Do you have that friend that just can’t seem to catch a break? He’s either the king of bad luck or the president of getting caught in awkward situations? To be honest, I have a few friends like that. And yet, none of them quite stack up to Tim.
When I say Tim, (no last name) I mean the main character in HBO’s “the Life and Times of Tim.” The animated show just ended its second season on HBO and I certainly hope it will be back for a third. There’s something about Tim that I love. Never have I met a person who craved to be a wallflower and was constantly being pulled into the center of attention. Every time Tim thinks he does a good deed, he ruins people’s lives. Every time Tim thinks the situation doesn’t concern him, it’s actually his fault. And every time Tim tries to hide his tiny mistakes, they become bigger, more uncomfortable and more problematic. He’s become that friend for me. I will miss him every Friday night.
This season Tim has attempted to save a magician from a tragic accident while performing, help his friend Rodney mend his marriage, tried to console a coworker after her husband dies and helped a fire fighter put out a fire. This sounds like the characteristics of a kind, decent person right? One would think. But all of these incidents ended up getting Tim sued, cause him to sabotage some one’s career or make him a public disgrace. Content to just stay in the background at all times, Tim is constantly stumbling upon awkward situations and surrounding himself with goofy, shady and sometimes sleazy people.
Every episode I watch, I find myself screaming at the TV for Tim to just say no or just walk away. But he can’t do that. He is a man constantly struggling to be in the background. He does what he is told and hopes anything negative caused by it will pass. It never passes.
Who gets into situations like these? Who allows themselves to be so discredited in the public eye and by those he loves? When is he going to finally learn to just stay out of it? And even though I am screaming and pleading with my television for this to be the time he learns his lesson; I don’t really mean it. I want to see what will happen when Tim gets guilted into taking a bunch of boy scouts on a camping trip or when Tim’s best friend, Stu, begs him to be his Jeff Gillooly and “Tanya Harding” his ping-pong opponent. If Tim were to wash all of the negativity out of his life, cut ties with everyone who takes advantage of him and finally stand-up for himself, we wouldn’t be watching “the Life and Times of Tim.” We’d be watching “the Life and Times of a lame predictable character.” It just wouldn’t be the same.
You know that moment when you bury your face in your hands and shake your head with disappointment because your friend has gotten himself into another messed up situation? Tim is my friend who I do that with. And that’s exactly what I love about him.