When I heard Sarah Michelle Gellar was coming back to television again, I met the news with nervous excitement. Obviously I was overjoyed that Buffy would be back on my TV once more, but I still remember the feelings of confusion and disappointment Ringer left me with. I held my breath when I watched the first preview, but quickly released it in a burst of laughter—it was funny. Of course, previews can be misleading, so it was with cautiously set expectations that I went into the first few episodes.
It is with a happy heart I can report that, three episodes in, this show is still funny! The core cast is made up of five quirky characters—Sydney, her dad Simon, his secretary Lauren, and their creative team Zach and Andrew—who play off each other quite well. Sydney is the calm to Simon’s crazy, Zach is the suave to Andrew’s awkwardness, and Lauren is the beautiful girl with the seemingly ditzy attitude but always has the smartest thing to say. It’s definitely still getting its footing, and occasionally the timing is a little off, but so far it is getting better every week, in my humble opinion.
This week even had the added bonus of being lesbian-themed. In the beginning of the episode, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character, Sydney, is supposed to go on a women’s cruise, which all the guys she works with (and me) assumed to mean a lesbian cruise. She starts to refute this until she hears herself say the cruise’s motto—”We put the ‘V’ in Vacation”—and then she says all orientations are welcome. Throughout the episode the boys drop mostly tasteful lesbian stereotype jokes (for example, that Sydney would probably come back with a Suburu) which Sydney (and me) would roll our eyes at and move on.
The rest of the team have places to be, too—Zach and Andrew both have dates, and Lauren is supposed to be at a poetry reading, where she’s going to showcase some poems she’s written about her ex, Charlie. She samples one for them and it is quite dark and murder-y, but hilarious. However, none of them are going anywhere if they don’t think of an ad campaign for a burrito by sunrise.
A lot of mayhem goes into getting inspiration for the campaign, including but not limited to setting a fire in a conference room. The one lesbian joke Sydney did walk right into was about her fantasy of wearing a blazer to a beach—she says to be ready for an ad exec on the beach who would hear her perfect pitch and hire her on the spot, but we all know Sarah Michelle Gellar in a blazer would be a lesbian magnet no slayer-strength could overcome.
In the end, they find their inspiration at a diner they have taken over, and all their storylines come to a neat little conclusion. They even let Lauren read some of her poetry at the diner to make up for her missed reading. As she reads another of her dark poems about her ex, and Andrew and Sydney’s ears perk up when they realize the Charlie that Lauren is talking about is actually a woman. Andrew jokes that Lauren should have been the one going on a lesbian cruise, but Sydney looks at Lauren with admiration and says, and I quote, “I don’t think we should label her. She’s probably more advanced than us.”
Which, honestly, is the best way to describe the character as a whole. I’ve been fascinated by Lauren since day one, because she challenges the “hot secretary” cliche—her tone and even sometimes some of the things she says sound a little flighty, but if you pay attention to her often-seemingly-throwaway lines, she actually might be the smartest one of all of them. When initially mentioned “Charlie” as her ex, my first thought was actually, “Charlie could so be a girl’s name” but I shrugged it off as just wishful thinking. I was delighted to hear that I had been right, and that her coworkers didn’t meet the news with horror or shock or like it was a big deal at all. It was just something new they learned about their friend.
Now, it’s anyone’s guess whether this will ever come up again—so far this was the first glimpse into Lauren’s life outside work at all—but we can keep our finger’s crossed that somewhere down the road, Lauren could feasibly date a girl. Now, this show IS set mostly in their office building, and focuses more on their work and team-building and twisted interpersonal relationships amongst each other, so there’s always the chance this will never be mentioned again. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the show so far, and I’m hoping they don’t drop the ball on this one. Especially considering the fact that wherever Sarah Michelle Gellar goes, a legion of queer fans is likely to follow.
What do you think of Lauren being a lady-loving lady? Will you keep watching The Crazy Ones to see where they go with her storyline?