When it doubt, throw a party!
There are a few reasons why Blockbuster Season 1 Episode 4 is the strongest outing from the series so far.
It’s largely because we are really starting to get a sense of these characters, who they are, and why we should like (or dislike) them.
But it’s not just that — the scope of the little world in which Blockbuster takes place is becoming more fully realized.
The background often provides blink-and-you’ll-miss-it throwaway jokes that enhance the experience.
We learned more about Connie’s past, including her incarcerated sister (NBD, apparently). Connie is fiercely competitive and more than a little ruthless. Olga Merediz is a delight, and it’s fun to see this side come out of her.
This “everyone’s mom”-type character makes delicious soup but also has a Svengali side to her.
Connie: Act like one of your favorite bosses from a movie
Timmy: Like Boss Baby of Devil’s Advocate?
Eliza: One of those is a baby, and one is Satan.
Connie: And look at the heights they reach despite their circumstances.
Whatever minimum wage is, it’s clearly not enough.
Poor Hannah has definitely internalized her poverty. Yes, some of what she did was disgusting (watered-down peanut butter), but it took a long time for Carlos to understand what was going on for someone who only had one channel growing up.
No one should be shamed for being frugal, especially if they grew up poor. It can be deeply ingrained in you and very hard to shake.
I’ve always thought of myself as over 40 at heart.
You really need to learn some self-care. I mean, you’re a white woman, you should be an assassin at it.
Allowing yourself splurges can be anxiety-inducing. Hannah certainly took it to the extreme, but I’m glad they had an understanding in the end.
It still feels like they skirted the issue somewhat — a Blockbuster salary is very hard to live on, let alone save up.
The lesson shouldn’t really be for employees to treat themselves once in a while — it should be on employers to provide a “thriving” wage, not just a living wage.
There’s no worse sound in the world than a man describing film terms.
Eliza and Timmy continue to skirt their awkward crush-friendship. It seemed like Timmy was getting to the point where he could just enjoy her company, but that phone call from Aaron to Eliza jarred him back into reality.
If Timmy’s going all in, selling his car, he must be honest about why he’s doing it. It’s not some scheme to win over Eliza. He’s doing it for the team, for himself, and the community, and that will have to be enough victory.
Then again, maybe it won’t work out between Eliza and Aaron. We still have six episodes in season one — anything could happen!
Why is Percy so insecure? Who is this man? He has a strip mall empire but is terrible at expressing his feelings. Does he even mean well, or is he just a selfish coward?
But for all Percy’s faults, Kayla is just straight-up mean to him, so much so that I question whether he deserves the brunt of her ire. Are all teenage girls like this? And he lets her treat him like that? It’s not funny. It’s just uncomfortable.
It was great to see Timmy call Percy out for handling the eviction notice in a sketchy way. Timmy is at least honest about where he’s at with Percy.
They’ve put each other into tricky situations before (though Timmy’s was more based on circumstances beyond his control), so it’s nice to see that they can still look past their troubles and remain friends despite everything.
The whole concept of the Itsy Bizzies was cute, and to see Randall Park back in campaigning mode (Veep fans, unite!) was good fun, if ridiculous.
It’s a gentle parody of something many people take very seriously — awards can be a massive boost for a small business, even without a cash prize.
Hats off to Bridger Winegar, who penned this episode, for the many zingers that laced the script.
Eliza: I guarantee to you that the guy who owns the tropical fish store, he’s got some weird sex scandal that’s just waiting to blow up.
Connie: You don’t own that many saltwater aquariums without things eventually getting nasty.
Robert De Niro lady is back! Danielle is a bit part, but Jayne Entwistle knows how to deliver a line and make it funny.
Even if the customers never amount to much in terms of the plot, it’s great that they are recurring, memorable, and consistent.
After all, Blockbuster’s whole thing is about gaining new members to stay afloat. There is security in repeat customers. It’s just a nice touch.
Timmy: Look at me. Tomorrow my mom’s forcing me to tech her Korean church production of The Vagina Monologues.
Eliza: That’s why you have an inflatable labia in your car.
Timmy: I’ve been turned down by six therapists.
Other little fun jokes/running gags:
The Ripped Donkey is an excellent name for a local, small-town bar
In every newscast on television, a new newscaster is filling in for the previous newscaster, who’s “on vacation.” Pay close attention in subsequent episodes to see if this trend continues!
Even the end credits song was a solid jam — FARR’s smooth cover of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” is worth listening to all the way through. Yes, I will “watch credits” thank you, Netflix! Don’t rush me!
Did you enjoy Episode 4? What would you do with $5000? Let us know in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.