Jun 7, 2023

"Somebody Somewhere": Actually, a Depressed Plus-Sized Woman and her Gay BFF in Small-Town Kansas


 Somebody, Somewhere, on MAX (the most recent stupid HBO Max rebranding) looks like a British dramedy about a middle-aged, plus-sized woman with a dead sister (better than a dead wife) who joins a self-help group and finds friendship and love.  Sounds awful, but it's on MAX's LGBTQ list, so I'll give it a chance.

In the first episode, her coworker Joel  invites her to a support group called "Choir Practice," where members work through their trauma by singing.  I'm going in to the second episode (of seven), "Knicknacks and Doodads."

Scene 1: Sam (Bridget Everett) wakes up at 12:30 pm and yells at her next door neighbor/love interest for running an electric saw so early in the morning.  He gazes at her like she's Aphrodite descending from Olympus on a half-shell, and apologizes.  Ulp...her underwear is showing!  This turns him on even more.  Hey, an American flag.  I thought for sure this was British, due to the absence of supermodels and shirtless studs.  


Scene 2:
The Chef.  Sam and the friends she made at Choir Practice are having brunch (way too late for that, girlfriend).  They consist of coworker Joel; Michael, an attractive black man (Jon Hudson Odom, left); and Fred, a chubby nonbinary person who presents as masculine.

Fred and Michael get up to leave, but Joel stays behind to be with Sam, which makes Michael angry.  Are they an item?  Will Limp-Wrist Joel explore his bi side and dump him for the lady that everyone in town is gaga over?

Scene 3:  They head to a store owned by Sam's sister (a living one), one of those cutesy gift shops.  Sam insults the horrible crap.  Uh-oh, Love Interest Joel is a regular.  There went your chance of getting into his scrawny jeans, girl.

Sam's sister, who looks like a smaller version of her, and her employee or girlfriend, warmly greet their regular customer,  They have set aside some cardamom for him.  Sister wants Sam to hand-write the invitations to their Crazy Dayz  promotion.  Just print them out?  


Scene 4:
  On the way out of the store, Sam runs into Rick (Danny McCarthy), who snubs her.  He must be embarrassed because she saw him at choir practice last night.  She asks Love Interest Joel if he's gay.   Wait -- is this a LGBTQ choir practice?  So, Sam is gay?  With all the guys gazing at her like she's a potroast, I didn't think so.


Sorry, these actors all appear to have the same name as 1,000 other people.  So looking for Danny McCarthy on Google Images results in this:

Scene 5: Back home, next door neighbor is still working in the yard and waiting to flirt with Sam some more.  Actually, gaze at each other with Person-of-my-dreams horniness and not say much.   "I've lived here for a year, but I'm so painfully shy, and you're so incredibly gorgeous, that I couldn't say hello."  Hey, maybe he can work through his social anxiety disorder with Choir Practice!   

They discuss plants. Sam: "I can't keep anything alive over here." Neighbor: "Like your sister?"  OMG. There went your chance of getting into Sam's pants, idiot!  But she's so horny she lets it slide.

Neighbor: "By the way, my name is Drew." Sam: "Four letters, like fuck."  Smooth, girl.  They say goodbye.

Scene 6:  A farm.  A plus-sized middle-aged guy comes in from the fields and looks for some booze to get drunk with.  His sister or wife, who looks like an older version of Sam, asks what he wants for dinner.  "Pot pies."  She heads to the kitchen, and he stares at her with undisguised hatred.  Well, sometimes after being married for so long, you drift apart.  

Scene 7: Sam's job, I assume.  A bullpen full of desks, with inspirational posters on the walls.  The sign says "No cell phones during grading."  So they're professional exam graders?   Uh-oh, Sam is using a cell phone anyway, looking at photos of a little girl and a middle-aged male-female couple.  The hot girl behind her wants to know what she's looking at.  Dead sister, at various stages in her life?  Hot Girl narcs!

Headmistress yells at Sam for not meeting her daily quota of graded essays.  Hot Girl rubs it in: "She didn't even look in her folder."  Headmistress makes Hot Girl Monica her new boss.  

Cut to Sam and Love Interest Josh in the break room, flirting and chucking cookies into the trash can.

Scene 8: Sam arrives at the farm.  Her Mom from Sceen 6 is sleeping on a recliner.  She goes through the piano bench, looking for song books for Choir Practice.  "Where's Dad?"  "Out somewhere, doing somethin'" (in other words, "How the hell should I know?  We haven't been intimate since 1993.")

Sam goes out to the cornfield to look, in case Mom murdered him.  No, he's alive, just trapped in the silo.  "The...um...wind blew the door shut, and broke the handle off, so I couldn't get out."  Right, the wind.  So the joke here is that Mom keeps trying to murder Dad?

Scene 9:  At home.  Sam, her sister, sister's employee or girlfriend, and Coop (Josh Bywater), a guy who hasn't appeared before, are writing the invitations to the Crazy Dayz promotion, and strategizing about who in the Downtown Business Association to kiss up to.  Don't you love micropolitics? 

