Aubrey On The Brain

Aubrey Plaza as 'April Ludgate' in "Parks and Recreation" (S1)I’m currently knee-deep in an obsessive Aubrey Plaza binge, having just gobbled down the first season of Legion, with the first season of Parks and Recreation for afters, and various YouTube skits and interview clips to fill in the cracks…

I’ve already written about Parks & Rec, so I won’t belabour the point… except to say that I’m probably enjoying it more this (second) time around, because I have a better idea of what to expect, and haven’t been crossing my fingers hoping it will become a kinder, huggier show. It is what it is, and it can be very funny when its characters aren’t being too dickish to each other… though I haven’t gotten to the Jerry-bashing runner in the second season yet, so I’m curious to see if my renewed fascination with Ms. Plaza can spur me on to keep watching the entire series…? Of course, the promise of Jenny Slate’s supporting role from S5-onwards is also quite a powerful incentive…

Aubrey Plaza as 'Lenny Busker' in "Legion" (S1)As for Legion, the trippy series about a schizophrenic superhero with reality-shattering psychic powers, I watched the first episode (or “chapter”, as they prefer to call them) back when it aired last year, but didn’t stick with it for some reason… it’s likely that I was too disoriented by the non-linear storytelling and stylistic collaging, and passed it over in favour of more straight-forward, meat-and-potatoes genre fare. Of course, that was before Twin Peaks returned, and blew the bar sky-high with its anatomy-of-a-mushroom-cloud minf*ckery, so this show now seems positively mainstream by comparison! If nothing else, it’s fun to see how far Plaza has come, from apathetic office-intern to sexy-scary supervillain! I won’t get into any spoilers here, largely because I’m still not entirely sure what was “real” and what wasn’t, but I enjoyed the ride immensely once I’d settled into my metaphorical seat, and consider Plaza’s dance sequence from Ch. #6 to be one of the awesomest spectacles ever televised.* Eat that, Moon landing!

Oh, and word-to-the-wise, there’s an important cliff-hanger “hidden” in the end credits of the S1 finale, so keep watching or you might be even-more-confused-than-usual when you move on to the second season…

Aubrey Plaza as 'The Princess' in "Troopers" (S1)Meanwhile, I also got a kick out of Plaza playing “The Princess” in a series of Star-Wars-spoofing sketches focussing on two incompetent “Troopers” aboard a knock-off Death Star, produced by CollegeHumour. It’s a shame they couldn’t afford to use more movie-accurate costumes and terminology, but the gags and delivery/editing are great, making these skits well worth a watch if you want a quick, cartoony laugh.

Regardless of the role, or interview topic, Plaza’s adorably-awkward intensity always cuts through, giving every appearance an off-kilter edge that I’m finding quite addictive right now… and apparently we have “Irish dancing” to thank for it!?

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* Does anyone else think she kinda looks like a goth-y Marilyn Monroe? Either way, I’m kinda amazed/angry she didn’t score any big award nominations/wins for her performance here… the hair/costume/make-up departments were also inexplicably overlooked, despite the astounding transformation she underwent from episode-to-episode. Tch!

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About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action.
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