I tuned into the premiere of the new TBS series My Boys last night after reading a lot of positive reviews, and I have to say, I liked it! The show is about a female Chicago sports columnist named PJ (Jordana Spiro, pictured above) whose best friends are all men – including her brother, her ex-boyfriend, her best friend, and a sportswriter for a rival publication (she also has a girly female friend named Stephanie from journalism school).
“My Boys” and “PJ” are both cheesy names, and the writers are trying a little too hard to make the point that PJ is just one of the guys, but the writing’s not bad overall, and PJ and Jordana Spiro are appealing enough to make me keep tuning in.
She wears her hair in a ponytail most of the time, and eats food besides salad. She reserves make-up and sexy t-shirts for only very special occasions, and prefers jeans or sweats and tank-tops with casual tennis-shoes. She has trouble with communication and relationships, but isn’t an emotional wreck. She’s a woman who knows how to play poker, and draws the line at intentionally losing just to seduce a guy she likes. Instead of voice-overs about shoe sales, she uses sports metaphors. She actually plays sports. She sits in relaxed poses that take up space. And she doesn’t cook.
Finally, a straight woman on TV I can really relate to! If only she were gay, she’d be the perfect woman.
You know a show is pushing the gender role envelope when even the mainstream press takes notice — the Boston Globe says in their review, “If My Boys doesn’t push gender cliches to an exciting new level, it does play around with them pleasingly.”
The scene that really hooked me was at the end of the pilot when PJ’s about to hook up with the guy she has a crush on, and he gets freaked out because she’s apparently acting too much like a man when she tells him he doesn’t have to give her the “I’ll still respect you in the morning speech” when they’re making out on her bed. In other words – she’s not being insecure and needy, she’s being confidant and owning her sexuality. Mon Dieau! That’s too much for Mr. Man, but instead of backing down, she teasingly feigns girlish insecurity, and then laughs when he asks “Are you mocking me?” Loved it! Then when she ushers him to the door moments later and he says he had a “weird time”, she tells him “You’re weird.” Loved that too! Instead of blaming herself for his hang-ups, she correctly puts the blame on him. It’s almost depressing how refreshing that is to see on TV.
A happy, successful, smart well-adjusted single woman who wants to find the right guy but is just fine without one? More please!
The show airs Tuesday at 10pm on TBS, but the first two episodes will be airing again tonight. Watch clips from the show at the official website.