Thursday, August 6, 2015

REVIEW: 'Review' - Forrest Helps a Depressed Gay Man and Meets a Bunch of Women in 'Curing Homosexuality/Mile High Club'

Comedy Central's Review - Episode 2.02 "Curing Homosexuality/Mile High Club"

Forrest attempts to turn a young gay man straight and finds that having sex on an airplane is surprisingly difficult.

A surprising trend in these first two episodes of Season 2 seems to be giving Forrest a girlfriend in the first segment only for him to mess it up by the end. It's all very deliberate. Even though Forrest continually claims that he has moved on from Suzanne, he still brings her up a lot. She was the symbol of his life outside of the show. She was the person he was the happiest with. Doing the show is what destroyed that relationship. Grant outlines for the audience what happened in between the seasons in regards to Forrest's attempt to win Suzanne back. He threw that punch, ran after her and she said it was too late. He had done too much damage. He spiraled into a depression that only ended once a dog found him in the crawlspace of a church. Grant welcomed him back to the show. And now, Forrest feels like he is officially starting over again. He sees his life completely different than before - even though it is more or less the same. That's why he is so committed to the show again. The show hasn't changed at all. His various reviews are still destroying his life. It also still has an effect on the people around him.

This episode points out just how good and bad Forrest's reviews actually can be. His first review is curing a gay person of being gay. That's a horrifying prospect for a review. Forrest has to truly grapple with how in the world he can actually do such a thing. He puts the review above everything else even when he fears that it will be impossible to do the task. That doesn't stop him from trying though. Because of Grant, he approaches the review in the same way that he did with his split from Suzanne. He truly believed that being able to get over his ex-wife post-divorce was a similar enough experience of getting a gay man to simply get over being gay. That doesn't make any realistic sense. But it's the kind of pep talk that truly invigorates Forrest to the cause. He has no problem associating the two together. And thusly, he no longer sees the task as being impossible. He has a purpose and a glimmer of hope that it can happen. That came because Grant was being manipulative for the sake of the show. But it also happened because of just how susceptible Forrest can be.

In order to truly test it though, Forrest had to find someone even more susceptible to the cause than he was. He only had one taker - a depressed, newly out, gay man named Tim. Forrest happened to be there for Tim in a time where he was in a very dark place and only wanted the support of his family again. It would have been horrifying to see Forrest enact all of these horrible methods to "cure" Tim of his homosexuality. But it was even more amusing to see Forrest not sure how to approach it all and needing to consult professional help. Forrest doesn't know how to go about this review. Even the professional's advice didn't seem to do anything. But in the end, Forrest only needed to believe that he had cured Tim of being gay. That's what allowed him to file the rating and move on to the next review. It's miraculous that no one on the show's staff actually took him aside and explained that he really hadn't done what he was asked to do. That would have led to things getting even more tragic. Forrest took Tim to a strip club and fully believed that they both emerged from the night with new girlfriends. That belief gave him closure.

But it was also a sign of Forrest not completely ruining someone else's life. The reviews that Forrest has done for the show have destroyed so many lives. It's nice to know that because Forrest took an interest in Tim, he was able to overcome his depression and be proud of who he is. Tim is no longer haunted by his homosexual urges. Now he is simply in love. That only happened because Forrest took Tim to a strip club - and the stripper took him to the place he truly need to be. Sure, Forrest misunderstood everything about their final conversation. But there was also a moment of clarity where the audience saw that things wouldn't go as horribly wrong as once was feared. That was a nice change of pace.

Of course, things don't continue to go well for Forrest. He still has another review to issue for the episode. That review is for joining the mile high club. Now that he has a new girlfriend that task should seem easy. It is not. And boy, is that great! Forrest has a habit of becoming so intently focused on his reviews and nothing else in his life. He approaches multiple women about joining the mile high club while he's flying to San Francisco to pick up his son for the weekend. Also, good for Suzanne for taking herself and Zach out of Forrest's environment. But the women on the plane all either have too much dignity or an insistence on listening to the "Fasten Seat-belts" sign to agree to Forrest's request. It's humorous that Forrest can't pick up a woman for this task. Shampoo, his new girlfriend, was completely into Forrest until he started acting like every other guy who just looks down at her because of her job. Forrest's second option is Beth, a passenger on the plane who he solely approaches in order to have sex with her in the bathroom. Their connection is genuine - like so many of his relationships start. But again, she wants to follow the rules and that's not good enough for him.

It's slightly weird that Shampoo continues on the journey with Forrest after their breakup on the plane. Forrest is even more clueless for not realizing that his new relationship has ended for good. But again, it's a good thing that Shampoo stays along for the ride because that means someone is looking after Zach during this time. Forrest is so focused on finding a person to have sex with on the plane that he isn't thinking about the safety of his son. That's dangerous but at least someone is keeping Zach company. Forrest is too busy standing in line for the prostitute he hired to do the deed with. It's great that he just so happened to land on a plane with a bunch of sex addicts going to a convention. He got all of them to relapse and it meant nothing to him. All he wanted was to have sex. He ended up doing it but out in the public seats because Margaret wanted to listen to the "Fasten Seat-belts" sign as well. He did it where his son could see what he was doing. That feeling wasn't embarrassing enough for Forrest though because he still issued the experience a three star rating. That pleasure may have been awkward and ruined his latest relationship. But sex is still something that he really enjoys doing - despite how often it destroys his life.

Some more thoughts:
  • The current trend with Forrest finding and ruining a new relationship is going to have to end eventually because the show doesn't want the concept to grow stale. Also, it's very clear that he is still not over Suzanne - even though he doesn't fully realize that yet.
  • Grant saying that it would be homophobic for Forrest not to at least try to do the review was a brilliant move on his part while also making him an even more horrible human being. He expertly knows exactly how to get Forrest to do anything.
  • AJ continues to expect Forrest to use the veto button and he still hasn't used it. That only strengthens my opinion that he will never use it at all this season because he is just so willing to do every review.
  • Forrest used his trip into space from last season as a way to connect with Beth on the plane. That proves that he is willing to ignore the tragedy of his past reviews if it means he can succeed at his current one.
  • Margaret the prostitute is very proud of the work that she does. She has been doing it for eight years. But she's also writing a book of poetry. That little tidbit really helped developed her character.
  • I love that the waitress at the diner knows enough about Forrest to know when he needs something good.