Episode Five has Wade just moved into a new super tiny apartment and inviting Stuart over. Now, remember: Stuart is not a supportive friend. Stuart is an ass. So Wade gives Stuart a “grand tour,” which is easy because everything is in one room. Turn around and BOOM! bed; turn again, it’s the BOOM! kitchen. Wde can have breakfast in bed, and dinner, and lunch, and dessert… Basically, with only one chair in the entire apartment thing, everything in bed. Stuart is unimpressed – and I go, “Come on, Stuart! Be nice to Wade, dang it!” – and talks about his party. One of Wade’s neighbors comes over to ask for nail clippers and asks Stuart if he can attend the party. Stuart’s answer is great: “I’m going to say ‘no,’ but only because I’ve never met you before.” It’s one of the few times I agree with you, Stuart.
Rory makes the invitations for the “pool party of the century” and Stuart gives Jessica one. She immediately calls him out for saying the party is in “the hills,” but Stuart basically says she’s wrong. Of course, it’s a BYOB party with a “no running” sign by the pool. Sounds super fun, right? Stuart calls Jess’ part-time flame/boyfriend/sex buddy Glenn to get some help with the party, and Glenn recommends that he find some runway waiters, as they’re all the rage. Add that to Rory’s list of things to do, right after putting up that “no running” sign.
Jessica goes to the local soup kitchen because she wants to help people. (???) She feels bad for the world? She needs material? Who knows. She just started volunteering there apparently and she “picks up” one of the people there, a girl named Heaven. Poor Heaven is down on her luck and needs some help in the world, which Jessica offers; also, she offers her air mattress and apartment to Heaven in hopes of making the girl’s life better. Or something.
In an attempt at “amends” – read that as “trying to hook up with that blonde model from episode 4” – Stuart visits the house of Mr. Modeling Agency to apologize for the gay remarks he made. Again, read that as “still trying to get Miss Blonde’s number.” I’m beginning to think that Stuart is truly not capable of doing something kind, only things that benefit him or further his dating plans. Anyway, he actually gets Miss Blonde’s number and invites her to the party. Blondie says that he needs to get a great DJ who plays awesome dubstep, and Stuart assures her that he already has that for his party. Of course, he and Rory call it “drubstep,” which just makes me laugh forever. But – oh no! The party is going to be HUGE, way too huge for Stuart and Rory to clean up by themselves. They’re going to have to rent some place, so we segue back to…. Wade’s apartment.
In order to get Wade on the whole “let’s have the party here” bus, Stuart pulls out the line that the party is to celebrate Wade’s apartment and not Stuart’s enormous and unfortunate ego. Stuart uses Wade far too much and too often, and I’m getting tired of this poor man separated from his wife being abused in such a way by a friend. Okay, I’m off my soapbox now, for a few minutes. Rory and Stuart assure Wade that they will do all the party planning; to further exemplify how on top of it he is, Rory tells us that he’s “been reading a lot of books on parties. And I’ve got a spreadsheet… And I’ve got legal fireworks!” Wow, dude. Party at your place.
Jessica is in over her head with Heaven but doesn’t realize it until too late. Basically, Heaven is hell for Jess. The 19 year old asks for drugs, which Jessica doesn’t have, then, when Jess offers to help with her resume or life in general, Heaven freaks out. Eventually Jess comes up with a great excuse to get Heaven out: Stuart says the girl has to go. Now, in the context of the “Hello Ladies” world, is Jessica bad here? No. She just wanted to try and be more than she can be. Her choice in who to help was flawed, but not her intentions. I see this as slightly redeeming for Jessica: unlike Stuart, she is able to see beyond herself to the plights of others. Again, flawed attempt, good intentions.
Anyway, back to the party of the century (not)! Stuart tries to get some kids to leave the pool because he rented it from 3pm onward, and they’re swimming in his waters at 3:15! Oh, the audacity on the part of six year olds. Stuart calls one girl stupid, ticks off her mother, and then gets them evicted from the pool by telling the security guard that they’re playing in his sandbox weren’t invited to his party. Wow, they still doesn’t sound better. But hey, Stuart was just trying to protect that kids: “I’m just concerned about the children seeing some of the shit go down.” The mom throws his phone in the pool, which leads to this epic shot of him trying to retrieve it:
The Runway Waiter shows up, and it’s a guy (that guy in the background). Stuart never told Rory that he wanted a female bartender, so Rory thought it was perfectly cool to hire a Chippendale dancer male bartender. Mr. Chippendale is a bit weirded out and calls the pool party a “middle-aged gay party” because only men from Wade’s apartments are showing up and they’re rubbing sunblock on each other. Eventually some women begin to arrive but Stuart, being pushy and in-your-face, basically runs them off. He bans Mr. Chippendale from speaking to any of the women and blames him for the women leaving. Really, he’s just living up to all those times I called him an ass. Stuart is fed up with everything and gets ready to leave. One of the women at the party, a lady in her late thirties who lives at the apartments, gets sarcastic and says, “I’m sorry we’re not all blonde bimbos with fake tits.” Stuart says, “It’s not your fault.” Please Marc, can I slap Stuart right now? But within a few minutes of Stuart leaving, the party starts and it becomes epic. Beautiful women, drinks, food, water games – fun times for all. Stuart rushes back to the party (after getting cursed out by Heaven because he’s making her leave in Jessica’s lie) and can’t get in. See, he wanted to make it super posh and VIP only, and all attendees had to have a special invitation, which he doesn’t have. His phone is waterlogged and ruined, and he can’t call anyone at the party to get him in. So what happens? He’s locked out of his own party. Through gate bars he sees Wade and Kives and everyone having a great time, everyone except him. And really, he deserves this fate.
