Sunday, August 16, 2015

Round Two: Difficult People

Difficult People: Season 1, Episode 3 “Pledge Week” (B+)

I’m glad that I tuned in to this show in its second week, and I’m pleased to report that it’s actually very funny. The best part is that the real Billy and Julie are obviously held in high regard by the celebrities they get to cameo on their show, and who have the opportunity to take a swing at the critics and internet trolls who lampoon them on a regular basis in real life. Andy Cohen’s opening scene was entertaining, and I also enjoyed Marc Shaiman yelling at Julie and Martin Short recognizing Billy only to tell him that he thinks he has absolutely no charisma. I also enjoyed a less famous guest, John Benjamin Hickey from “The Big C,” who played Fred the participator, a perfectly interesting nice guy whose enthusiasm for volunteering pushed Billy to break up with him. Julie’s love life was also undergoing some problems due to her inability to give Arthur any sympathy during the stress of PBS pledge week. Her idea for a roast of PBS celebrities was perfectly inappropriate and absurd, and yet somehow it worked well enough to get PBS more donations than ever before, a plot development revealed in a hilarious comment suggesting that the public broadcaster has never received as much as $1100 during all its fundraising drives. I like the pacing of this show and the way that all of the supporting characters contribute to it, all exemplifying qualities that either make them ideal people for Billy and Julie to spend time with or completely unacceptable human beings.


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