Previous Recap: Episode 5 “Phil”
This episode is split in a similar way as you’d sometimes would see on Louie. One half is dedicated to the work Sam, as an actress does. Be it teaching classes and dealing with people who want to be actors, or being on set. Something which isn’t glamorous at all but doing the same take, slightly different setup, dozens of times until it is finally the way the director wants it. Pretty much, Pamela Adlon demystifies every bit of being an actor in the first half.
In the second half, that is when you come to realize the episode is about all she does to keep her kids fed and a roof over her head. Do you think Sam, of all people, really wants to teach a class? To really, as she tells her students they will often do, deal with terrible scripts she is expected to make work? Not really. She continues acting because she enjoys it but, at the same time, it is also all she has known. Sam has been acting since she is a child.
So, with that in mind, there is the desire for some appreciation. A thank you, I love you, “Look there is mommy!” moment and things of that nature. Yet, when she asks for it from her older daughters, she is called dramatic among other things. Which, as you can imagine, hurts. Especially because, with them only really having each other, who else is really going to pat Sam on the back? Yeah, there is Rich and Tressa, but you want your family to be in awe of you too and Phil? Psh! She isn’t that kind of mom so Sam would love that reassurance from her kids.
Something she only gets after her “gay husband” Rich steps in and puts on a Cosby Show-like moment. One where Sam pretends to be dead, with Duke because, you know guilt trip about how they both died because of Frankie. This leads to the most heartfelt moments Frankie and Max have ever had. Reminding you, despite how annoying and ungrateful both can be, they really do love their mom. It is just showing it consistently which is the problem.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did anyone else feel bad for Duke in these scenes? I mean, granted, Duke in the first episode of the season showed she isn’t as innocent as often given credit for but it was hard to not feel for her.
You gotta toughen up in life, and get weaker in the scenes.
What Acting is Like
Maybe it is just me, but I think many people still think acting, maybe even the commercial industry, is more glamorous than it is. However, from what we see from Sam, it isn’t what so ever. When it comes to classes, you are going to be judged about every decision and perhaps broken down so you can be built back up. Though, considering you are getting built as per what worked for your teacher, there remains just a foundation.
One which won’t necessarily help if you just don’t have talent. Much less, as Sam shows, patience. For just one scene she is sitting there saying the same line over and over. Trying to change the way she says it based off what a director wants, what seems good, and what also works for her scene partner. All of which we just see for one single scene of who knows how big of a production.
Plus, the whole idea of swapping out someone for a blonde, maybe adding a random make-out session, imagine how often that happens? Lest we forget, most comedies are rooted in some form of truth and trying to find the joke in the pain. So I doubt that little nugget just came out of nowhere.
As noted above, and in past episodes, as much as Sam may whine and complain, more often than not she still will go out of her way to make people happy. Better them if you will. However, outside of Rich and Tressa, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who consistently gives something back. Duke, to a point, does. However, when it comes to the people who ask the most of Sam – Phil, Max, and Frankie? What do they give besides attitude and maybe underhanded compliments?
I mean, granted, there are hugs from her girls and the occasional sweet moment. However, that’s when it comes to her doing what mothers do. What Sam was looking for here was a little validation when it came to her career. Something she has been doing all her life and based off what she said during her acting class, isn’t as rosy as it maybe once was. Notice, she doesn’t really talk about something being worth it or not, she presents it all as a job. A job which is pretty crappy but you got to make the best of it. So, in my mind, she just wanted a moment where the people who benefit from her work gave her some kind of boost to continue.
Other Noteworthy Moments