Off Target

Sometimes curiosity actually leads you to really boring shit. Or at least it did in the case of the dive I made into television shows aimed at 30-something dudes this weekend, staring at you creepily, The League. Full disclosure: I watched the entire series, because I don’t quit anything, except for Mystic Pizza. I just couldn’t self-dicipline myself  through that one. Now, I am not going to take this whole thing out on The League as a show — I am so not the target demographic, in fact I am the antithesis of a 30-something suburban man with young kids. Granted, I am also nothing like the rural Scottish Irish priests in my favorite television show, Father Ted.

I think my main issue with The League — other than my deep-seeded personal fear of leading a suburban life with a corporate job, a mortgage and weekly girl’s night margaritas at Chili’s — is how it’s half totally believable and half unbelieviable. You gotta pick a world of believability and stick to it. Father Ted is set in its own world  and masterfully works with it by making things that would be insane in our world look grounded in the context of the goings on of Craggy Island. Seinfeld on the other hand, totally believable and genius within the world of believability/ the world we lived in during the ’90s.

The grounded part of The League is that it’s about a group of dudes who seem to think the only thing they have going for them is their fantasy football league. Those guys totally exist. Where it got wonky for me is that everyone in this group of former high school losers hook up with or are married to model-types. Even the nerdy girl they made fun of in high school is now model hot — and a doctor. It’s clear what kind of dudes wrote the show, and also the deep-seeded misogyny that still exists in these shows. To be clear, the women in the show also don’t really have lines and are, for the most part, one dimensional. I read this great piece a few months ago on Slate about how pretty much all American men culturally feel entitled to marry model-types. I’m not sure if I 100% agree with the writer’s opinion, but I thought he raised some great poins thst the casting of the show definitely exemplifies. I’m not saying that model type girls can’t be awesome, but the one dimensional bimbo parts that the League crew wrote for them did not further the cause of ridiculous hot women doing comedy.  So here is my challenge to ridiculously hot girls doing comedy: own it, but without going super blue with your humor to try to compensate for your looks. Basically, be more like Kate Walsh and less like Whitney Cummings.

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12 thoughts on “Off Target

  1. “You gotta pick a world of believability and stick to it” – A Jillian, 2012. Excellent quote, Ashley! Can I steal it?

    …on a different matter entirely, Father Ted is 100% Irish, not Scottish. But you are an American and therefore permitted to err on these otherwise incendiary details… 🙂

    • For real? Well, that’s for people who are in comedy for vanity. Amy Poehler will be remembered as an artist, an innovator and an innovator, also: Lucille, Carol, Gilda, etc. etc.

      • That list of women is much shorter than the list of men. Society treats women differently. I know you just threw a quick list together, but three of the four of those are not of this era. I know there are “more” recent successful female comedians that you didn’t list, but the list would be tilted to the “blue” side of comedy for a reason. I

  2. I’m just truly impressed and awestruck that you’ve even heard of Father Ted! LOL

    Have you tried The Young Ones? It’s British and pretty old now… or Blackadder perhaps… Black Books? Spaced, even? (Simon Pegg’s start to stardom)

  3. I’ll have to check out The League. Here’s a terrible show aimed at 30-something: Men at Work. I suggest not watching it, or do watch it and prepare to punch yourself in the face to attempt to unremember the predictable drivel you just heard.

  4. I actually find The League really entertaining, but I agree about the whole model-wife/girlfriend dynaminc. Completely unrealistic. None of the guys are attractive (or even have great personalities) and yet they only seem to date/marry GORGEOUS (fairly sane) women. Of course, the women don’t have much personality, as you point out, so maybe that’s why they ended up with such losers. I’ll still watch and laugh, though!

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