Sophie and Valentina sitting on a curb outside of foam

HIMYF: FOMO | To Miss Out Or Not Miss Out

This was a much better episode than the first. Some of the jokes land really well. The actors are given time to shine and there’s a sense of status quo.

I mentioned it in my first review, but the initial yoga to Jane Fonda stuff feels weird as does the raindrops on Jupiter, but I have a very real sense of Sophie, Valentina, Charlie, Jesse and Sid. Most importantly, I understand many of their relationships to one another.

Basic plot is Sophie and Valentina aren’t living in the moment so they attend the obnoxiously named FOMO club to live in the moment. Sophie’s inability to live in the moment ruins her night and Valentina’s overindulgence in the moment-to-moment ruins hers. Two sides of the same coin. Tereza and Sabina if we wanna get literary.

There’s some cute callbacks to HIMYM without anything too overt (minus Thang). Instead of copying doppelgängers wholesale from HIMYM, they give a parallel of finding Jason Momoa lookalikes. It’s cute and reminds you why this isn’t simply a fresh IP sitcom.

Some jokes were great, the rest were fine. There’s even a tasteful masturbation joke.

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I say tasteful because it doesn’t feel gross since its a guy talking to his best friend and sister and the delivery works. They do however try to do 3 quick cut gags that don’t land… but I’ll get to those.

Some Good Things: Charlie & Sid

The two standouts in this episode were easily Tom Ainsley (as the fish-out-of-water Brit, Charlie) and Suraj Sharma (Sid). Ainsley brings such an energy to his scenes whether he’s being enthusiastically naive or attempting a gruff, collected American. He’s also given the freedom to stretch his acting chops and have a few genuine, played straight moments with Valentina discussing their relationship. He’s great and at the moment, he’ll be my main reason for tuning in.

Sid had less to work with in regards to comedic lines, but what he had, he elevated. When Charlie guesses the paint color Sid chose for the bar, the way Sid delivers the line, “Yeah, yeah it is” is extraordinary. His hypnotizing delivery is perfection.

Some jokes that genuinely got a laugh out of me all center around Charlie. When Charlie enthusiastically announces he’s bought chicken for dinner and hoists up a raw uncooked chicken saying, “I opened the package but I have no idea what happens next!” It’s energetic and adorable and believable.

Also, his mispronunciation of “PBR” as a word rather than acronym was precious.

Some Bad Things:

I don’t like Ellen. She doesn’t add anything to the show yet. The first episode, her quirk was she was “forgettable” and a lesbian. This episode it’s FONKFOMO, which is Fear Of Never Knowing FOMO. Her plot is a funny concept: she’s excited that she can be rejected by other lesbians because there are other lesbians. It’s a great idea, but the montage of rejections is unimaginative — no memorable pickup lines; no awkward banter; nothing. I mean, I think she and Sid had the same number of lines in this episode, but Sid leaves an impression, Ellen did not.

Okay, now the cutaways… these don’t work. I know HIMYM uses these a lot, but I wanna argue Family Guy popularized it. In any case, the first one happens between Sophie and Valentina. Sophie tells Valentina how she was just telling her (Sophie) how obsessed with Charlie she (Valentina) was… then they quick cut to her doing that exact thing. It’s weird. This joke only really works if there’s a “playing it cool” line. Right now, it’s:

Sophie: You literally just told me you were obsessed with him.

(Smash cut to Valentina opening their door.)

Valentina: I’m literally obsessed with him!

This is comparable to Friends TOW all the Thanksgiving Flashbacks. Imagine if the joke was simply.

Phoebe: It’s that time Joey got Monica’s turkey stuck on his head!

(Smash cut to Joey with a turkey on his head.)

Joey: I’m stuck!

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Instead, Friends pads the scene by playing on Joey wanting to look cool and Phoebe maybe exaggerating. It’s Chandler’s line that seals the joke.

Phoebe:  It’s the one where Joey got Monica’s turkey stuck on his head!

Rachel: What?! Joey got a turkey stuck on his head?!

Joey: Hey, it’s not like it sounds.

Chandler: It’s exactly like it sounds.

From there, even if you never showed the flashback, the joke hits on its own. What Sophie and Valentina needed was either a line of Valentina playing it cool or simply not do the visual cutaway gag.

For instance, you could easily rewrite the scene to be:

Sophie: You literally just told me you were obsessed with him.

Valentina: I would never say something like that.

(Sophie pulls out her phone and hits “play” on a voicemail message with Valentina shouting into the mic.)

Valentina VO: OMG, Sophie, you have to know, I’m literally obsessed with Charlie.

Valentina: Well I’d never say that sober.

Valentina VO: I’m literally sober right now, but I want you to save this message, cus I’m gonna get drunk later and forget when I was sober. And I need you to know, I might actually be falling in lo–

Valentina: (grabs the phone and turns it off, flustered) Okay! Okay! Delete that. I must be the only person whose foresight is better than their hindsight?

I’m guessing the reason they did the cutaway gag was so they could do it several more times to try and echo HIMYM, but none of the cutaway gags worked for me. It felt unnatural.

Last thing I’ll say on this one, the Kellogg’s cereal sex jokes didn’t work for me. I hope they don’t make those recurring.

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