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"An epidural is a proper Christian woman's only chance to get wrecked."
September 22, 2011 7:05 AM   Subscribe

"I think Christians have gotten a bad name because of Christians. Like, I don’t blame other people for the rap that Christians have." Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on Community, talks faith, fandom, and show business with the A.V. Club.
posted by psoas (62 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
When asked what it is really about, “What would you have me do while I’m breathing on this Earth?” “Love each other. And love yourself. And love God.”

A remarkably simple message that no one seems to pay attention to.
posted by tommasz at 7:19 AM on September 22, 2011 [19 favorites]


A remarkably simple message that no one seems to pay attention to.

...Uh...it looks like Yvette Brown is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 AM on September 22, 2011


A remarkably simple message that no one seems to pay attention to.
A remarkably simple observation that not everyone seems to agree with.

posted by hat_eater at 7:21 AM on September 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


A remarkably simple observation that not everyone seems to agree with.

No kidding. What about this simple message on what it's all about: "Put your left foot in. Put your left foot out."
posted by DU at 7:29 AM on September 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


[A few comments removed - I would like to say, first of all, both of you are really capable, wonderful human beings. He didn’t mean to say that about your weight or your height or your race or your television preferences. She was a little touchy, but it’s fixable. I want each of you to write five things that are special about the other person based on previous posts, and I want you to post them with an apology now and know that I love you both equally. You can do this. Go get ’em.]
posted by bondcliff at 7:29 AM on September 22, 2011 [46 favorites]


Wonderful. Much looking forward to the new season.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:31 AM on September 22, 2011


A remarkably simple message

Could be even more simpler: cut out the "Love of God" foolishness. I think the other two could stand on their own without that third wheel.
posted by three blind mice at 7:33 AM on September 22, 2011 [14 favorites]


Her Trinity is eccentric though: Gonzo, Piggy, and Kermit

I think Oscar, Big Bird & Snuffleupagus more the thing.
posted by chavenet at 7:34 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


FWIW: Animal, Janice, and Beaker.
posted by bondcliff at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2011


I see at least two people read the link.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:36 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eh? Did Jesus condemn drugs?

I think religious conservatives tend to be anti-drug because permissive drug attitudes are linked to permissive sex attitudes (not sure why), but really I don't see why a "proper Christian" can't "get wrecked."

WWJD?
posted by grobstein at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


But joe, why should I read the link when I already know everything?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


*frantically trying to stave off derail*

So, hey! Her character is married to Malcom Jamal-Warner, what else has he been up to lately?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Epidurals don't actually get you wrecked--that would be the Demerol IV.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:39 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny she should mention Miss Piggy. Ever since the Halloween episode when everyone was convinced she was Miss Piggy, it's all I've been able to hear whenever she talks excitedly. It's fucking uncanny.

The season premiere is tonight. I have declined social engagements because really I need to have a night where I'm sitting home and drawing comics. But I'd be lying if I said that the chance to take a break from drawing to watch Community wasn't part of the reason I'm staying in.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:39 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I appreciate this if only for the fact that I forgot Season 3 starts tonight. So, thanks!
posted by joe lisboa at 7:39 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Her character is married to Malcom Jamal-Warner, what else has he been up to lately?

He was the cheating ex-husband on the Sherri Shepherd sitcom that got ditched after a season (I think). Seems like he works fairly regularly! I will share in her Theo love- I'm re-watching the Cosby Show, Season 1, and his scenes with Bill Cosby have to be some of the best television of all time.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:40 AM on September 22, 2011


Ah Community! The show I love so much I can only ever be disappointed by it. conflictedface.gif
posted by Jofus at 7:42 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


...I never even knew a Sherri Shepherd sitcom existed.

Yeah, MJW always gave the impression that "this is a child actor who's going to keep working pretty regularly." Yay him!

(I even met him once in college. And accidentally broke his glasses. He was very gracious about it.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 AM on September 22, 2011


The Christian anti-drug thing seems to be rooted in the "sanctity of sobriety" which itself strikes me as a mostly 19th century, and predominantly American, invention, that fell out of the Great Revival (aka 'Second Great Awakening') and was an explicit response against the heavy alcohol use of the era.

I've had a lot of good Belgian Abdijbier that was pretty clearly not made by people with an obsession for sobriety and clear-headedness.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:44 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh? Did Jesus condemn drugs?

The Saviour is reported in at least one source to have turned water into wine when the real stuff ran out at a wedding. According to witnesses, the father of the bride was even accused of saving the best stuff for last.

The Bible doesn't say what Jesus was offering to guests who joined his party in the bathroom, but it was certainly the best.
posted by three blind mice at 7:45 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think religious conservatives tend to be anti-drug because permissive drug attitudes are linked to permissive sex attitudes (not sure why), but really I don't see why a "proper Christian" can't "get wrecked."

The line "An epidural is a proper Christian woman's only chance to get wrecked" isn't something Yvette says in the interview, it's a line her character says on the show Community.

