Joe Pera Talks With You is a perfect television show, and it is absolutely impossible to get anyone to watch it. Hold these two facts in your mind. Accept that they are both true, even though they seem to form an obvious contradiction.
Maybe your mind is too weak for this. Maybe you can’t just accept that what I’ve told you is true, and instead you ask, “How can that be possible? If it’s perfect, wouldn’t people want to watch it?” Let me explain.
The show follows a “soft-handed choir teacher” from Marquette, Michigan. His name is Joe Pera, which is also the name of the actor who plays him, and yes, it’s hard to tell where the character ends and he begins. Joe the character enjoys geology, sheet music, pancakes, and the luxurious interior of his 2001 Buick Park Avenue. In his spare time, he ponders things like the difference between a diner and a family restaurant, what makes fireworks so hypnotic, and the strategies of the Alberta Rat Control Program. His love interest is the school band teacher, Sarah (Jo Firestone) who mostly ponders how to survive the inevitable collapse of civilization.
If it isn’t already clear to you, the humor of Joe Pera Talks With You is quiet. It’s a show about a guy who behaves like a midwestern grandfather, and it somehow manages to simultaneously be more ironic and more sincere than you expect it to be. The tone is bizarrely, awkwardly tender, and once it pulls you into its rhythm, it’s hard not to both root for and laugh at its main character.
And, frankly, it’s just not possible to describe it in a way that makes people want to watch it.
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I have recommended Joe Pera Talks With You to the majority of my friends and family. “I know it doesn’t sound that interesting,” I say, “But I promise you’ll like it if you give it a try.”
“Okay, I’ll give it a look,” they respond, looking right at me with deceitful eyes. And then we never talk about Joe Pera Talks With You again, because they never watch a second of it. This has happened quite literally every time. Not one person has ever watched Joe Pera Talks With You of their own volition after I have recommended it to them.
If you do happen to watch Joe Pera Talks With You, and you probably won’t, I wish you luck in recommending it to anyone else. When you try to describe it, you’ll likely see in their faces an expression that says “I love you but that sounds like the most boring shit on the planet and I would rather chew glass than give my time to it.”It’s an interesting dynamic because you get to see exactly how much your friends trust your recommendations. I thought my friends trusted mine, but apparently I was wrong. That’s okay, though. I’ll keep trying.
This show has turned me into a pest and my friends into liars. It has tainted most of my personal relationships with the poison of unfulfilled promises. The new season starts on December 6th. You can watch the entire first season for free on Adult Swim’s website. Please watch it. It’s so good.