Friday, November 28, 2014

What I’m Watching: Hello Ladies (Series Finale)

Hello Ladies: The Movie

For a network that loves British comedies, HBO cancels an awful lot of them. Fortunately, some are deemed to be worthy of a wrap-up special that revisits the characters one last time and manages to provide some resolution to any threads the show left hanging. I’m still waiting on this treatment for “Family Tree,” but after “Life’s Too Short” got its special, I’m delighted to see that “Hello Ladies,” which I thought was right up HBO’s alley, back for one last hurrah. I smiled through the early parts of the episode before remembering just how painfully awkward this show can be. It hit me when Stuart was prodding Nicole Kidman and pretending that they were friends, particularly when Jessica decided that it would be wise to say that Nicole and Stuart had dated. The visit of an ex-girlfriend was the perfect impetus for Stuart to ask Jessica to pretend to be his model girlfriend. It was a shock earlier in the movie to see Stuart actually score with a model who was totally into kissing him, and her last-minute change of plans set events in terrific motion for what proved to be an exciting if not entirely magical night of romance thanks to a few hiccups. It was great to see them finally get together, only to have Stuart ask Jessica to move out when she didn’t reciprocate his feelings. Ending the movie with Jessica realizing that she and Stuart were good for each other, at least 79% percent of the time, was wonderful, and I especially enjoyed Jessica’s hastily listed reasons for being better than Stuart. Though Kives managed to remain a character perpetually on the verge of having a purpose or a plotline to call his own, it was fantastic to see Wade finally meet a girl, in the form of Allison Tolman of “Fargo,” no less! This was a triumphant conclusion that allowed Stuart to grow as a person, to stand up to shallow idiocy, and to defend the honor of his friends even if it meant blowing his chances with a model. This was the finale that this show deserved, a defining peak of an all too short-lived run.


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