Comedy series: The new breed
Like a ballplayer coming out of spring training still getting his swing in shape, TBS’ original series “My Boys” took awhile to find its niche, but by season’s end, it was hitting it over the fences … literally.
In the series’ season finale, Jim Gaffigan — one of the poker-playing fellas who feels emasculated by his wife and yearns for his party-hearty days — hits a home run at a deserted Wrigley Field, where his friends have taken him to celebrate his birthday. It’s a fitting metaphor for the show, which ultimately captured a healthy audience for the way men and women see the world differently through the lens of sports, gambling and dating.
Jordana Spiro, who had a starring role a few years back in the USA Network series “The Huntress,” plays lead P.J. A sportswriter (though we rarely see her writing anything or covering games) with a passion for poker, she keeps a tight circle of guy friends with no romantic complications — until she and Reid Scott rekindle a lingering flame.
“P.J. is relatable to me. She can’t cook, is friends with a lot of guys and is ambitious in her career while not taking herself too seriously,” Spiro explains during a break while shooting an episode for season two, which begins in July.
Behind-the-scene talent is just as intriguing as those in front of the camera. The series is exec produced by TV vet Gavin Polone, relative newcomer Betsy Thomas (on whom the lead character is based) and former ABC entertainment topper Jamie Tarses.
Spiro says the latter two are on set most shooting days and bring a convivial ambiance that rubs off on the rest of the cast and crew.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from Betsy and Jamie is that you can maintain a fun environment and have a good show,” she says. “You don’t need to be strict and micromanage and take everything so seriously.”
Funniest episode: The season finale, “Myths.” Maybe it’s not the funniest, but it’s certainly the best. The gang treats Andy to an unforgettable birthday: an afternoon playing ball at Wrigley Field.
Funniest character: Andy always finds the dark cloud on a sunny day. He says his dictatorial wife is keeping him on a short leash but we learn late in the season that she’s actually extremely likable.
Funniest line: P.J. to Bobby, while putting her batting order together for an upcoming softball game: “No, I’m batting you last because you might suck.”