As Jim so eloquently points out near the end of ‘Dreams’, dreams are a bitch. Even if we’re successful in life, it’s human nature to dream bigger and brighter, and at some point, we’re going to fail. It’s how we deal with that failure that shapes us as people – if failure brings out the bitterness in us, it leads down a bitter, self-destructive path for life. But if we can view our failures and shortcomings in a more optimistic light: well, we might just be able to start being happy people. Where pilot was about a spiritual awakening of these three men – and by the same token, ‘Dreams’ is about realizing the limits of that awakening, and finding the good in it.
We all want to reach for something in life: Steve wanted to be a good father and husband, Jim wanted to be a famous movie star, and Billy wanted to be able to kill himself (dark, I know). But their inabilities to do exactly those things – for reasons that are completely out of their control – make them endlessly bitter and regretful for the lives they lived. As Jim says to the homeless man, you think you have a dream or a goal you want to achieve in life – but sometimes making that goal can be the worst thing that ever happens to you.
The deep second half of Legit is almost jarring – the first half of the episode was just a fun adventure with Jim and Steve busting Billy and his room mate Rodney (who is another fantastic character, by the way) out of the resting home to have some fun. This of course pisses off Billy’s mother, and she comes to inform him he’s being kicked out of his residence – which is important considering he needs 24-hour care. Some might say it’s convenient to have Billy move in with Jim and Steve, but it’s quite important for the journey they’re on: as the events of the episode prove, neither Steve or Jim can take of Billy alone, but together, they’re beginning to change each other’s lives.
Part of this, of course, is coming to terms with their disappointments. Steve isn’t quite over his marriage (“I have divorce-onset erectile dysfunction!”), and Jim tries to drink and smoke his problems today. But as the guy in the wheelchair who can’t even commit suicide if he wants to, life couldn’t hand someone like Billy a bigger pile of shit (even if the urine cans are handy). Life is all about perspective, and Legit is a show about three guys changing theirs – and doing it by reaching out to other people. Jim might have to wipe Billy’s ass a few times, but in trade, he gets to have a friend that is a constant reminder to the value of life – and by the same token, having Billy in the same house will help give Steve some purpose in his life, instead of just floating around, loosely attached to whatever caper Jim’s got up his sleeve.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Legit - the promos certainly didn’t do it any justice – but there’s something special buried underneath the tripping on mushroom jokes and Blues Brothers references: Legit has both wit and a heart, telling a story (well, two so far) with honesty and sincerity, two things that are often rare in the comedic television landscape.
- when presented with the fact that giving Billy drugs and alcohol could kill him, Steve retorts: “At least he’d die happy.” Powerful moment.
- Jim to a dog: “Go ahead, lick your balls… live life!”
- Rodney’s hilarious, and kicks ass at Wii Bowling. Who else can vomit and throw a strike at the same time (while topless)?
- “oh no, Billy rolled away!”
- We need a non-hooker female character in the next episode or two. At this point, it’s the only complaint I could have with the show.
- “I’ve gone further than anyone with my looks or intellect should, and I’m miserable because of bloody dreams!”