We're recapping Difficult People, episode by episode. I hate having all these human emotions.
Here we are at the end of Difficult People season two, and Billy and Julie are waiting for a ride-share car that wears a goatee. There was some sort of incident and the city's on high alert, which means the subway is off limits and they can't find a yahrzeit candle to memorialize Billy's late father. And so they're riding in cars with goatees, everyone's favorite Barrymore-Marshall joint.
Billy is sad. He misses his dad, who loved all movies, including Welcome to Mooseport. He doesn't have a boyfriend and is contemplating going the Kevin Spacey route: stop trying to be a human; focus on being famous; and after he has a Netflix show, he can focus all his frustrations on a boyfriend young enough to be Billy's son. That's depressing, but not quite as depressing as the goatee driver/their likely murderer who then rolls up.
Odds beaten, they make it home. Julie is tasked with recapping the Bachelorette, which is an exercise in screaming at the TV about sexism and double standards. That is, until breaking news busts up the episode to let her know that the city's terror threat has been upped from rose gold to bronze. Other news? A person called Fern Fujihara takes pictures of a rodent with food on its head and is now signed to CAA. (The person, not the rodent.)
Here, inspiration strikes.
Julie writes an essay instead of her recap and shares it with Billy at the cafe. She stayed up all night writing it — when she wasn't purchasing Billy access to an online acting master class taught by his futureself, Kevin Spacey. Billy then breaks the fourth wall with a terrible Southern accent to talk about being chicken and/or corn. Julie squeals with glee. This was easily worth those $90.
Lola overhears the happiness and asks what they’re sucking each other's dicks about now. And so Billy boils down the essay for her (and us): Julie wrote about how she was so overcome with grief the week after 9/11 that she fucked nine random guys and blew another 11.
Eager to discuss the sowing of his wild oats and an unmentionable scar courtesy of Merv Griffin, Matthew changes the subject to being happy about his wedding in two days and having a bachelorette party. He distributes invites, but not before Lola stops him from misgenderng her and calls him a “retard.”
“I can say that because I used to be one,” Lola explains. Amazing use of Mrs. Doubtfire, thank you. We are too full for dessert. Oh, wait. “Shit, I meant faggot," she adds. "Sorry, Matthew.”
At home, Julie a.k.a. Noodles is making herself up for what Arthur thinks is date night but what is actually plans with Billy, who got them seats at the Mark Twain awards honoring Mozart in the Jungle. Arthur cuts to what he wanted to discuss at dinner: His parents read and were disappointed in Julie’s essay about boning randos. He didn’t know she would write about him, and he’s upset that she portrayed their relationship as ho-hum (which, dear sweet stapler remover, it is) after her grievous sexcapades.
Julie semi-rightly thinks this is silly. The guy she lives with — and agreed to be domestic partners with! — is getting upset about something that was 15 years ago. “Which was not my fault, Arthur," she says. "It was Al-Qaeda’s. So if you want to be mad at someone, be mad at Mohamed Atta.”
Exiting a ride-share car bedecked with a merkin and called “Vajalopy” (which we'd wager already has a very disturbing entry on Urban Dictionary), Julie is yelling about Fun Home’s insufferability and insulting her fellow riders in a goddamn fabulous leopard coat that we need in our lives so badly it hurts.
She and Billy have to wait in a security line because of the bronze alert. Meanwhile, the comments on her article are only getting worse. Behind them in line is Julianne Moore wearing Terry Richardson glasses. She liked the piece and works for Gadzooks, the development company of Billy Crystal BFF Josh Gad. Though she has never met Gadzilla, she is in charge of his film department and wants to option Julie's essay.
So they have a meeting: Julie and three other redheads, who assure her that this piece is good for women especially given that she is not a size zero but still okay with being seen. It’s empowering because you feel like “at least i’m not as fat as her,” one reddie chimes in. #truth But anyway, they are so excited to make this into a movie and also introduce Julie to her new co-writer.
This feeds into Julie’s whole issue with not being a girl’s girl. Julianne Moore tells her to not be a stupid bitch. Advice for the ages. Julie looks back on her anti-Semitic Jersey friends, remembering how badly she tried to fit in with them. Now though, she's in a room of women with similarly colored hair! She doesn't need to pretend to be anyone else! She's good enough. Julianne Moore then mentions how Gaddamnit is making Fun Home into an online multi-platform game for Xbox. So Julie commences with the lying about who she is and how much she loves Fun Home.
