Thursday, August 18, 2016

Emmy-Adjacent Episodes: Horace and Pete

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Horace and Pete: Season 1, Episode 1 (B)
Episode 3 is Emmy-nominated – I’m watching up until then

I’ll admit that I was very intrigued by this show when I heard about it, though obviously not enough to have watched it until now. I’ve been intrigued by “Louie” whenever I watch it each year when it gets nominated for Emmys, and I’ve always found its dramatic content to be even more intriguing than its comedy moments. That’s what made the notion of Louis C.K. creating a “dramatic tragedy” extremely appealing. That doesn’t even begin to address the assemblage of talent here, all carefully chosen for the roles that they’re supposed to play. Pairing Buscemi with C.K. makes total sense, and he’s pretty great as a man not quite in touch with reality who, when he’s lucid, presents himself as a genuine, caring person handicapped by his circumstances. Alan Alda contributed an impressively negative, grumpy performance as Uncle Pete, and he managed to drag things down even when they were looking up. And Edie Falco was dependably strong as their disapproving sister who realizes that the bar can’t continue to exist and function as it currently is. I was thinking as the episode was going on that it wasn’t really headed anywhere, but some of its most interesting moments are when its characters are just talking to each other. I had thought that this show was set decades ago but it turns out it takes place in the present, and therefore cell phones and Donald Trump are fodder for conversation and debate. I’m not hooked by any measure, but I will give it another two shots as I continue through the third episode, which features Laurie Metcalf’s Emmy-nominated guest spot.

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