The question posed in tonight’s episode of Sirens is one that many a film and TV show have attempted to tackle over the last few years: can a couple simply hook up for sex without emotions clouding the picture?
On this show, it becomes an even knottier concern when it comes to the couple involved. Johnny and Theresa have too much of a weird on-again/off-again thing going on for it to be completely free of sentiment. So while it is, as Johnny puts it, “every guy’s fantasy” to have a booty call on speed dial, it gets quickly complicated for him.
After their first attempt at sex without strings, Theresa chides Johnny for too much eye contact and rebuffs his attempts to hang out for a while after, sending him packing with a bottle of water and a slap on the ass. “I felt used … like a piece of meat,” he tells Hank and Brian later as they respond to an overdose in the park.
Things only slightly improve for Johnny when he is called away from drinking with all his EMT buddies for another hookup. He and Theresa get fast and furious with it, and he’s back in the bar before his daiquiri melts. That last bit of information about what Johnny is drinking is one of the small ways in which the writers establish how the gender script is being flipped with this situation. There’s also the quick scene of the EMTs all picking apart this plan over lunch where the women are the ones reveling in the nicknames they have for their lady parts and Stats breathlessly talking about how much she enjoys sex without emotional attachment. None of it is particularly subtle, but it gets the job done in the midst of a 22-minute sitcom.
Nothing gets resolved per se by the end of the episode. The last scene, which has Hank furiously trying to wrestle Johnny’s phone away from him before he ruins a good thing, is a perfect capper to this hilarious episode. Johnny wants to know why Theresa hasn’t contacted him in the three hours since their hookup. So Hank does the potentially perfect friend maneuver and tries to take away the phone. And, of course, the phone gets away from the two, falls down a sewer drain, and it’s only then that you hear the familiar tritone ping of text message coming in. Well played, Sirens.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.