Monday, August 29, 2016

Emmy 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 2 (C+)
Episode 3 is Emmy-nominated – I’m watching up until then

This show is quite the trip. It’s not like anything else I’ve seen but it’s also not the resounding dramatic tragedy that I think it’s supposed to be. Instead, it’s indefensibly depressing, with moments of humor throughout that don’t always feel like they fit. There was plenty of existential wisdom at the start of the episode, with Pete talking about how he’s planning to sleep less in the second half of his life and then suggesting napping at every chance that he got. Horace being described by his sister as a reliable pair of ears was hardly a compliment, and her casual revelation of her breast cancer seemed hurled like a weapon more than anything. Horace blaming his break-up with his girlfriend on wanting to give his daughter freer access to his life was forced at best ,and she wasn’t buying it at all. Horace’s sex fantasy involving Jessica Lange’s Marsha was odd at best, and it certainly does seem that C.K. just writes whatever he thinks and then shoots it as a scene on this show. The conversation about the Holocaust and Bambi was pretty sick and twisted, and I wasn’t at all impressed with the date between the overeager, talkative woman and the unenthusiastic, unfriendly guy. Alan Alda’s Uncle Pete is so hateful and detestable, and of course he would only like someone interested in Pete because her Tourette’s syndrome caused her to say terrible things. I recognized Tricia from Maria Dizzia’s role as Polly on “Orange is the New Black,” and she definitely added a dimension of weird decency to the show. Let’s hope Laurie Metcalf’s guest spot in episode three is worth it – this show is not what I was hoping it would be.

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