Sunday, June 14, 2020

What I’m Watching: Hollywood (Series Finale)

Hollywood: Season 1, Episode 7 “A Hollywood Ending” (B)

Finishing a show like this so many weeks after all its episodes premiere at once, I’m bound to encounter a few spoilers, or at least some vague conclusions that might color the way I watched it. What I remember quickly and accidentally reading from two sources was that it would have been nice if things had indeed turned out this way, which was quite the pivot from the devastating end to the previous episode that found everyone’s trail-blazing hard work on “Meg” literally burned to nothing. The editor showing up with a copy of the film he secretly saved made everything go right back to the freewheeling open-mindedness that allowed this film to get made in the first place. I guess that the idea being explored here is not that there isn’t inherent racism and discrimination at place in the United States, both in the 1940s and now, but that, when given the chance, people might have been willing to let their emotions overtake them. It’s not realistic, certainly, but there’s something nice about imagining that trailblazing moments like a gay writer bringing his boyfriend to the Oscars and a black woman winning the Best Actress Oscar while sitting in the same room as everyone who was white could have happened so much earlier than they actually did. Half of this episode was just a staged imaginary Oscar ceremony, and it was good that Jack realized, correctly, that this night wasn’t about him, demonstrating more understanding and self-reflection than Avis trying to compare her experiences to what Archie was describing as his everyday life. It was also refreshing to see Rock stand up for himself to Henry, and somehow, everything worked out great for all parties involved. The funeral at the end of the episode wasn’t for Ernie, as expected, but instead for Dick, who was one of the show’s strongest characters. Closing out with a follow-up movie about these events being filmed at the gas station was fitting. I know this series has been divisive, and I’ll ultimately remember it most as a showcase of some strong acting and technical elements that wasn’t always as focused as the truly intriguing and standout first episode.

Series grade: B
Series MVP: David Corenswet as Jack and Joe Mantello as Dick

No comments: