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ElectricBoogaloo

S03.E07: Hollywood Homecoming

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Sam takes Justine to meet with studio execs, Birdie arrives in Las Vegas to spend time with her daughter in law, and Debbie makes a new friend.

Original air date: 8/9/19

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So, Rhonda meets Bash's mother, Birdie, and ended up...kind of charming her? That was a surprise. And now Bash has full access to his funds. Things seem to be looking up for Bash at the moment. I did laugh at him needing to rest his vocal chords. Debbie's reaction was great. 

So, Justine gets her script sold! Just in time for Sam to...have a heart attack and then keep it from her. Sam really can't look weak in front of her, and he continues to drink when he shouldn't. I mean, that doesn't bode well for his health in the near future.

Debbie goes on a date with the guy from the airplane. Tex seems awesome. I just need to know what the catch is. Is it Tex or is it Debbie? 

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GLOW bringing me Toby Huss as a love interest for Debbie is a gift. 

(That said ... I do wish they weren’t reinforcing the trope that men can date much younger, but when women do it’s weird. Kind of doubling down on it after Sam/Ruth.)

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I was cracking up that Rhonda's idea of a "reserved but still fun" outfit was a sequin crop top with pigs on it.

Oh, Sam. He thinks that he's protecting Justine by hiding his medical condition but any idiot can see that's just going to blow up in his face.

I'm glad Debbie was so supportive of Jenny's request for a raise. It's not surprising that Jenny's been doing all that extra work without being compensated.

I thought Birdie would pull every trick in the book to try to break up Bash and Rhonda, so I'm glad that they've reached a detente.

How old is Debbie supposed to be? Tex's oldest kid is 24 so I'm guessing she's a lot closer in age to him than to Tex.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

How old is Debbie supposed to be? Tex's oldest kid is 24 so I'm guessing she's a lot closer in age to him than to Tex.

She mentioned she was 32 while making up her obituary in the previous ep.

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Sam's a selfish idiot.

Betty's enormous '80s hair never ceases to crack me up.

15 hours ago, kieyra said:

GLOW bringing me Toby Huss as a love interest for Debbie is a gift. 

I know. He's so good. I love how completely accepting he was of Debbie being a wrestler. I also liked how Debbie put it out there with minimal embarrassment on her part. 

Alison Brie directed this episode. She did a nice job.

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I've never heard of Toby Huss but I remember thinking that guy on the plane was way too talented for a bit part. Very nice development.

I am very interested in Sam/Ruth however it winds up, but when Britt Baron is around I forget that and get completely into Sam/Justine. The chemistry is as good with Marc Maron and both actresses. Different relationships, but just as easy and natural. It reminds me of when I saw the movie The Apartment for the first time on the web. I'm watching the Jack Lemmon/Shirley MacClaine and into that, then comes the plot twist where a heartbroken Jack Lemmon meets up with Hope Holiday, and immediately I'm ready for an entirely different movie that just follows the two of them instead.

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Figured Toby Huss was going to return!  I'm guessing "Tex" is here for Debbie to have her first serious relationship after Mark.  I enjoyed the back and forth between them, but I do suspect it will end up not working out for whatever reason (or reasons.)

Loved Birdie's return and how she was actually charmed by Rhonda on some levels.  But now Bash has access to all of his funds?  That could end badly, considering how he mishandles his money, according to Rhonda.

Oh, Sam!  He's going to push himself too hard and possibly into an early grave, in order to keep up appearances with Justine.  I'm sure she'd rather her father actually stay alive to witness her hopefully successes, Sam.

Alison Brie directing probably explains the lack of Ruth.  I thought she did a good job.

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On 8/10/2019 at 12:22 PM, dubbel zout said:

Alison Brie directed this episode. She did a nice job.

Ah. I was curious why there was so little Ruth.

15 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

But now Bash has access to all of his funds?  That could end badly, considering how he mishandles his money, according to Rhonda.

I mean, he didn't even know how to deposit the checks. I hope they don't burn through it.

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1 hour ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Count of Monte Fuckface is the best thing I've heard in my life.

I'm so working that into my conversions from now on. 

Have to agree, Allison is doing a nice job with directing.    