Coop smoochifies Sam's sister, establishing that they're straight, and the other lady is an employee.

Rick, who came to Choir Practice and then snubbed Sam, comes in and calls Coop "Coach," but he's too old to be a high school or college athlete.  I guess sometimes adults play sports on teams, too. 

Later, Sam corners Rick while he's playing video games to ask clever questions that will determine if he is gay. "So, the guys in your game are cute, huh?" Smooth, girl.  When he turns around, she sees a lot of money in his back pocket -- is he stealing or embezzling?  A more pressing question.

 Sam goes into the kitchen, where her sister and her employee are drinking booze, but she doesn't interrogate them about Rick's back-pocket money, Instead, she says that she's going to Love Interest Joel's place.

Sister and Employee go wild with congratualtory oohs. ""A man and a woman in alone at night.  You'll have sex!  It's impossible not to!"  

"No, we're just friends.  I'll explain how it's possible...see, gay people exist, and..." 

"Nope, don't believe it for a moment.  Any random man and woman alone at night will have sex. And, by the way, you're over 40 and fat -- join a gym.  We're just trying to help." Mmmm-hmmmm.  "Your dead sister would have thanked us."

Scene 10: Sam at Just Friend Joel's house with some song books, so they can look for numbers for Choir Practice.  He appears to be living alone, so maybe Michael is just a friend, too.

  She criticizes his "vision board," a collage of pictures symbolizing what you want in life: a nice kitchen?  Visiting Europe?  You and your partner adopting kids?  Being close to your family?  In Kansas? Impossible!  "We're in our 40s, and it hasn't happened, so it's not going to happen, ever.."   I thought she was going to diss him for having small, realistic dreams instead of thinking big, but she's dissing him for having dreams of any sort.  Goals are stupid.  Just be miserable.

She continues to diss him for thinking that he, or anybody, can be happy in life, and then leaves.  Wait -- is this a comedy?

Scene 10:  She continues to be depressed in her very nice house, walking through the very nice town, at her admittedly horrible job, and eating alone in a restaurant because she's pushed everyone away.  Call the hot next door neighbor who looks at you like he's about to have an orgasm on the spot..  Finally she visits a new character named Kim, who is delighted to see her: "I just bought the boat I've been dreaming of."  Don't diss her for it, don't diss her for it, don't diss her...

Sam says that she doesn't like it here in Kansas: "I can't get comfortable without her."  I would ordinarily think a girlfriend, but she means her dead sister.

Kim's girlfriend comes out to complain that the internet is out, so Kim gives her some tech talk.  A lesbian couple!   Also bereaved, Kim suggests doing little things that make you happy: "Buy the boat."

Scene 11: Sam goes to bestie Joel's house to apologize for being a bitch.  She was just jealous because he knows what makes him happy, and she has no idea.  "How about singing?"  "No, I'm no good at that. I'm actually no good at anything."  So he talks her into Zumba.  The end.

Beefcake: I went through the entire cast list.  Nothing.  The top photo is a random hunk.

Gay Characters: Michael and the lesbian couple that Sam visits.


Joel: 
Every guy on the show acts like he's desperate to tear Sam's clothes off, so I can't tell if Joel is an actual love interest or just following the script. The episode synopses are mostly about the two breaking up, realizing that they can't live without each other, reconciling, starting a new life together, and so on, but that could be a description of a very, very, very strong platonic friendship.

Actor Jeff Hiller states that Joel is gay, and unique in several ways: he's not gorgeous, he's over 40, and  "I’ve never seen someone on TV who’s religious and happy being religious. And it’s not a joke that they’re religious. And they’re not being persecuted by the Church.” His religious side did not appear in Episode 2, unless it really was choir practice -- I thought the name was a joke.

Unpleasant Characters:  Sam is a thoroughly unpleasant person who self-sabotages everything she tries.  Why would I want to watch a tv show about her?

Update: In Episode 4, we learn that Joel is dating Michael, who keeps getting angry when Sam pushes her way into all of their time together.  Well, to be fair, he gets about 3 seconds of screen time with Joel (and no kissing), while she gets 21 minutes.  Nearly as soon as we figure out that they are dating, Michael dumps Joel, so it's all Sam all the time.  You definitely expect them to kiss

In Season 2, Episode 3, Joel finally meets a new guy, to spend 30 seconds talking to.  A kiss in Episode 5.  Their main concern, of course, is how to break the news to Deb.

8 comments:

  1. Just add “actor” to your search.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Go toI MBD they list the movie/ show and the complete cast with bios

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Fat-Shaming is strong with this one 😒

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't do any fat-shaming. I just said that she was plus-sized, which is certainly accurate. Her sister said that she was fat and needed to join a gym

      Delete
  4. This is the most interesting website I’ve accidentally found while googling “Moises Arias homophobic” can I please get your insta <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. Boomer, please give this show a chance. My partner and I found it on HBO Max by accident and couldn't stop watching it. Great characters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've watched Episode 3. Spoiler alert: Mom isn't really trying to murder Dad, she's just starting to deal with dementia.

      Delete

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