Hump, Marry, Kill: Return Of The Jonai
Hump: Not-at-all-shocking fact: I nerd out, big-time, for all things pertaining to New York City history. In middle school, I actually read Jacob Riis’ How the Other Half Lives for fun and not for social studies. I fall in a massive Wikipedia K-hole every time I visit any page related to the famed Five Points neighborhood or the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. In fact, it took me an hour to write this paragraph because I was crawling out of one of said K-holes. I think the sun is about to come up; rosy-fingered dawn is creeping over the city. So, naturally, I tuned in to the debut of BBC America’s first bit of original programming for our shores, Copper. It wasn’t everything I wanted it to be — what with Martin Scorsese having set the bar for Five Points-related entertainment pretty high — but hello Tom Weston-Jones, who plays Irish immigrant policeman Kevin Corcoran. You can arrest me anytime, good sir. Marry: Remember that purity-pledging band of brothers who stormed the tween scene in the latter half of the early aughts only to have their mantle usurped by the likes of Justin Bieber (who’s now being dethroned by the One Direction-helmed British invasion)? Well, they’re back — or at least they’re trying to be. Oldest Jonas, Kevin, and his wife Danielle Deleasa are the stars of a new reality show on E! called, what else, Married to Jonas. After tying the knot, the young couple moved back to their home state of New Jersey, and it appears they’ve been trying to lead a semi-normal life during the band’s hiatus. The producers of Married to Jonas try desperately to stir up drama in the form of “Dani has to cook for her in-laws” and “Kevin’s intimidated by his wife’s big Italian family,” but the couple at the heart of the show doesn’t offer much controversy. He’s a twenty-something-year-old who gets to have sex for the first time, and she seems genuinely excited about starting a life with him. It’s surprisingly sweet, which of course makes for boring reality television. Even Joe Jonas — who appears to relish the cliché reality TV role of shi*t-stirrer, making obnoxious comments about Kevin and Dani’s baby timeline over a family dinner — can’t phase the young newlyweds. Despite their overbearing families, they really want to make it work without mugging for the cameras, and it’s pretty refreshing to see. Now let us all forget I ever watched a show about a Jonas brother. Multiple shows about Jonas brothers. I mean, I’ve never watched JONAS on Disney, no siree. Kill: MTV’s track record when it comes to remaking British shows is a trainwreck. They basically destroyed the seminal teen British series Skins last year. When I heard they were redoing another amazing English teen show, The Inbetweeners, I shuddered. After all, the source material is laugh-out-loud perfect. It’s a premium blend of gross-out humor and teen boys experiencing a burgeoning new feeling. No, not that kind...emotional feelings; the stirrings of mature adulthood, if you will. Thankfully, when the American Inbetweeners debuted on Monday, it wasn’t the disaster I expected. Sure, the whole private-school-born-and-bred, fish-out-of-water Will embarking on a new life at public school didn’t translate quite as well over here, but the pilot mostly stayed true to the British one, and let's be honest, projectile vomiting on one’s unrequited love never gets old. Nor does the word “molestery.” What I could do without: the actor they cast as Jay, the compulsive liar whose squalid stories of sexual conquests are as misinformed as they are implausible. In the English Inbetweeners, Jay is the same lying git, but there’s an innocence to it; he’s clearly unsure of himself and thinks telling tall tales will hide his lack of self-confidence. It makes sense that a girl could actually see through the false arrogance and fall in like with him. American Jay has all lying bravado, but lacks the likability of his British counterpart. He’s all broad strokes with no hint of a more detailed inner life riddled with insecurities and the desire to be liked in spite of them. It’s most unclear why MTV didn’t ask for my opinion when casting the show.
Photo: Courtesy of BBC AMERICA/Cineflix (Copper) Inc.; Courtesy of Timothy White/E!; Courtesy of MTV