Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black & Powder Blue Espadrilles” Review

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The biggest strength of “Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black & Powder Blue Espadrilles” is that it would have been a good episode even without the very funny “Top 10 Countdown” backdrop. The Comedy Bang! Bang! episode that was shown throughout the countdown was enjoyable on its own, featuring two hilarious interviews with Lizzy Caplan and Paul Scheer, and a goofy sketch where Scott failed to realize he’s been catfished. Rather than this being a case where a high concept episode is crippled by the high concept, Scott and Reggie’s countdown elevated this episode from good to great, making for one of my favorite episodes of the season.

The countdown portions of this episode reminded of another Scott Aukerman project, the season finale of his U2 podcast, “U Talkin’ U2 To Me?”. The season finale was a commentary of the first episode, so the previous episode played audibly in the background while Scott, his co-host Adam Scott, and guests talked. While funny concepts, both that and the countdown here could’ve easily gotten old had the jokes mostly focused on the concept. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for the podcast or more importantly, this episode. There were plenty of unrelated laughs here, like Scott’s increasing unhappiness with commercial breaks and the flash of Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. It was also great to see Scott and Reggie side by side and not interacting as host and bandleader. They haven’t interacted much off set this season, and I always enjoy when they do.

As previously mentioned, the interviews were truly terrific. Lizzy Caplan’s greatness has long been known, so I could’ve watched an entire episode of just her talking with Scott and Reggie. Still, the couple of minutes shown here did the trick, especially the satirical takedown of sexism near the start. Paul Scheer took a direct approach with his character and wasted no time getting to his scummy core, which worked well since character appearances usually only last two or three minutes. This episode also made great use of Eastbound & Down’s Steve Little in the catfishing sketch, and Weird Al Yankovic in a very brief appearance. (Weird Al was also hidden in this season’s “series finale” episode, so hopefully he’ll keep popping up throughout the year.)

Everything in “Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black & Powder Blue Espadrilles” was handled so well that I never found myself wishing it would cut back to the countdown or one of the interviews. Really, my only criticism is that we never got to see Lizzy Caplan propose to Reggie after it was so fervently hyped. Admittedly, that’s a huge criticism, but this was a great episode regardless.