“Parents” – Crashing Review

Chad White

Season 1, Episode 5

She’s a special lady and I’m her little gentleman.

For Crashing’s short run, Pete has already gotten the slap in the face that every person in the comedy industry needs. His divorce showed him that love only comes from someone who reciprocates the emotion. New found friends have taught him that they’ll make fun of him as much as they stay by his side. And this week’s episode is all about learning Pete growing up and moving past what he used to believe was right.

Late in the episode, during a fight with his parents, Pete has what can be described as a crisis of faith. A once devout Christian man admits to sleeping in on Sundays. He curses in front of his parents without fear of judgment. By doing more in the comedy world, he’s slowly falling out of old habits. His parents aren’t against his life but they expect better. They care about him in their own ways – some can say his mother cares too much. But Pete has to grow up. And his mother provides him with a push in the right direction. After seeing him perform late one night, Pete’s mother tells him that even the club owner has a more sensible set – dick jokes and all. She says Pete needs a point of view; his jokes are funny but they have no place. He has a point for it. During a later conversation with Jess, he says his comedy is observational.

Within this late chat with Jess, Pete doesn’t fall back into old motions per “Yard Sale.” Instead, he and Jess opt for a friendlier talk. It’s apparent that Pete can only be himself with someone like Jess as opposed to his parents. Even earlier with Jermaine Fowler (who he’s staying with now), Pete is essentially Pete. But within one sighting of his mother, Pete reverts to a simple, child-like Pete. And he’s mostly afraid of what she thinks as he pressures Jess into lying about the divorce and going to church. Their dinner meeting with the parents goes south during a tense conversation regarding the holidays. Jess is the center of the spat that has the backing of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” at a restaurant named Volaré (Italian for “fly” and adding an accent on the final e). There’s meaning behind Jess’s literal flight (moving to Tampa) and flying out of the Holmes family.

After all of the hubbub, Pete decries “I did everything I was supposed to do” when he loses his parents’ trust and the divorce continues onward. His faith is under attack just as he follows his dreams to do what he truly loves. He struggles – eating free samples from the supermarket every day for lunch or showering in a kitchen that’s too small for him. But he’s happy. And he’s himself, especially when he feels bad for eating the free food and he tries to get to know the supermarket worker.

Should you watch “Parents?”

Pete learns some vital lessons in this week’s installment. And I am adamant that Holmes’s actual involvement in the script writing process is what propels this show forward.