Big Time In Hollywood, FL is about to end its first season, and if the first nine episodes are any indication of what to expect in the season finale, then it’s safe to assume that it’s not safe to assume anything. It’s been an intense mix of action and comedy that’s found itself with a stacked cast and an even more stacked plot. The basic premise of the series was two slacker sons trying to scam their parents into giving them $20,000 after getting kicked out. Now they’re doing dirty deeds with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jason Alexander, running from the feds (for a drug cartel situation they don’t even really have a connection to), and making million dollar movies with adorable monkey leads. Nothing about Big Time In Hollywood, FL really makes that much sense (it’s a comedy of errors, at the very least), so the fact that it is able to make such a coherent serialized narrative—and draw from that for callbacks and tie-ins—is a feat in and of itself.
It’s simply not your typical sitcom behavior, you see.
Everything about “The Hand That Feeds” is ramping up to next week’s big finale, but one thing Big Time In Hollywood, FL has done consistently is make every episode have a “big time” feel. It’s in the title, after all. This is an episode where Jason Alexander monologues about his human trafficking business before he gets covered in blood and murdered by Cuba Gooding Jr. Anyone who says they thought they’d ever read such a sentence before is simply lying.
Ben: “Why does he keep doing this?! He’s an Oscar-winning actor!”
Cuba Gooding Jr.’s role in this show gets more and more intriguing, as while the Dolfe brothers have their naivete (among other deficiencies) to blame for this, he has his addiction, which keeps digging him in deeper and deeper. The image of Cuba dousing his now stub of a hand (at least that gets rid of the finger problem) with cocaine as he heads to go get his new life as Cuba in Cuba is one that just feels right, as disgusting as it is. The Holgado situation is still the weakest part of the show—though, not bad, by any means—but Cuba’s intensity in this role is in perfect contrast to other characters’ baselines. He’s probably the character who reacts to the bizarre world in which this show takes place—Hollywood, FL—appropriately, and he’s a coked up mess.
In one of the more brilliant moments of the episode, Malloy discovers the connection between Monkey Largo and Holgado by accident when he realizes that it’s all an Argo situation; it’s a fake movie that’s a front for the drug deal that’s going down tomorrow. Or, it should be going down tomorrow, if not for all of the mess that has happened in the span of a few days.
As the Dolfe brothers really haven’t learned much of anything in all of this chaos—in fact, they might just be getting dumber as the episodes go by—they decide to take a page out of the episode two playbook and again attempt to steal Uncle Billy’s boat with the power of hot-wiring. It’s a funny beat, as it (of course) leads to the old saying of “Green means go”… only for it to end up setting off the alarm yet again. The increase in firepower to bring the Dolfes into the precinct also features the “heroic” moment of Ben wanting to be the martyr and try to outrun the bullets (to his obvious death)… only to think much better once all of the guns are cocked and ready to kill him like they did Jimmy Staats. On second thought, maybe they have learned something, just not much.
Also, the image of a broken-nosed Del with the evidence wall behind him and the Jason Alexander drugs and money surrounding him is the perfect note to end the episode on. That’s just something Big Time In Hollywood, FL has down: It knows how to make an exit.
“The Hand That Feeds” is a solid episode that doesn’t quite live up to the heightened expectations of last episode—as “Monkey Largo” features too many clips of the amazing Monkey Largo to be anything but the best—and that’s all it needs to be. It’s like there’s a ticking clock on every episode with the amount of material that gets thrown into them. For example, it almost feels like a lifetime ago that Scoles blew his brains out in that motel room, even though it was only four episodes ago. At the same time, each episode spends a lot of with even just one singular beat—whether it’s a trip to Jason Alexander’s place or Scoles’ motel room—that it’s fascinating to realize the show isn’t just hopping from plot to plot with abandon. Next week’s finale is going to bring this all together, and given everything before it, it should be worth the wait.
- The Rico/RICO conversation was a quick (but good) one. It’s a shame we couldn’t see what Rico was up to during this. That trailer’s still doused in gasoline isn’t it?
- “…the president of Sri Lanka. He’s a big fan of Dunston Checks In.” This is actually only the second best Dunston Checks In reference I’ve heard this year on television. 2015 is a strange year. The only thing I even really remember about Dunston Checks In (besides the monkey) is that its trailer featured “Jungle Boogie.”
- “Yeah, we didn’t stash it in a McDonald’s. It’s in a bank, accruing interest.” There’s just something about Lenny Jacobson’s delivery of that line that’s hilarious.
- Jason Alexander (on how he makes his millions): “Seinfeld? Fuck Seinfeld. Seinfeld can suck my dick. Human trafficking.”
- The whole Uncle Jason (or UNCL JSON) thing is going to haunt me for life.
- Ben: “I thought we were trying to leave the country.”
Jack: “This is a weird night.”
- Darla’s back, and she is not happy with Del. “I know guys like you. You’re the hot guy who could just walk around town, you put your arms out, and you just collect ladies.” I really hope Del and Darla get the happy ending they deserve.