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I guess I just like liking things


The Tylers are having dinner at the Barrel, in celebration over the publication of Karen Tyler’s latest travel guide. Darrin reads the author blurb aloud, and Jaye is upset that her siblings each got more than 20 words, but she only got 5. After sharing her fears that she’ll never accomplish anything to her friends, she leaves the bar while being watched by a woman in a van. The following day, the woman who was watching her returns the wallet she stole from Jaye, and while stuttering an apology, a stuffed chameleon from a display tells Jaye to “get her words out”. She helps the girl, whose name is Bianca, get a job at Wonderfalls, and introduces her to her friends at the Barrel. Over the course of a few days, Bianca increasingly acts and looks like Jaye, and encroaches on her friends and family. Jaye gets angry and breaks into Bianca’s van and is aghast at all the photographs of her and copies of personal documents. Bianca finds her and admits that she’s a reporter doing a piece on underachieving 20-somethings. Jaye agrees to let her shadow her so that she can write her article, but Bianca realizes that Jaye’s stressless, expectation-free zone is enviable, and instead sets Jaye up to be fired from Wonderfalls. Jaye will not stand for this, so instead, she writes the article and submits it to the publication in Bianca’s name, which in turn decides to print it. Jaye convinces Bianca to take this chance and get on with her life, and Jaye shares her new 15 word blurb to the family at dinner: “Daughter Jaye, lives in Niagara Falls. Her blurb, and life, are a work-in-progress.”

This episode really plays on the idea of Jaye’s life and why on earth it would be reasonable to expect that a person could be intelligent and still be happy to essentially waste her life. It’s a good point when Jaye mentions to Eric that she sees a bit of herself in Bianca, because if Jaye had any ambition at all, she could have been in that position, to be asked to write 5000 words in a popular newsmagazine. Bianca attempts to frame her story with Jaye as a victim, but Jaye continually rejects this rewrite of her life choices. That’s not to say that she is completely at ease with her current situation, as the subplot about the blurb in her mother’s book demonstrates. It’s upsetting to her to think that she may never accomplish anything, despite being reasonable happy with her life the way it is for the moment. Bianca and Jaye are also similar in that Bianca decides to take the easy road in giving up on her ambitions. It’s not clear whether Jaye ever had other ambitions, but working retail is clearly not her raison d’etre.

I really like how nuanced this portrayal of Jaye is. In fact, she is really hard to describe. Yes, she’s acerbic and grumpy most of the time, but she also has heart. She can write a 5000 word article worthy of publication, but instead of taking that knowledge and running with it, she is content to get back to her own life. She’s not merely just wasting her potential, however, as she seems somewhat convinced that this is a step in her journey, not the destination. There is always a flip side to each character trait that is equally true.

Eric is finally named in this episode. The first time I watched this show I didn’t notice how long it took for this introduction to happen, probably because I was watching it all back-to-back. Both Mahandra and Eric’s intros on the show are very direct: Mahandra’s was over Gretchen’s mistake in calling her Janet, and Eric got an actual introduction between him and Bianca from Jaye. While it’s not a huge problem, this should have been addressed in the pilot, especially since these two are prominent characters.

There’s only one new muse in this episode, although two from previous episodes make appearances. First, the repeat of the Mounted Bass tells Jaye to “get her words out” right after she first bumps into Bianca, although Jaye thinks that it’s about her mother’s blurb. Next the Karma Chameleon repeats the phrase to “get her words out”, while Bianca stutters about the stolen wallet. Over the next several scenes, the Mounted Bass and the Karma Chameleon repeat this phrase, each time having a slightly different context. During Bianca’s interview with Jaye, the Barrel Bear makes an amused “harumph” when Bianca asserts that Jaye is anti-social. The interactions with the muses in this episode show a turning point in how they are handled. Previously, there have been some vague instructions, but mostly are fairly specific. “Destroy Gretchen” has little room for guessing games, as well as “Don’t give her change back.” But here, “get her words out” has a variety of meanings depending on the context. The writers are able to reuse the same phrases repeatedly to call back prior scenes and slightly change the meaning each time.

Comparison between Jaye's trailer vs. Jeannie's bottle

Comparison between Jaye’s trailer vs. Jeannie’s bottle


  • There is a continuity error in the first scene with the Karma Chameleon. Before it speaks, when the camera shows the display behind Jaye, there is no chameleon. After it speaks, it suddenly appears. The muses were all CGI additions post-production.
  • Bianca says that her father is on an “iron lung”. This was a common treatment for polio, beginning in 1927. In 2004, the year that this episode aired, 24 people were reported to be using one.
  • The Mouthbreather mentions The Gap when he is awed by Bianca’s super t-shirt folding skills. The Gap is a clothing retail chain with more than 3000 locations worldwide.
  • Mahandra quips that Bianca is Jaye’s “personal Heinrich Himmler” after she shoots the Mouthbreather in the eye with a rubber dart gun. Heinrich Himmler was a commander of the Nazi Party and directly responsible for the Holocaust.
  • Right after, Mahandra paraphrases some dialogue from the film Silence of the Lambs when she says “Can you hear the seals, Clarice? They’re screaming!”
  • Karen Tyler’s book sold out its first printing on, which is an online retailer that started as an online bookstore.
  • When Jaye pleads for Sharon to help locate Bianca’s parents, she says that maybe she doesn’t want to go back to them, because they might be “carnies” or something. A “carny” is someone who works at an amusement park, typically one that travels from city to city. It carries the same connotations as gypsies or other nomadic people groups.
  • Jaye describes her trailer as looking like “Jeannie’s bottle”, which references the TV show I Dream of Jeannie that aired in the 1970s.
  • When Jaye calls Bianca a “single white female”, she is implying that she is crazy, like the antagonist in the film Single White Female, trying to become her “twin”.
  • The computer that Jaye uses to write the article about Gen Y is a tangerine Apple iBook G3. It was sold between 1999 and 2006, and was replaced by the current MacBook line.


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