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On 8/10/2019 at 12:41 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm glad Debbie was so supportive of Jenny's request for a raise. It's not surprising that Jenny's been doing all that extra work without being compensated.

I really loved that moment with Debbie and Jenny - they've done a good job of showing how Debbie has started to thrive in her role, and develop a set of people-skills she was lacking in before. 

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I am so hoping that when the two actors dressed as fighter pilots walking past Sam and Justine at a studio was a small call out to Top Gun. I'm not sure exactly what year we're supposed to be in, but the era fits.

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Allison Brie did a good job directing, although I missed seeing more Ruth. 

So Rhonda meets Bashs mom and...it actually goes alright. His mom is rather charmed by her spunk and honesty, and now Bash gets access to all of hiss money! Which seems great for now, but its been established that Bash is pretty bad with money and has been really up his own ass lately, so this might not go as well as he and Rhonda think it will. I did enjoy him trying to save his voice, and Debbie's reaction to it.

I knew they wouldn't waste Toby Huss on a random bit part, it was great seeing him back again, and smooth as butter in the best possible way. I guess he will be Debbie's next real love interest, and she is definitely stepping up from 80s Harry Crane, I gotta say. 

I like the increased presence of Jenny in the last few episodes, but I missed seeing the rest of the ladies very much. 

I mean, who wouldn't be won over by Rhonda's "restrained" sequin pig top?!

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It seems clear there's someone in the writers room that really loves the movie ALL THAT JAZZ - this episode had the second call-back to that movie this season (the scene where Sam starts rubbing his left wrist and the sound fades out is a direct knockoff). One homage is fine. Two is...pushing it.

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4 hours ago, wendyg said:

the scene where Sam starts rubbing his left wrist and the sound fades out is a direct knockoff

Honestly, I think that's pretty universal movie shorthand for "heart attack's a'comin!"

My favorite scene was Birdie looking at Rhonda's ring. Rhonda tells her she didn't get a diamond because she likes blue. Birdie says "Well I hate it" takes a beat, then tosses her head back and laughs a big, throaty laugh! The laugh is so out of place, it's totally hilarious and totally Birdie!

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On 8/10/2019 at 3:34 AM, kieyra said:

GLOW bringing me Toby Huss as a love interest for Debbie is a gift. 

(That said ... I do wish they weren’t reinforcing the trope that men can date much younger, but when women do it’s weird. Kind of doubling down on it after Sam/Ruth.)

That's what I came on here to post. I love Toby Huss and rooted for Boz more than anyone on Halt and Catch Fire. But I do feel a bit uncomfortable that we've now come to a place in this woman centric show where both female leads are being pushed into relationships with men nearly 20 years older. I've really never liked Sam and Ruth anyway, he was repeatedly emotionally abusive to her at the beginning of their working relationship. So while I'd be happy to watch Sam learn to respect Ruth, accept he was a total dick to her and for them to form a friendship, the power dynamic between them is way too off centre for them to ever be in a relationship. Watching the show lean more and more towards them ending up together while at the same time seeing Debbie paired with another older man feels doubly unnecessary.

On 8/13/2019 at 11:32 PM, RunningMarket said:

I am so hoping that when the two actors dressed as fighter pilots walking past Sam and Justine at a studio was a small call out to Top Gun. I'm not sure exactly what year we're supposed to be in, but the era fits.

It was definitely a Top Gun call out. Is the right year in that it's 1986 but right around the time the film was released. So those 'pilots' were probably Tom and Val off to do a magazine promo shoot!

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On 8/16/2019 at 5:18 PM, Nordly Beaumont said:

Honestly, I think that's pretty universal movie shorthand for "heart attack's a'comin!"

I think so too. I notice that kind of fade out (with a piercing ringing sound) all the time - because I have tinnitus and it's right in the register of what I hear all the time, so it always bothers me. This one wasn't as bad as some.

Scenes with crying babies are kind of mixed bags for me. On the one hand, such realism in handling a screaming child who wants to get away while you're trying to talk. On the other hand, the screaming child isn't acting and following direction - he's really struggling to get out of their arms. So it bothers me some.

