Delocated: “Skins”
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Delocated: “Skins”

“Skins” takes one joke—Jon’s obsession with having a potato-skin bar in his apartment—and finds a way to make it sentimental. As Jon becomes more and more infatuated with his new purchase, his son David is drifting further away, filling the void Susan left as the frustrated voice of reason. Delocated isn’t a show I look to for emotional resonance like I do with Parks And Recreation, but when it shows up, it’s always welcome. Especially if it comes after a series of foreskin jokes.

“Skins” really starts going when Jon denies his son’s request to buy something from a skate shop because he wants to save money, but he splurges on the $3,000 potato-skin bar for himself. Suddenly the skins bar is the focus of every decision Jon makes. When looking for a new apartment, he won’t even consider one unless the door is wide enough for the skins bar to enter, which results in him picking a loft that’s far from David’s school. Then Jon buys himself a new bed, and won’t give David the money for a new bed of his own, nor for a nacho bar (nor will he let David eat anything other than skins, be they Italian, Chinese, or Mexican). David rebels, kicks over a few boxes, and Jon sees this not as a parenting failure, but as a failure on David’s part to see simple reason or logic.

Every time Jon has a bodyguard, Delocated finds a way to drive a wedge between Jon and his protector, which makes for great comedy when that person is forced to inevitably stand up for Jon’s life. TB is the most subdued of the bodyguards so far, but he’s definitely sabotaging his relationship with Jon in the most active way. When David storms out of the apartment to buy some food, TB follows. He offers himself up as a sounding board for any of David’s frustrations. “Think of me as a secret dad,” he says, and David’s face lights up. One scene later, David wheels in his nacho bar, and it’s all thanks to a loan from his secret dad. And Jon is as oblivious and self-centered as ever. Upon learning of TB’s betrayal, he again doesn’t see how his actions led to this series of events; he simply demands an apology from TB.

There’s a lot of chaos in Jon’s life. While all this is going on, the Wang Cho gang is secretly protecting him from Yvgeny, who has been put in charge much to the chagrin of his more competent brother Sergei. Jon is happy to flaunt his new affiliation with the Wang Cho gang throughout Chinatown, but Sergei is not as open about how he really feels. He decides to back Yvgeny—who’s more concerned with his vodka brand than with getting anything important done—and ensure the safety of the family, playing what I imagine is a long con to try and regain power. He’s even willing to take out his own man to do it, showing just how ruthless Sergei can be. He’s like Kratos from God Of War as a person.

Delocated often reminds me of The Life & Times Of Tim, only in reverse. On that show, Tim is the semineutral person in a comically heightened world who’s, for some reason, completely willing to go along with whatever’s happening. In Delocated, Jon is the comically heightened one. He’s an asshole, but no one really seems to take much notice or stand up to him. They kind of just look at him like he’s mildly inconveniencing them and move along. When Jon is out on the street trying to get rid of his potato-skins bar, he insults a whole lot of people, and none of them really get into it. The judge doesn’t get angry at Jon for trying to bribe her with a potato skin, she simply points it out and leaves. Now that Susan is out of the picture and David is being pushed further away, Jon is going to have to stew in his own juices a bit, hopefully realizing that the idea of “bone phones” or “people vs. dibs” is ridiculous.

Or not. Because it’s Delocated, and there’s a whole lot about Jon that continues to work, even three seasons in.

Stray observations:

  • Lots of great lines, I could fill this whole thing up. “Tea? Does it come with a straw for your vagina?” Cut to tough guy looking at his tea.
  • “I’ve never felt safer in my life.” “Thanks Jon, that means a lot.” “I was talking about the Wang Cho gang.”
  • “Beauty is only skins deep.” I really hope this guy doesn’t show up more than he did tonight, because he can get really old really fast.
  • “What about my wang?”
  • Is Jay the new Jerry from Parks & Rec?

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