so much, I wrote you one:
Roses are red, violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet, don’t you have actual work to do?

Photo: Courtesy of Dewey Nicks/MTV; Courtesy of Danielle Mathias/IFC; Courtesy of Melissa Moseley/HBO