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12 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

Scenes with crying babies are kind of mixed bags for me. On the one hand, such realism in handling a screaming child who wants to get away while you're trying to talk. On the other hand, the screaming child isn't acting and following direction - he's really struggling to get out of their arms. So it bothers me some.

Yeah, it provokes a totally automatic emotional response seeing and hearing a baby screaming, and knowing that it's not acting - it's being held by someone not its parent and it's genuinely upset. However, the good news is that the vast majority of that is an illusion. There are STRICT rules about using babies on set. Mom or Dad is right there off camera, and in the majority of the crying baby scenes I've seen, the baby's face is pointed away from the camera, or else the facial expression and/or body movements don't match the screaming we hear. I strongly suspect that, for the most part, the baby onscreen is calm or just a little bit upset, and the unholy shrieking is a separate audio track used to make it sound like the onscreen baby is screaming its lungs out. The alternatives are that the production team is provoking a screaming tantrum in an infant (not ethical and almost certainly against the rules), or waiting around all day for a baby to have a screaming tantrum on its own (which no director would have the budget or patience for). And in either case, imagine the poor sound department, trying to mix the audio of adult actors talking while a baby screams over them the whole time. Way easier for all involved to mix in a separate "crying baby" sound at an appropriate level in post. In this episode, it's hard to tell, but the baby is facing away from the camera, and the one time it looks towards the camera it does look upset, but I sincerely doubt it's really making the sound we hear.

Those scenes with crying babies are so distracting, for exactly the reason you say, that my automatic response to them is to look at the baby onscreen and ask myself if I couldn't hear the crying, would I still think that baby was upset? It still pulls you out of the show, but at least it makes you feel better!

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Alison Brie referenced an unholy terror of a screaming toddler as part of her directing stint. Meaning the kid "playing" Randy. I suspect if the kid had been calm, Randy would have been calm. As the kid struggled, it was easy to write it in. If Betty Gilpin picked the child up while the cameras were rolling and the child screamed and cried, they caught a few seconds of that on camera with Gilpin ad libbing a bit in character and just used it as the Randy angle for the day. It did seem as if Randy was crying a lot and I suspect they used it because the kid was crying a lot.

It's true if a baby/toddler is crying in a scene as part of a plot point, it's usually sleight of hand with lots of sound track, the face only partially shown, and body and sound track not matching. Although at times during a take a child will cry while on camera (unintentionally), the actor plays along because that's another option, and that's the take used.

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I very much enjoyed this episode and it was bolstered by it's two guest stars Elizabeth Perkins (I just finished watching Weeds) and Toby Huss (still looking like Frank Sinatra).  I was surprised that Rhonda meeting Birdie went so well although I think Bash getting more money is going to a disaster.

I realized we saw almost no Ruth but it was cool to learn that Allison Brie directed the episode.

Of course, Sam stupidly can't admit to Justine about his health problems for no reason whatsoever and just decides to double-down on being a raging asshole.  Sam is pretty much an extension of Marc Maron when it comes to rage.

The Out of Africa response did amuse me.

Edited by benteen
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Man, I love Elizabeth Perkins. Birdie appearances are always a treat. And I'm glad Rhonda managed to charm her. Maybe Rhonda can also help keep Bash on the straight and narrow with his spending? But that might be too much to hope for.

I have no clue who Toby Huss is, since I never watched "Halt and Catch Fire", but I like him. He looks completely different with no beard!

Count of Monte-Fuckface. Hee!

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Hey, show, guess what I really don't care about? Storylines revolving around kids causing havoc. And I especially don't want to hear shrieking kids for prolonged periods. No more of that, please.

Birdie and Rhonda is a giant "who cares?" I don't like either character much, and I can't really get invested in a marriage between a woman and a guy who's just refusing to admit he's gay. It's all just a ticking time bomb. Bash having disposable income is good news, as long as someone is there to administer it for him (can't have him hiring every juggler and magician in Vegas, can we?)

I liked the scenes with Sam and Justine, and seeing both how hard Sam is trying to be a good dad, and how much it means to Justine to have a father. So of course they had to throw cold water on it, and of course Sam has to be an asshole and hide the fact he's having a heart attack. Yes, it would have upset Justine to know, but she's going to be way more pissed when she finds out he hid it from her.

