Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Cool Kids' - Sid Pretends to Be Something He's Not When His Son Visits in 'Sid Comes Out'

FOX's The Cool Kids - Episode 1.04 "Sid Comes Out"

Margaret is surprised to learn that Sid is not out to his visiting son and tries to convince him to come out to him. Hank stubbornly refuses to admit he needs glasses, and Charlie tries to help him cheat his eye test.

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.

"Sid Comes Out" was written by Charlie Kelly and directed by Eric Dean Seaton

Well, this episode is a bit of a dud. It does a couple of things that help the show in the long run by continuing to expand the world of the characters. The main plot just feels too ridiculous and unnecessary. Moreover, the story isn't helped with a B-plot. This is the first time an episode has featured more than one story in it. And yet, it makes sense here because Hank and Charlie run out of purpose in Sid's story very quickly. As such, they are able to just disappear without having to get sucked into the drama that comes from Sid pretending to be straight for his visiting son, Walt. Instead, they go off to a flimsy plot about Hank trying to pass an eye exam with Charlie's help. It's good just for the ridiculous suggestion that a shock collar will be an effective tool to tell Hank which letters are on the board. Moreover, it's currently unclear if Hank will be seen wearing glasses in the episodes moving forward. Right now, there is the suggestion that he needs them in order to see anything around him. He drives a golf cart right through the dining room of the retirement community. That's a disaster that should carry consequences for him. The community would probably kick him out saying that he needs to be in a placed in a facility with more hands-on care. That's unlikely to happen though. Instead, the building will be fixed by next week's episode with everyone forgetting that this happened in the first place. Hank will operate the same as always and probably won't even wear glasses. That's very cynical. And yet, it's the position the shows forces me into because it doesn't seem to take the stakes of this subplot all that seriously because it's just meant to be a comedic distraction from what's going on with Sid and Margaret. Of course, that story too is very outrageous. As Margaret notes very quickly, it's baffling that anyone could look at Sid and not see him as a gay man. He is very flamboyant. He is ridiculously over-the-top. That's the way the show has always written him. It brings no nuance to his identity as a gay man. So, this story mostly just props up the simple idea of what constitutes a straight interest. It's very encouraging to know that Walt is so accepting of his father and just wants him to be happy. He wants to know what's going on in his dad's life. He has felt so disconnected since the divorce. Walt has this completely separate life with his own family. But he still wants this connection with his father. Sid doesn't want to break it by revealing that he has been lying to Walt for his entire life. But again, that's a flimsy excuse and one that doesn't have a whole lot of merit in the actual stakes of the plot. Instead, it's just suppose to be hilarious that Margaret pretends to be Sid's girlfriend so that his dim son doesn't suspect the truth. And yes, the show absolutely plays to the fact that Walt is a little oblivious to what is happening in front of him. There is potential there for him to be a solid recurring character. But again, this is just a visit. He is going out of his way to see his father. It's all built around the idea that Sid isn't comfortable in his own skin. However, the things that he has already done on the show disprove that notion because he has been forced into some very outlandish situations in an attempt to make the audience laugh.