"#YumYum" struck me as a pretty pedestrian episode so I didn't post about it when I first watched it last week. Maybe that's fortuitous, because it winds up being a good pairing with "Breaking Brad". I had two thoughts after watching "#YumYum":
- Jo's continued devotion to not just pleasing Brad, but becoming him, is a terrific running gag. In fact, Jo might be the funniest character on the show.
- By contrast, Brad is kind of problematic. As indispensable as Danny Pudi was on Community, I'm not sure he is making the right choices on this show. Brad is obviously an antagonist, but I've found there to be a malevolence to Pudi's characterization of him that tends to suck the humor out of the scenes he is in.
So then here we get "Breaking Brad", and both of my reactions to "#YumYum" get inverted. Jo actually already is Brad, and seeing weakness in him appears to be ready to throw him over for allegiance to his brother. And Brad isn't Brad at all, but a persona put on by a guy refusing to let others see him vulnerable. I'm not sure the latter entirely works as an explainer for Brad's sociopathy, and it certainly doesn't retroactively make him funnier, but I was happy to see the show maybe realizing they had to justify this guy a little bit or that maybe they had taken him too far. That said, I don't really expect the show to give us more glimpses of meek Brad -- I think he'll still be the same guy -- but this was good to see momentarily, at least.
On an unrelated note, I really like the show's self-awareness of Ian. He's a d-bag, the show knows he's a d-bag, the show knows we know it, and even Ian himself knows it. However, he is also good at his job in ways both obvious (he built a successful game) and not obvious (he was sincerely trying to mentor Rachel in the car, and his point, if not his words, was 100% correct). "God, helping women is exhausting!
" has three different layers to it and might be the most Ian line he's ever said. Great characterization.