by DICK CHENEY
creator Emily Fox
Becca Brady (Laura Ramsey) is a deeply unhappy person. She is going to be married to a beautiful and considerate man with a good job. She lives in a magnificent apartment overlooking Central Park West and her nether regions have yet to require homeopathic rejuvenation of any kind. What exactly could be so bad about her life that she wants to return to 1995, sent there by the magical interference of a magical black person, the first one she has presumably ever met?
VH1’s new deeply offensive series displays a plantation mentality at almost every turn. Every single other person in it is white, including Becca’s entire bridal party and – gasp! – her mother! Hindsight not only takes Becca back to the days in which the size of Bill Clinton’s penis was still an open question, it melts the entire diverse smorgasbord of New York City diversity down to the Aryan Brotherhood and one non-threatening black man (Don Cheadle).
I am just kidding about the Don Cheadle part. He could not take this role because he was previously committed to portraying a drag queen who sends Ryan Gosling back to the 1890s period in London.
Nostalgia goggles have taken over – people now think the 1970s was a fun time to live in. Trust me, it was not: things were every bit as racist as they are today, and you never knew how many calories were in any of your food. When Becca goes back to 1995 through the fantastic involvement of Gabourey Sidibe (still joking) very little is actually different about society.
Cell phones were slightly smaller back then, and played better games. Otherwise things appear to be roughly the same, if a bit more prosperous overall. The biggest thing Becca notices is that she is able to smoke in bars again. It seems like we’re stretching if the major advantage of a time period is the greater ease with which we are able to give people cancer.
The past is always glamorized beyond all reasonable recognition. Some few, lucky people were able to be happy because they didn’t know any better. A lot of people have been asking me lately what I was doing in 1995, and I told them the same thing I will tell you: I was preparing to go to war with Iraq.
We are always at war with Eastasia, and Becca is always let down majorly by some white brah with a haircut that look perilously anachronous given that it is supposed to be the 1990s and Matthew Perry’s head looked like a mop for the duration. I honestly could not tell the difference between some recent episodes of Seinfeld I watched and the Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David went to heaven. (Neither had a person of color present in any serious role.)
We don’t know why Becca runs away at the altar from her disappointing Australian husband Sean (Craig Horner), but she is off to make some slightly different decisions, like asking for a promotion at her job and never getting sucked into the admittedly original premise of Lost. Her friend Lolly (Sarah Goldberg) is available for hangsies or whatever in 1995, but the pair doesn’t even speak in the present.
Everyone in Becca’s life is pretty much intolerable. There is her overly controlling Mom, her weak sauce brother, her cousin whom she resents because the woman made the decision to have children in her twenties – instead of waiting for a supermodel boyfriend to come along so she can have someone new to go meh about.
There is a certain kind of woman there is no pleasing. January Jones, Golda Meir, the younger daughter on Modern Family. They will always find fault with something in you and mitigate the critique by pretending it is something awful in themselves as well. Maybe if Becca had more diverse friends and acquaintances, she wouldn’t be so completely overwhelmed and shocked by meeting a black person to the point where her only way to abjure the difference was metaphysical travel through time-space dilation.
Ryan Gosling goes back in time and discovers that he himself was actually Jack the Ripper, and the prosts he murdered were all serial killers themselves. He spends the majority of the movie being like, “Maybe you kids shouldn’t be so trusting of Father Michael, he’s looking kind of pervy lol” and screaming, “There’s no telephone here? WHAT? How do we order pizza? What.”
Then he realizes he can pretty much make a fortune by predicting the outcome of the 1899 cricket championship. Gosling retires to 2008, so he can cuddle with Eva Mendes without being annoyed and relive the enthusiastic optimism of electing our first black president. After that, he can travel to 2015 to help us find him.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
“Cat Food (instrumental)” – Aesop Rock (mp3)