Friends With Kids

I pretty much just write about TV shows, but I thought I’d change it up and write about a movie every once in a while.  A couple weeks ago I went to see Friends With Kids.  I already knew I would love it because I love the people in it.  No, it wasn’t as good as Bridesmaids, but then what is?  I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, because they’re two completely different stories, even if half the actors are the same.  When the commercials are comparing them, they’re not saying it’s like Bridesmaids, they’re saying that the actors are also funny in this movie.

The concept is kind of hard to wrap your head around.  Two friends, best friends, decide to have a baby together, even though they plan to just remain friends and not be romantically involved at all, and just continue dating other people while being committed to raising a kid together.  I was curious to see how they came up with that idea.  Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt are the last two singles left in their group of friends.  The other two couples, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd, are married with kids.  The two singles see how having kids have affected their friends’ lives and that gets them thinking about their own.

Jennifer Westfeldt’s character brings up the point that she wants to have a kid and how it’s scary to think that after having the kid, it would be a person who she would love more than anything, including the person she’s chosen to spend the rest of her life with.  They discuss how it might be better to have a kid now, and then find love later.  And then they somehow decide the two of them should have and raise one together.  And so they do.

This seems like a convultued idea, but think about the number of women who want to have kids and opt for sperm banks, which is considered a perfectly acceptable thing to do.  I guess this way, at least she knows the father and he’s invested in helping raise the kid.  But obviously, we know that feelings and attractions will occur, as it is a romantic comedy after all.  Apparently I like romantic comedies and chick flicks?  I honestly don’t know when the hell that happened.  But to be fair, it’s the rauchy, funny ones that I like, not the sappy ones.  So it’s okay.

And as I said, I couldn’t not love this movie because I love the people in it.  I liked seeing Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig in another dysfunctional relationship.  And Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd were great.  It was kind of weird seeing Adam Scott play a womanizing jerk as opposed to a nerdy pushover like on Parks and Recreation, but I got used to it.  And I haven’t seen Jennifer Westfeldt in anything before, but I love her.  I also love her clothes.  I found myself noticing her fashion choices throughout the movie and loving them.  I especially loved her coats and there was this red one she wore that I really wish I had.

So yeah.  Great movie, and if you don’t like chick flicks, don’t call it a chick flick.  Because it has the type of humour that should give it a different category, a better one than that.  And while I still think the concept is convoluted, I like the way the story plays out.  But I would never in a million years want to have a kid with a friend.  Unless my friend was Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, or Chris O’Dowd.

GCB

GCB is a new series that aired last night on ABC.  I had seen a bunch of commercials for it and thought what the hell is GCB?  I had to look it up to find out that it stands for “Good Christian Bitches“.  And then they changed it to “Good Christian Belles“.  And then they just decided to abbreviate it to save the trouble.  Good Christian Belles would have been an awful title.  The b obviously stands for bitches.

It’s a classic story of “I used to be a mean girl in high school but now I’m a nice person but things aren’t going so well in my life so I have to move back home where the girls I was a bitch to in high school are now major bitches themselves and won’t let me live it down”.  Or you know, something along those lines.

When I saw the show starred Leslie Bibb, I thought “She was in some TV show that was popular when I was a kid”.  But I couldn’t remember what it was.  And then I realized the show itself was called Popular.  I never watched it though, so that’s why I had such a hard time remembering.  In GCB, Leslie Bibb plays Amanda Vaughn, who used to be popular in high school.  Her husband has just died and it’s been revealed that he was involved in a scandal and had stolen money from investors.  He also died in a car crash while another woman was giving him head.

And so Amanda has no choice but to take her two children and reluctantly move back home with her mother in Dallas.  The community is small, and so everyone seems to know each other, and the women she went to high school with gossip and plot upon hearing of her return.  And their husbands are all too eager to greet her when they see her.  And her mother makes her go to church with her.  Because they are good Christian bitches, after all.

The new queen bitch in town since Amanda’s departure is Carlene Cockburn, played by Kritstin Chenoweth.  When I saw she was on the show I thought “Oh, look, she’s getting more work after Glee, but still playing a really annoying character”.  Carlene is dead set on making Amanda’s stay in town miserable enough to get her to leave.  Amanda used to be cruel to her in high school about her looks, but Carlene has since had a lot of plastic surgery and refuses to accept that Amanda is now a better person.  She is also religious and self righteous, while being very judgemental.  The other women sort of just go along with her, although one of them may be actually starting to accept that Amanda has changed.

I found it a bit difficult to keep track of all the people in town, particularly the husbands.  We learn that one of the husbands says he’s in love with Amanda, lures her into his car dealership and kisses her, where she refuses his advances.  Another husband is secretly gay and in love with the other guy who works on his ranch.  And then there’s Carlene’s husband who seems alright and just loves sex.  And then I think there’s another husband of someone who’s just there but I’m not sure.

