Sunday, August 30, 2015

Playing House: My new "comfort food" viewing favorite

I'm enjoying a moist, chewy brownie as I type this, thinking how the USA sitcom Playing House is to my soul what this brownie is to my mouth -- delightful, reliable enjoyment that lifts my mood and makes me happy in a warm and toasty kind of way. The show administers visual comfort food, if you will. And I've been on a binge.

You know what it's like? It's like watching Gilmore Girls in its general atmosphere, its aura, if you will. Yes, this show is approaching a Gilmore Girls level of viewing joy for me. One of the show's leading ladies, Emma, even name-checked its atmospheric predecessor in season one, saying her idea of a great night was to "steal a bunch of mini cupcakes and then go home and watch Gilmore Girls." It's like she sees into my soul and speaks my dreams.

I only started watching in the past month after reading an article about it somewhere (no idea how I missed this before!). Season two airs Tuesday nights, but with a little help from On Demand, my husband and I caught up on the 10 episodes of season one while letting the new episodes pile up on the DVR. We both loved it from the start. We're up-to-date on the new season now, and I'll miss having a reassuring row of episodes waiting for me like milk and cookies on Christmas morning (yes, those are for me, too; Santa always shares).

The basic premise goes like this: Maggie (Lennon Parham), about to have a baby just as her marriage falls apart, turns to her best friend Emma (Jessica St. Clair) for help. Emma quits her job in Shanghai to move to her Connecticut hometown and help her bestie (hmm, I wonder if it's anywhere near another fictional Connecticut town with quirky residents and miles of charm known as Stars Hollow?). The show also features the adorable Keegan-Micheal Key (of Key & Peele fame) as the local cop with oodles of charm and a romantic history with Emma.

The two leading ladies not only star in the show, but they created it based on their real-life friendship. It's all rather sweet and beautiful, this close friendship between the two and how it translates into this very sweet, lovely friendship on screen. It all feels very real and natural.

The show exploits a lot of your basic unrealistic sitcom stuff, of course, like everyone having gorgeous homes with no clear explanation of how they can afford them. Money is never a problem and never mentioned. So far it hasn't been discussed how Emma can give up her high-powered career to move in with Maggie. Emma has no visible means of income and no indication that she's looking for a job or even a little part-time something something. This doesn't stop the ladies from shopping, going out to eat, buying whatever.

Yet none of that takes away from the joy of the show. Sometimes such omissions drive me nuts, but in this case, I'm glad all obstacles to sweet, happy storylines are removed. It's all about nice people you'd like to know and good friends you'd like to have. It's what my husband calls a "gentle" show. That's not an insult, it just means it's fun and pleasant and uncomplicated. It you could use a little of that in your life, give this show a whirl. You may have it On Demand on your cable box, or, for cord-cutters, you can find all the episodes streaming free online.

No comments:

Post a Comment