Clark and Michael: Genius in Bite-Size Chunks

Courtesy of CBS

They brushed our teeth with their dicks!

So concludes the first episode of Clark and Michael, a CBS-sponsored, online-only “TV” show that follows the semi-fictional adventures of Michael Cera (he of the confused smiles and Arrested Development fame) and Clark Duke (he of the soft, feminine features and, uh, CSI guest appearances). In a summer without The Office or Lost to give me some reason to live week to week, discovering that two of my favorite bros are creating this glory is like having Chanukah all over again, except the presents are on the Internet and you get one once a week. No dreidels, either.

If you haven’t watched it yet, the show follows the two acting as fictionalized versions of themselves Spice World style, only in that very funny, postmodern mockumentary manner that The Office has used so effectively. The plot? It’s basically Clark and Michael wandering around L.A. and taking lunches they can’t pay for with television network bigwigs while attempting to sell their screenplay, with personal drama and amazing jokes ensuing throughout. [Continue reading…]

The two gentleman swear profusely and indulge in the collegiate male pursuit of semi-ironic misogynism. In one episode, Michael seems to genuinely think he’s being romantic by asking a baby-laden romantic interest, “Did you breastfeed her?” Not to mention his ridiculous-yet-satiric use of the ubiqitous movie biz term “sweetheart.” But it is also a show about the typical post-collegiate Angeleno pursuit of Hollywood, and thus becomes a coming-of-age buddy comedy and scathing satire. In just eight minutes a week! “You have a new lady and her name is Hollywood. And her legs are spread so wide that there’s room enough for both of us,” Clark tells Michael in one of Clark and Michael’s more poignant scenes. We might as well call the show a romantic drama, too: The pair could pass for an old married couple; they’ve certainly got the emotional hang-ups and communication issues of a long relationship, but luckily things always end in bro hugs. This is a feel-good show.

Aside from the onions upon onions of layers the show manages to cut up and cry over in each of its lightning-quick installments, everything really hinges on its dynamic duo: Cera reprises his awkward, naive George Michael persona and adds a bit of an anger management problem, while Duke – previously an unknown to me, and probably you, too – is spot-on as his pal’s undeservedly cocky counterpart. Which one’s Batman? I’ll let you be the judge of that. There are only nine episodes and as I’ve noted, they’re short and sweet so start right now and you should be able to get caught up before the final one “airs” on Wednesday night. If that’s not incentive enough, dudes have fantastic taste in music – songs appear rarely on the show, so even more credit to the fellas for making one of the lucky tunes this one.

Beulah – “Don’t Forget to Breathe”: mp3

(Clark and Michael’s last episode premieres on Wednesday; you can watch the whole series here. And you shouldn’t have much trouble finding them on YouTube, if that’s how you roll.)


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