The bulk of last night's episode of Episodes concerned itself with the passing of network head Merc's father and the fallout that had on Pucks' cast and crew. Specifically, that fallout entailed having to attend the funeral for a man they'd never met and who, according to his son, wasn't even that nice of a guy. Even more problematically, Sean and Bev had to find the proper gift to express their condolences, only to watch all the most thoughtful (and expensive) presents get snapped up by folks with bigger checking accounts than their own.
While the escalating war of grievance gifts was amusing, it wasn't the most realistic part of the episode. Instead, our authenticity meter was pinged by a quick scene that happened within the first few minutes, in which Sean and Bev found themselves having to adapt to the very specific vocabulary of American network TV. Which resulted in the following very funny conversation:
Sean: "What's another word for cock?"
Bev: "What's wrong with 'cock?'"
Sean: "You can't say 'cock' on TV here."
Bev: "No? Huh. How about 'prick?'"
Bev: "Seriously, no 'prick?'"
Sean: "No 'prick.'"
Bev: "How about 'dick?'"
Sean: "Mmm... don't think so."
Bev: "Meat missile!"
Sean: "'Meat missile?"
Bev: "That's what the nuns called it."
Hearing that back-and-forth made us immediately sent us looking for George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" routine, which he first recorded in 1972, but remains just as amusing (and relevant) today. Because even though network standards have loosened considerably, you still can't say most of Carlin's seven dirty words on the terrestrial airwaves. Which was the other joke about this scene -- you can say those words, plus "cock," "prick," "dick," and "meat missile" on a pay cable channel like Showtime. (Actually, you do sometimes hear "dick" on network TV, but as an insult rather than a reference to the sexual organ that Sean and Bev are trying to work into their script.) Finding ways around forbidden words is a challenge every network TV writer has had to confront at one point or another and we can only imagine how amusing the resulting conversations must have gotten. And that was without the aid a spacy intern who calls her own boyfriend's dick "noodle."
Truest Hollywood Lines:
"Supposedly Jerry Bruckheimer donated a dialysis machine to Cedars in Merc's father's name. But apparently he's a partner in some kind of dialysis company so he gets them at cost." -- Matt, highlighting the escalating war of condolence gifts sent to Merc following the death of his father. We actually don't know for sure if Bruckheimer actually is a partner in a dialysis company, but it certainly sounds plausible.
"I was very restrained, but inside I was like, 'You Klingon bastard, you killed my son!'" -- Sean, geeking out over his first funeral celebrity encounter with none other than William Shatner.
"Sorry, this is important." -- Merc, stopping the cantor in mid-chant so he can take a call from Matthew Broderick's reps at his own dad's funeral. In Hollywood, business always comes before death.
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