Review: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season One

There is something about Mrs. Maisel that draws in pretty much everyone who gives it a chance. Actually, there are several somethings:

  • The Gilmore Girls Pedigree
  • The bright and beautiful Period Costumes
  • The cast
  • The story inspired by Joan Rivers’ start in stand-up comedy
  • The core of lady awesome

All of this has been noticed and adored internet wide. Rotten Tomatoes has it holding steady at 96% Fresh. These components are all, I agree, part of the charm.

Something has been missed, however. The thing that has held me addicted. The reason that I feel compelled to rewatch and maybe rewatch some more, is the glorious peerless gift of arguments well-made.

No one knows how to argue anymore; it is a skill lost in an screaming world. I grew up with it, though. My family discussed everything at the dinner table, and if you had an opinion you better back it up. There was no mercy for meaningless words. Winning an argument against someone who is also putting careful work into their reasoning is one of the best feelings. Heck, just the back and forth is exhilarating. I miss it.


This show brings it back. Midge and her parents live in a bubble of loving and understanding. And in this bubble they argue. Constantly. Not stupidly, or for no reason. It’s utilized for their main method of communication and I love it. The last show that made me so happy in the same way was The Newsroom.

Yes. Mrs. Maisel is my fluffier The Newsroom. It’s a sparkly, sweet, cotton candy version of the world. There is nothing too new about it. Familiar storyline (cheating husband, unsuspecting wife). Familiar kinds of characters. Nothing very revolutionary. But, so what?

There are nods and easter eggs aplenty for comedy nerds. Kevin Pollack gives so much to every scene and I adore him. Tony Shalhoub as Miriam Maisel’s father Abe kills me whenever he’s ranting. Which, thankfully, is a lot. Miriam is the star and it’s thrilling to see her come up with a set out of nothing, but you can tell she got this at least partially from her dad. Their sense of humor and intelligence connect them and basically every time they talk I get emotional.


Does this lifetime of learning how to point by point delve into an issue and sell her side of things give Miriam an edge on the stage? I think so. I believe that her kind of stand-up is arguing. Here’s why my day was insane. I’m not crazy, it’s everything around me. Here’s what happened, and why I am right. She presents a point, she backs it up, she builds, and hammers it home. She basically discusses with the audience, and any laughter or lack of it is the level at which she wins it. Her simply being on stage as a woman in the late 1950s is the beginning of an argument, and her crowd howling by the end is the resolution of that. She’s that good.

Warning: In the pilot episode, the writing for Abe is much harsher and almost cruel. Not to worry, because they fix it in the second episode making him much more grumpy papa bear. So if you watched the first ep and this put you off, please give Tony another chance. You won’t regret it.

Other Warning: If you are not a comedy geek who grew up on classic stand up records, Johnny Carson, and finds the construction of writing comedy fascinating, there will be references that you may not get. Do not worry too much about this. Amy Sherman-Palladino has made it so that you are learning right along with Miriam and no one gets lost. That being said … do yourself a favor and find clips of the comedians that are referenced, you might just find a new vintage love.

Verdict: You have to try it. You have to give yourself a chance to get caught up in this because if you do, it is pure fantasy fulfillment. If you don’t or you can’t I will understand. You poor dear.


Review: Tiffany Haddish on SNL

For the first time since the 43rd season premiere with Ryan Gosling, SNL flew true.

42 was a magically numbered season, when co-head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly led Saturday Night Live back into prominent greatness (and ratings). They not only had Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, but were not afraid to think outside the box with sketches. They got totes weird with SNL, and for that glorious year, it had never flown higher.

Which is why when word came out the these now beloved head writers were bouncing on to other things, I was worried. Worried that skits about expansive sinks, John George the book assistant, and a back pack fashion show would become things of only fond memory instead of freaky cogs in a brilliant whole.

Then came the season starter with Gosling, and it was so good. Ryan was confidant and nailed his second hosting, and the writing was delightful. My favorite was the Avatar font skit (Papyrus), a thing of pure and ridiculous beauty. The Gal Gadot, Kumail Nanjiani, and Larry David episodes that followed were not completely awful. The tone was off, certainly, but there were moments of SNL magic in each. This is not a criticism that the show has fallen off a log and into a chasm of badness. This is a note that I am worried that SNL has devolved. It is as good as it was a couple of years ago, which is fine. However, the ground gained over the past season seemed to be fully conceded. So imagine my happy giddy reaction to the Tiffany Haddish episode, a return to that brilliance. My expectations have been adjusted and I now know what you crazy kids are capable of, so you guys have to keep it going. That Haddish was the first female African American stand up comedian host is sad, but she killed. She better be the first of many to come, as there is much ground to cover and talent to tap into.


