“The Grand Victorian” is presently accessible to stream on AMC+; its broadcast premiere on AMC is July 18, 2021.
We’re in sitcom high-jinks territory, child! A foremost character’s overblown birthday? A food-eating contest? Two elite-athlete cameos? A disastrous paths-crossing-coincidentally state of affairs? “The Grand Victorian” has each a kind of recognizable components, going all-in on style familiarity and goofiness as Kevin makes his thirty sixth birthday an intensely narcissistic, immature affair. And as soon as once more, like within the escape-room episode, though that half of “The Grand Victorian” is conscious of the clichés on which it’s riffing, the end result isn’t precisely entertaining to look at.
Kevin has a tough time juggling his infantile finest good friend along with his long-suffering spouse? Yes, we perceive that he’s horrible and egocentric. He is so petty that even when Allison buys him an costly birthday present within the type of a reclining massaging armchair, he calls for that she return it for the leather-based shade he wished, like there’s that a lot of a distinction between brown and black leather-based? Yes, we perceive that he’s horrible and egocentric. I’ve sarcastically puzzled whether or not Kevin Can F**k Himself is trolling us with these scenes as a approach of smirkingly saying, “Really, this is the kind of #content that people are into?” But sincerely, I do surprise if we’re getting a lot sitcom time as a lead-up to the format finally cracking — as in, we get a form of collapse between the agony by which Allison and Patty appear to be residing, and the cheery, studio-lighting- and laugh-track-heavy world of Kevin, Neil, and Pete. With solely two episodes to go on this season, that purposeful destruction could be a very jarring approach to emphasize the distinction in these TV codecs — and to assist Allison “break free” from the sitcom jail. Just a thought!
While “The Grand Victorian” spends an excessive amount of time displaying us Kevin being his worst self, the drama facet of this week’s episode swings the opposite approach with some revelatory, sudden character growth for each Allison and Patty. Kevin chowing down on a tray of fried apps ordered in good numerical symmetry for his birthday? Obvious (and, I’ll admit, envy-inducing; I might actually go for some onion rings). Patty realizing that her relationship with Curt might need been so underwhelming as a result of she is interested in ladies as a substitute of males? I didn’t see that coming! Nor did I anticipate Sam turning the tables on Allison by saying that her self-perceived powerlessness won’t be totally correct, at the very least not in terms of their affair. I’m not fairly sure that we’ve seen sufficient of the Sam/Allison-as-cheaters dynamic to completely purchase that accusation from him, however it does return to the question of energy that Allison has weathered from a wide range of Worcester residents.
Consider: the librarian, who puzzled why within the novel Allison pretended to be writing, the spouse character pursued killing her husband as a substitute of divorcing him. Couldn’t she simply stroll away? Or liquor-store supervisor D (Jamie Denbo), who argued that as a result of she has to place up with crap from clients on a regular basis, she couldn’t be bothered to defend Allison. Couldn’t Allison simply let it go? Allison has thought-about herself powerless in all these conditions, a girl victimized by males in her personal life and in her public life, and he or she has satisfied herself that killing Kevin is the one approach to actually be free. But in taking place that path, is Allison shedding off layers to disclose her true self — or is she remodeling into somebody who could finally be unrecognizable to Patty, to Sam, and to everybody in her life? (Maybe I missed this, however: Does Allison have household? Parents? Relatives? I’m inquisitive about what further characters who knew Allison pre-Kevin might add to her sense of self.)
This sixth episode of Kevin Can F**k Himself begins off with a question I posed after final week’s episode, “New Patty”: How have been Allison and Patty going to get Nick concerned in killing Kevin? We get an answer practically instantly with “The Grand Victorian,” which opens with a meeting between the three. For $7,000, with the bottle of Oxy tablets that Allison stole from that trucker in Vermont as a down fee, Nick will deal with Kevin. “Don’t contact me. When it’s done, you’ll definitely know,” Nick says after Allison and Patty give him details about Kevin’s schedule and job, and theoretically that must be the top of the transaction. The job shall be accomplished, the ladies pays up, Nick will maintain quiet about Patty’s function in Worcester’s Oxy-dealing scene, and everybody’s lives will transfer ahead.
Is it bleak to plan the homicide of somebody on their birthday? Sure. Do Allison and Patty have some guilt about doing that to Kevin? Not fairly but. Instead, they’ve one other low-key confrontational second the place Allison blows Patty’s thoughts by sharing along with her that after all she’s identified that each year, Kevin needs to eat on the fancy Grand Victorian restaurant as a result of it’s proper subsequent to the Chuck E. Cheese–like Tricky Ricky’s. Kevin runs between the 2 buildings every birthday as a result of he can’t break it to Neil at Tricky Ricky’s that he’s spending time with Allison, and he can’t break it to Allison on the Grand Vic that he’s spending time with Neil. He’s been doing it for ten years, and Patty normally attends with Neil — and Allison, to her pleasure, will get an evening to herself with a e-book and a flowery dinner.
