retired at 35: what a dream!

Ursula, guest writer who is awesome:


This past Wednesday I watched Hot in Cleveland—because I figured I’d give it another shot since Brittany likes it and my entertainment preferences are embarrassingly malleable—and since Retired at 35 came on right after, I decided to leave the TV on and see what it was like.

That did not turn out to be a hugely bad or hugely good decision, although I did turn it off after 20 minutes, which probably tells you something.

Okay. So basically, the idea is that David (Johnathan McClain) goes to visit his parents in their Florida retirement home, and while there he quits his job at a New York firm. OVER THE PHONE, BECAUSE HIS BOSS KEEPS HASSLING HIM. CRAZY.

The rest, I would guess (because again, I didn’t see the end of the half-hour show) leads to David being retired…at 35.

I presume that means that he’ll be provided for by his parents for the duration of the show, while hanging out with his old high school buddy and getting over his cheaty ex-girlfriend in New York. Or something. The thing about this show is that it is completely in a gray area: not bad and not good. It’s just forgettable and doesn’t really leave much of an impact. There are pluses and minuses to the show that leave it at a solid C.

Pluses: David has a sister. This might not sound like a big deal, but in my experience, main characters on TV and in movies, if they have siblings, almost always have siblings of the same gender. Is that true? I don’t know, but it makes sense for women to have sisters (who act as best friends, confidantes, or someone to be wildly jealous of) and for men to have brothers they can wrestle with and compete for mom’s attention. At least that’s the way I’ve seen it happen. So kudos to Retired at 35 for at least doing something a little differently, not that the sister has much of a role except to mock her brother into bouts of painful-to-watch sibling rivalry.

Another plus of Retired at 35 is that David’s love interest is African-American, a fact that is presented with no sense of being SHOCKING or GROUND-BREAKING. It is just something that happens. He recognizes her in a bar as the popular girl from high school, they strike up a conversation, and he gets her number. Race is not mentioned in any way, positively or negatively. It’s about time.

Minuses: Jessica Walter being cast as David’s mother. Jessica Walter is a great actress and a very classy lady, and it’s kind of painful to watch her jabber around on a TV Land sitcom. Okay, I’m biased because I’ve seen every episode of Arrested Development several times, and anyone who knows Jessica Walter as the conniving and coldly hilarious Lucille Bluth knows just how terrific she is. So this is a step down for her, to put it kindly.

The other minus is that Johnathan “I-Can’t-Spell-My-Name-Right” McClain isn’t a good actor. Watch the scene where he quits his job over the phone for some good quality cringing time.


Overall, this show is great for when you need company while you’re completing your taxes, doing homework (like me), or need a cure for insomnia. Zzzz.

(this show airs right after HOT IN CLEVELAND, its superior, Wednesdays at 10:30 on TV Land)

I wanted to say what's UP with TV Land and Just Shoot Me actors? oh man.... - Britt

Comments

  1. I think this blog is awesome and I read it all the time, so I just have to say this. I totally agree with the review (in fact, I thought it might actually be a little generous) except I have to say one thing. I watched this show because I've seen Johnathan McClain on stage a few times in NY and wanted to check out the show for him. The guy's kind of an amazing actor actually and I don't know what happened here. I've seen him in a few plays and he blew me away each time. So I can't argue that this wasn't his best work, because it wasn't, but I have to assume it's because of the bad writing or direction or something. I'm going to give the show a couple more chances because I want it to get better, but if it doesn't improve I hope he can get another job on a different show because he's not a bad actor at all, but this show for sure doesn't show off his abilities. Just an opinion.

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  2. Thank you for the comment! Good to know he's really not that bad :-)

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  3. Race is not mentioned... at least in the first 20 minutes of the show.

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  4. After the 1st episode, the sister is never mentioned again. was she written out?

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