As Deb is stuck in the dark this week (more than usual) still recovering from the freak snow storm from the weekend, I figured I would take you on, Julia. I know one show that we both adore is NBC’s Community. I wanted to ask you about one of the hot button issues on the show: the relationship between Jeff and Annie. It seems like a lot of folks are totally creeped out that there might be a romantic pairing there. I just don’t get it. I think part of it is because I have a really hard time seeing Alison Brie as a 20 year old. My frame of reference for her before Community was her portraying a mature homemaker in the 60s on Mad Men, talking about having a family and taking care of her husband. Because of Mad Men, the character always seems older in my brain, so I’ve never been creeped out by the idea of her and Jeff together.
So tell me, what’s the big deal?
Oh, man, where do I even begin. There are so many reasons I just cannot stand Jeff and Annie together, but age isn’t one of them. Or, well, I should say that age in the traditional sense isn’t one of them.
I’m someone who’s always been pretty mature for their age, I tend to go for guys who are older than me, so it would be pretty hypocritical of me to have an issue with that part. I am a big believer in Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number, but there are things like maturity and experience and where you are in your life that are related to what age you are. In Jeff and Annie’s case, Annie puts on a good show, but when it comes down to it, she’s shown time and time again that she’s a little kid at heart. She’s smart, but she’s exceedingly petty. As her horror story shows, she doesn’t seem to view her relationship with Jeff in a light more mature than casting herself as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. (Though, to be fair, I do that too sometimes, but it’s only so I can twirl and sing and stuff.) She’s at a point in her life where she still has no idea who she is, and Jeff’s at a point where he knows exactly who he is and isn’t willing to change much of anything. Jeff’s lived a lot of life, she’s lived barely any. And this might be okay if Jeff made her into a more mature person or brought out the best in her, but instead she and Jeff constantly compete and snipe like little kids and bring out the absolute worst in each other. (See: the election episode, among others.)
Between Jeff and Annie being at such different points in their life and the dynamics of what they bring out in each other, it makes their relationship creepy and paternalistic. And it really has nothing to do with age, when you get down to it, because they could be the same age and have this same dynamic play out. It’s the differences in the ages they act that totally creeps me out and turns me off.