Difficult People: Patches – Special (Review)

Julie and Billy in Difficult People

Difficult People in “Patches” tickles the funny bone more than usual. While Billy learns that he is not a “type” in his gay world, Julie learns that she is very special indeed over at Showtime.  After last week’s porn themed episode this  un-PC themed storyline was almost guiltily funny.

Julie and Billy get jobs as guest bloggers on Buzzlist; a website dedicated to lists.  (One of which Julie gets on by the end of the episode.) The actual “office” is a conglomeration of different websites. For example  one is called “wtf” and another “omg.”  The facility  includes partitioned office space for each blogger. Apart from writing lists, the job also entails writing sponsored posts.

The latest is one for Showtime; “Six Things to Look Forward to on Showtime.” One of these a casting call for a spinoff of The Affair.  Later, as Julie makes her basset hounds new “service dog” vests, Arthur suggests that they become domestic partners for tax purposes.

Julie refuses and Arthur gets angry. He tells Julie to make her own dinner. “How,” replies his girlfriend. Billy is turned away from a gay club as he does not fit into the categories they require. (The doormen first call him a “bear.”) He then learns that his apartment has been quarantined because of ebola.

Billy and Julie  settle in at Buzzlist and begin writing their list articles and Julie gets an audition for “The Tryst” (The Affair spinoff.) The audition notes that the show is “premium cable so adjust your performance accordingly.” She and Billy discuss what this may mean and he says “not American.”

Julie decides to do an Australian trying to do an American accent “with all those hard “r’s” like all the other “English and Australian actor’s do.” She also decides to bring her service basset hounds to the audition. The dogs are banned from the communal service animal area after eating another writer’s rabbit.

She goes to the audition and reads for the part. Using her “accent” for the two casting directors Julie does not get cast for the role. However, the two women decide that Julie is mentally disabled.   They believe this because of her overacting and weird accent. The two small service dogs complete the illusion  and they arrange to have a part written for “special” Julie.

Billy ends up moving in with Marilyn as he cannot sleep in Julie and Arthur’s apartment or his brother’s.

Julie gets her “part” (four lines as a balloon seller named Patches) and she decides to keep doing the Australian playing an American accent the whole time.  Billy and Marilyn appear to be perfect roomies.

Everyone on the set believe that Julie is mentally disabled because of her accent and overacting. When she wraps the scene the casting director gives her a show jacket and a medal. A representative from Showtime; Abby (Ilfenesh Hadera) arrives and offers to treat Julie to a special dinner at her favorite restaurant Outback Steakhouse. 

Abby also tells Julie that  reporters will be at the meal as they want to tell them about “our Julie.” “I only had four lines,” Julie says and Abby replies that she got them more or less right.

At Buzzlist, Julie and Billy learn that they are no longer guest bloggers but have been hired permanently.  Kayla (Abby Elliott) then tells the two that she has a press event to attend and leaves. 

Billy gives Julie her old “cat” outfit before she leaves and Julie urges him to move out of her mom’s house.  As they talk she also realizes she needs to hold on to Arthur.

She and Arthur walk to the dinner at Outback Steakhouse and Julie agrees to be his domestic partner for tax purposes. She then gets hotdog water splashed on her outfit and changes into the “kitty suit.”  When Billy hears her accent, he realizes she sounds mentally challenged and tries to tell her.

Abby arrives with the reporters, one of whom is Kayla Julie’s  new boss at Buzzlist, and tells the press to meet their “mentally disabled” actress.  Julie immediately drops the accent and tries to explain.  “It’s not my fault,” she says, ” that talking Australian makes you sound mentally challenged.”

“You b*tch,” shouts the Australian Outback waiter, “Get out of my steakhouse!”

This episode of Difficult People was a series highpoint.  The end of the episode, where Julie learns the truth and loses her job at Buzzlist was excruciatingly funny. (The waiter’s reaction is beyond priceless.)

Watching this episode repeatedly in no way lessened the impact of the comedy of offer.  Like Hulu’s other original program, Difficult People is miles funnier in its second season.

The series airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Do not miss this one if you like to laugh.


Guest starring Rachel Dratch as the casting director. 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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