Living with Ed: Season 1

Living with Ed: Season 1
It seems that Ed Begley Jr. and company anticipate that many people will throw away the first season of Living with Ed, as the packaging is entirely recyclable. With a mixture of tampon applicator cardboard and egg carton inserts, it is a unique tactile experience. None of this is a surprise, however, since the show is about quirky Ed Begley Jr., his electric car, white picket-fence made of recycled milk jugs and solar-powered house. His entire world is predicated upon the recycling and sustainability of objects. His neuroses are juxtaposed with the endless whining of his princess wife Rachelle, who just wants everything to be pretty. The show follows their repetitive, staged bickering and rehearsed arguments while throwing in the occasional lesson about the environment. Entire episodes are dedicated to issues like: "Ed bakes vegan brownies” and "Rachelle convinces Ed to replace the kitchen counter.” It’s all rather fascinating, if not life changing. While it’s tempting to make fun of Ed Begley Jr., with his little knee-socks and water irrigation projects, it is difficult to ignore that his lifestyle choices are well intentioned and certainly more dignified than the various other endeavours that celebrities get up to in their downtime. What is most interesting about the show is how Ed and Rachelle have chosen to present themselves to the world. The show has a modern-day Odd Couple dynamic — pitting the environmental kook against an "accessible” character for the audience to identify with — but despite their well-meaning efforts, the pair wind up coming across as obnoxious. Ed loves to shake his finger and give condescending lectures, while Rachelle dramatically rolls her eyes and delivers corny one-liners to the camera. When viewing the gag reel and "Edisms” on the DVD, it becomes clear that the pair’s actual personalities are far more interesting and identifiable than the ones we witness during the episodes. There is a natural humour and comfort in the couple’s behind-the-scenes interactions, which is desperately needed on the show. Hopefully, as the seasons progress, we will see more of the un-staged Ed and Rachelle. (Gaiam)