Email is the best medium for an argument, isn’t it? That’s why Knox and I have chosen it as the vehicle to engage in our first of many wars. First up? Rob Lowe.
Tyler: Hey man. Would you say Rob Lowe is a great actor, or the best actor?
Knox: You mean the achilles heel of Parks and Rec, Rob Lowe? That guy is the embarassing third nipple on an otherwise perfect show. If I hear him say “Literally” or “Ann Perkins” again, I’m going to commit sepuku with a spork. I know I mentioned this, but wasn’t he in the Drew Peterson Lifetime movie? That’s the actor equivalent of eating out of the trash at a bowling alley. You can’t respect someone who does stuff like that. You can like them, but you can’t take them serious. I feel like there’s no telling what’s going on in that guy’s head. He could be brilliant or he could legitimately think that Sarah Palin and Tina Fey are the same person. The sky is the limit with him but in the worst way possible.
I’m totally serious and open-minded right now: what good work has he done lately? I ask because I *literally* cannot think of anything.
Tyler: Look, it’s not Rob’s fault that the (brilliant) writers of Parks and Rec have laced his every sentence with the word “literally” (a decision that I fully support, by the way). He’s just bringing the douchiness of Chris Traeger to life in the most perfect way possible. And a wise man once said, “For every Cosby Show, there’s a Ghost Dad.” Or maybe it was “For every Growing Pains, there’s a whatever-it-is-that-Kirk-Cameron-is-doing-now.” Point is, everyone has their Drew Peterson movie. But passing judgement on Rob Lowe before you’ve seen him play Sam Seaborn in The West Wing is borderline criminal.
Knox: Ok that’s true. I haven’t seen him in West Wing. But beyond West Wing, is there anything? Go look at his IMDB page. I looked at it for a few minutes and woke up with a splitting headache. It’s a treasure trove of obscure movies / TV shows and it’s a TON of them. Like things I’ve never even heard of. It’s so confusing. Did you know he was in the Perfect Strangers movie? Did you know there WAS a Perfect Strangers movie? Is the Perfect Strangers movie about the TV show or just coincidentally named? I’M ASKING BECAUSE I’M SO CONFUSED.
Here’s what I think happened: Rob Lowe is more a caricature than he is an accomplished thespian and Parks and Rec is just using this carciature of him as a beautiful man and physical marvel. Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy works because Baldwin is a force of nature and is very aware of himself. I mean go watch the Glengarry Glen Ross scene and just bathe yourself in the warm waters of his acting dominance (COFFEE’S FOR CLOSERS.)
Rob Lowe on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery. Baldwin is that steak dinner that works any night you want it to and Rob Lowe is the Chinese food place that may serve you a really awesome meal with the free crunchy noodles before your meal. Or it could could just serve you a stray dog with Geneal Tso sauce on it. You never know.
Tyler: Listen Knox. I know you well enough to know that one of your all-time favorite characters is Ron Swanson (as it should be). But a mere 6 years ago, he played “Cop” in Wristcutters: A Love Story. And just last year he played (no lie) a Scooby Doo Philosopher in Slacker 2011. Point is, the IMDB argument needs to be off the table.
And Parks and Rec is ASKING HIM to be a caricature of himself. Which he is doing…and doing well, I might add (so well that you hate him for it). You know, I’ve never hated a character more than I hated President Palmer’s wife on 24. She was the worst. And you know what made her the worst? The fact that…wait, let me look up her name…okay…the fact that Penny Johnson Jerald is a brilliant thespian.
And YOU KNOW you’d watch the Perfect Strangers movie if it came on this afternoon.
Knox: LISTEN. The IMDB arguments matters because this is a referendum on Lowe NOT Swanson and how dare you question the value of Scooby Doo Philosopher. To that end, I just want to know the genesis of Rob Lowe being generally thought of as a good actor? We know why 30 Rock is asking Baldwin to a caricature of himself to a certain degree. He has a track record. But what is Lowe’s track record? Is it him being Sodapop from The Outsiders? Is it from his work on The West Wing? I’m asking at this point.
If he’s being a caricature that’s fine. I’ll allow it even though I think it’s an awful caricature that has no real relationship or value to the dynamic of the show. But why are we interested in his caricature? What makes Rob Lowe a commodity
Also, do you realize that he put in his name as lead actor on Park and Rec for Emmy consideration last season? Lead actor. As in more relevant than Adam Scott, Aziz, Chris Pratt AND Nick Offerman. Is that the guy you want to be defending right now? Food for thought, Tyler. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Tyler: Just watch a season of The West Wing. I’ll even let you watch mine (Dropbox?). I think you’ll be able to make a more informed decision after just a few episodes and quit basing everything on his forgettable roles in Tommy Boy and Austin Powers 2.
And I’m going to need to see some paperwork before I blindly accept your Emmy accusations as gospel truth. You know what? Never mind. I don’t want to see this paperwork…ever. I’m afraid it will ruin our friendship and single-handedly dismantle TV Asylum as we know it.
Whose side are you on?