[Editor’s Note: Script reviews of upcoming projects have been around for as long as there’s been an Internet. Therefore it’s no secret that a television show can evolve into something quite different from its screenplay. Please keep in mind that this article represents a look at a particular script and not the final product.]
The Freshmen is a standard situation comedy aimed at fans who enjoy watching single people talking about sex as they approach middle age. Three roommates share a house; only the twist here is that all three are freshmen congressmen learning about life in Washington DC. The central theme of the series is how their antics end up getting published on a website that looks remarkably like the Huffington Post.
I’m certain that’s not accidental, since Arianna Huffington is a producer of the show.
I’ve been a fan of the Huffington Post since it’s inception. Next to Big Hollywood, it is probably one of Andrew Briethbart’s greatest creations. I’ve been “debating” the Huffers since May of 2005, and surprisingly only had my account suspended twice. I currently post as TimnySlagle. Tim Slagle and Timmy Slagle were both removed for making allegations that RFK Jr. is a junkie, the same way Rush is incessantly referred to there. But much like flirting in a men’s room and being a tax cheat or a philanderer, drug addiction is only wrong if you’re a Republican. (I also suspect that shortly after this article is released, I’ll be registering another new screen name.)
Predictably, the television pilot’s Democrat Congress-persons, Cameron and Jane, are two nice, decent people who only went to Washington to try and make a difference; while the Republican, Vince, is corrupt, over-sexed, and only using his office to get rich. He’s a publicity whore willing to do anything for campaign contributions. Strangely, he acts like no Republican I’ve ever met. In fact, he seems more like a young Bill Clinton.
I’ve only read the pilot script, but I will bet a large sum of money that later in the season we’ll find out Vince is gay. It’s a plot twist only slightly less predictable than Avatar. He also tells the Democrat Congressman that there is no need to read a bill before you vote on it — you just vote with your party. Somewhat ironic, considering what just passed through the Democrat House like a greased burrito.
Sarah Chalke, formerly of Scrubs and Becky #2 from Rosanne, is Jane, the star of the show. She plays a successful promiscuous career woman who accidentally married a gay man and is currently infatuated with the President. The plot-line seems remarkably similar to the biography of Arianna Huffington. It’s quite obvious that Sarah Chalke is what Arianna sees in the mirror every morning. Either she cast the role herself or Hollywood has finally run out of Gabor sisters.
I’m sure that the critics are going to think the show is non-partisan, but the only joke against the Left is one small skit about how many different awareness wristbands Democrats have to wear. (This reminds me of a stunt Rush Limbaugh did years ago, when he appeared on his TV show with a lapel full of awareness ribbons.)
People looking for political satire will be quite disappointed since the show makes fun of homosexuality more than politics. It is amazing that a group of liberals are responsible for putting together such a show; one that would be considered homophobic if a conservative made it. Just another example of the privilege of language accorded the Left.
A running gag is that everyone refers to Jane as the “gay-husband lady.” Her husband leaves her to sell jelly with his lover under the brand name “Two Fruits Fruit Preserves.” Gay jokes are a constant. Here’s a sample from just this one episode:
- Vince assures Jane that a dinner party will have have a number of eligible bachelors there and that less than half of them are secretly gay.
- Talking about his wristbands, Cameron gushes accidentally that he’s the “Queen” of colored bracelets.
- When recommending Jane hit on a lawyer, Vince assures her the guy’s straight because his socks don’t match.
- When apologizing for suggesting a silly pick up line, Cameron suggests Jane ask her former husband how to pick up men.
Finally, a wealthy fundamentalist constituent trying to get Vince to ban rainbows says that the rainbow is now a sign for gays and lesbians to dress outrageously and march in parades.
This last joke is obviously a patronizing nod to the gay community in the hopes of saying that we’re on your side even though we just made a lot of adolescent generalizations about you. Much like the comment policies at the Huffington Post only allow you to make fun of Republican drug addiction issues, Arianna feels her liberalism has guaranteed her the right to gay bash.
If this show continues to keep all the jokes below the belt and avoids touching any weightier subjects I’m certain it will be a big hit.
It even made me chuckle once or twice.