Not Too Close, Love

In honor of the close of yet another work week, I give you the top 6 “professional” TV characters I love to watch but with whom I could NEVER work:

1. Dwight Shrute, The Office (U.S.)  Every workplace has one:  the insufferable know-it-all who actually knows very little about most everything.  Dwight brown noses the boss, values strength and power in a way reminiscent of the archaic Neanderthal and is so obsessed with strict adherence to the rules, he often forgoes all logic.  An absolute nightmare of a co-worker but a riot to watch on television.

2. Darren Lamb, Extras  The affable talent agent/part-timer at the Car Phone Warehouse, Darren, is mind-numbingly stupid.  More of a hindrance than a help to his client, so careless he can’t ever remember the name of the sitcom in which his only working client stars!  Stephen Merchant plays the incompetent fool with such sweet, child-like innocence and nerdy goofiness, you can’t help but like him.  You also can’t help feeling sorry for the poor actor who made the mistake of hiring him.

3.Vince Masuka, Dexter  Though he seems reasonably good at his job as a forensic lab analyst, Masuka is so foul-mouthed and filthy he makes you forget why he’s there.  Not that I don’t love a good dirty joke, it’s just that this guy takes every joke five steps too far.  From the safety of my living room, his raunchiness provides comic relief to this otherwise dark and disturbing series.  If I were a member of the Miami Homicide team, I’d rather spend my time with the other lab geek – you know, the serial killer.

4. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation  While Knope’s constant enthusiasm and impossible optimism are what keep us hanging around week after week, I’m sure I’d end up in a cage match with her before the end of one 40-hour work week if she were my boss.

5. Karen Walker, Will & Grace  Listen, Karen Walker and Jack McFarland, together, were the only reason to watch this show.  Megan Mullally knocked it out of the park every single episode as the always-drunk, stinking rich, snobby New York-ite who went to work only to catch up on lost sleep.  Ahh, if only real-life drunks were as charming and hilarious as Karen.

6. Jane Williams, Happy Endings  Jane’s control-freak, obsessively perfect while simultaneously absurdly silly persona works, somehow, on-screen.  This combination could ONLY work on TV; no such OCD nutjob could possibly win me over in reality.  Eliza Coup sells it, though, making Jane one of my favorites.



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