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‘Garfunkel and Oates’

| Tuesday, October 7, 2014

GarfunkelandOats_WEBEMILY DANAHER | The Observer
We’ve all had that moment when we’re compared to a celebrity, whether it is welcomed or not.  I’ve heard it all: “iCarly” from my younger brother’s friends, Emma Watson when I had a pixie cut, “that nerdy girl from ‘The Middle’” according to my mom’s “friend” and Rory from “Gilmore Girls,” according to my grandma who watched the show solely for that reason.  It’s not a one-way street; I’m guilty of chasing girls down to let them know they remind me of Jennifer Lawrence or TaySwift.

The perceived resemblances can lead to ego boosts or concerns. After a few comments on my parallels to Zooey Deschanel, I decided to further my connection to the actress: dressing exclusively in light blue or animal prints and getting a bang trim. However, not every comparison is flattering: realizing my asthma, crutches and unflattering Deschanel-inspired bang trim in high school did leave me a little too akin to “that nerdy girl from ‘The Middle’.”

Usually the comparisons, however flattering or unnerving, channel us provincially but nothing to the extent of “twinzies.” However, sometimes you find “the one” — or in this case, “the two.”

On a trip home this past week my dad sat me down to watch a few episodes he had recorded of “Garfunkel and Oates,” a new comedy on IFC. What awaited me was 23 minutes of watching the lives of my roommate and I unfold on screen, acted out by our body doubles.

The show, mirroring my life, features the classic best friend duo: short brunette and tall blonde. The two friends make up the comedy folk duo and real-life YouTube stars, Garfunkel (Riki Lindhome) and Oates (Kate Micucci). The friends say their names are derived from “two famous rock-and-roll second bananas,” Art Garfunkel and John Oates (who made a cameo as an employee at an adult video store in an episode).

The comedy follows the duo as they navigate Los Angeles as thirty-something singles trying to capitalize on their modest YouTube celebrity status. The idea of YouTube star best friends on a TV show is not new; “Broad City” has seen much success with the same premise.

The format of the show resembles “Flight of the Conchords,” with humorous, somewhat uncomfortable songs not so smoothly interspersed throughout. The roommates take awkward situations in their lives — passively texting a relationship out of existence, wishing acquaintances Happy Birthday on Facebook, dealing with smug pregnant women — and put on a witty song and dance about them.

That aspect of the show is what my dreams are made of, as I try to make a song out of everything — the lack of cups in the dining hall, flossing, how warm clothes are out of the dryer — however, my blonde roommate merely puts up with this odd behavior and never jumps off the couch to join in. Maybe if I were actually Oates she would be better at “makin’ my dreams come true.”

The satirical numbers and amusing banter in the show work to produce uproarious one-liners. They also pose existential questions: “Wait, why is she called ‘The Little Mermaid,’ she’s like a normal sized mermaid?”

Some of the things quirky, adorable, brunette Kate Micucci does in the show are eerily connected to my life: her worry of becoming an adult and being required to eat tilapia and quiche, her love of sweets, her brunette bob and her wardrobe.

When trying out for a scandalous movie role, Kate is asked by Riki if she has anything sexy to wear.

“I have my hummingbird sweater, my good overalls, my purple skorts?” (I own all of these items, except my sweater has swans on it, not a hummingbird.)

Not to be outdone, Riki responds with, “That sounds like the lost and found box at Chuck E. Cheese.”

“Who takes off their clothes at Chuck E. Cheese?” Kate questions.

The show will delight “Flight of the Conchord” fans and give “Broad City” viewers a new alternative until the new season returns in January.

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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