When the staff members for new L.A. Mayor Neil Bremer (Ted Danson) are forced to gather for a mandatory HR training session, during the aptly titled “Respect in the Workplace” episode on February 4 of NBC’s Mr. Mayor, hilarity ensues.
The main players in this episode, and the show overall, bring their own brand to the table. In addition to Neil, there’s the snarky gay Tommy Tomás (Mike Cabellon), the super woke Mikaela Shaw (Vella Lovell), and the old school feminist Deputy Mayor Arpi Meskimen (Holly Hunter).
Mikaela is so woke that she insists everyone participating in a birthday party video scenario get reported to HR because “forced celebrations produce anxiety, the concept of birthdays is systemically pro-life, and singing discriminates” against people who sing off-key. Also, the person whose birthday is being celebrated is "complicit" for "agreeing to all of this."
When it comes to the training material for the Respect in the Workplace meeting, Arpi literally wrote the book on it and piloted the program in the '80s. She’s quite resistant to surrendering control to the meeting’s leader, Susan Shaw (Natalie Morales), and with so many clashing personalities being forced to come together, the situation gets heated. It’s no longer just about the video's scenario, either.
After a scene in the video where two co-workers secretly kiss, everyone has a different opinion on it:
Arpi: You’re supposed to focus on the two that were kissing.
Mikaela: Yeah, was there an intimacy coordinator on that set? Because until that's confirmed, I don't think I should even be watching this.
Susan: All right, all right, so the answer is, even consensual relationships should be reported.
Neil: Really? But what if the secret is part of the thrill?
Arpi: Susan! I wrote that question in 1989. The correct answer is, the kiss is fine because Carlos and Michelle are equals. It's consensual. And they're not bumming everyone else out by doing it in public. -
Mikaela: Actually, it's not fine, because their relationship would impact dynamics in the workplace. -
Arpi: Did you just "Actually" me?
Mikaela: Did you "You're welcome" me before we even started?
Arpi: What is that supposed to mean?
Mikaela: "I started this program, Ms. Shaw. I'm a trailblazer. High fives for white feminism."
Arpi: One, you're bad at voices. And two, I don't high-five white feminism. Clearly you haven't read my most recent op-ed for the "Vallarta Noticias," or you wouldn't be this worked up.
Susan: Okay, Arpi, you are centering yourself, you are tone policing, and you're displaying a white savior complex. -
Arpi: My apologies. I will be quiet.
Susan: Let's move on.
Arpi: But I worked really hard! My boss used to put his fingers in my mouth. He'd say, "Does this Coffee mate taste old to you?"
Neil: I went to Hooters once with OJ Simpson.
Tommy: I'm so hungry, that sounds good to me.
Arpi: And this isn't gonna go over well...
Mikaela: Then don't say it!
Susan: They always still say it.
Arpi: You wouldn't have your job if it weren't for gals like me. And I'm sorry if that kind of door opening also offends you.
Mikaela: Okay, boomer. Have infinity seats.
Arpi: What does that mean? Is that a crack about all the lap-sitting my generation was forced to do?
Tommy: She's saying she wants you to retire and go home because you're the Pelosi to her low-res AOC.
Arpi: You know what, Mr. Tomás?
Mikaela: There's a special place in hell for gays that encourage women not to support other women. -
Tommy: I know. It's called Bravo, and we're doing amazing on it.
Neil: Susan, I'd like credit for knowing that I shouldn't talk right now.
Susan: Good for you, yes.
While the episode is hilarious in proving its points, just because the writers can parody the excesses of woke political correctness doesn't mean that they don't still subscribe to it on the whole. Still, it's nice to have a laugh at the left's expense every once in a while to break up the monotony of jabs at everyone right of center on TV.