Saturday Night Live is captured lightning in a bottle. Or even a bug in a jar. A bug that has a lot of weird phases and likes to sum up the world around it. It’s like it just had a huge promotion at its bug job last year but then got fired, went on a bender, sobered up and threw up everywhere, and suddenly put on a dirty hilarious rendition of Hamlet that made us all cry. I know what you can do now, you freaky awesome bug. You better give me a Taming of the Shrew that will rip apart my soul but in a way that makes me laugh, or you are not living up to your potential.


Review: Thor Ragnarok

Taika Waititi turned a Marvel movie into a cheese-filled neon-blasted 80s action comedy from whence the Thor franchise will never return. This is the new route; Thor has found the road which best suits his inner Chris Hemsworth and he shall traverse it evermore.


Cate Blanchet has never been more gorgeous and it is distracting. She vamps. Tom Hiddleston’s dark prince charms pale next to her goddessness. This is good, because it puts him in his place and in the mood to actually become helpful. This leads to some old fashioned bro-downs and Loki being a trickster, but in more of a scallywag way. Like a fun pirate or a lawyer, and much less murderous. Anthony Hopkins playing Loki in the beginning of the movie is obvi having more fun than playing Odin ever was. All Odin (Loki in disguise) wants to do is eat grapes and watch his favorite play featuring Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth. And who wouldn’t want that? I shall call this troupe “Emote Asgard”, and we better see them in every one of the future Thor movies.

All of the parts with Chris and Tom are the tops. The connection that these actors have and the chemistry that they have developed makes their scenes the deepest felt and the most addicting.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie given her timeline is the eldest and most experienced of the “hero” squad. Thankfully she is treated with the respect that her badass self deserves, especially by Thor. She is a compatriot and warrior. Who, yeah, has become a drinker given her circumstances over the last however many years that she has been stuck on trash planet, but this only points to her being a sane Asgardian in a crazy world. The success of Ragnarok hopefully means that we will get more Tessa, which could never be a bad thing.


Mark Ruffalo turns out to be a sweet baby owl that eventually hatches from his Hulk cocoon. Before then, it is all “Hulk smash you, play with Hulk, no lies, I like and trust Valkyrie, you guys can all stuff it.” Banner pops out after an undisclosed amount of time (given that trash planet time is a bit wobbly) and it becomes “Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Wtf?!” as Thor has to herd his adorable baby birdedness through danger to get home. Well, home the roundabout way.

Jeff Goldblum is as advertised: Jeff Goldblum. He is the fun kind of evil mastermind, overthrown by too many darn goodie two shoes getting together.

Speaking of fun evilness, Karl Urban is a delight as the new gatekeeper back in Asgard, showing all the ladies his stuff. Where is previous gatekeeper Heimdall/Idris Elba? Well, he’s in hiding from Loki at first, then Hela, all while rocking a new Robin Hood look and some kind of psychic link with Thor. He helps the Asgardians, does a lot of covert good, and basically has the kingdom’s back.

Cate’s Hela is chillin’ being Queen and killing folks, when the heros pop in after escaping trash planet. The most redeeming part of Hela’s character apart from the fact that her brutalness was used by her Odin father and then thrown away, is that she has a puppy. It’s probably more gigantic undead wolf than dog, but it is still a puppy, and that makes her way too likable. It’s Shakespearean, how conflicted of a character that Hela is. She is the most dangerous being ever, but she wants to be loved and accepted. Asgard is a land built on blood and violence, which moved on to a narrative utopia where no such past existed. That releasing the Ragnarok curse vanquished Hela along with Asgard is super fitting. First of all, the fire monster was voiced by Clancy Brown, Hell yes. And the two creatures of destruction ripping each other into non existence along with the world underneath them has the heftiness of right and balance. The ragtag band saved the people, which is what really matters, and now they have a new chance to start over. Probably in Norway.

The vibe is all hope and renewal until they get to Earth to see a big spaceship blocking the way. This path to the end of trouble just led to a lot more trouble.

Verdict: This was everything I could have hoped. Taika Waititi + Dash of Shakespeare’s best + A really good Hard Rock Show + Some D&D + Shit ton of Easter Eggs + Style from an 80s noir arcade apocalypse + Lady power with stabbing + Chris Hemsworth being hilarious = Ragnarok


Review: Bojack Horseman Season 4


Season four of Bojack has the unenviable task of coming after season three. There is no being better than season three, let’s just be real. One and two were solid and built up this crazy cartoon world, but three played fully in all of the glory and mess of that Bojack place to the point that it is not a television season. It is a fraking composition. Watching it, you can almost feel a conductor playing you through a perfectly formed story. One of the best seasons of a show ever.

