TV Series HOLLYWOOD: Season 1 Episode 4 “(Screen) Tests” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers
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HOLLYWOOD: Season 1 Episode 4 “(Screen) Tests” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

The screentests finally begin, and so comes the question, between Rock and Jack, Claire and Camille, who will get the lead parts?

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Directed ByJanet Mock
Written ByIan Brennan, Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy
Aired (Netflix)5/1/2020
Introduced This Episode
JeanneMira Sorvino
Eleanor RooseveltHarriet Sansom Harris

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Goodbye Archie, Goodbye Ace – Archie, Dick, Ray, Camille, Ace, Avis, Jeanne

When it comes to Peg, Ace slashes that movie left and right. Dick says it could be an Oscar winner, and Ace reminds Dick he just got two and has 8 in all. There is the request for 400,000, and Ace says they’ll get 75,000. Oh, and a negro writer? Forget it! He will get his fee but no real association. And with that, Ace goes off to Palm Springs to have sex with Jeanne and promptly have a heart attack after a few pumps.

Which perhaps is karma for the devastation Archie goes through is immense. Within reach of his fingertips was all he dreamed. He got a taste of what it could be like to be the first without a threat on his life or anything of the sort. Avis and Ellen, two big wigs, had no issue, but then he was sent back to Earth. It seems that light was the sun, and his chariot melted.

Though, maybe that isn’t completely true. You see, as Ace is incapacitated, he leaves control of the studio to Avis. With that, she can reverse any decision, make her own, and when Jeanne confesses their affair, she could have fired her or let her resign. However, she doesn’t do that. Jeanne remains on contract and as for Archie? Well, he is left licking his wounds, for now.

Casting Sam – Avis, Rock, Henry, Jack, Ernie, Jeanne

Casting Sam is a challenge for a multitude of reasons. In terms of Rock, it is because he can’t act, and it takes 67 takes for him to get the line right. But, to add further complications into the mix, Henry is his advocate and plans to blackmail Avis to get his boy the role.

However, then Jack steps up, and between Avis’ feelings for the boy and him clearly being the better candidate, he gets the role. Henry, be DAMNED! But, in the joy of getting the part comes Jack quitting Ernie’s establishment and the pain which comes from seeing someone else make it despite how long you’ve been working. A feeling Jeanne, in a way, also expresses as, if she was ten years younger, you could see her trying for the role. But, alas, while she has a career, she never got to be the star, and Ray isn’t advocating for girls like her.

Casting Peg – Camille, Eleanor, Avis, Claire

Eleanor Roosevelt (Harriet Sansom Harris) talking to Avis about allowing Camille to star in "Peg."
Eleanor Roosevelt (Harriet Sansom Harris)

The issue with casting Peg is that it is Avis’ daughter, a white woman, vs. Camille, a talented colored gal but who may not be marketable in the south. Which, mind you, is just the surface level issue. Alongside that, Avis has fears of the Klan and boycotts and so much more beyond simply loss of money. I mean, Ace is a bit of a thought in there too, but the studio more so. After all, even if the love is gone, the money that supports Avis’ lifestyle is the studio

But then Eleanor Roosevelt, with wanting to do good and after seeing the horrors of the south, she makes her pitch for Camille. She speaks to Avis, and the other decision-makers, about what it could mean to see a girl like her on the big screen for some child living in a shanty somewhere. And at the end of the episode, we’re left to wonder, did that impassioned speech breakthrough or will economics win once again?

Additional Thoughts or Information

  1. Did Claire intentionally throw off her screen test to give Camille’s the edge? Was that because she knew she’d get other opportunities or because Camille was too nice for her to snatch a dream from?

Highlights

The Snake Known As Henry

You gotta love Henry. We were shown that he can be a softy, and a lot of what he plans to do for Rock, Roy, whichever you prefer, is out of love more than ego. However, being the devil’s favorite son doesn’t keep you from judgement, and I do think Rock is going to get burned one day. The only question is, will Henry be the one to light him up or the industry that Henry was trying to usher him into?

Jeanne

Jeanne (Mira Sorvino) with Ace.
Jeanne (Mira Sorvino)

The beauty of “Hollywood” is it doesn’t do black and white. It has all characters operate in a gray where you can understand their actions. Maybe not justify them, like in the case of Henry, but you can understand the thinking behind every move made. But, when it comes to Jeanne, things are a bit different. Her sleeping with Ace, with no care about Avis, is selfish. However, as you hear her talk about how she could have been Peg or her willingness to resign, you see a different side to her. Heck, you see a side to her Jack feigns but is no longer truly about.

What is it she so uniquely has? Honesty. Granted, it took a man nearly dying, but let’s not forget her kindness to Camille and even Rock, after 67 takes. Someone who seems like they should be like Claire, if she never got her wish, is the most humble person on here. Perhaps like Rock if he got steady work but never got the spotlight.

Camille

With the episode focused on casting, it can make you wonder, why did this actor get the role and not another? Not that we are even aware who else went for any of the characters in the show, but when it comes to Camille, it’s hard to imagine another person playing her. Mind you, we’re not strongly familiar with Harrier’s work since, outside of Spiderman, she hasn’t done anything which popped up on our radar. And even with that film, she got undercut by Zendaya.

However, fully recognizing “BlackKkKlansman” is noted as her proper introduction, this feels a bit more in tune with letting people know she has arrived.

On The Fence

Archie Was A Bit Much

Archie mad Jack is saying he is all alone and needs help.

You can tell Jeremy Pope is a theater actor and is adjusting to taking things down a notch when performing for a camera. Since his acting, while affecting, sometimes feels like it is more than the scene calls for. Leading you to wonder, like in his scene with Jack, you aren’t sure if he is being serious in the moment or messing with Jack. This could just be me adjusting to his style, not Pope adjusting to acting off a stage but, something just seemed off.

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Review Summary

Rating Breakdown

Archie Was A Bit Much
74 %
Camille
84 %
Jeanne
84.5 %
The Snake Known As Henry
83 %

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Recommended0%
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