Friday, October 12, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Cool Kids' - Online Dating Doesn't Go as Planned for Hank and Charlie in 'A Date with Destiny'

FOX's The Cool Kids - Episode 1.03 "A Date with Destiny"

Charlie and Hank create online dating profiles, and to boost their egos, Sid pretends to be an interested woman. Of course, the plan goes awry.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's The Cool Kids.

"A Date with Destiny" was written by Allison Bosma & Jon DeWalt and directed by Robbie Countryman

The Cool Kids is certainly heading in the right direction as it develops its storytelling through these opening episodes. It's slowly becoming a fun, hangout sitcom where its ensemble of characters are strong friends who love each other but also enjoy messing with each other in order to have some excitement in their lives. The show survives solely on the chemistry and performances of its main cast. That was true in the first episode. It's still true now. The show really hasn't expanded its world at all. However, the audience is starting to become familiar with the way these specific characters view the world and how they bounce off of one another. The friendship between Margaret and Sid is absolutely outrageous and already a lot of fun. Sure, the show still overly relies on the idea of putting Leslie Jordan in some ridiculous situation or outfit for physical comedy. This week it's him wearing a wig in the hopes of fooling Charlie and Hank into believing that he is the woman they've both been flirting with online, Destiny. That's a joke that really doesn't work at all and actually makes Sid seem a little delusional. And yet, that's the point as well. He's not the most aware person in this world. Even when it's painfully clear that Charlie and Hank are getting back at their friends for fooling them in the first place, it takes needing to explain it for Sid to fully understand what's going on. Margaret can point out the many different ways in which these lies are being badly told. She laughs at the ridiculousness of Charlie and Hank falling for a fake woman online through the idea of her typing her messages with her breasts or butt. That's just not physically possible at all. It's how Sid tries to get into the headspace of a woman. But she also enjoys pointing out the many ways in which the actor Charlie and Hank hired isn't actually a police officer. His uniform doesn't make any sense and his lines are delivered very badly. Of course, that's what allows the absurdity to work when the knife that Charlie has turns out to be real. Again, it's the familiar and expected joke. But it's delivered with such conviction. The cast is clearly having a blast with this material. Sure, there are still too many jokes meant to amuse the audience because it's older people saying crude and outrageous things. The show is still figuring out its specific brand of humor. But the identities are slowly being formed amongst the cast. It's exciting and intriguing. The back-and-forth of this main story is really quite amusing. It's also appreciated that the show is only telling one story in each episode. It's a structure that really suits the show. If it tried juggling a bunch of different little storylines, then it could easily become cluttered with the overall effect not being as good as the individual moments. It's still a work in progress. However, the friendships and camaraderie are forming. The show is more than likely always going to remain in this outrageous tone. And yet, it should be fascinating to see if it will ever expand that focus to produce more fulfilling lives for its characters. Will they have stories that build from episode to episode? Or will everything remain self-contained? These are the questions that need to be explored further moving forward.