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Series / My Boys

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A 2006 TBS sitcom created by Betsy Thomas and featuring Jordana Spiro as P.J. Franklin, a female sports writer making a name for herself in an industry full of men. She is definitely One of the Guys and has more male friends than female. In narration she takes sports terminology and applies it towards her relationships with her male best friends Mike, Kenny, Brendan, Bobby and her married brother Andy (played by Jim Gaffigan). She also has heart to heart conversations with female best friend Stephanie, goes sporting events/debates and tries to figure out the Chicago dating scene.

Tropes found in this work include:

  • Baseball Episode: As a Sports Writer, P.J. writes on all kinds of sports, but her favorite by far, is baseball, and most of her life revolves around her love for the Chicago Cubs.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Mike is generally the most girl obsessed and more often than not is single.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Ryan Reynolds has a small role in the first season episode "Douchebag in the City" as an aloof, jerkass friend of Brendan. In season four when Stephanie's book is being optioned for a movie the producer namedrops Reynolds as a potential actor.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Trouty, who's a weird combination of Frat Bro and hipster and tends to be a Moment Killer on a regular basis. He's tolerated because he has connections all around town and gets them concert tickets, game tickets and club access. But P.J. realizes that Trouty places such a high priority on taking care of his friends that he purposefully acts as a Hate Sink to keep them from fighting amongst each other.
  • "Friends" Rent Control:
    • P.J. has a really nice apartment for a low-level sports writer, even with Brendan only making rent some of the time.
    • Bobby turns out to have an incredibly lavish apartment, as in Fiction 500 level, which he actually gets for free because his family is very wealthy and owns the building. Otherwise he takes pride that he doesn't rely on his family money and works for a living, paying for his own cable.
  • The Heart: P.J. is the center of her friend group, with the group using her apartment as the center of their activities, and her often being involved in their problems.
  • Hidden Depths: Done with regularity with characters who at first seem to just be a type. Trouty may seem obnoxious but he has great respect for his friends regardless of their quirks, and will do everything to protect them. Wendy is only heard about as a Master of the Mixed Message but she does make a successful effort to bond with P.J. Meredith is actually very loving with Andy, who plays up her being a Control Freak because he doesn't like to admit he is feeling his age (also that without Meredith's influence Andy would be out of control).
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: Downplayed. P.J. and Bobby were about to impulsively buy a condo and move in together (based on the madness that happens on a nice sunny day during winter) and P.J. realized they were moving too fast because they hadn't reached the "I love you" stage yet. They ended up backing out of moving in together, but reached "I love you" afterwards.
  • The Lad-ette: Analyzed all over the place. P.J. is very much One of the Guys but gender is still a major hurdle even with close friends. Brendan had a crush on her early on in college that was still in the back of his mind even as they become roommates. She also gets annoyed when they act as though they don't realize she is a girl.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: P.J. is aware of when she does this, which she hates herself for.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Bobby was annoyed that in his relationship with P.J. he ended up feeling like "the girl."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Trouty
  • Passionate Sports Girl: P.J.
  • Perma-Stubble: Trouty rags on Brandon for this. Bobby also tends to have this, although not quite as much.
  • Pretty Boy: After being ranked as one of Chicago's Most Eligible Bachelor's, Brandon through a phase of this, going out of his ways of obsessing over his looks, hooking up with other "Pretty Boys" and being, as his friends call it a Douchebag, before P.J., the boys and Stephanie holding a Douchebag Intervention for him.
  • Pseudolympics: The guys insist on competing in a bar Decathalon.
  • The Reveal: P.J.'s full name was not spoken out loud until the first season finale, Penelope Jane.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: P.J. typically wears very casual clothing and minimal make-up, and Stephanie is always trying to get her to act more feminine. But she knows how to dress up and sometimes even enjoys being a girl for the night.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: A little between P.J. and Brendan, which mostly stems back to a night back in college when they made out once. But for longevity there is P.J. and Bobby, who stumbled through their initial attraction to be Just Friends and don't actually get together until the third season.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: "Why don't you tell him you're 1984 and you want your sunglasses back."