The show doesn't really shy away from showing some of the theological holes in her worldview and allowing her to be a character who's more than one note, like yeah she's a born-again Christian but it's not the only thing about her and she gets to be more than a moralizing wet blanket. There are also a lot of little notes of complexity to her character that don't get the airtime they probably deserve because it seems like the writers don't really know what to do with her a lot of the time.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:47 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Egyptian marching powder
posted by gagglezoomer at 7:47 AM on September 22, 2011


The line "An epidural is a proper Christian woman's only chance to get wrecked" isn't something Yvette says in the interview, it's a line her character says on the show Community.

Oops, sorry about the confusion. I was trying to draw a through-line with her discussion of her character's previous alcoholism, which I think ties in with her (Shirley's, not Yvette's) current moralism.
posted by psoas at 7:53 AM on September 22, 2011


The season premiere is tonight. I have declined social engagements because really I need to have a night where I'm sitting home and drawing comics. But I'd be lying if I said that the chance to take a break from drawing to watch Community wasn't part of the reason I'm staying in.

I seriously considered cancelling a social engagement so I could watch Community instead. But I guess that's what DVRs are for. Anyway, I am super excited for this season of Community! The Dean as a regular! John Goodman! That dude from The Wire!
posted by yasaman at 7:55 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wired: How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community
posted by fetamelter at 7:58 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel like she would be a really satisfying person to be hugged by. Plus her taste in Muppets is impeccable.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:05 AM on September 22, 2011


"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children." Matthew 11:19. It's ok, folks.
posted by homerica at 8:08 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm excited about the show. The second paintball episode? Oh my goodness I almost died watching it. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. This is the only show that my wife and I watch.

I like Shirley's character but she's sort of borderline on the cliche of JUDGMENTAL FUNDIE CREATES INTRACTABLE AWKWARDNESS, FUNDIE EMBRACES RELATIVISM, FUNDIE SAFELY NEUTRALIZED FOR FURTHER LOLS. That is so used up.
posted by resurrexit at 8:14 AM on September 22, 2011


I love Community but don't forget that Parks and Rec and Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope are back tonight as well.

And I cannot fucking wait.
posted by kmz at 8:18 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


[few comments removed - fyi bondcliff is not a mod]
posted by jessamyn at 8:25 AM on September 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yet.
posted by bondcliff at 8:26 AM on September 22, 2011 [20 favorites]


And the other thing is, I think Christians have gotten a bad name because of Christians. Like, I don’t blame other people for the rap that Christians have. A lot of Christians are just mental. A lot of Christians are more concerned with telling you where you’re gonna go when you die than what you can have while you’re here.

Thank you, Yvette.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:28 AM on September 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I read the article, and can say that Yvette seems like a really great person. I hope the writers give her a little more screen time this year, but I did really like the Senor Chang stuff from this past season.

Can't wait for the premier!
posted by codacorolla at 8:34 AM on September 22, 2011


Forget Thomas Aquinas, my new favorite theologian is Yvette Nicole Brown.
posted by lesli212 at 8:35 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about this simple message on what it's all about: "Put your left foot in. Put your left foot out."

That would be fine if we could get the heathen British to realize it's the hokey-pokey, not this -cokey blasphemy. JIHAD!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:39 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


WWJD?

What would James Dean do? I wonder.
posted by Fizz at 8:44 AM on September 22, 2011


Eh? Did Jesus condemn drugs?

Jesus was a psychedelic prophet whose followers drank his amanita muscaria-laced urine.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:46 AM on September 22, 2011


Also, from the Wired profile,

Holy shit! Harmon wrote a few issues of SCUD? Fucking unbelievable!

There could be a SCUD movie? Goddamn Oliver Stone!
posted by codacorolla at 8:51 AM on September 22, 2011


“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Mahatma Gandhi

I can't wait for this season to start. I like how she has plans for Shirley as well. I could definitely see them doing a "Cupcake Wars" episode with her and the group that just ends up in a food fight.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:55 AM on September 22, 2011


The Christian anti-drug thing seems to be rooted in the "sanctity of sobriety"

Jesus turned the water to wine
From the crowd there came a roar
For He had given us the sign
Get bombed forever more!
posted by philip-random at 9:00 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an --

he said, “It’s about love. Love God, love yourself, and love each other.”

nice guy?
posted by Panjandrum at 9:10 AM on September 22, 2011


The shitty day I am having is nearly completely mitigated by the fact that tonight I have new episodes of Community, Big Bang Theory, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Archer to look forward to.

Such is the power of good TV.

And Yvette Brown is no small part of that. Her role as the straight-man might feel under-appreciated at times, but damn can she pull a laugh out of me.
posted by quin at 9:18 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


What would James Dean do? I wonder.

