JetBlue, with their darling free TVs on every seat, almost got me hooked on Mob Wives: New Blood on a one hour flight. (Have you seen Big Ang’s face??) I pulled myself back from the ledge and instead turned back to the lighter comedies that are my staple in these troubling times, and boy was I happy. Because the last time I giggled in glee over a sitcom’s reference of not just books but FANTASTIC LITERATURE, the year was 2011, the book was Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, and Leslie Knope was not even remotely hooked up with Ben. In homage to that one beautiful bookish TV LOL, I’m rewarding The Most Surprisingly Literary TV Show I Watched This Week.
And the winner is…Super Fun Night!
I was bound to love adorkable Kimmie Boubier because of her bodacious bod, her cheeky last name, and for all the joy the actress who plays her, Rebel Wilson, brought to my life via Pitch Perfect. And her show includes one of the top standards by which I grade tv shows: an excellent theme song, including a dance sequence. But this week the show upped the ante and solidified my appreciation via a seemingly throwaway supporting character, a hunk of a bodyguard for a Lil Kim-like rapstress that lawyer Kimmie is trying to sign under contract. Antwon the bodyguard has some of the best lines of the episode, all related to books. Such as:
Antwon: “Sup boo? Just up here admiring you and reading my favorite book, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Magical realism girl, you know what I’m sayin?”
Kimmie: “…I just read The Hunger Games. We should talk?”
Antwon on receiving a swag-bag re-gifted glass horse: “My Glass Menagerie is complete!”
Later, Antwon admits to Kimmie that he’s an English major who realized “I like punching people,” and gives Kimmie his beloved book as a parting gift, quoting his favorite passage:
“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that, in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him, he ended up falling in love with her.”
Kimmie: “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
I’m now pulling out my well-worn copy of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez masterpiece, all because of a tv show reference. And ruminating on how the two books, One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Hunger Games, have more in common than I ever would have imagined. They’re both ultimately heartbreaking sagas about family, and what you’ll do to keep that family intact; being in love, and all the drama that comes with it; and holding on to a small bit of sanity in your little corner of the world, while time and the future and change are all crowding in trying to upend everything you know. So thank you, Super Fun Night, for reminding me of two super good books.
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