I had never seen an episode of TBS’ sitcom My Boys before, but when the sneak preview to the second season landed in my lap, I took a chance. Luckily, I found that the show is refreshingly accessible, and I could strangely relate. The show stars Jordana Shapiro as PJ Franklin, a personable, level-headed sportswriter looking for love while spending her days with her closest friends – a gaggle of young, attractive, goofy boys who are a constant reminder that in the long run—in love, family and career—none of us ever really know what we’re doing.
The season begins with PJ going off to Italy with her only girl pal, Stephanie, and her boyfriend, bringing along a mystery date in hopes of stirring romance. Jim Gaffigan (That 70’s Show) plays Andy, PJ’s brother, who in this season comes into a great deal of wealth which goes to his head, and his newfound economic bracket creates tension within the gang. Together, PJ’s guy friends make up a post-collegiate version of the cast of Friends: charming, ridiculous, sincere and willing to crack open their shells to reveal the soft and confused parts of themselves that make them human.
True to the format of network television, the show’s scriptedness feels unnatural and almost mechanical. It doesn’t offer any ground-breaking insights into the workings of life or skyrocket any of the characters’ acting careers. My Boys does not stand out or portend to make a big deal of itself. This is not exactly high-quality television, but it serves very well one of the functions of contemporary television viewing: mindless relaxation. By mindless, I am not referring to the startling pop-stupidity of I Love New York or The Hills, but a show that allows you to get home after a hard day, put your feet up, pop open a beer and giggle at the gaffs of some guy who you feel like you might know. You feel for the sweet PJ whose status as "one of the guys" dooms her love life but fills her world with the sacred love of a band of buddies, and shake your head at the men who fall over themselves for the women who make appearances for portions of episodes and become another fouled attempt. And hey, let’s face it, scripted or otherwise, when we look around our own gaggles, we realize that most of us know what that feels like.
The second season launches on Thursday, June 12th at 9:30 PM (ET/PT) on TBS.