Monday, January 26, 2009

the truth about romeo.

Jack: I'm Jacqueline Barrett, friends call me Jack.
Jill: Hey, David Jillefsky, my friends call me Jill. I guess we know what our friends are gonna call us together.
And with that CLEVER SET-UP TO END ALL CLEVER SET-UPS, Jack & Jill begins.  Jack & Jill, the far-too-short-lived comedy drama from the glory days of the WB.  Jack & Jill, the show that I reference at least once a week, references that no one ever understands, leaving me to question whether perhaps I am the only person on earth who remembers that this televised masterpiece ever existed.  Which is wrong, so very wrong, for so very many reasons.
First of all, the cast is insane.  Pre-A Lot Like Love Amanda Peet.  Pre-What I Like About You Simon Rex.  Pre-My Name is Earl Jaime Pressly.  And post-Mother May I Sleep With Danger? Ivan Sergei, in which I think he tries to kill his girlfriend, played by Tori Spelling, but even my love for J&J cast members and all things Lifetime couldn't take me past the first ten minutes. Also, I may have been one of very few people to appreciate how AWESOME it was that Jack and Elisa, aka Sarah Paulson, ended up friends again on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
There are huge gaps in my memory of plot details, partly due to the fact that I was a very sheltered junior high-er at the time and a lot of it went straight over my head, and partly due to the fact that however many video streaming Web sites I try, no full episodes of the show seem to exist online.  And no DVD has been released.  Although once it is, I'll most likely be the first to know, as I've registered for an e-mail alert from about eight different Web sites.
Anyway, after sifting through quotes from the show to find the one referenced above, I realized just how huge an impact this show had on 13-year-old me.  Everything I know about love, the real world and extremely healthy relationships I learned from Jack & Jill, with help from Dawson's Creek and every movie Freddie Prinze Jr. ever made. Coincidentally, I also realized why I exist in a generation rife with over-analyzers.  But I digress.
Jack & Jill taught me that life as a professional dancer is tough, male bartenders are slutty, parting your hair down the middle is cool, cheating is bad and leads to scenes where people get chased down in airports, scenes where people get chased down in airports are cool, everything even vaguely romantic that ever happens to you in life will take place either in an apartment building hallway or a laundry room which you're accidentally locked inside (a belief that I held only until my roommate explained to me all the dangers that young women face in laundry rooms) and that it will always be hip to tie your cardigan around your waist.
The real tragedy here is that the show was canceled with little warning, so none of the storylines ever got tied up.  Jack and Jill were going to get married, probably on a hill, I really can't remember, Jill freaked out and called it off, not knowing that OMG JACK'S PREGNANT BUT SHE HASN'T TOLD YOU YET, NOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. Come to think of it, this show may have also contributed to my intense and debilitating fear of pregnancy.
Also, the theme song, "The Truth About Romeo," by Pancho's Lament, purchased by me on iTunes in a particular fit of nostalgia for the year 2000ish, rocks in a way that only turn-of-the-most-recent-century music can and deserves a little love.  And in other news, I am now craving canned mandarin oranges, as that is all 13-year-old me ever ate.


  1. It's hard to stake the claim that Simon Rex has or will ever have a golden age in his career, as it seems like that's what you're implying. If we're really talking pivotal career moments, though, I think everything should be based on its relationship to "Karate Dog":

  2. This offends me. I am offended. Clearly, you should have taken your life and romance advice from Beverly Hills 90210, a teen soap that has not only stood the test of time, but has actually revived itself for the benefit of future generations.