But we must move on, I suppose. To Season Four:

Well, I get now why Bojack is how he is. There is a long line of dysfunction in the Horseman/Sugarman tree and next to it Bojack seems the picture of even keeled respectability. Sure he drinks to excess and is self-involved, but at least he’s never had someone lobotomized for showing emotion or poisoned someone for the sake of thinness. It’s ugly, and it’s hard to choose a winner for “most horrible”, but I’ll try. Hrmm, my vote goes to Bojack’s mother Beatrice (voiced by the fabulous Wendie Malik). She has moments, sure, where she seems like a relatable character who is forged by bad situations. But then she soaks them up. She thrives on her misery and handing it out to those around her. Her father does these sorts of things without comprehending the consequences, but she is very aware. It takes a dedicated horror of a human to do the things that she does while having dementia. The one thing that is unclear to me is why she was so upset about the babydoll? Does it tell of a nurturing instinct in her as long as the thing to be nurtured is silent and obedient? Is it her own childhood innocence that she is so desperate to save? The last seems more likely.

Unknowingly walking into this disaster is the possible daughter/definite sister of Bojack. Hollyhock is a cute and sweet 17 year old girl who just wants to know who her biological parents are. She possesses a dry sense of humor that makes for lovely moments between her and her father/brother. They bond over the season, and I truly hope that that will continue into the next, because they are funny and cute and I want more. Having grown up adopted by eight loving and supportive dads, Hollyhock has a heck of a good chance of breaking the Horseman/Sugarman curse and becoming a well rounded and whole woman/person.

Oh yeah, there is a thru line with Mr. Peanutbutter and some bits of political satire. Does this last long enough to be a real parody of the most recent presidential election or is it more of a blip that is kinda cute and a setup for jokes that really have little to do with anything political? And some Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter fights? I’m just saying, don’t go in expecting much in the way of Trump takedowns etc. A little bit. Not much.

The workmanship was gorgeous as always, and the rendering of emotion in animated form is impressive. Wanna feel depressed and concerned, while being periodically tickled? This is the season for you. This is not so much of a story as the fleshing out of it’s main character. It’s a flashback, and compelling as hell. Just be in the right mood to watch it.


My heart hurts and my sides are not even slightly weak from laughter. I feel like I watched something that was very good that I did not love as a whole but I did in moments.

Episode 2 and 7 and 9 have the most of these moments.



Captain America: Civil War Review

At first, I had a very clear plan for watching this film. I was going to wait a while until the crowded theaters calmed down a bit, and see it on May 20th. This specific day was decided upon because as the release day of the Jane Austen comedy Love and Friendship, it would enable me to see one hell of a double feature. The order would not matter on this magic day, only the components. Captain America + Jane Austen + Alamo Drafthouse + Margaritas  +  Green Hatch Mac and Cheese = My Ecstatically Happy Self.

This did not end up happening for a couple of reasons:

1. The Bucky and Plums Meme

It drove me nuts seeing all this fanart pop up about Bucky really wanting some plums. I needed to know what on earth that was about.

2. The newest episode of S.H.I.E.L.D

A few seconds in I realized there would be spoilers for Civil War, so I needed to suspend all Agents of Shield episodes until after I saw the film. Boooooo. This was the last straw after all the spoiler and plum dodging, so I paused the ep and went out to watch the josh darned movie already.


Tense. That is the best word to describe what Captain America Civil War made me. Super tense, like a ball of tangled wires that will never unwind no matter what you do. At the end of the showing, I felt curled up in a ball, even when walking out to my car, and I really wanted to punch someone in the face. Namely, Tony Stark, but I would have accepted a proxy at that moment.

What the hell, Tony? Why you gotta do these things to me? I mean, to a point, I get you, but damn. All of those people and ideals that you supposedly want to protect, you went a long way here to destroy. And in the end, it’s heartbreaking because there is no way back.

Let’s break it down.

We have two players here, Captain America and Tony Stark. From the beginning, Tony is broken. Casualties, guilt, and lack of Pepper have left him hollow. Yet, he’s still in charge of The Avengers, and maybe that was a mistake. In this state, he should probably not be in charge of anything; that’s how bad stuff happens. When the U.N. comes to him with an agreement to basically take that responsibility and load off his shoulders, Tony agrees. Because of course he does, and seeing things from his perspective I really do not blame him. But then, he loses me. When Tony signs away any power of actually thoroughly negotiating the Accords or how they are enforced. When he listens to Cap’s concerns, which are very valid and reasonable, and tells him to sign it anyway. When he leaves the “rebels” of his team locked up without even attempting to speak to General Ross about it. In all of the many, many ways that Tony done lost his sense of self or view of a bigger picture beyond the guilt of the past. Past that unfortunately can not be changed, and all you can do is move forward and try to be better. Tony wallows in all the things that cannot be controlled, and I could forgive this if he did not drown everyone else in it.

