Sullivan & Son: Online Dating

Sullivan & Son has been guilty of cringe comedy and an inability to move the story forward. Jokes that make the audience cringe aren’t always funny as much as they are offensive. Cringe comedy is very hard to execute, which it has for Sullivan & Son. Viewers may be too distracted by the subject matter to laugh. With a lack of movement or action in most of the episodes of Sullivan & Son, there is very little room for distraction. Luckily, on Thursday’s episode, the subject manner and themes were rather pleasant and still funny. The story is still slow, but that is the nature of the show, but yesterday’s episode seemed to take advantage of its limited setting.

The episode opened with Steve’s mother, Ok Cha showing Steve a picture of a Korean woman named Grace Kim online. She then says that she set up an online dating profile for Steve and that the woman wants to meet him. Of course, Steve is upset that his mom took control of his personal life. The dynamic between Steve and his mother can get a little old. Ok Cha likes to think Steve can’t take control of his life when he clearly can. That being said, the measures that Ok Cha took could be construed as so annoying that they are funny. She asserts that she didn’t pretend to be Steve, but she pretended to better than Steve. Steve protests that he does not want to meet Grace, but Grace was coming to the bar anyway.

As Sullivan & Son episodes tend to stand alone, it could be virtually assured that Steve’s date was not going to have a recurring role on the show. Despite Steve being attracted to Grace and claiming she was “as hot as [her] picture,” it seemed very likely that the show would find a way to get rid of her by the end of the episode. That being said, it was difficult to be interested in her story line. When Ok Cha lamented that Grace was extremely pleasant as opposed to cold and unforgiving like her, Steve chided his mother and said her plan backfired. While true, it is not funny that Ok Cha is desperately trying to control her son’s life. It’s just unfortunate.

Most of the episode’s humor comes from a story line involving Steve’s friends, Owen, Roy,  and Ahmed. After noticing a man’s profile got a lot of hits from women wanting to date, Steve’s friends want this stranger to teach them his wisdom. To do this, they set up a fake profile under the name Royella Ahmed.  A man named Ryan shows up at the bar looking for Royella and unintentionally works his charm on Mel. Mel is frustrated that her boyfriend didn’t notice that she got a haircut, which Ryan takes notice right away, despite never having met her. When Ryan says that it frames her face really well, a shocked Mel simply says “I love you.” This was a very smooth way to introduce Ryan’s character as Steve’s friends looked on in amazement. Ryan is initially confused by the guys’ motives but agrees to try being their friend.

Ryan does not seem capable of being friends with the men, as he is always looking for deep and meaningful communication while they just want to stare at a television. A very funny running joke was that women would always approach him as he was in the middle of explaining his feelings to the guys. Steve was essentially sitting back watching the story develop and commented that Ryan was acting more like a girlfriend than a guy friend. Owen, Roy, and Ahmed quickly realize that Steve is right and “break up” with him.

Overall, this episode was amusing in pointing out the differences in communication between men and women. It was not always accurate, but the humor had to come from a very simplified exaggeration that men do not care what anyone is thinking and that women care too much. The men ostracized Ryan for wanting to communicate and it was unfortunate, but also funny. Hopefully, the relationship between Steve and Ok Cha varies a bit because this episode was mostly adequate.

Posted on August 24, 2012, in Cable, Comedy, TBS, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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