About a year ago, two of my friends (really friend-acquaintances at the time, who both worked for the same massive corporation) and I had like revelations: We’re each 23, living alone in the armpit of America (central, IL). It was conservative, “family-oriented,” and it sucked. Hard.
We inventoried what we knew about each other:
- Generally cool-enough people with whom to strike work friendships.
- University of Illinois graduates (Read: Effing brilliant)
- Geoff’s Jewish, Ujjval’s Hindu, Christy’s Blonde (sometimes with a capital “B”).
With perhaps a bit of a dice roll, we put our money on 7 and entered into a hilarious living arrangement. Was it a sitcom, it would be some awesome fusion of The Bing Bang Theory, Three’s Company and The Office.
The pilot episode of The Jew, The Hindu, and The Blonde opens back when the Odd Trio decides to live together and signs a lease to their big new apartment. Geoff and Christy con Ujjval, without Ujjval’s awareness, into occupying what is clearly the worst room. Ujj remains indifferent when we decide to point out our coup.
Cut to the three of us chatting on the giant basement sectional, taking in the new scenery and cue Geoff’s actual quote, “Hey guys—You know how when you put a goldfish in a big tank, it gets bigger? Think that will be like us and friends?”
True to the tenor of the pilot and tone of the title, the ensuing Emmy-winning season would follow the threesome building a motley crew of friends and engaging in plenty of random hilarity. And it would, of course, be sprinkled with derogatory slurs wrapped in impressive rhetoric.
The Jew, The Hindu and The Blonde, Season 1 episode titles (all from true events):
- The one where Berka bakes, and why it’s important to be cognizant of who you are telling to jump into an oven.
- The one with all things “Ujjvallian,” and why a Marvel Comics poster and a futon fit so harmoniously in an otherwise barren room.
- The one where Geoff defiles Berka’s cube to remove Cubs paraphernalia, and why childish Cardinals fans should be mindful of who knows where they sleep.
- The one where Berka eats an entire tub of cookie dough before Ujjval has a chance to bake any, and why Indians suck at booby-traps.
- The one with the Little Blonde Buddha and why it’s much easier to give rather than follow sound relationship advice.
- The one where Ujjval disses TBS, and why you can get away with saying things like that when you’re brown.
- The one with all the domestic violence and why Berka’s nickname is Mike (Tyson).
- The one with the Pajama Party, and why matching footie pajamas are a staple of every wardrobe.
- The one with all the work-email banter, and why you should always be concerned about records retention and the “forward” button.
- The one where the Blonde goes Ginger, and why Jewish people’s opinions never matter.
- The one with the argument scoreboard, and why earnest chauvinism never wins a point.
- The one with the Vegas Bombs, Buttery White Russians, and how only Indians are adept at intoxicating otherwise heavy-drinking blondes.
- The one with all the glamor muscles, and why roommates who never wear shirts are exiled to the dungeon.
- The one with the musical sing-a-long, obvious Aladdin typecasting, and why Geoff is a terrible tenor.
- The one where Geoff and Ujjval participated in the same focus group, and why loose interpretation of the term “focus” is critical.
- The one with all the animal nicknames, and why pandas are always down to party.
- The one with all the Thirsty Thursdays, and why Friday mornings were never more regrettable.
- The one with random jars of unpronounceable spices, and why eavesdropping on half-Hindi conversations is pointless.
- The one with the SnowtoriousBIG, shovels, and how Ujjval learned the hard way that Bailey’s should always be kept in-stock.
- The one with all the pizza, and why you should never underestimate the eating ability of former-fat-girls.
- The one where loud-mouthed Jews make the best pitchers, and why vying for the win in work co-rec softball always leads to disappointment.
The Season 1 finale ends with a twist where the Blonde, being the least-likely suspect of the trio to leave central Illinois first, accepts an unexpected job offer in Chicago, gives two-weeks notice and packs her bags. In order to engage in a lively send-off week of heavy drinking after a speeding ticket robs her of identification, she has her mother (who makes habit out of enabling her delinquent children) overnight her passport. Identification problem solved, the fun week ends with a bittersweet goodbye.
The three acclaimed actors can’t be too sad, though. They already know their contracts have been renewed for a second season, which is sure to bring more commutes, quarter-life crises and culture clashes. At the risk of a wishful spoiler alert, maybe the Season 2 finale finds Jack, Janet and Chrissie in the same location, or dare I suggest the same apartment, again.
And because I know you’re wondering: Geoff is definitely Chrissie. Is Suzanne Somers Jewish? Irrelevant. I’m pretty sure he’s got a Thigh Master.
To Geoffrey and Ujjval—I will miss living with you guys.
Christopher Robin; Little Blonde Buddha; Hamster