This week on Difficult People, both Billy and Julie almost get that all important break. “Cedar Cove” sees Julie blag her way into Christian Siriano’s “clown” fashion show, using comediennes instead of models. Billy gets an acting gig as a baby beaver singing about toilet functions to children and gets invited to be a “Ten, Ten.”
Last week’s focus on Broadway was left behind as the action also moved on from Hannibal Lector territory and a quote, or two, from The Producers. “Hashtag Cats” featured off-Broadway theatre, this week it is New York fashion week.
After the show’s open, where Julie is giving blood and demanding more cookies, while Billy complains that gays are not allowed to give blood, the episode segued into Fashion Week. The friend’s bluff their way into a fashion party, “Hey Donatello!” Once inside, Julie insults the first “fashionista” she sees and ends up getting a modeling gig for Siriano.
This was a tightly written episode. Billy’s Truman Capote reference in the prologue crops up later in “The Shining” sequence and the Heimlich also shows up at the fashion show.
The baby beaver advert seemed to be a brilliant parody of Barney the Dinosaur. (That big purple creation loved by children and despised by their parents.) It also served to put Billy into an awkward situation. He went for the job as it was union and would reinstate his medical insurance. Unfortunately, his face will show and this was not the game plan at all.
It was hard to pick a standout scene in this episode. All were incredibly funny, with the exception of the “F*ck you” barrage against the Heimlich instructor. Two gays and a transgender being incredibly hostile and rude towards one woman was not funny. Like the old saying goes: It was not big, nor was it clever.
Julie gets ill.
Walking down the hallway to her apartment, the area transforms into the halls of the Overlook from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. She sees Truman Capote with the dog from the hotel room scene in both the film and the book. He tells her that sex before 1978 was indeed magical.
She then sees her two beagles decked out as the twins from the film. At long last she reaches her apartment door. It swings open to reveal Arthur and Siriano. The fashion designer calls her Julie and expresses delight that she is there.
Julie turns into Danny from “The Shining.” Moving her finger she croaks, “Julie isn’t here, Mr. Siriano.”
Arthur and Marilyn bond while doing Julie’s recaps of reality television and the sick woman sneaks off to do the fashion show. They call Billy who rushes off, in costume as the baby beaver, to help Julie.
As he arrives at the show, Julie is choking on a cough lozenge and requires the Heimlich maneuver. Billy leaps on stage, still in costume, and performs the maneuver causing the lozenge to shot into the lap of a Ten, Ten. (Aka, the Ten Ten’s.)
Julie then vomits into Billy’s beaver diaper. Siriano misses this as he left when the cough drop became airborne.
Billy picks on Kevin Spacey this week. Implying that he is gay, pretending to be straight. The best gag was the Choking Chucky one where Billy says the open mouthed dummy is Spacey’s pool boy when not doing its day job.
This was brilliantly funny with many “belly laugh” moments. Although, as mentioned above, they could have lost the “F*ck you,” sequence. The signposting of Capote and Billy’s Heimlich really made this episode work well.
Difficult People airs Tuesdays on Hulu. This series left Mike’s Film Talk cold last season but season two has turned the show into a “must see.” Catch this one and see what you think.
- Julie Klausner – Julie Kessler
- Billy Eichner – Billy Epstein
- James Urbaniak – Arthur Tack
- Andrea Martin – Marilyn Kessler
- Cole Escola – Matthew
- Gabourey Sidibe – Denise
- Derrick Baskin – Nate