Season 1, Episode 9
Air Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 10:00 pm ET/PT on FX
“We’re the network that gave Charlie Sheen a show.” – Denis
Tension on the set of The Billy and Josh Show reaches an all-time high when Billy (Billy Crystal) dishes some dirt on Josh (Josh Gad) in front of the studio audience. With the two stars constantly at each other’s throats, many wonder whether the show is doomed to fail or whether Billy and Josh will be able to find common ground and settle their differences.
Watching these scenes brought back fond memories of the time I spent as one of the extras on the set of the film Prairie Home Companion, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. Our job was to react to the actors’ performances, providing a real audience atmosphere. Despite the show’s spectators also being used as extras, Crystal and Gad thrive off their laughter, which elevates the comedic elements of the scene. I hope we see more of Crystal and Gad performing in front of a live audience as the airdate for The Billy and Josh Show gets closer.
I enjoy how the writers use Josh’s cast and crew party to introduce several new people who are integral to The Billy and Josh Show. Characters like Andy (Andrew Secunda), the cue card guy, and Faryn (Faryn Einhorn), the second assistant director, provide an interesting look at those who work behind the scenes. The interaction between the stars and the crew is entertaining to watch, and I look forward to meeting more of the crew members rather than having to watch extras silently walking around.
Josh’s party also gives Esme (Megan Ferguson) some much needed screen time. Esme has been notably absent the past few episodes and only occasionally seen in passing. Ferguson’s performance brings a youthful energy to The Comedians, especially when she is paired with Crystal. It’s a shame the writers aren’t able to find more uses for her comedic talents.
Who knew getting pulled over could be so entertaining? I chuckle just thinking about the routine traffic stop as it becomes comedy gold for YouTube and the celebrity gossip show TMZ. Making matters worse is Josh making the wrong assumption about the police officer (Emerson Brooks) and repeatedly calling him something he definitely isn’t. The look on Crystal’s face as Josh engages Billy is hilarious, making me wonder whether Crystal was prepared for this due to his reaction.
While Denis (Denis O’Hare) is the fictional head of FX, the shows mentioned on The Comedians — like The Strain — are very real. FX deserves credit for allowing itself to be the butt of several jokes, which only adds to the realism of the mockumentary. I especially appreciate the simplistic response Denis gives Billy, who is still embarrassed about the altercation.
Billy: “You want me to take the thing I’m most embarrassed about in my entire career and exploit it?”
As much as I enjoy The Comedians, the lack of progression as The Billy and Josh Show nears its premiere is disappointing. At times, “Damage Control” seems out of place with the episodes that preceded it, almost as if the writers shuffled a deck of story lines and aired them as they were dealt. With “Damage Control” being the ninth episode in the season, I would have liked to see more growth from the lead characters.
With only four episodes left, I’m curious to see how the writers finish up the season. Will The Billy and Josh Show finally air or will the off camera antics of Billy and Josh cause FX to pull the plug? Leave a comment below or tweet me @staffaroadtrip and let me know what you think about “Damage Control.”
Tune in to The Comedians Thursdays at 10:00 pm ET/PT, only on FX.
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Photos © 2015 FX Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.
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