It's been a while since there's been a good teen sex comedy and frankly I'm drawing a blank on any told from the female's perspective. (i.e. It's a girl trying to get laid. Superbad, Sex Drive, Road Trip, etc. were all about boys seeking poonanny.) Seeking to fill this gap (double entendre totally intended) comes (heh) The To Do List, the feature debut by writer-director Maggie Carey who is former SNL star Bill Hader's wife.
Snarkalicious nerd hottie Aubra Plaza stars as her Idaho high school's valedictorian in 1993. She's heading to college in the fall, but is concerned that her utter lack of sexual experience will be a problem for her in the big city. Her sister (Rachel Bilson) is an oversexed idiot, so she decides to make a to do list of sexual activities to check off before leaving. The montage of her assembling this list and trying to look up in the encyclopedia various terms (and noting to ask the librarian about some of them) under her framed Hillary Clinton photo is a hoot, though just how this smart girl could be so sheltered as to have no idea why a pearl necklace isn't elegant strains credibility even in pre-Internet Idaho.Working as a lifeguard at a public pool, she's got her eyes on a hunky co-worker to punch her V-card, but there are others interested she's overlooking.
The shaggy story ambles from one episode to another delivering laughs with decent regularity. Pitching in with extended cameos are Donald Glover (Community), McLovin (Superbad) and Andy Samberg as an Eddie Vedderish grunge singer. Hader gets plenty of screen time because he slept with the director. (You go, boyeee!)
But the star is Plaza and I like her a lot. She manages to walk the line between fizzy sassy sarcasm and off-putting bitchiness. Perhaps I'm missing the old, pre-insanity Janeane Garofalo, but Plaza equally grounded Safety Not Guaranteed last year. The shortcomings of The To Do List aren't her fault and her charm helps smooth some of the creepier bits over.
Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable.