These double episodes are messing me up, yall! God bless the efficient people at Hulu. In yesterday’s first episode “Of Mice and Jazz Kwon Do,” Dave finds himself repulsed to be living in Max’s bachelor filth pad rather than the butterfly-soap haven that was his apartment with Alex. “I thought our napkins had v-necks,” Max explains before wiping his face all over Dave’s laundry. Worst of all is the guys’ shower, where rust pumps out like old blood and the soap is just fifteen smaller soaps smashed in a ball and tied together with hair. Under the auspices of catching a mouse, Dave starts squatting in Alex’s pristine apartment/repeatedly releasing the mouse from its humane trap. Alex is happy to have Dave fixing things around the house, less happy that his renewed attention might mean he is hoping to rekindle their doomed love.
Following an excruciating blind date with Brad’s co-worker Franklin, Max pegs Brad a gay-cist for assuming he would like anyone who shared his same-sex orientation. The show might present Max as a straight-act gay guy, but let’s not get it twisted: blowing off a boring date to their face is catty diva behavior of the highest order. Brad knows he can’t be gay-cist given that some of his favorite actors are gay (Hilary Swank, Tom Hanks, Jack Gyllenhaal, Will Smith) and is hell-bent on proving nerdlinger Franklin is secretly Max’s Xbox-loving match made in heaven. Given how sarcastic and dismissive Max can be, I’m hoping the writers will mine him for the soft, gooey emotional insides you just know are hidden under his brittle shell. And please mine for it in the first episode of the night, so I don’t accidentally miss it. Gil Ozeri cameos as Israeli martial arts expert Yoni, who tries to carve Penny and Jane into ruthless self-defense machines via classes at the gym and, yes, knows that his name means vagina. If you think learning how to disarm a knife-wielding assailant will lead to Penny accidentally beating the hell out of a kimono-wearing Dave in a darkened foyer, then you, my friend, have watched exactly the right amount of TV.
As is the case when comparing two episodes of the same show, the zombie-related second episode was vastly superior. In “Dave of The Dead,” Max and Jane butt heads over who would die first in a zombie apocalypse (out of shape vs. burdened with emotional attachments), thus setting off the Zombie Olympics: foot racing, motionlessness, gun skills, sabotage, and possibly mugging a baby. As both episodes last night pointed out, Jane is not one to be messed with. “I need 16 hotdogs and an egg timer,” Jane hissed upon learning how Kobayashi dominated the wiener-gobbling community.
Meanwhile, Penny falls for a hipster on laundry day, not knowing that he dresses like that all the time. I feel like I have been that actual scenario. There is no easy answer. “I can smell him from here, and he smells like a flea market,” Max warns as he tries to prepare Penny for a life of coolness, coaching her to remember, “everything is dumb.” Armed with eight layered aprons and a pair of thick plastic frames, the effervescent Penny has to fight to keep her naturally joyful self in front of her date’s friends, who intone gems like “He’s huge on the abandoned gas station circuit” and use wheelchairs as accessories. “JK, I can totes walk,” Wheelie Hipster laughs. It was only a matter of time before Penny blew it by acting, you know, like a normal human being. Once you’ve been exposed as a fraud in front of the cool kids, what else is there to do but dance your way out of the Long Island ‘90s bar mitzvah-themed party you got yourself into? Nothing. There is nothing else to do.
Dave realizes he too has become a zombie, in his career and love life. After riffling through his dream basket, Dave first conceives of the Pangaea Grill, serving 900 meals from around the world. “Did you spent $17,000 at the copy store?” Max says, marveling at the sample menus. After Alex points out his dream is stupid and gives him her engagement ring to sell for some start-up money, Dave lunches his own food truck. If there is a more satisfying ending to this episode than watching a hoard of hungry hipsters apathetically swarm Dave’s truck as Max hobbles alongside with two pulled hammies, I do not know what that would look like.