Then we have Captain America, and by extension, Bucky. How Cap feels about Bucky’s situation really drives home to me how he views the whole enchilada.

How Captain America sees Bucky:

  • Bucky was stolen by the Russians
  • Russians brainwashed and programmed Bucky’s brain a’la Manchurian Candidate
  • Russians sent Bucky, now turned into The Winter Soldier, on missions of evil
  • Bucky kept trying to buck the programming, and fought to get away
  • When Bucky finally got free, he just wanted some plums
  • Therefore Bucky was used as an instrument, not his fault

It is very simple to Cap, because it is not just about protecting a friend. It’s about the right thing. Bucky taking the hit for those truly in charge is wrong. Period. He’s a great scapegoat, but that’s about it.

How Captain America sees the Avengers:

  • Bunch of crazy and/or superheroes with issues coming together to do good
  • Sometimes this means people get hurt or killed in the crossfire
  • Sometimes a moment of stupidity or hesitation can also get people killed
  • Sometimes while just fighting about a plan of attack, people get killed
  • They will mourn these people, after the threat is down
  • As long as they try as hard as they can, not their fault

You can not control an outcome or a team, but you can drive them. The Avengers will fight until the evil is taken out or passes out from exhaustion running away from The Hulk. They will never be perfect, but they will do what they can. That has to be enough, because no amount of legislation or oversight will make it more than what it is.

****End of the moral breakdown, time to fangirl:)

Omg, did you see Paul Bettany as Vision hover around Wanda in his sweaters and polo shirts?! That was so freaking adorable. I am trying to forget about their not so happy ending in the comics so that I can fully enjoy all that is Scarlet Witch and Vision. Please do not go on the comics in this instance, Marvel Studios, they are so perfect together and I need more.


Black Widow’s trenchcoats were so on point. Loved it. Especially since the Captain America trilogy has been very 3 Days of the Condor with all the noir feel, it is very appropriate. It’s also nice to see a bit of a costume change, just as a refresh for Scarlet, and it looks badass in her fight scenes.


The new casting was perfect, and I definitely join with many others in praising Black Panther and Spiderman. I have not heard a lot of props for Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, however, which is a crime! She was not in very many scenes, but damn if she didn’t steal them. I love the chemistry with Robert and Marisa, hoping for more of that in the future. By the way, there is a nineties era romantic comedy called Only You with these two as the leads. So if you’re feeling their sparks like I am, this movie begs to be seen:tumblr_o6hxjhW5vT1qzkdnwo1_540.gifAlso, Daniel Bruhl playing Baron Zemo was the absolute right choice. The only other thing I have seen him in was Inglorious Bastards, and he does very well with this type of role. I really felt for Zemo, and I could not help but admire the efficiency with which he put his revenge in play. He was also a very plain dealing villain. Zemo laid out what he did and why it was still going to work in very clear terms.


The Steve Rogers/Sharon Carter kiss was a bit underwhelming for me. I knew it was coming, but I did not feel the romance there. I am glad that I watched Civil War before the news broke about Agent Carter being cancelled, cause that would have pissed me off. Oh, really, guys?! Peggy is fresh in her grave both literally and serieswise, and her niece is going to up and kiss her Steve? Dudes, not cool! Peggy deserves better. Maybe they’ll do some more flashbacks with her on Agents of Shield. I can hope:) Actually, you know what was weirdly much cuter and had more feeling that the Sharon Steve kiss? Bucky and Sam’s reaction to it.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject. Great movie, and I am sure there are bits that I am forgetting. It was chopped full of goodness. Tense making goodness. I will say that watching the new Shield episode afterward and seeing where Coulson stood with everything was the cherry on top that made my world right again, so I recommend doing the same.


Not as wholly good as Winter Soldier, but there were some moments burning with the pure feeling light of The Avengers.


Marry Me vs. Manhattan Love Story

There have been a number of so-called Romantic-Comedy television series scattered across the networks this season. As I sampled Manhattan Love Story, A to Z, Selfie, and Marry Me it became clear which ones felt well done and which felt like producers threw darts at a wall of things they think women like and then forced them together to create a Frankenstein monster of a show. The two that illustrate these two sides best to me are Marry Me and Manhattan Love Story.

Marry Me:

This show is so good in every way, and is what happens when a real life couple with writing talent and charisma make a show together. David Caspe and Casey Wilson were also the driving force behind Happy Endings, and they bring their talents full force all over Marry Me.
Annie and Jake have been dating for six years, and after a lovely Mexican vacation where she keeps waiting for him to finally propose, she snaps when they get home. However, it turns out that Jake was literally trying to propose to her on bended knee at the moment she explodes into her well deserved tirade, and she would have known if she had turned around instead of frantically searching for some Skinny Girl wine. This creates a bit of an awkward situation, especially since family and friends are in the next room for the surprise proposal. As the episode goes on, you get to see how right these two are together, and how strong their connection is. It is an honest and hilarious portrayal of the realities of being in a relationship. A huge reason for this working so well is that it is based on the real relationship of David and Casey, who are brave enough to put it out there, in all its’ majestic glory. Well done guys!

Verdict: Winner

Manhattan Love Story:

The hearing what the sexes are thinking thing would work better if I cared at all about these people. She wants purses to the point of almost humping each one that she sees on the street. He, of course, wants to have sex with all of the women that walk anywhere near him as the two leads pass each other in the same area of Manhattan. This is not a good start, and the pilot continues on in the same direction until I want to smash its’ fake ridiculous face with something.
There is nothing that redeems this show; no character that is funny, or real, or a well thought out representation of an actual person. This is everything that is wrong in the genre of romantic comedy. A needy, pushover, naive, will do anything you want for a slight hint of approval girl. She has an apparent need to get a cat, hiccups when she cries, and worst of all sees this guy as a romantic prospect. Sweetheart, you may be a lazy caricature of a woman, but you deserve better than this guy. He is an ass. Just because a guy has a goofy amount of stubble and is forced to say he is sorry to you does not stop him from being an ass. No. Big no thank you on this one.