It's amazing how much older Debbie looks, when she's got makeup and the giant 80s hair going. I guess that's deliberate, but she looks far, far better when she's dressed down. JJ the Wyoming guy seems nice enough, and it's cool to see a guy who is completely comfortable and confident in himself, which is unusual for this show. But I imagine he's going to serve the role of offering Debbie a different life, away from the show.

So Alison Brie directed this episode? That explains why she was barely in it.

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Watching Rhonda/Birdie and Randy running away from Debbie, it was suddenly like I was watching 80's movie plots. 

Birdie isn't so bad.

I'm not sure how to take Sam withdrawing from Justine when he was having a heart attack.

Debbie's plot continues to be the least interesting but I'm curious about how JJ/Tex might play a role in the future.

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I love the show. I just wish I wasn't always making that pained "Thor-reacts-to-Banner" face through every episode at least once.

On 8/9/2019 at 7:17 PM, Lady Calypso said:

So, Justine gets her script sold! Just in time for Sam to...have a heart attack and then keep it from her. Sam really can't look weak in front of her, and he continues to drink when he shouldn't. I mean, that doesn't bode well for his health in the near future.

Can I just complain about this fricking tired trope? That trope that wow, a person wrote their first script and WOW it was amazing and WOW they get multiple offers? I've been a part-time screenwriter for 20 years and that shit is more like lightning from the sky, not typical. But it's a Hollywood staple and I hate it. The idea that Sam's daughter was so brilliant she instantly has multiple offers just frustrates me so much. 

On 8/9/2019 at 7:34 PM, kieyra said:

GLOW bringing me Toby Huss as a love interest for Debbie is a gift. 

(That said ... I do wish they weren’t reinforcing the trope that men can date much younger, but when women do it’s weird. Kind of doubling down on it after Sam/Ruth.)

This. I love me some Toby Huss and he is such a good actor. But goddamn it, GLOW, he's decades older than Betty Gilpin! I mean, WTF show? How are we breaking boundaries when these are the core relationships for the two's main female characters? Sigh.

On 8/10/2019 at 11:22 AM, dubbel zout said:

I know. He's so good. I love how completely accepting he was of Debbie being a wrestler. I also liked how Debbie put it out there with minimal embarrassment on her part. 

Alison Brie directed this episode. She did a nice job.

I love everything about Debbie/Tex except that she is young enough again (AGAIN) to be his daughter. Meanwhile, lovely job by Alison -- and kudos. Beautifully directed.

On 8/17/2019 at 7:51 AM, AllyB said:

That's what I came on here to post. I love Toby Huss and rooted for Boz more than anyone on Halt and Catch Fire. But I do feel a bit uncomfortable that we've now come to a place in this woman centric show where both female leads are being pushed into relationships with men nearly 20 years older. I've really never liked Sam and Ruth anyway, he was repeatedly emotionally abusive to her at the beginning of their working relationship. So while I'd be happy to watch Sam learn to respect Ruth, accept he was a total dick to her and for them to form a friendship, the power dynamic between them is way too off centre for them to ever be in a relationship. Watching the show lean more and more towards them ending up together while at the same time seeing Debbie paired with another older man feels doubly unnecessary.

Me too also. Thanks for this. Everything you said, 1000%. I just don't get why this openly feminist show has these weird, openly patriarchal, leanings.

On 8/29/2019 at 11:10 PM, Cheezwiz said:

I have no clue who Toby Huss is, since I never watched "Halt and Catch Fire", but I like him. He looks completely different with no beard!

Please watch "Halt and Catch Fire" and you will understand. It's an amazing show. Season 1 has highs and lows -- it's uneven if lovely -- but from Season 2 onward each season is just a jewel and is amazing, and very feminist and female-forward, and (best of all) all the characters grow and evolve, and it is just gorgeous. Toby played one of my favorite characters on the show (Bos) and the show is worth watching just for him. But there is so much else to love. It's still on Netflix, so -- please watch. A beautiful, overlooked show that ended its run on almost all top-10 lists for TV that year.

 

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