Amanda needs to get a job but can’t find anything, so becomes a waitress at a bar, which the other women look down on her for and say that it goes against their moral standard, based on the outfit that she wears there.  But Amanda doesn’t let their judgement stop her from trying to make the best of her new life and even comes to make peace a bit with her mother who’s outlook on life she doesn’t agree with.

This show wasn’t as bad as I expected.  I kind of liked it.  I heard it was supposed to be like the new Desperate Housewives.  Except I never watched Desperate Housewives, so I wouldn’t know.  I just know there’s going to be a whole lot of drama in it.  I think I’ll watch it again next week and see how it develops.  Not sure yet if I’ll follow it completely.  Also I don’t know if I should feel sorry for Amanda and want things to work out for her, or if I should think “While that’s what you get for being a bitch in high school”.  But Carlene is so annoying and manipulative, I think I’ll have to root for Amanda.

Happy Endings

This show is in its second season.  I never watched the first season.  For some reason it just didn’t really seem like something I’d want to watch.  But at the time I didn’t really know what it was.  I’d see random commercials and scenes and just brush it off as another random show.  But then it would follow shows like Cougar Town and Modern Family, shows that I had pvred, and so at the end of watching those, I would always catch the first few minutes of Happy Endings.  And those first few minutes made me decide to give it a chance.

I’ve been watching this season and I actually really like it.  It focuses on a group of six friends, two of whom were engaged, but then she left him at the altar.  But they stayed friends.  Normally I hate that story line because I think it’s just been so overdone.  Why wait to leave someone at the altar?  You obviously knew at some point before then that this wasn’t what you wanted.  Fortunately, since I didn’t watch the first season, I missed that first episode.  I didn’t even know about the previous engagement leaving at the altar part when I first starting watching it.  Which is probably a good thing.

Six friends who are really close, two are siblings, one couple is married, one used to be a couple and there is still lingering tension, and the remaining two have their own love escapades with people who aren’t part of the group.  Sound familiar?  In today’s episode, Brad gets high from too many drugs at the dentist, and in his doped up state, points to his friends calling them Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, and Joey.  I love that they acknowledged the comparisons between the characters and even pointed it out.

Brad

Brad is played by Damon Wayans Jr., who was my favourite character on New Girl, in that one episode he happened to be in.  Happy Endings having a second season is the reason he couldn’t be on New Girl, which I was initially upset about, but I love that this show is continuing and I think he’s better on Happy Endings than he would have been on New Girl anyway.  He would be the “Chandler” of the group, I guess because of his jokes and personality, and also because he’s married to the “Monica” of the group.

Jane

Jane is Brad’s wife, played by Eliza Coupe, who I also love.  She was one of the few new additions to the last seasons of Scrubs who actually fit with the show.  She is definitely the “Monica” of the group, because she is very anal and a control freak.  Her uptight personality can be overbearing and annoying, but it suits her and she makes it funny.

Alex

Elisha Cuthbert plays Jane’s younger sister Alex, who leaves her fiance at the altar.  I grew up watching her on Popular Mechanics for Kids.  You may also remember her from The Girl Next Door.  She is the “Rachel” of the group, because she leaves a man at the altar.  She is sort of dumb at times and doesn’t always understand jokes.  My favourite thing about her character is when there are scenes in which she loves food, like when she gets drunk and eats ribs, or orders like three different plates when they go out for breakfast.

Dave

Zachary Knighton plays Alex’s ex-fiance Dave.  To be honest, I initially thought this guy had a really weird face.  I don’t know what it is, but something about it just wasn’t working for me.  But I got over it.  Dave owns a food truck and is moving on with his life after being left at the altar, but remains good friends with Alex.  He is the “Ross” of the group, since he dated the “Rachel” and because he’s the most depressed character of the guys.

Max

Adam Pally plays Max, Dave’s friend and roommate.  In today’s episode, Brad calls him “fat Joey”.  He’s the “Joey” of the group because he’s kind of dumb and quirky in his own way.  But unlike Joey, he’s gay.  When I first started watching this show, I found him super annoying and thought “How can the gay guy be my least favourite character on a show?  That never happens”.  But I have since changed my mind.  His character is arrogant and whiny at times but that’s just who he is.

Penny

Penny is played by Casey Wilson.  She was Max’s last girlfriend before he came out.  Yeah, there’s all sorts of love complications within the group.  But they make it work.  She is the “Phoebe” of the group because she’s fun and quirky and always an optimist.  She has her own love problems, as she gets a lot of dates, but can never seem to find the right guy for her.  In real life, I would find someone like her incredibly annoying, but on the show, I love her.

So am I saying it’s the new Friends?  No, not at all.  There are many similarities but it’s still unique in its own way.  The random story lines and the relationships and friendships within the group are just really entertaining and I enjoy watching it.  I just wonder if Dave and Alex will get together again at some point and how much of a “Ross and Rachel” type thing this really is.

I hope there's a third season

Whitney

This sitcom isn’t the greatest one I’ve ever watched.  But I’ve seen every episode.  So there must be something about it that I like.  I’m just not sure what.  This show has had a lot of negative feedback.  Which I understand.  The acting and the jokes aren’t that great.  But they’e watchable.  And still better than some.

The revolves around Whitney, her boyfriend, and their friends, and the random, everyday problems that they all have.  Whitney is wholeheartedly against marriage, but believes in a committed relationship, which she has with her boyfriend.  A lot of the episodes revolve around arguments they get in over trivial matters in their relationship.  In one episode, Whitney is upset because Alex has a password on his phone.  According to her, since they are a couple, they should share everything.  Later in this episode, she accidentally walks in on him masturbating, and he gets embarrassed and upset when she tells her friends about it.  Yeah, now that I write it down. none of that seems funny at all.  But I’m sure that episode had other redeeming qualities?

Another episode features Whitney trying to help her friend Lily with her wedding plans, when she herself hates the idea of weddings.  Naturally, when you’re completely against weddings, you would agree to be the wedding planner for your friend.  I can’t quite remember what was good about that episode either.  But I’m sure there must have been something.

Maybe I like the fact that it’s based in part on Whitney Cummings’ real life experience?  That adds something to a show, right?  Although I think Rob was supposed to be somewhat based on Rob Schneider’s real life experience, and I didn’t care for that at all.  I guess in order for it to work, your life experience has to have some substance or humour in it.  I think what I like is her attitude and some of her opinions.  Like when she asks how buying flowers for a woman is romantic, because you’re basically saying here, I picked these for you so you could watch them slowly die.  In today’s episode, remarks are made about how she has a knack for being mean to people and dissing things that most people love.  Being mean in a way that is at least intended to be humorous is right up my alley.

So it’s not the best sitcom, but it’s not the worst sitcom either.  And I can’t be the only one who’s watching it, or it wouldn’t still be on the air.  I don’t know, I guess I’ve just gotten comfortable with watching not so great sitcoms.  Perhaps I should higher my standards again.  But I can’t be bothered.  I’ll just wait and hope that the sitcoms will just get better.  And if they don’t, I can just write bad reviews about them.  Whitney’s not the only one who can be mean with the intention of being funny.

Mr. D

My opinion of this show is probably a bit biased because Gerry Dee is one of my favourite comedians.  It could’ve been complete crap and I still would’ve searched for good things to say about it and tried to put a positive spin on it.  Just the fact that he’s the star of the show makes it worth watching. When I heard about it, I knew I would like it.

Gerry Dee came in third on the fifth season of Last Coming Standing.  Yeah, I can’t remember how many seasons that show had. Reality shows nowadays just continue on and on for as long as they possibly can.  Just look at Survivor and Big Brother.  I loved his material on the show and though he was much better than Jon Reep, the winner of that season.

In his material, he talks openly and honestly about his life, a lot of it reflecting on when he was a teacher.  I won’t repeat any of his jokes, because me trying to explain them wouldn’t do them justice.  He’s just a funny guy.  I would watch his Gerry Dee Sports Reporter segments on The Score, even though I wasn’t watching the sports that they came on between.

In his new sitcom, he plays a teacher, probably similar to the kind he was in real life.  So, not a very good one.  He admits this in his stand up comedy, saying that he would be learning the material as he was teaching it, and would use the smart kid’s answers as the answer key for his marking.  He even admits to having lost an entire stack of exams one time after going camping with his buddies.  How can you not love and appreciate that kind of honesty?

The pilot episode of Mr. D aired today.  His character is kind of clueless as a teacher, but really full of himself as he pretends to know what he’s talking about.  He says and does stupid things, but is pretty much at all times hilarious.  Much of it is supposed to be based on his real life experiences as a teacher.  I don’t know whether to feel bad for those kids for  having to put up with him, or to envy them for having such an awesome teacher.

As with most of the Canadian sitcoms I watch (not that there are that many), I don’t actually know anyone else who also watches them, other than my family members.  This is sad, as I have no one with whom to discuss these funny and promising shows.  With Mr. D, I think you’ll appreciate the show more if you’ve seen any if Gerry Dee’s stand up comedy.  But even if you haven’t, you’ll still laugh.