Verdict: Loser

Quick Draw Season Two

*** So, so many spoilers
Episode One:
There were weddings and a loss of the mighty mustache. Sheriff Hoyle proposes to Honey for the first time. More here.
Episode Two:
Hoyle ups his proposing game under Honey’s window with a full mariachi band. Eli and Pearl have planned to leave soon on their honeymoon, but Eli loses the funds for the trip in a poker game. Why Eli thought gambling was a good idea is questioned by most of the town. Pearl finds out what has happened, and also realizes that Eli is not completely at fault. They have been bamboozled by a seemingly charming Deacon who soon has Hoyle eating out of his hand. Yeah, he might be a horrible and evil man, but he is so interesting! The Deacon shoots his way out of the saloon and kills Honey’s Cousin/Aunt in the process. This makes the ladies very upset, and they want swift hangy justice. Hoyle finds the bad man and puts him in the jail cell with a nice citizen infected with rabies. Apparently rabies makes you increasingly desirous of all things sexual as well as thirsty. In fact, Eli keeps looking better to the rabies man as he becomes worse. Meanwhile, Honey is stating her case for hanging the Deacon for killing her beloved caunt (cousin-aunt). “My caunt was precious, my caunt was beautiful.” Hoyle agrees that everyone loves Honey’s caunt. Eli has a plan to steal back the honeymoon money when he transports the Deacon to Dodge City. Pearl has a better plan of locking Eli up and taking the prisoner at gunpoint. No use in putting Eli’s job at risk. Unfortunately the Deacon, by this time, has also been infected with rabies. As the townsfolk begin crowding around him to hang him, he goes on a bite everyone rampage. Before he can succeed in this, Hoyle and Eli find and shoot him. And Hoyle throws a knife into him. The sheriff is very disappointed that the town has gone against law and order in favor of anarchy. “We have rules!”
“I like to win with my queen and my horsies.”
Episode Three:
Once again we start with Hoyle declaring his love for Honey, this time at the train station. As they wave goodbye to Eli and Pearl leaving for Kansas City, a murder is committed. A man made unrecognizable by the train having run over him was pushed off of the platform. Hoyle investigates the body for clues, and his explaining gestures fling some intestinal goo at Honey. She does not appreciate this, but understands that Hoyle is excited to show her his process. Vernon Shank recognizes the tattoo from the body as a regular to his game nights. A doctor has come to town and set up shop next to Honey’s Saloon. He specializes in treating hysteria in women with his manipulator device. The treatment is even more effective when he prescribes a medical tincture to the women before their session. Hoyle’s investigation has him in Chinatown, where he runs into Wanda. She apparently likes to go there on her day off with her dog Kong. He is a protective puppy who only understands Chinese and can track down opium. By this time, Honey has been diagnosed with hysteria and goes through the treatment process. As she leaves, there is a waiting line outside. One of the murder victims’ associates explains that they are part of a group that intercepts shipments of opium to destroy them. They have seen what it does to their people, and do what they can to keep it from being distributed. There is a missing store of opium, so Wanda and Hoyle take Kong hunting for it. The man from Chinatown follows and burns the opium in a pit next to where he ties them up. The smoke gives them visions, and Hoyle realizes that the doctor was the murderer who then used the opium in his tinctures. Dr. Hang is arrested, and the whores take possession of the manipulator.
Episode Four:
A grasshopper plague has come to the town of Great Bend. Eli’s uncle was filled and killed by them on his farm. Eli then inherits the debt ridden place, and Pearl is slightly horrified at the notion of becoming a farmer’s wife. Sheriff Hoyle keeps getting shot at for unclear reasons, but his reflexes doom the people next to him when the bullets do not find their intended target. Honey will not allow Hoyle in the saloon for fear that one of her customers will get killed. Eli and Hoyle deliver baby pigs at the farm as Honey tries to cheer Pearl up on the porch. Eli wants Pearl to quit whoring, but Pearl knows that it is the only thing that is paying down the debt on the farm. Their marriage has started the course to a carefully executed web of lies that in Honey’s experience makes it a real one. Hoyle becomes surrounded by bounty hunters who end up taking each other out in an attempt to be the one to collect the bounty. Eli finds Pearl and Frank James in bed together at the saloon. It turns out that Cole Younger had asked Frank to hire the men to take out Hoyle. The town has just gotten too respectable and safe since he became sheriff. Frank calls off the bounty when Pearl says that she will never have sex with him again otherwise. Then there is a grasshopper plague that wipes out the farm.
“No one knows why women do the things they do.”
Episode Five:
Pearl’s brother Edwin comes to visit, and dazzles the ladies of the saloon with his card tricks. Wendy finds him more pleasant than Pearl, and competes with Lavinia to buy him a drink. Hoyle is excited to learn that he has a step-son, and vise versa for Edwin. Honey reminds Pearl that there is a team of miners waiting for her upstairs, but Pearl is adamant about taking a break to spend time with her brother. It is a workplace, however, and Honey requires two weeks notice for any leave. Pearl storms off with Edwin, and Wanda takes on the miners with a case of back door trots. Rumbley.
