Sirens (USA) Review “Till Jeff Do Us Part”

Sirens (USA) Episode 7 Till Jeff Do Us Part (3)

Since Sirens debuted I have been begging for more Hank. Kevin Daniels is marvelous in the role as the straight man (who is also a gay man) of the group. He deadpans like no other and keeps the mess that is Johnny on track, while patiently navigating Brian’s naivety. Hank is a rock for Sirens to lean on when the crazy starts to fly, but Hank can do crazy too, as was so hilariously demonstrated in “Till Jeff Do Us Part.”

I laughed more during this episode than I have laughed in all of the other episodes combined; I may have laughed more than I have while watching any other comedy this season. “Till Jeff Do Us Part” was my idea of a perfect comedy episode. It took our stalwart Hank and put him in a situation where he became the vulnerable member of the group. From the moment he received Jeff the Chef’s invitation to his wedding with Alejandro, a miniature version of Hank, we were off. Daniels delved deep and found a part of Hank full of neurosis, jealousy and a deep hatred of calligraphy then let it all spill out. At the same time, Johnny had to step up and be the strong friend, a role he is clearly uneasy in, but willing to commit to because he loves Hank so much.

The build up to the wedding included enough priceless moments to fill this entire review, but very quickly let me hit the highlights. Hank seeing a penis injury that reminded Hank of Jeff the Chef’s penis deftly toed the line between poignancy and absurdity while leading to a heartfelt moment of bonding between Hank and Johnny. The friendship between those two has felt real from day one, but in this episode the writers managed to take it to an entirely new level. Watching Johnny try to distract Hank, to be his wingman, to assure him that Alejandro was just a bargain bin version of Hank gave Sirens warmth to go with its guy’s guy style of humor.

On the flipside, the character of Cash just killed it with his monologues; from his observation that not skinny Oprah trumps skinny Oprah, straight through to his rambling father/son chat with Hank that meandered off into nonsense about how many pairs of his underwear are in Hank’s mother’s dryer to how half of the programs on the DVR are his, every word that came out of his mouth was comedy gold. There was no profundity in Brian’s role either, and yet, once again Brian was a delight to watch. I get his character now. He is a genuinely nice guy, who is accidentally funny. His enthusiasm for weddings and dancing would have been more than enough, but then he got to put his new penis injury assessment skills to use at the wedding after Theresa kicked a gay, misogynistic cop in the balls. “Maybe you should stop underestimating women or start wearing a cup,” Brian said with nothing but sincerity. Could any other character on television pull that off?

As for the actual wedding, Hank and Johnny suited up and went so Hank could prove he was a proud man who held his head high even when the man he broke his heart was marrying someone else. Happily, he did just that. Sirens could have went the embarrassment route and had Hank make a scene, but once he arrived Hank snapped right back to his calm, centered self. His conversation with Jeff and Alejandro was honest, not cruel or spiteful. He congratulated them and meant it. He also realized that settling down one day might not be a terrible plan…but for now there are waiters with beautiful butts to chase. Finally, to top the whole episode off, Johnny learned to dance and was hit on by the guy who taught him– and he was delighted by the compliment.

The entire half hour was refreshing and cliche free. I have been enjoying Sirens more and more as the season has progressed, but this episode made me realize what makes it work: it feels new. Sirens has its own flow. It doesn’t like to hit the beats you expect it to or follow the sitcom handbook. When it gives into its quirky, bawdy sense of humor and heart magical things happen. And no one puts Brian in a corner.

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