Heathers Season 1 Episode 6 – TV Review
The title of this episode, Hot Probs, is a reference to the meme queens of our time, yes?
Heathers could never hope to be as iconic. But meme invocation isn’t the worst thing the show has done, so I’ll allow it.
TL;DR Veronica tortures JD into loving her; and he does; Heathers Chandler and Duke go head-to-head, but at the end of their battle a true bond does seem to peek through; the musical is back, but we sadly don’t get to see much of it.
There is more Drew Droege, though. So not a total loss.
So we’ll start with Veronica and JD, because they don’t get up to much this episode. Basically, Veronica has JD put on a seventy-two hour psychiatric hold after framing him for exploding his own car, and she uses this time to torture and harangue him into proving himself to her (she’s still mad about the Betty kiss). JD spends his entire episode resisting, but then he comes to see Veronica at the end, and admits he actually does love her twistedness. Meh. Meanwhile, Chandler and Duke get a classic high school teen drama subplot wherein they clash over the musical when Duke implies Chanlder is too fat to do the choreography. As punishment, Duke is assigned to the nerdy news show, which he revamps into a tabloid, Fox News-esque smear show against Heather Chandler. Things ramp up at the musical after party when Duke, in front of some judgemental social media influencers, challenges Chandler to prove her “body positivity” and stuff her face. She does, but she’s not happy about it. So Chandler angrily runs Duke over in response (he’s fine, and Selma Blair gets to strut her shit to a meeting about it), and loses face. But in their closing scene, we see the Heathers do miss each other.
I’m telling you. With JD and Veronica going postal over here, the Heathers might be our heroes-in-the-rough, after all.
And I think that’s ultimately what the point of this episode was. With our villains sequestered over in crazy town, we finally get an episode of Chandler and Duke duking it out. They get to air some long-held grievances (Duke’s addressing of Chandler’s fatness was welcome), there’s no interference from any other plotlines, and they end up in a scene where we see for the first time that they do actually care about each other.
JD and Veronica better watch out. Because these bitches, if allowed to team up, could be unstoppable.
Why I hate this episode:
Unfortunately for the Heathers, Veronica is still our protagonist. So we’re saddled with some kinda fun, but mostly laborious bullshit that further reinforces how crazy she is. The lamest of which is when she uses JD’s passed out hand to write herself a note, which she then delivers and “finds” in her locker and reads like it’s the first time she’s seeing it. Bitch, we already saw you blow up a car, crash a car, get wet over a hanged nice boy, and be unmoved by Nazi suicide pills. We get it: you’re wack. Get a move on.
We also get a redundant flashback showing, again, that Veronica is the Croquet Killer. We know.
My theory from last episode that the JD/Veronica roles would be reversed (as compared to the movie) doesn’t seem to be paying off, because he ends the episode even more in love with her. I thought he might be on the right track when he was resisting her at the psych ward, and when he faked saying he was in love with her. But then we get the double whammy of him wanting to murder her with a scalpel in her bedroom (not exactly a heroic move), and subsequently crumpling when he thinks she’s hung herself, which leads into the reveal that she faked it to test him and then they have sex because he’s so impressed by her. These two are a lost cause. Bring on the Heroic Heathers, I say.
The social media influencer character, Amita, felt underutilised. I think she was supposed to show us that Chandler lives in a social media echo chamber, and the real Instagram models of the world don’t give a fuck about fat acceptance. Or high school musicals. But then Duke usurps Amita’s dressing down of Chandler at the after-party and piles on with the fat hate reality. Why did we need Amita?
Amita also laughs derisively at the show while it’s on, but literally everyone else thinks it’s great and is applauding. This is not explored, and therefore sticks out awkwardly.
Oh, and speaking of the musical, we don’t get to see nearly enough of it. We get a smidgen of a single song. I haven’t felt this robbed of a spectacle since Shangela’s exclusion from the All Stars 3 final lip sync.
But it’s not all bad:
The tiny little taste of choreography we get when Duke and Chandler are rehearsing has the requisite suicide interpretive dance moves, so I guess I’ll take it.
The precipitation to the fight between the Heathers this episode comes from here, and was hilarious in how slapstick and weird it is. They have a big, cardboard revolver prop (for suicide), and when Duke hits back at Chandler’s bitch to say that maybe their lead actress isn’t physically capable of performing the choreography, he does a silly point-and-shoot motion (with “bang” sound effect) at her. The entire theatre gasps in abject horror at it. It’s gold.
We get another tasty scene with the principal during Duke’s disciplinary hearing, as he unsubtly (did you get that Heathers wasn’t very subtle, yet?) questions the pronoun politics of addressing Heather Duke. It was cute, and it’s consistent with the show.
The Heathers rivalry really flares up, though, when Chandler rebuffs Duke’s appeal to help him get out of doing the nerds’ news show (she really tears into him, even going so far as to say being second in command is a station that’s above him). So Duke transforms it into a buzzy, vicious gossip show. With Heather Chandler the prime target, of course.
The second best line of the episode is Duke’s recitation of the show’s motto: “Everyone is wrong but you.” Change that “you” to a “me,” and you’ve got what almost made I Just Hate Everything’s slogan.
The best line of the episode doesn’t come until the musical after-party, when Heather Duke gets her own back at Chandler and her body positivity bullshit. After earlier tiptoeing around it, he just comes right and calls her like she is: “Just a fat girl with money.” Oh, he went there.
He then makes the challenge to prove how much she loves herself, and goads her into binge eating from the snack table. This leads into a tragic moment for Heather Chandler, as she does so, and then runs to the toilets to cough it up before she chokes. Trailer Parker then appears to genuinely compliment her on her musical performance, and we see the emotional gears turning in Chandler’s head. It’s only Episode 6, though, so instead of gracefully taking the compliment, she is cruel to her. But I definitely think this is the beginning of some redemption for Chandler.
She then runs Duke over with her car impulsively, which I can support. He’s fine, but her mum and Selma Blair have to come in for a meeting. Mrs Chandler is pre-emptively rude to Selma about being a stripper (that outfit, bitch. How dare you), and Selma reveals she was actually going to side with Chandler purely out of hatred for her stepson. But now she won’t, so Mrs Chandler bargains them down from expulsion to a cash bribe and Heather Chandler losing access to her car. The ensuing scene where she has to catch the bus is predictable, but it works.
As inspiration for the revamped news show, Duke shows the nerds a clip from a Nancy Grace-esque TV show, and Casey Wilson is the host. Long live Happy Endings.
I am genuinely interested to know more about Veronica’s parents being afraid of her.
JD’s dad and his girlfriend briefly visit JD in the psych ward, and I must say again how sincerely nice the girlfriend seems to be. I hope she sticks around.
Oh, and in addition to pulling the fake gun on Chandler, Duke does it while doing the splits.
About ijusthateeverythingSincerity is death.
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