I watch a lot of television — like, way more television than anyone should watch in their lifetime. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a fanatic of both American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy, but there are many, many other shows I have an unhealthy addiction to. However, even with the variety of reality shows, prime time dramas and cable sitcoms I watch, very few accurately reflect my own life. This could be attributed to either the lack of lesbians on TV or the fact that I am not a world class surgeon (you decide), but either way, I enjoy the rare occasion when I can actually relate to a character. This is why I love Jordana Spiro’s portrayal of PJ Franklin on My Boys so much.
The TBS comedy series surrounds the life of PJ, a Chicago Cubs journalist (be still, me beating heart!), and her group of mainly male friends: brother, Andy (Jim Gaffigan), best friend from journalism school, Stephanie (Kellee Stewart), radio DJ Brendan (Reid Scott), fellow Cubs’ journalist, Bobby (Kyle Howard), sports memorabilia collector, Kenny (Michael Bunin), and failed self-proclaimed playboy Mike (Jamie Kaler).
From Left: Howard, Gaffigan, Kaler, Spiro, Bunin, Scott and Stewart
With a motto like, “You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends,” I’m sure all of you can recognize at least some part of yourselves in the show, but PJ and I, however, have a lot in common. We’re both avid Cubs fans and we’re both writers (if I may be so bold as to claim that title.) We both have female friends (dating a guy named Lance, no less) that all too often try to make us “girl-y” as opposed to “guy-y,” and we would rather spend an evening playing poker and drinking beer with a group of our closest guys than go dancing with our closest girls.
But PJ and I do have our differences; the main one being, of course, that PJ constantly has to finagle the fine line between having boy friends and having boyfriends. Oh, the joy of being a lesbian.
If you differ from me, though, and you can’t identify with PJ personally, perhaps you need more motivation to tune into this show. Well, My Boys, which is one of cable television’s highest rated original sitcoms, was created, co-executive produced and largely written by a woman, Betsy Thomas. Now, that’s something.
Well, at the end of the first season, PJ and Stephanie were on their way to Italy on a romantic double-date getaway, only, the viewers were left hanging as to which of PJ’s many potential dates actually ended up on the flight. (Watch the season finale, “Rome, If You Want To,” as well as the rest of the first season of My Boys on TBS.com.)
Now, I have been fortunate enough to have landed screeners of the first two episodes of season two, which premieres tonight on TBS at 9:30 p.m. EST.
Warning: Spoilers Below. Read at your own risk!
The first episode begins right where season one left off, as we find out who PJ’s Italian “fling” will be. (What? You think I’m giving away that much dirt? Keep dreaming!)
The mystery man, PJ, Stephanie and Lance take off for their two-week vacation, but PJ’s plans — and the trip’s dynamics — are quickly thrown off course when Stephanie and Lance break-up on the first night of the trip. Luckily, just before Stephanie rains on our parade, we get to see PJ adorably waking up to her hopeful beau with morning coffee.
On the return trip to Chicago, Stephanie tells PJ she is going to write a book and miraculously finishes it in only a few nights. Meanwhile, PJ discovers that she and the guys have been kicked out of their favorite local bar, Crowley’s, because Mike slept with a cocktail waitress named Terri. Why should you care about this part of the storyline? Well, Terri is played by none other than Janina Gavankar, aka Papi from The L Word. But don’t worry, she is sans hat in this series.
In the second episode, the crew has obviously been let back into Crowley’s as PJ and the guys are seen playing a rousing game of Mouse Trap when Andy saunters in to introduce the group to his new, hot, Swedish nanny named Elsa.
PJ must have gone home sometime after the drooling ceased, because the next day Stephanie told her that three different publishers were showing interest in her book, and yet, Stephanie is still worried about the fact that men aren’t taking interest in Ms. Franklin, so she suggests a singles dinner party.
After some slick convincing, PJ gets Mike and Kenny to agree to attend a singles dinner party with her, Stephanie and two of her other female friends. Mike brings his basketball friend Chris, and Stephanie happily declares that she is pumped to be observing three simultaneous blind dates. (Can you blame her?)
But, just before the guests arrive, Andy waltzes in and explains to PJ that he couldn’t go home because when he’s around Elsa he has “an involuntary need to impress this woman.” “It’s awful,” he says, “I find myself pretending to be debonair and intellectual. I eat healthy. I mean, it’s been days since I’ve gotten drunk and watched Point Break.”
Case-in-point: Gaffigan plays the best character in the whole damn show.
Throughout the party, Mike becomes dumbfounded as to how Kenny gets the attention of both single women at the party, and Stephanie and PJ both fawn over hunky Chris until they realize that he is actually gay. When they confront Mike about bringing a gay man to a setup party, Mike doesn’t believe them, but Chris sets him “straight” when he tells oblivious Mike that they play in a gay basketball league. Hmph. Who knew?
What can you expect for the rest of the season? Well, I’m glad you asked. For one, you can expect a guest appearance by My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos, an engagement, and plenty of (non) ironic laughs; in short, you can expect exactly what you got in the first season, only better.
So, what say you? Do you have an opinion on who PJ’s Italian non-romance is? Am I the only active AfterEllen-er (besides Sarah Warn, that is) that regularly (and voluntarily) invests in this group of “Boys?”