At the cafe, the bachelorette party is underway, and Matthew’s almost-husband Elmer wants to play games that require yahrzeit candle insertion. It is, clearly, not going well.
Also not going well — or at least soon to be? Julie is taking a bath and talking to her dogs about her 9/11 movie meeting and how she’s nervous about this hot shit writer she has to work with. We quickly are introduced to said hot shit writer. Played by Richard Kind, this is Harvey Known for Comedy, the mastermind behind Blues Brothers 2000 and Police Academy 6 — also a consultant on assorted seasons of Red Shoe Diaries. A hack, in so many words.
Arthur seeks out Billy, still at the bachelorette party, for advice. He doesn't want to slut-shame Julie, but he's jealous. Billy offers actual sage advice: Don’t worry about Julie’s past dudes and you won’t have to worry about future ones. Aw. They hug. And Elmer enjoys watching this a little too much.
Harvey is littering Julie's apartment with pastrami when Arthur comes home. This is surprising and fascinating to Harvey, who calls Julie a loose woman. Arthur won't stand for this! He's fine with Julie's past and has the comfort of knowing that sex with inexperienced women is awful. Truly sissy fisticuffs ensue.
At Oh My Gad, Julie tells Julianne Moore about not wanting to work with Harvey. And guess who has a solution. (Julianne Moore does.) Fern! Remember the one with the food and the rat or whatever? Her. She has a cutoff overalls dress and a baby — we mean — original voice.
Julie is horrified that she has to write her life story with a 14-year-old. That’s not what they have in mind though. Nope: Fern and Harvey are writing the movie since Julie said she didn’t want to.
Naturally, she flips out. "Nobody can write in my voice! Where’s Josh Gad??" She runs out of the room.
At Matthew’s wedding, Julie updates Billy: She blamed her outburst on low blood sugar, ate a Twix in the ladies’, and then swallowed her pride and said that Fern and Harvey would be great and she’d like to be involved in the movie in any capacity.
Are you paying attention?? Here it is! The inch of progress. Instead of walking away or irreparably setting a Burning Man-size fire to her opportunity, Julie gave a little.
She isn't giving up, see. She's selling out.
Billy has to pee pre-ceremony and bumps into Elmer, who tries to connect with him despite Billy's obvious sadness over being alone. But Billy remembers his beaus of late: old timey Nazis, cannibals, etc. Things aren't looking so great out there.
But here, Elmer offers some repulsive advice: Self-pity is like eating a piece of bad fish — "and I’m not talking about pussy." *shudder* Point is: When you eat bad food, you feel sick, you fart all the time, and no one wants to be around you.
Elmer might be on to something, though. It took this guy 97 years to find Matthew. Again *shudder* But he had someone who kept him company during that time: Marie. She has red hair and is wearing a leopard coat and she is Julie and Elmer is Billy. And are we back in the Shining homage? It's apparently not so bad, Billy sees, having someone who gets you. Even if that someone isn't the one.
Back in their seats, Arthur is sporting a shiner from his Harvey encounter. And someone Julie had sex with the week of 9/11 approaches in a manner you might use to remind someone you went to high school together. He wonders if Julie might be there solo, but she gestures to Arthur.
“Great seeing you," she smiles. "Never forget."
Officiant Amy Sedaris, a.k.a. Rita, takes the wedding stage ... platform? She lives in the attic of the venue with her roommate Kiki, who is Debbie Harry and who wants to know if you might needs some ‘ludes. Dear Hulu, we would watch a spinoff about them.
Matthew walks down the aisle and starts ugly crying. Then 9/11 sex guy rushes down the aisle to alert Rita that Elmer has suddenly died and now it’s actually a funeral. “This happens all the time,” she assures.
Matthew takes the mic and says he has found himself completely unprepared for this, but hands Kiki sheet music for "Ave Maria," which he is now singing while wearing a Blossom hat and Elmer’s body is being wheeled out.
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“Someday that could be us," Julie says to Billy.
Outside, the duo has apparently abandoned Arthur. Billy says that his Kevin Spacey class has not turned out how he wanted. Maybe being a person is better than being Kevin Spacey, he has realized. Julie wants to know if he’s disappointed that she didn’t tell the ArmaGadden people to fuck themselves. It’s show business, he says. They’ve done worse for less.
Then a ride-share car called “here comes the choo-choo” arrives with a driver saying something about the caboose.
Not gonna happen. They decide to disregard the now-amber alert and make their way down to the subway to joke about finding Pizza Rat. Cut back to the cafe, and the yahrzeit candle has burned out.