So is Stuart flawed? Yes. Does he deserve what happens? Yes. After how rude he was to everyone earlier and how much he puts them down. Yes, he deserves to be blocked from the happiness. He can see it from far away but that’s as close as he will get. He is painful to watch, though. I want him to be happy yet, as he acts more horrible to every person he encounters, I’m not sympathetic when bad things happen.
“How to Make Friends and Influence People – Unless You’re Stuart Pritchard”
We open Episode Six with Stuart and Jessica in bed (what?!) but it’s not like that. Her guesthouse roof is being replaced so she’s staying in Stuart’s house until it’s finished. What follows them waking up is probably my favorite scene from the show so far, a little segment we’ll call “American Sports with Stuart and Jess”
Jess: Name 3 American football teams. Stuart: Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Tigers. Jess: You just named a football team, a basketball team, and a baseball team. Stuart: Well, how am I supposed to remember? I mean, every f—ing American sports team’s just a blood city and some arbitrary animals stuck together. ‘Oh look at me, I’m a fan of the Chicago Squids.’ What does it even mean?
Can I just take a minute to say how adorable they are in that scene? When are they going to realize that what they both want is each other? This is getting frustrating.
Okay, back to the episode. Stuart decides to be buddies with the three construction workers and attempts to throw around a football with them while joking that he’s a bit of an alcoholic. Because alcoholic jokes are so funny (note sarcasm). Wade comes over to visit with Jessica, who is determined to get him back together with his wife Marion. Their 30 days of no contact are up at last, and Wade already has a few ideas in mind about how to win back her heart: a romantic email with a link to “Up Where We Belong” from their favorite movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” which Wade has never seen. Hmm, favorite movie you’re never seen… Anyway, inspired by the movie, Jessica says Wade should act out the ending where Richard Gere’s character carries the love of his life out of her job. I can already tell this is going to go horribly.
Stuart and the construction workers (CWs) talk about dating and Stuart admits he’s in a slump. Well, their advice is to get him a “slump buster” – an easy girl who will sleep with him. Of course, this is all said rather crudely, but Stuart’s up for it. At a club that night he’s introduced to Erica, aka Easy E. And now I hand this party scene over to Marc, simply because I do NOT want to handle this vulgar clubbing crap. The CWs decide to go beat someone up and Stuart tags along, then one of the CWs want to do lines in the bathroom. He and Stuart are in the stall together when the bouncer comes in and asks what they’re doing. Instead of playing it cool, Stuart says he was giving the CW a blow job. Smooth, Stuart. Smooth. He all but begs the CW not to mention that, but the CW thinks it’s hilarious and tells everyone. Oh Stuart. Your social awkwardness is painful. I get you were trying to cover yourself and the guy, which is kinda nice of you for once. Desperate but decent. The CWs are on a completely different level, though, and you should run home now. But just wait! They go to another party and Stuart talks about all they’ve done, including mentioning Ms. Easy E to her half-brother. So what does Stuart do? He literally bolts from this random house and runs home. But when they return to finish the guesthouse roof, Stuart pays for being such a wimpy, bad partying tagalong: they charge him $500 for a $200 job, then spray paint on the garage that he gives blowjobs, but in less kind words. For once, I don’t think Stuart really deserved what he got.
Meanwhile, Jessica has been babysitting Wade’s daughter, who asks some poignant questions about Jessica’s life, namely if she has a boyfriend. Jess calls her random hookup Glenn and has him come over. As they’re laying in Stuart’s bed (that’s just wrong), she wants some clarification as to what they are: friends, f— buddies, boyfriend and girlfriend, what? Glenn lives up to all of his assholeness by saying, “I think it’s dangerous to try and define this” when she asks about their relationship status. And dang, Jess, have I ever felt more like you in this situation? Trying to decide what something is but knowing that it won’t be…” I HATE HIM RIGHT NOW. It’s so mean to pull out lines like this. Jess can tell he’s not wanting commitment and the look on her face is heartbreaking. Have I mentioned before that I sympathize with Jess a great deal?
Returning to Wade and Marion, he shows up at her work – which is apparently a call center of some time, where she’s located among twenty other people – and tries to carry her away. While she’s on a call. It’s so awkward and sad. They agree to meet in the break room and she apologizes to her caller several times before Wade tries to give her flowers. Later, when Wade brings his daughter to Marion’s (and his former) house, she drops the bomb: she wants a divorce, end of story. Wade keeps having the most relatable storylines of anyone in this show and my heart breaks for him.
VL Vanderveer is a graduate of East Tennessee State University’s Department of Literature and Language. Aside from her blogging for HBOWatch.com, she can be found in the Marketing department of InnLink Central Reservations Services.