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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Big Time In Hollywood, FL: “Monkey Largo”

Illustration for article titled iBig Time In Hollywood, FL/i: “Monkey Largo”
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One thing Big Time In Hollywood, FL has consistently done well is deliver on the promise of excitement and genuine episode quality of its episode promos. That is somehow still far too much of a rarity in TV and movies, but that is a tangent for another day. “Monkey Largo” more than delivers on the promise of the episode promo from last week, as it gives the audience 20-plus minutes of the type of hilariously bizarre action that highlights how strong—and fully-formed—of a show Big Time In Hollywood, FL is in just eight episodes (and has been even before that).

From the moment the episode begins with the opening scene from Monkey Largo the movie, there’s nothing that can bring it down from such a high. Even with a real film budget, the Dolfe brothers have absolutely no idea what they’re doing, whether it’s in the form of the concept of credits (“ALSO HAS CUBA GOODING JR.”) or in getting even somewhat convincing stunt doubles in driving scenes.


The clips from Monkey Largo are as impressively terrible as they need to be for the amount of money they’re burning through, and it’s honestly a concept that can sustain an entire episode of its own. In fact, the only thing really stopping that from happening is the fact that the screenplay for Monkey Largo is apparently 578 pages (at the very least). But Big Time In Hollywood, FL is the type of a show where such a concept to be its own episode. It’s the same concept that Parks And Recreation did in its final season with “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show;” Big Time In Hollywood, FL could easily get away with it in episode eight without anyone blinking an eye over such an insanity.

Instead, the episode then goes into the press coverage that accompanies Monkey Largo, as the brothers are literally overnight successes in Hollywood (Florida). Their unearned confidence is at an all-time high, and while it’s fun to watch terrible things happen to these terrible brothers (though Jack is obviously worse than Ben), it’s even more fun to watch their nonsensical self-congratulations. This was true with last week’s episode too, as they strolled into their parents’ home with their pimp ensembles (and hookers, one can assume) and a toupee for their father. While their sad-sack loserdom is something to revel in, the fall can be all that much sweeter when they’re at the “top.”


So that is where they are in “Monkey Largo.” And naturally, the view from the top for the brothers Dolfe looks just as ridiculously dumb as the view from the bottom. Here, they’ve grown attached to the chimpanzee star of Monkey Largo, Rico the chimp, and in an instant, this animal is treated much better by them than they have treated Del (until later in the episode—for both the characters). They’re now also dutiful sons who love their father very much… because their father has been re-cast with a muscular, Austrian, “doctor” man.

With the revelation that Del is working with Malloy, everything comes crashing down for them, yet they’re still somehow as oblivious as ever. Surprisingly, after a bit of an off week in last week’s “What Dreams May Come,” it is the real Alan Dolfe who has more of an idea of what’s going on than his sons. Sort of.


The couples’ counseling in this episode is the real deal and doesn’t devolve into wet dreams madness, instead leading to Alan developing more of a needed take-charge attitude and learning how to say “no.” He’s also still wearing the toupee the boys gave him, in a strange display of both pride for them and a need to be the dad they want. But even that obviously isn’t enough. This leads to an old man fight, him being in lock-up, seeing “Bruce” (Malloy) at the station, and getting a glimpse of the evidence wall that his whole family is on (and his boys are at the center of). The last lines of the episode, “Honey—our boys are in trouble,” thrust him into the action, as said boys are on the run with Cuba Gooding Jr. after they find out (via a wired Del) that Malloy wants to possibly bring them up on RICO charges (which of course has nothing to do with Rico the chimp).

It’s an impressive episode of television, but it’s also just really funny. It’s extremely funny, actually. The sight of Jack and Ben sobbing as they throw gasoline all over the trailer is priceless, as is their entire whirlwind, head over heels love for Rico the chimp. The revelation that Del is working for Malloy, coming right off Jack and Ben finally treating him like a person and their best friend is fantastic, especially with Jack’s homicidal rage showing yet again. The news interview scenes (similar to confessionals) are another bit that are reminiscent of Next Time On Lonny, which is never a bad thing. Honestly, the whole episode is aces, from top to bottom. And that includes the Holgado scenes, which even include “the customary tasting of cocaine in a drug deal” at one point.


Plus, Big Time In Hollywood, FL remains one of the most cinematic shows on television, which is something that can be impressively be said about a lot of Comedy Central’s programms these days. It really is like watching an absurd action film on a weekly basis, and the shot of the dangling payphone is one of the most moving (yet funny, given the context) of the series so far. That’s what Big Time In Hollywood, FL is—ridiculously moving. Or movingly ridiculous, if that means much of anything.

Speaking frankly, Big Time In Hollywood, FL is a precious gem of a show. Some people may realize this long after it’s gone, and some people may never understand that, but it’s something that needs to be said. Maybe the work of Anfanger and Schimpf is too niche, but to those who appreciate that, hopefully they have stumbled across it. The way things are unfolding in just its first season, it probably won’t even need to have a second season or anything beyond. However, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for such possibilities to come true.


Stray observations:

  • The toilet came saga continues.
  • “Terrorists! More terrorists!”
  • Jack (on Cuba Gooding Jr.): “He’s great too.”
  • Alan: “That is not Alan Dolfe. I am Alan Dolfe.” Alan was on fire this week, especially the more he said “no.”
  • Malloy: “Are you wearing a fucking wire?”

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