Hoyle makes an effort to help everyone get along again with a family picnic. He passes around deviled eggs, and when things continue to be tense, offers cookies with hemp in them. Unfortunately things escalate before the peace cookies can be eaten, and Honey fires Pearl. Edwin comes to the rescue and opens a saloon with Pearl across the street from Honey’s. On their opening day, Livina and Wanda come to work there after Honey fires them in a how dare you do this rage. They do impressions of Honey and it is spot on and awesome. Over at Honey’s bar, happy hour only consists of Hoyle being supportive. He orders ten whiskeys and tells her that she is too good of a businesswoman to fail. Honey reveals there is something that she has been working on that might be an idea for the bar. Cut to Honey giving Hoyle the first erotic dance complete with strip pole in the west. This scene is totally and completely awesome. The actress is actually a burlesque dancer as well as an improv talent. I mean, just one of those things would scare me to death to attempt, but she does both with ease and badassness. She is my hero. Honey checks with Hoyle to get feedback on her dance, but he is mostly concerned about there not being enough support for her back. He still thinks it was hot, but Honey takes him being able to think during her routine as an insult. I do not blame her for kicking him out. Edwin starts to sell shares in his bar, which makes Pearl and Hoyle suspect he might be running a scam. However, he was using that as a distraction. While the people are discussing the scheme, he ties Honey up in her empty bar and chops into the Wells Fargo office from behind her bar. There is a store of money there overnight as it is transported. Hoyle catches Edwin as he tries to make a getaway. To escape, Edwin shoots Hoyle’s horse, Strawberry Shortcake. Honey and Pearl smack Edwin around after Hoyle of course catches him again. The ladies make up and then go back to Honey’s bar and 50 miners.
Episode Six:
Roundup time! Eli is getting help from Hoyle and Vernon to move his cattle and sell them at the Roundup in Nicodemus. They mostly chat about Eli’s thighs and how hungry they are, so admittedly are not the best helpers in this situation. If Eli gets a good price for his herd, he can pay part of his debt, which will please Pearl. As they come into the town, the sweet lady duo are talking about how they hate what the rodeo stands for, as well as how horribly the animals get treated. The ladies see Eli and get all aflutter. “I know that ride.” Vernon is introduced to the duo, and he proceeds to announce that he is a single man. This is embarrassing for everyone. Bailey, who was a murder suspect in the first season, is now the mayor and is responsible for Nicodemus holding the Roundup. The sheriff of the town is visiting his daughter while she is giving birth, so Bailey is in charge. The guys learn that they have missed the auction part of the event, and there is only the rodeo to go. A prominent local businessman, Cobb, makes a deal to buy the cattle at above value if Eli wins the Bronco riding event. However, if he loses, Cobb gets the cattle for free. Hoyle accepts this on top of Eli’s protests, since he is aware of how mighty Eli’s thighs are. To assist him, Hoyle and Vernon dress as rodeo clowns to help distract the bronco as needed. The lady duo come to watch and comment on how they disapprove of everything. They are also vegetarians, so do not offer these ladies anything that used to have a face. Their words.
When it becomes Eli’s turn, Hoyle and Vernon try to motivate him. Vernon promises that if Eli ends up dead, he will give him a king’s burial and of course look after Pearl. He makes it through his turn, and is in first place with only one rider to go. The mayor, who is also a champion rider, takes the last turn. “Maybe Pearl won’t leave you.” During his bronco ride, the mayor’s saddle snaps, flinging him to the ground where he is trampled and killed. Hoyle investigates the saddle, and announces that he is not just Flip Flop the clown. He is the sheriff of Great Bend, and in his younger days worked as a nose for a perfumery. He detects a cologne on the break in the saddle strap, and proceeds to smell the crowd for a match. The animal loving sweet ladies are wearing the scent! Hoyle separates them and starts the process of interrogation. “Is this supposed to be annoying?” He ends up vividly describing the eating of animals, which freaks out the girls enough to confess they had only meant to teach the mayor a lesson. “You taught him the lesson of dead!” Eli gets the money, and can now pay his debt. The ladies are transported to Great Bend since the sheriff is not there at the moment. They really can not see how they are cast as villains in all of this, cause they are not bad people.
Episode Seven:
Vernon Shank is running for mayor! The current one is quite corrupt and of course has been in office for eight terms. The problem is that Vernon is an absolutely horrible speaker at the debate. He keeps needing guidance from his cousin/campaign manager, but it does not do him much good. The mayor is very good at his political talk and gets the whole room on his since fairly easily. Just because Vernon lost the debate, does not mean it will go in the newspapers. Tidwell is fond of Vernon so as newspaper editor, he publishes that Shank won. He believes that the newspapers are there to tell people what to think.They discuss how it is a shame that basically all the school age kids are dead from smallpox, drowning, and badger bites. At the jail, the so called sweet lady duo are refusing the meat meal that Pearl has made for them. They request to be sent back to Nicodemus, and Eli tries to tell them that they will be fine here as there are reforms on the way. The ladies have heard that bull before however, and are not buying it. They do like that Vernon is a Republican though. “Black people will always vote Republican.” Photos come to light that doom Vernon’s campaign. In them he is having tea parties etc. with the dead bodies in his care as undertaker. This doom lifts when the mayor wakes up with the stabbed body of Vernon’s cousin in his bed. Hoyle looks at the scene and believes that there has been a frame. The mayor is startled to find out that the ladies he is now in jail with can vote against him in the election. Eli is quite knowledgeable on the subject since Hoyle has been teaching him to read from the city charter. He makes a deal to pardon them if they vote for him instead. At the funeral, Earl and Vernon cry a lot and Tidwell is excited that Vernon will win the election. Hoyle is ready to deliver his conclusions from his investigation. Tidwell moved the body, but did not kill her! The mayor killed her! Hoyle knows cause he read her very explicit and full of explanations diary. As they realize Hoyle will probably arrest them, Tidwell and the mayor flee. They do not get very far, and Hoyle just shoots at them to show that he can get to them in their hidey spot so they should just come out and surrender. As they wait for the suspects to come to their senses, Hoyle and Eli talk about possible baby names etc. After everything that the mayor has done, Vernon still loses the election.
