Tweetable Takeaway: Role reversals and line deliveries hit the target this week.
Airtime: Sunday at 9:30 on Fox
By: Bryan Kastelan, Contributor
We return to the series with the build-up episode to the finale next week. Where it could have easily been a filler episode with lackluster moments, we are given a solid script with great character moments. The jokes fly, with Forte shining with sarcastic and gut busting deliveries. However, the standout of the episode that garnered the most laughs was Mel Rodriguez as Todd. With the buff new “Phil Miller” showing up, every character in the series has had a role reversal. The series has been given new life. I still think that it is strange that it came this late in the season, but I’m laughing too hard to keep harping on earlier episodes. The truth is that the series has changed. There are two dis-jointed halves to the season. It has most importantly been consistently funny in the back half of the season. It is now a very solid sex comedy, and no longer a post-apocalyptic series.
With Todd being jealous that Melissa has her sights on the new Phil, he finally sees eye to eye with Forte. The two make a great team. In essence, every character has become Forte’s. A hot new person shows up and they are all over him. Seeing January Jones cut loose from her uptight role is very refreshing. Mary Steenburgen is a standout as the hilariously suggestive Gale. Think about films like Porky’s and Revenge of the Nerds. They were unashamed of being straight sex comedies. We are in an age where every film and series acts apologetic about it. This series has gone lengths that I forgot existed. Yes, it is short on heart, but it didn’t ask us to search for the heart in it.
The second half of the season wouldn’t have worked if Boris Kodjoe didn’t portray the new Phil Miller will the naturalness that he does. He’s not a straight up villain. He is just a naive guy that doesn’t realize how much he makes women swoon. Kodjoe’s deliveries are genius. Giving Forte and Todd a complex villain in this way is funny down to the core. The writers could have easily given us a guy that takes pleasure in seeing the other men suffer while he gets the girls. Instead, we are given a guy that has no evil agenda. This adds to the ironic nature that the series nails so well.
With the finale coming up, I honestly can’t tell you exactly how it is going to play. Flash back to the unpredictable pilot for the series. We didn’t know at all how the season was going to play out. Where it got predictable towards the middle of the season, the shortcomings have been fixed. It actually has me wanting more.
Bryan Kastelan is an avid fan of film and television. He is a screenwriter that dabbles in music and comedy. He has a degree in film studies and creative writing, and is a pop culture junkie. He would be great on a film and music version of Jeopardy.