Hi! Welcome to my recaps of HBO's new show Mrs. Fletcher starring Kathryn Hahn. I've loved her work forEVER, from Girls, Transparent and so many more, but I think this is the first time she's been the main character for me and I.am.STOKED. Let's roll into S1:E01 Empty Best of Mrs. Fletcher, right after the break!
We open in a nursing home, where seniors are crocheting, enjoying tea and the quiet until that's shattered by the unmistakable sound of an*l p*rn playing nearby. Shouts of "Mrs. Fletcher" are met by the lady herself, first confused then horrified.
The elderly man sits, chastened, while Mrs. Eve Fletcher (Kathryn Hahn) carefully explains her concern to the elder's son George (Domenick Lombardozzi), but he doesn't get it: everybody watches p*rn! But maybe not in public, she points out that lowering of inhibitions in elderly people can sometimes signify mental deterioration. He questions her medical qualifications (of which she has none), she gently suggests making other arrangements. He counters that "maybe making dream catchers isn't enough to get a guy through the f***ing day" and true enough, right?
At home, Eve packs up her son Brendan (Jackson White) as he basically ignores her while texting. She seems to fixate on items that have a sexual connotation. They have a decent relationship, not perfect but somewhat authentic. It's his last night in town, so he dines with her but skips out on cupcakes with her to hang with friends.
Typical teenage shenanigans ensue while Eve packs up the rest of her son's room, interrupted by a phone call from Ted (Josh Hamilton from Eighth Grade!!!) about how she's an awesome mother. He's Brendan's dad, but won't be able to help with the van the following day because his son with his new wife has a doctor appointment.
Eve's off to a friend's place to drink wine and talk about rejection from their ungrateful offspring, Jane Rosen's (Casey Wilson) daughter didn't even stay at home her last night, so there's that. This is freedom! Jane tells our "skinny MILF goddess" to lean in, meet some new people! Do some new things!
Brendan's busy trying to get a leg over, but the girl he screwed for a semester and ignored over the following summer isn't biting. Atta girl, Becca (Kelly Lamor Wilson)!
Brendan's not just a dick the ladies, he follows that up by bullying Julian Spitzer (Owen Teague), maybe to look cool in front of girls and also his crew Troy (Maxwell Whittington-Cooper) and Wade (David Levi). Julian issues a prophetic warning: doesn't Brendan know that in college, everyone is going to see exactly what he is, right?
Maybe that one lands, because Brendan fakes an apology then drops Julian's phone in his drink.
Brendan is what they used to call a douchenozzle.
Eve is in bed with her laptop, reading articles about embracing her new "Empty Best" life. Literally everyone in the pictures looks like giant arseholes, who's that happy painting their nails? With jewels? GTFouttaheyah.
Brendan gets home not too late, inexplicably taking off his shirt to show us his abs. How old is this dude? I need context. High school ending so...17? 18?
He gets the text from his dad about the no-show the next day and scrolls through his phone contacts past "BlondeOKFace" to Becca to send her a sweet message...and d**kpic.
He looks like an angel when Eve checks on him in the morning, though, so she doesn't wake him and instead loads the whole van herself. Becca rolls up on a pedalbike to visit Brendan, I'm waiting for revenge or a bad choice.
Eve gasses up the van, smiling at a mom and her young son, they're so sweet at that age. Now cut to the scene at the cash register with the screaming and temper tantrums! No? FINE
Becca says she wants to make it up to Brendan for being mean the night before, starting with oral and ending with a lot of vocalizations that horrify Eve and I, but for different reasons.
I get that people need physical release, but this guy was a textbook dbag to you, Becca. TEXTBOOK.
Becca leaves with a wet spot on her jumper between her breasts and Mrs. Fletcher and I sigh.
Eve drives her selfish, lazy son to school, reminiscing about past trips to hockey disturbed by hard core rap. Eve turns it off: she wants to talk about the birds and bees. When he's 18.
Basically, don't call girls blowing you a "dirty f***ing s**t". Brendan is not ready for that talk from his mom.
Eve finds Brendan in his dorm room with Zack (Cameron Boyce. Oh no. This young man died recently at a very young age. My goodness. I knew I recognised his nose. He died during an epileptic seizure just this year.)
Zack and Brendan share photos on their phones while Eve unpacks, this is impossible to watch, LOL. These kids! This mom! It's not like he wouldn't unpack if you left him with it, EVE. Honestly, this self-martyrdom and subsequent set-up for disappointment is totally not something I relate to at all, thankyouverymuch.
Why are you looking at me? STAHP
Zack is much nicer to Eve than her son, who wants her to leave so badly that it's palpable. An awkward hug at the elevator and Eve is off and back to her silent and empty house. She does a bunch of the things suggested by her friend and the article, I particularly like that she used the $41 Breathe candle to light her cigarette in the tub.
She clicks away from Facebook posts of parents with more successful kid drop offs and ends up on a p*rn website specializing in MILFs.
*I always forget that MILF is a sexualized term, because it's completely mainstream thanks to American Pie, but yeah.
Freaking out, she clicks away, shuts down the laptop and turns off the light. To open it again in the dark.
Brendan's first day at school is confusing but HA!!!!!!!! I knew it!!! Eve signed up for a class called Personal Essay, guess who's in that class? Julian! As soon as I saw Julian being bullied by Brendan, I thought: this guy's gonna screw Brendan's mom. You WAIT.
They eye each other as we remember what MILF stands for (Mom I'd Like To) and Eve removes her jacket. He's...of legal age, right? He has a skateboard?
The hair tossing, the arm stroking, ohmigod. And we're out!
Okay, for one thing: Brendan is a jerk but he's not abnormal. You can't judge almost-grown teenagers with the same standards you would an adult, and that's the risk here. These guys grow out of this behaviour, also out of blowing dudes who are complete jerks to them. Eventually. Maybe we'll get to see some of his growth along with Eve losing her dependence on him.
I'm not trying to be an arsehole, but Eve trying to get with a dude literally her son's age. Literally.her.son's.age. Immediately after her son leaves. That's um. That's something. I know I'm supposed to be all "you GO girl!!" but I'm feeling a little more Chris Hansen about it. Okay, okay, everyone's legal and has agency, perhaps it will develop in a different way!
I just watched the credits to see the Cameron Boyce dedication. What a shock. Okay. Until next time.