TV

Chad Radwell & The Case Of Superior Side Characters

Glen Powell’s Chad Radwell on Scream Queens is the best television character of the 2015-2016 season. There are definitely some competitors- Evan Peters’ Mr. March on American Horror Story made my mom laugh out loud every single time he was on screen, and literally anyone on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could be in the running for a Top Ten Characters list. Then there’s Mr. Robot/Elliot Alderson, Quinn from UnREAL and Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl, though she’s based on source material, so maybe she doesn’t count? The thing about Chad Radwell that sets him apart from the above is that he’s barely a main character, and even came back this season only as a special guest star. And yet he remains to be one of the main reasons I tune in to Scream Queens every week.

chad

Scream Queens is insane. You can kind of sum up the show by Colton Haynes’ guest role, where the objectively very attractive ex-Teen Wolf/Arrow star appeared completely covered in warts and then was murdered. Anything goes, including the way the (many) characters act. It’s a crazy horror comedy, but there are definitely some out-of-character moments that you sort of just allow because you’re hopeful of what they’ll ultimately lead to. I don’t think Lea Michele knew that Hester was the killer all along last season, but she ran with that big reveal to turn her character into the amazing and insane “Hannibal Hester” we get to see now. But on a show full of these wait, what? character moments, Chad Radwell is impressively reliable. He has one consistent goal- to sleep with Chanel, because she’s hot and rich, but then cheats on her constantly. He’s the worst prat of every frat bro in Vineyard Vines, except he’s also turned on by death and wildly stupid. He’s sexist and terrible, and so absolutely awful, all the time. But he also does things like talk about missing his best bro, “dead gay Boone,” and challenges John Stamos to a “homoerotic squash game” while they’re both in the shower, and suddenly he’s your favorite character. Every episode you’re hoping he turns up cuddling with a goat or wearing a sweat band and crop top (both have happened). Scream Queens has a packed plot that doesn’t need Chad, and would benefit from having one less character to worry about, but what would the show be without him challenging a murderer while dressed like a Backstreet Boy?

Of course, Chad is not the first probably-unnecessary side character to steal the show. There’s always that one completely unrealistic person that stands out. Michael Kelso doesn’t really bring much to the That 70’s Show table in terms of plot, but he’s iconic, mostly for being really weird and dumb. New Girl has smartly branched into more of an ensemble show, but Winston Bishop continues to sort of be written in the weirdo outsider vein; half the time the show’s C-plot is Winnie the Bish hanging with Ferguson the cat, but the genius of Liz Meriwether makes it work, and Winston is my family’s favorite character. black-ish‘s Charlie forgets he has a son too much to be a person you might actually hang out with, and Veep‘s Richard Splett once improvised a tuna melt and got a lobster curry roll, but they’re both fan favorites. Creed on The Office rarely spoke, but when he did it was gold, and Kelly Kapoor was a revolving wheel of one-liners. Jane The Virgin‘s Lina says absolutely anything that comes into her head. Crazy Ex Girlfriend‘s Darryl, who ended up being great and important, started out as the “wacky boss.” Off the top of my head I can think of a whole bunch of Full House episodes where the audience aww’d at Uncle Jesse, but Joey just got to play with puppets, and Kimmy Gibbler was… Kimmy Gibbler. The list goes on.

Every show needs a light spot, and sometimes these just end up being the best characters on the show. They pop in and out, make you laugh and leave the bulk of emotion to the rest of the group. They get the lines when maybe the rest of the episode is lacking in easy jokes. You know what to expect from them and they always deliver. Sure, it’s easy to make a character like Chad Radwell seem consistent when everything that comes out of his mouth is complete nonsense. But who’s complaining? It’s a trope as old as the “quirky best friend” in a romcom, but one that’s way more enjoyable. Maybe it’s just because television writers need to have a place to put all the weird thoughts they had sitting in traffic, and that place is the side character’s mouth. Maybe we just like suspending all reality and watching a show featuring someone who would never exist in real life. Or maybe we just choose our favorite character based on who’s the most quotable. Whatever the reason, let’s pour one out for the side characters of the world who have made television viewing that much better. Plus, we all have a little bit of weirdo Chad Radwell in us, don’t we? My bit is liking the phrase ‘dead gay Boone’ a lot.