But even when Allison and Kevin every get what they need on his birthday, they’re doing so by betraying one another, and that treachery bleeds into this year’s night, too. Patty tells Allison she’s not attending Kevin’s birthday dinner as a result of she’s not feeling nicely — a lie. After hooking up with Sam at work, Allison avoids his question about what she’s doing that evening — an obfuscation. And when Kevin and Allison arrive on the Grand Vic, the evening begins flying off the rails. There’s Kevin dashing between each the Grand Vic and Tricky Ricky’s, utilizing his hackneyed “I left something in my car” excuse. There’s Allison, freaking out about the truth that Nick is on the Grand Vic and getting all “custy” along with her calls for (and maybe second ideas?) about how Nick ought to do the job. There’s Sam, who reveals up on the Grand Vic with spouse Jenn, whose misnaming of Allison, after which her overly exuberant friendliness towards her, provides one other layer of awkwardness. And lastly, there’s Patty on the bar beneath the Grand Vic, hanging out with Detective Tammy.
When Tammy had requested Patty to come back to “a work thing,” I puzzled whether or not that was a primary date invitation — and though it takes a while for Tammy to lastly be direct about her intentions, that’s completely what this evening was! Was taking so lengthy for Tammy to substantiate her romantic emotions efficient? I don’t significantly assume so. It would have made extra sense character-wise for Patty, I believe, to be extra direct in asking Tammy earlier than the occasion what she was truly attending, except we’re to assume that Patty knew what Tammy wished, and was simply uncomfortable about being out in public with a girl. I do know that Patty was nervous pondering that Tammy was going to question her additional about Terrance or about Nick — however Patty did dress for a date, proper, along with her faux eyelashes, her shirt, and her lipstick? I’m undecided Patty’s shock at Tammy’s admission was completely needed right here, or if it was even presupposed to be real. “It’s not a real date,” she stated to Allison within the restaurant toilet, however then on the finish of the evening, she is the one who leans in and kisses Tammy. You might argue that Patty simply did that to maintain Tammy off their tracks, however I don’t assume so — that second was extra passionate and honest than any she ever shared with Curt.
In different relationship concerns, are Allison and Sam accomplished? Both have been horrendously uncomfortable throughout that drink with Jenn, and in a while, Annie Murphy did a superb job displaying Allison’s conflicted reactions to Sam saving Kevin from choking on his Mighty Moo steak. Maybe Sam telling Allison “You are always in control” makes her reassess what they’re doing with their rendezvous — however conversely, it definitely doesn’t make her reassess what she’s doing about Kevin. Instead, that line appears to push Allison additional into certainty concerning her kill-Kevin plan, and leads to her monitoring Nick down and giving him an ultimatum: “You do it my way, or you don’t get the money.” What does Allison have deliberate? “You’re asking for messy. You’re begging for it,” Patty had advised her, and the truth that Allison can’t admit that about herself is trigger for concern.
• Nick undoubtedly bought away with killing his father determine? Who is he, Ben Foster in Hell or High Water? (Good film.)
• I’m starting to understand that a whole lot of Kevin’s meals selections, from all these fried apps to the ice cream cake he calls for for his birthday, are additionally my most popular selections, and I’m going to wish a while to take a seat with that.
• But: The Mighty Moo was an excessive amount of. Somewhere proper now, Adam Richman shivers in concern.
• Patty’s “I think he thinks he’s a mastermind” evaluation of Kevin definitely matches with the escape room scheme, and blowing his money on the faux sports activities memorabilia as a result of he thought it could be a superb funding, and convincing himself that Allison was having an affair along with her lawyer boss as a substitute of merely working as a paralegal. I really feel like it is a clue about what might occur if Kevin begins to smell out that Allison and Patty are as much as no good, and paired with that cop’s get-out-of-jail-free card as a reward for Kevin conquering the Mighty Moo? I’m trepidatious!
• Patty’s “I am realizing I used to think you were kind of stupid” and Allison’s “Well, back atcha” was a superbly compact distillation of their relationship.
• Mary Hollis Inboden and Katy Mixon ought to play sisters in one thing.
• John Steinbeck’s The Pearl appears like a really portentous e-book advice from Patty to Allison.
• Re: these athlete cameos — I didn’t know something about Sean Avery till Googling him, and he’s form of horrible, huh? Brian Scalabrine appears extra chill.
• So Patty has now been a part of two incriminating telephone calls: one with Terrance about her provide, and one with Allison about Nick being on the restaurant. I’m nervous!