Recently I started watching Difficult People; it came recommended to me when I said that I was a big fan of Parks and Recreation. The parallels to Parks and Rec were that it’s also single-camera shot, Amy Poehler is an executive producer, and one of the co-stars of the show is Billy Eichner, who played Tom Haverford’s flamboyantly intense sommelier in Parks and Rec.
However, those things aside, I think the comparisons kind of cease, and so far I have to admit that I’m not quite getting into the show as I hoped I would. Sure, the show shouldn’t be more of the same Parks and Rec formula by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ll admit the last episode I saw (Italian Piñata) was actually really funny, but what it boils down to is the fact that it’s nowhere near as good as Parks and Rec.
The thing is, the show is based on two assholes who go around acting like vapid dicks, living in a sandbox. Difficult People doesn’t actually go anywhere, and I just recently realized that I’ve been watching the show kind of out of chronological order, but haven’t really noticed, because every episode is self-contained, and it’s just a different story of how Julie and Billy can be shitty people. This is a far cry from the Parks and Rec formula that had a continuously forward-moving storyline with characters that grew, developed and actually cared about one another.
However, this isn’t a post about how weak Difficult People is, or how much superior Parks and Rec is over every other show (The Good Place, however, is an excellent show, coincidentally created by Michael Schur, one of the founding fathers of Parks and Rec). What really inspired this post is the fact that I realized that there’s basically a Julie and Billy in my life right now, and that I’m sure lots of people out there have their own variants of Difficult People in their own, whether they realize it or not.
It just so happens to be coincidental that I’ve been watching this show when I came to this realization, and that the people I have in mind are, like Julie and Billy, a loud-mouthed woman and a loud-mouthed gay guy. And unfortunately, I work with them, so I see them nearly every single working day.