Die young, most likely. It was sort of his thing.
posted by quin at 9:23 AM on September 22, 2011


Ah Community! The show I love so much I can only ever be disappointed by it. conflictedface.gif

In my head, I heard this comment spoken in Abed's voice.
posted by trunk muffins at 9:23 AM on September 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Christian anti-drug thing seems to be rooted in the "sanctity of sobriety" which itself strikes me as a mostly 19th century, and predominantly American, invention, that fell out of the Great Revival (aka 'Second Great Awakening') and was an explicit response against the heavy alcohol use of the era.

I think the Calvinists probably beat you guys to that one by a few hundred years.
posted by public at 9:48 AM on September 22, 2011


Yeeeesssss. More things Community, please.

Also, whenever I think of Dan Harmon the producer, I can't help but remember this.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:53 AM on September 22, 2011


Dan Harmon made an reddit AskMeAnything thread a few months ago. Dan, if you're reading this, and I know you are, please sign up for metafilter so I can ask you some questions about storytelling and post-modernism.

Also, the interviewing pointing to the comments section on AVClub caused me to read them for the first time and they were pretty funny actually.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:33 AM on September 22, 2011


Scene: Jeff and Andre (Joel McHale and MJW) stand outside the library. Andre wears a multi-coloured sweater with narrow horizontal strips, straight out of Bill Cosby's wardrobe.

Jeff: Nice Sweater.
Andre: Thanks. My dad gave it to me.

Now, that, my friends, is meta.
posted by dry white toast at 10:43 AM on September 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


water into wine

That power can be weaponized. In Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun, our Lord reminded a gang of Nazis that the human body is ~75% water...

Jesus was a psychedelic prophet whose followers drank his urine

Unimpressive if true. I myself can turn both water and wine into urine.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:20 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Community. And the more I watch it, the more I adore it. Seriously waiting for the season premiere this evening.

I'm also a Christian (Episcopalian with hints of Roman Catholicism here and there), and I really appreciate how they portray Shirley and her faith on this show. Yes, her views may come off as strident to some of the viewers (and other characters), but they are also good at showing that she is fallible despite her Christianity, and how her religious views are challenged at times. They don't shy away from the topic, but they also don't dwell on it. Nor do they base it solely on stereotypes or portrayals of some of the negative Christians out there. It would have been easy for them to make her really Fundamentalist in her faith and use that as a jumping off point for conflict and jokes, and they didn't do that.

(And on that same note, I feel that they also treat Troy's Jehovah's Witness faith with that same respect. And it would have been really easy to turn that into a joke. I actually wonder how JWs feel about Community and Troy as a character, if they even watch the show.)
posted by spinifex23 at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


spinifex23 i was looking at the recaps on Avclub yesterday from harmon, who mentions that he's a hardcore atheist but that really does not give a shit one way or the other about religion, even though he thinks the whole thing is fantasy. He just fundamentally prefers the show to be about personal issues and appreciates that lots of people disagree with him and that is fine. but also he drinks openly all day during work so let's keep that in mind too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:47 AM on September 22, 2011


[comments removed - go to metatalk and we will meet you there and we can have a chat, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:48 AM on September 22, 2011


I think the Calvinists probably beat you guys to that one by a few hundred years.


Oh, definitely, but I think it's harder to draw much of a straight line from them to the modern, more or less mainstream Christian anti-drug sentiment.

It wouldn't totally surprise me if you could find some hint of a cyclical trend in attitudes towards mind/mood-altering substances over time, just generally.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:09 PM on September 22, 2011


This show brings meaning to my life.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:11 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


but also he drinks openly all day during work so let's keep that in mind too.

So? Why? How does that have any bearing on my comment whatsoever? Christians of some denominations, like the Episcopalians and the Roman Catholics, have no issue with drinking.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:30 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to mention that tbh, I think it's slightly awesome and also more than slightly disturbing.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:45 PM on September 22, 2011


Harmon also created the SCUD spinoff La Cosa Nostroid IIRC. That was likewise pretty awesome. (And, of course, he was a Dead Alewife.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:09 PM on September 22, 2011


I'm totally too late to this thread for this to make any difference but

*THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE ARTICLE*

Goddamit.
posted by Specklet at 3:16 PM on September 22, 2011


(And, of course, he was a Dead Alewife.)

This makes SO MUCH SENSE.
posted by cthuljew at 3:30 PM on September 22, 2011


I burnt out on ComedySportz for a _long long time_ because I used to go see the Dead Alewives at CSz MKE back in the early 90's. Compared to the manic energy that Dan and Rob and Mondy and Peter and the rest of 'em could kick out, CSz ended up feeling very prosaic and boring in comparison.
posted by Kyol at 4:31 PM on September 22, 2011


Anyone else notice that when Yvette Nicole Brown's name unfolds in the opening credits of Community, it's accompanied by a drawing of a stabby knife, even in the special holiday edition credits?

Yvette Nicole Brown. A knife. Seriously.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:37 PM on September 22, 2011


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