Hump: Don your East Dillon jerseys, because I’m about to wax rhapsodically about one of the [television] loves of my life. On shows set in high school, it’s always difficult to deal with characters getting older (and actors starting to look their actual age of 30). Friday Night Lights took it all in stride: They gave departing characters one last moment of glory, then bid them adieu and introduced new ones. And, unlike Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch, they were embraced by the cast and viewers. One prime example is Luke Cafferty (Matt Lauria), a season four edition who entered our hearts with the same ease as QB2 Matt Saracen did in season one.
Now, Lauria’s taken his handsome-yet-also-quite-vulnerable swagger over to Parenthood (which is executive produced by Jason Katims, who also produced FNL and brings many of its former stars to Parenthood). It’s almost a continuation of Luke Cafferty’s story line; in the final episode of FNL, he kissed his girlfriend good-bye before enlisting in the Army. On Parenthood, Lauria plays Ryan, a troubled war veteran who just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan and is having trouble getting acclimated to life outside the Army and war.
Not only does the Ryan character shed light on an important subject not often explored on TV, he’s perfect for Mae Whitman’s Amber (the two actors also have an adorable Twitter faux-lationship going on right now). I had to fetch my smelling salts on Tuesday when they went mini-golfing and ended up sleeping together for the first time, despite promises to take it slow. First of all, Matt Lauria shirtless is a gift to us all; second, he’s really, really good at acting like he’s falling in deep, Notebook-style true love with someone. Swoon.
Marry: I know it’s not super obvious or anything that I’m totally obsessed with British comedy, so I’d like to take this opportunity to extoll the virtues of one of the U.K. comedy scene’s most illustrious and underrated members. His name is Richard Ayoade, and he was John Oliver’s writing partner in the Cambridge Footlights, starred on The IT Crowd (Netflix it) with Chris O’Dowd, directed Community’s “Critical Film Studies” Pulp Fiction-themed episode, and appeared in The Watch with Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Vince Vaughn. His mother is Norwegian; his father Nigerian, so he looks like a tall, hipster-glasses-wearing, Benetton ad’s wet dream.
Ayoade’s brand of comedy isn’t in your face; he keeps his tone and inflection subtle and lets the listener make the connections and find the humor. Take this Monday’s episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, for example (you can watch it on YouTube here). At the top of the episode, Richard states that “there’s no need for jokes,” yet it’s one of the funniest episodes in years, mostly because of the way-too-intimate details he gets Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber BFF Ed Sheeran to cough up about his sex life.
So yeah, when I say I want to marry Richard Ayoade, I actually really mean it. Except he’s already married...the best ones always are.
Kill: Ever wanted to watch a show that combines Wedding Crashers with The Wedding Singer, but also delves into the world of fierce competition amongst wedding bands? Me neither. Sorry, Brian Austin Green, Wedding Band, and TBS.