I was sick from Saturday through Tuesday…I was unable to sleep much…so I ended up doing some binge watching Netflix. I watched the last few seasons of Rules of Engagement a mildly amusing sitcom that lasted seven seasons and had just enough episodes to make it to syndication.
I watched mainly due to longstanding crushes on Megyn Price and Patrick Warburton. The show detailed the lives of “friends” in different stages of relationship life. Price and Warburton were Audrey and Jeff, the long married couple. There was the couple who lived together Adam and Jen (Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich) and their single friend Russell (David Spade-playing his specialty, the sleazy dirtbag). Adam and Russell worked in the same office, Adam & Jen lived in the same building as Audrey and Jeff.
In the second season, they added Timmy (Adhir Kalyan), who began working for Russell as his ever suffering assistant. I referred to friends in quotes because frankly, it was not clear that any character liked the other. Sure, they would st and laugh, trade sexist/homophobic barbs…the ongoing jokes around Adam was how he seemed so gay and was generally stupid. Jen was the hot girlfriend, routinely embarrassed by the stupid things her boyfriend said or did. Jeff saw marriage as a battlefield, so much of the jokes around him were about how he was navigating that battlefield-seeing his wife Audrey as his opponent and impediment to peace and stability (but really, he did love her) and Audrey’s frustrations with her husband’s luddite tendencies drove her character. Then there was Russell. Russell would lie, cheat or do any underhanded thing to get a woman into bed. There were repeated implications that he drugged women and-
Holy heck…this show sounds terrible. And I did not get to Timmy yet…Timmy was South African (something Russell could never get right, he constantly made racist comments about Timmy being middle eastern or from India) and very proper. He usually blew off Russell’s racism and suffered heavily, doing demeaning work such as lying to women for Russell or being his wingman…
By the final (100th) episode I was a bit dead inside…but one of the episode’s big plot points stirred a frustration in my soul.
Timmy quit working for Russell after discovering Russell had gotten a tracking chip implanted into him. Yeah…the show got pretty bizarre when it came to Russell and Timmy. Adam and Jen were getting married, Audrey and Jeff awaiting the birth of their baby via surrogate Lesbian Brenda (Sara Rue). Timmy was enjoying a new job, but got wind that there was a problem with his Work Visa. Jeff was trying to make Brenda laugh so hard she would pee her pants, except the water broke. This interrupted Adam and Jen’s wedding plans. Wait, did I mention Timmy’s work Visa? This is actually very odd if you were a regular viewer. Because there was an episode in the fifth season where it is revealed that Timmy has been an American Citizen for about ten years. In other words, he would not need a work visa. And the staff never caught this? The show runners? That is a big thing to forgot when your plot hinges on a situation Timmy would not find himself in.
But here is the thing…the sole reason was so they could have a resolution where Russell proposes to Timmy so they can get married and he can stay in the United States. The show ended with Sleazy implied rapists of women Russell “heroically” marrying Timmy to keep him from having to leave the country. Adam and Jen get married, Audrey and Jeff got their baby and find out that Audrey is pregnant (which they were under the impression was never going to happen-that is why they had a surrogate). It is a series of “feel good endings” that do not feel good…because it all just makes no sense…
Looking back, the show is far worse than I had initially remembered…my love of Price and Warburton had given me rosier memories than deserved. And it ended on a lousy, lazy note.