Themes of the series

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eejm
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Themes of the series

Postby eejm » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:00 pm

I’ve been rewatching the entire HBO series at work over the past couple of weeks. While I doubt the series was ever intended to be quite this deep, I realized there were a few themes played out that I really enjoyed seeing, ones that are so often missing from most other shows on TV.

The first is Bret and Jemaine’s attachment to one another. They have such a quiet, subtle domesticity about their life together that’s just so darned endearing. It’s rarely spoken about directly, but it’s constantly there. The two have rescued each other more than once from a dangerous situation (Bret rescued Jemaine from prostituting himself, Jemaine saved Bret after Keitha and her friends robbed the place and taped Bret to the door, etc.). Jemaine writes Bret a song and makes the stove talk to cheer him up. Bret tries to cook Jemaine a pizza to apologize. Jemaine balances their mutual checkbook. Both refer to Dave as “our” best friend, as though they are unit. I love how the two have almost always been together and it is almost understood that they’ll always be together. I hate the word “bromance” since it implies the stereotypical macho male bonding crap usually on TV, but these two really are a couple in most senses. They’d do almost anything for each other.

I also like that most of the women B & J are attracted to are very regular-looking girls. Or, if the actress who plays said love interest is gorgeous, her hair, clothing, and make up are very minimal in order to make her look as casual and ordinary as possible. I’m thinking of Sarah Wynter (Keitha), Rachel Blanchard (Sally) and Sutton Foster (Coco) in particular on this, as all three were shown as very ordinary girls in the series. I like that. Physical attractiveness is very subjective, but so often TV men can get away with not being model material and still has a very pretty girlfriend or wife. However, female actress who is not rail-thin or conventionally gorgeous is usually relegated to playing a goofy sidekick and either has no love interest or has a dumpy one. More attention is given to B & J’s physical appearances (and their subsequent hang ups about them) than any of their girlfriends.

I also liked that B & J had constant money issues. Financial problems are something almost all of us have experienced at one point or another. Most shows shy away from them because of the general attitude that the audience doesn’t want to be reminded of their everyday problems. But FOTC kept the poverty constant, humorous, and relatable (who else has had to dig change out of their couch and old coats to eat for the day?) literally to the very last episode.

What else did you notice?

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Re: Themes of the series

Postby Peaches » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:48 am

eejm wrote:
I also like that most of the women B & J are attracted to are very regular-looking girls. Or, if the actress who plays said love interest is gorgeous, her hair, clothing, and make up are very minimal in order to make her look as casual and ordinary as possible. I’m thinking of Sarah Wynter (Keitha), Rachel Blanchard (Sally) and Sutton Foster (Coco) in particular on this, as all three were shown as very ordinary girls in the series. I like that. Physical attractiveness is very subjective, but so often TV men can get away with not being model material and still has a very pretty girlfriend or wife. However, female actress who is not rail-thin or conventionally gorgeous is usually relegated to playing a goofy sidekick and either has no love interest or has a dumpy one. More attention is given to B & J’s physical appearances (and their subsequent hang ups about them) than any of their girlfriends.

What else did you notice?


I noticed that too, you put it more bettererer than me though :)

I get so annoyed with shows that have some fat balding lazy man with a hot skinny little wife. Pfft, I don't think so.

And the money thing is so true, it's nice that they don't live in some glamourous apartment on 5th Avenue or something, which a lot of shows do...even though the characters couldn't possibly afford it.

I might have a rewatch and note some of the themes...any excuse to rewatch is good!
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Re: Themes of the series

Postby mohumbhai mania » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:51 am

Good observation on the money thing - James Bobin has said words to the effect that "when you come to a new country, you're usually poor." And they captured that very well, they get that "if you don't laugh, you cry" vibe very well.

I also like how Murray is very parental toward them, even though he's Jemaine's age. And how there's that love-hate relationship between him and Greg.
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eejm
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Re: Themes of the series

Postby eejm » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:44 am

mohumbhai mania wrote:
I also like how Murray is very parental toward them, even though he's Jemaine's age.


Murray even has the gentle scolding down pat. ("Jemaine, was it a good thing to prostitute yourself?")

I enjoy Murray's rampant patriotism for New Zealand as well. Arguing in front of the map is disgraceful, you know.

Peaches wrote:I get so annoyed with shows that have some fat balding lazy man with a hot skinny little wife. Pfft, I don't think so.


I know! And how many shows can you think of where a chubby, plain woman has a gorgeous husband? I'm convinced that if aliens were to receive our TV signals in hopes of learning of our civilization, they would be convinced that only the thinnest, fittest, tannest women marry.

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Re: Themes of the series

Postby nonchalant obsession » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:58 pm

Great thread, eejm.

It always makes me giggle when they contrast the close almost one-ness of the guys on the show, with random bits of total disregard of one for the other. Examples would be when Jemaine dates Sally who is obviously Bret's "one". Bret abandoning Jemaine to the muggers ("It was a high pressure situation man. You'd have done the same thing.") ...doesn't tell anyone for two days, then he rents out J's side of the room. :roll2: Jemaine mentions that he doesn't really notice the difference between having Bret on stage and the tape. Bret doesn't ask Jemaine to be in the gang The Tough Brets. Jemaine tried to have Bret deported because he thought he was an Austrailian. I'm sure there are more.
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