DIFFICULT PEOPLE Review: “High Alert”


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The season finale of opens with Billy and Julie waiting for a GoatX car—a pretty funny Lyft knockoff—as the entire city is on a terrorism high alert and they aren’t supposed to be using the subways. Billy is in a despondent mood—he couldn’t find a yahrzeit candle to light for the anniversary of his father’s death. His father was such a positive guy, he even claimed to love the movie Welcome to Mooseport. But Billy isn’t feeling positive. He decides he wants to go the Kevin Spacey route in life: stop trying to be a person and just focus on getting famous.

Julie goes home to recap The Bachelorette, offended at one of the suitor’s remarks that he won’t accept a rose because she blew two other guys. As Julie puts it, “Ashley had the good sense to chow down on the free chorizo buffet ABC was kind enough to lay out for her.” Julie can’t finish the show because the news interrupted the broadcast as the terrorism alert has been raised. She goes online to try to find out who went home, but is angered by an article lauding a 14-year-old Snapchat star who takes pictures of food she doesn’t eat balanced on her guinea pig’s head who just got signed by . All these things combine to result in Julie turning in a personal essay about her experiences the week after 9/11—she had sex with 9 random guys and blew 11—and publishing that instead of her recap.


Julie meets Billy at the café, where Matthew invites them to his bachelorette party. Matthew is a very obnoxious character, but Cole Escola takes such delight in playing someone so stereotypically horrible that it’s almost endearing. Julie signed Billy up for Kevin Spacey’s online acting master class—Billy shows her he’s been practicing by staring straight into the camera and delivering some nonsense folk saying in a horrible Southern accent. Julie gets ready for the Mark Twain Awards, where she and Billy will be seat fillers, when Arthur expresses his displeasure with her article. She wrote about their relationship, making it seem that he was the safe, boring choice in comparison to her wild youthful antics.

Standing in line for the awards, Julie and Billy meet a development exec named Sarah played by Julianne Moore. She runs the film department of Josh Gad’s production company, Gadzooks, but she’s never met him. He’s very busy. She wants to option Julie’s essay for a movie and invites her to come to the office. There, Julie colors in some adult coloring books with Sarah and her development team (who all have red hair/pale skin like Julie and Julianne—but I’m not sure what the joke is there) while Sarah tells her that they have an amazing co-writer they want her to meet.

Richard Kind knocks on the door of her apartment, playing a writer who introduces himself as “Harvey. Known for comedy. Blues Brothers 2000, Police Academy 6.” He’s a vile human being, proud of the fact that he wrote for Dream On, the first sitcom to show “yobbos”. When Arthur comes home, Harvey’s fascinated by the fact that Arthur would want to date Julie considering her loose past. Arthur, inspired by a speech where Billy explains the concept of slut shaming to him, stands up to Harvey, getting in a ridiculously lame slap fight.


Julie goes back to Gadzooks, where the team tells her they found another co-writer. In walks none other than the Snapchat teen celebrity who first raised Julie’s ire. They’re replacing Julie with her because Julie didn’t want to work with Harvey, but assure her that the teen will write the project in her voice. Julie throws a fit and storms off, but at Matthew’s wedding, she tells Billy that she took a moment to calm down, then told them that Harvey and the teen are a dream team and she’d love to be involved in the project in any way. Julie says she’s selling out, but is she perhaps growing up a bit?

At the wedding, Billy has a heart-to-heart with Matthew’s impossibly old, impossibly horny fiancé Elmer. Elmer tells him that no one wants to be around him because he’s full of self-pity, but he can change that. It took Elmer 97 years to find Matthew, but before that he wasn’t without love. He had his best friend Marie, who arrives in the lobby. Marie is a sassy red-head who looks like Julie fifty years from now. At least Billy has Julie in his life.

Rita, the crazy pastor played by Amy Sedaris from last season, officiates the wedding, which unexpectedly turns into a funeral when Elmer dies. Matthew tearfully grabs the mike and describes their meeting— “Elmer and I met at a urinal. The first thing I said was, ‘Hey, save some of that for me.’” It’s disgusting, but also hilarious. One of the best jokes of the episode. Billy and Julie leave the wedding to go see a bad movie, throwing caution to the wind and taking the subway.

That’s the end of our season two coverage of Difficult People. As I’ve said before, this show isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the target audience (which seems to be pop culture/entertainment industry obsessed misanthropes, so I fit right in), you’re going to love it. Hulu hasn’t officially announced a season three yet, but my money’s on renewal. And if so, I’ll see you guys next year.

Season 2, Episode 10 (S02E10)
Difficult People airs Tuesdays on Hulu


lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
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