Episode Eight:
Sheriff Hoyle and Eli are once again tracking down Cole Younger when they come upon a mass killing. The dead bodies did not have a pleasant end, it was a nasty icky one. Ephraim Younger is found tied and feathered to a tree, the only one left alive. Sam Star was the perpetrator of this scene, and Ephraim insists that Cole is a gentle breeze next to Sam. Hoyle goes looking for Cole since he had escaped from Sam’s vengeance. A whole lot of law ends up at Lavina’s house. She insists that she does not know where he is, but Hoyle finds a receipt for a size 14 dress. He concludes that Cole must be on his way to San Francisky in a dress. This of course leads to Hoyle jumping on a moving stagecoach. Lavina and Ephraim are not bonding well in jail. Cole and Hoyle end up fighting on top of the coach as Eli rides alongside. Ephraim helps Lavina realize that she is not cursed, it is Cole that is her curse. She is very impressed with his sudden thinking abilities. Cole goes flying off the coach, landing and becomes impaled on a fencepost. With Cole stuck, Hoyle is able to recognize him as the man he shot the nose off of in the civil war. He was not as good of a shot back then. Lavina and Ephraim transition from arm wrestling to sex. It happens. She is not happy when she learns that he had been the informant for Hoyle. Ephraim does not appreciate Hoyle telling his new fiance things that will get him in trouble.
Episode Nine:
Great Bend has become a pretty awesome place, complete with homemade lemon sasperilla soda. I need to find or make that! Hoyle sees a vision of his dead wife Myra, and faints. Honey takes care of him, and he asks her to marry him for the last time. This turns into a fairly sweet moment. Myra appears at Hoyle’s window, and he faints again. The dead wife turns out to be not so dead. They share memories of the gingersnap incident. In Myra’s Hoyle has a fit and demands his gingersnaps. Hoyle remembers her sarcastically wanting to get his gingersnaps and ordering him to stay there. She runs into a neighbor who is also going to the store, and ends up going for the both of them. Myra sees Cole Younger kill the neighbor, and she decides to go into hiding. The reunited husband and wife make out as Honey walks in the door. It is a timely awkwardness. There is a picnic to welcome Myra/Belle Star to the town. Wanda gets the backdoor trots a lot. Honey and Pearl are skeptical about her intentions in coming back. Cole is slowly healing in the jail, but the discharge does not look good. Belle insults Honey, and so she gets told off and then they segue-way into a knife fight. “He got touched a lot by this whore!” Hoyle breaks up the fight. Honey apologizes to Hoyle when he comes to visit her. Belle does not want Hoyle to continue his eight o’clock fornications or anything else with her. Hoyle and Belle consult with Tidwell to check if they are still legally married, which they are. Honey assigns Wanda to follow Belle and see if she does anything suspicious. During the visit with Tidwell, Pearl and then Eli join Hoyle and Belle. It turns into a therapy session, and Tidwell declares that their dysfunction makes them a real family. Vernon keeps interrupting Honey and Wanda as they plan, and does not learn from their increasing hostility towards him. The girls end up going to Hoyle’s to find the diary Belle has been writing in. Wanda tries to play with Tinkerbell, and the hamster gets hissy. Honey finds the diary as Hoyle and Belle walk in. Wanda drinks while they fight. Honey reads the diary aloud, but just ends up making her look good since she has written sweet things. Belle meets up with Sam Star with a map that dooms the town. There is evil laughter.
Episode Ten:
Belle informs Sam Star that the only real opposition to them killing the town is Sheriff Hoyle. Honey overhears their conversation, and goes to warn Hoyle. Honey jumps Belle, and there is a part of Hoyle that wants to let it happen. Giving out the map was part of a double end around plan. Hoyle holds a town meeting in the saloon. Wanda plays mood music in the background as he lays out his plan. The townsfolk end up wanting to just move somewhere else, but Hoyle inspires them to stay and fight.
“We’re going to bend over this time, but we are going to have a gun in our ass!” Hoyle enlists Tidwell and Vernon to help, the rest are to stay safe in the saloon. As they look at the plan in more detail, they name the map with their positions the suicide map. They have excellent survival instincts though. Cole is feeling much better since he has been nursed through his impalement. Belle explains to Cole how much better in bed Hoyle is than Cole. Butterfly kisses! Ephraim comes into the jail to talk to Hoyle, and in so doing gives himself away to Cole. He now knows who has betrayed him, so Ephraim is understandably nervous. Cole observes that it would be best for the survival of the town if Hoyle lets him out of jail and arms him against Sam Star. Showdown time, with a pause for effect. Pearl gets emotional about having all of her father figures in one place. Belle laughs at Eli trying to think and plan out a future with Pearl. Secrets! The fighting starts with molotov cocktails and Vernon’s doll collection being set on fire. Cole and Hoyle are actually very impressive as a team against the entire marauding gang. As it comes down to the now lone Sam, he takes Vernon hostage. Sam gets shot down, and then Cole tries to shoot Hoyle in the back. Belle comes up behind him and kills Cole. She had this all planned out, relying on all the men in her life to take each other out. Pearl leaves with Belle, tired of being stifled in the town. Honey has had it with Hoyle, so the men all go off together.