Season 2, Episode 5
Toys R Us, I R Sorry.
Although Crashing is only a half hour comedy, the show manages to put Pete Holmes into many positions with their own version of the character. He can play doubtful, hopeful, wistful, goofy, lover, pushover and more in between. The audience has already seen each one over the course of the show’s short life. “Too Good” paints Pete in a familiar light with his lover and well-meaning personas taking the majority of screen time. The episode utilizes both in simple yet effective ways while characterizing Pete faster than any season premiere or finale could.
After a chance meeting with the Lucas Bros, Pete heads to his first alternative comedy room. He finds it inviting as people pile into the basement of a used book store, sitting on top of one another. There he sees Ali again as she performs one of several sets she’ll eventually do throughout the episode. He’d later join her night of five sets as they head around New York’s boroughs learning about each other’s lives. What Pete doesn’t realize early on is that he’d fit perfectly into the mold of alt comedian. The Lucas Bros put it succinctly: those rooms are for comics who were bullied in school as opposed to be the one with the ability to bully. Hearing this stirs Pete. He’s not having luck at the Boston. Even with that room’s diminutive crowd size, those die hard comedy fans or people who just wanted a drink are only looking for a certain style of humor. They don’t have the patience for a joke to pay off – especially given the set is only five minutes. Ali gets Pete a spot at one of her many stages and he kills. It’s the first time Pete’s ever had a chance to do a set this meaningful since he opened for TJ Miller and Artie in season one.
Sadly, all the fun comes to a halt when Pete laughs over Ali’s tape of a set. This happens after he asks John Mulaney to move his set only to accommodate Ali. Both of these low points echo this season’s “Pete and Leif” when the latter gets the former’s wedding ring blown up. Ali and Pete had this grand adventure, exploring themselves as comedians with troubled pasts only for it all to come crashing down. We also learn Pete might have a hero complex wherein he feels the need to look out for those he cares about. Too many times this week does he insert himself into a situation that’s not his to control. But only once does it pay off.
After Ali tells Pete to leave, after he embarrasses her in front of Mulaney, their subway car gets stuck. But Pete knows where they are and he – one last time – inserts himself into the situation. They manage to escape the tunnel and make it to the show with time for Ali to perform. Crashing doesn’t allow Pete to win all the time (barely letting him on base) but, when he finally manages to make contact, he hits a homerun. Boy, is it satisfying.
Should you watch “Too Good?”
This is one of those episodes where everything clicks. Hopefully, Pete can use this momentum and swing right into the alt scene. And maybe not look like a jackass in front of Ali again.