Advertisements
Standard
TV

Fall TV Week: Peak Tuesdays

Tuesday is arguably the worst day of the week. My deep-seated hate probably goes back to Tuesdays being band practice day in grade school, but you can’t deny that it’s basically Monday without the general excuse of it being a Monday. But once it hits primetime, Tuesdays are the best. All the classics have aired on Tuesdays. American Idol! House! Glee! Law & Order SVU! The Real O’Neals! Everyone agrees these are the most iconic shows!

Tuesdays are just better than Mondays.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Tuesdays at 8 on FOX
2016-09-20-brooklyn-9902
Damn, this show has really committed. I was fully expecting to see just a little bit of the tail-end of Greg and Larry’s Jake and Holt’s new witness protection life in Florida before packing up and shipping back to Brooklyn to meet up with the rest of the gang. I was at least expecting to drop in and check on Boyle’s new adopted baby or how Amy has been doing without Jake for 6 months. But surprisingly, we got a full episode dedicated to Jake and Holt dealing with their new lives alone, without a single check in to the precinct. And it was good! Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher have one of the funniest dynamics on the show, so a whole episode starring them was not a thing to complain about. I’m excited to catch up with the rest of the squad next episode, but this week Jake had frosted tips, Jorma from The Lonely Island had a guest spot, and Jake got to call Holt “Mr. Fart” so all in all, it was a win.

New Girl, Tuesdays at 8:30 on FOX
Aw man, guys, New Girl is the best. Jess is still acting like a freakin’ nut around Nick even though she’s a grown ass woman and Winston is still doing things like buying a boat instead of hurting someone’s feelings, but I’m willing to overlook it all because it’s just so good. And truthfully, Nick has returned, without Regan thank God, looking like a human being who hasn’t eaten garbage off the ground recently, so I’d be reacting the same to him as our heartbroken Jess. It’s only the first episode, so am I getting ahead of myself if I say I’m optimistic that this season will be the one that brings Nick and Jess together and does it right this time? He dedicated his book to her! Even though we don’t know if the book is Z Is For Zombie, that was the sweetest. I’m a little sad that Cece and Schmidt are moving out of the Loft, but thankfully Winston will still be around, swallowing the gator teeth Nick brought back from New Orleans. Now I just need Apple to create an emoji that’s smiling and clutching its heart, because that’s the only emotion I have watching this show and I need to tweet about it.

Scream Queens, Tuesdays at 9 on FOX
scream-queens_0
This premiere had almost all the elements of last season, and yet it is already somehow lightyears better. And that’s without an appearance by the best character of the 2015-2016 season, Chad Radwell. I mean yeah, it starts out with another ridiculous flashback (a doctor needs to party that badly that he would just dump a patient in a swamp on Halloween?), the ‘Green Maniac’ is yet again following the Color + Generic Villain naming scheme, and there’s another pregnant woman from the past that probably has ties to the present. But if you ever need a refresher on how to watch a Ryan Murphy production, just remember that Blaine Anderson once had a fever dream where he sang Queen with a group of puppets and was kind of okay with it. His shows are wild, and I’m obsessed with them. This episode was gross (RIP Cecily Strong!) and hilarious, which in the end is all I really want. Plus I can’t hate on anything that revives Taylor Lautner, who was apparently just recently released from the holding cell he’s been in since Twilight, because seriously where the hell has he been other than that weird appearance at the AMA’s that I’m convinced was a hologram. I’m going to need more of Lea Michele’s Hester and the aforementioned Chad, but for now I’m just going to sit back and thank God and Ryan Murphy for getting rid of Grace and her Dad. Amen.

This Is Us, Tuesdays at 10 on NBC
I really didn’t want to like this show. It was weird how the trailer got so many views, right? And it has the same title as the One Direction documentary, and all I thought it was about was having the same birthday as other people, which is obvious. But by the end I was,as the kids say, shook! I didn’t weep like everybody else on my timeline but this show really tugged at the heart strings and managed to pull off a pretty significant twist while creating a genuine connection to the characters, which is a lot to expect from one Pilot episode. Sterling K Brown doesn’t need me to remind everyone he’s a good actor, but he is good, and I can finally watch a show for Milo Ventimiglia instead of being a Gilmore Girls fan and only watching that episode where Luke pushes him into the lake. Mandy Moore deserves good things, and Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz were the cutest family goals. This Is Me making the worst joke ever but admitting I made a mistake, fully enjoyed the show, and will watch again.

I’ll be making good use of my Hulu account when The Flash and The Mindy Project come back on October 4th. Tuesdays are lit y’all.

Standard