The Big Door Prize S2E8: Our Town

Last week, we complained that we didn’t get much follow up to the Reuben-Hana, and the writers are clearly reading these reviews (and then re-shooting a show that was written and filmed months ago), because we open with the two of them in the bar. Reuben’s trying to entice Hana to come see the wrestling-themed production of Our Town that Trina conned the school into letting the students put on (a perfect setup for another thing we were talking about last week — a cartoonish setup that will surely end up having unexpected emotional heft).

Reuben’s out-of-nowhere interest in pro wrestling gets explained too. His Morpho animation involved him wrestling with his father — like the two of them used to in his backyard as a kid — and he was just simply enjoying himself and having fun. As with most of the animations we’ve seen, there’s probably more to it we haven’t seen yet, but for the moment, the questioning priest realizes he needs to start enjoying life more.

And that likely includes Hana. It seems they haven’t gotten together, what with him being a priest and all, but they have the easy flirtation that comes from both parties knowing the other one is interested, and they make a good match.

Speaking of good matches, Dusty’s gotten comfortable on new BFF Giorgio’s basement waterbed, until Giorgio abruptly throws him out. He’s moving in with Nat, and renting out his house to help pay off her debts, based on advice from his accountant, Dusty’s father. Why Dusty can’t move in with dear old Dad is never addressed, so instead he awkwardly flirts his way to staying with Alice, although he’s clearly worried about his wife or daughter finding out.

Giorgio goes to Reuben for advice, but the priest is the one who ends up confessing. Ever since his wife’s death (he was married before he entered the priesthood), he’s felt guilty any time he enjoys himself. Giorgio seconds the Morpho vision, encouraging him to follow through on his feelings for Hana (except in a much less subtle way, of course).

So we get to the wrestling-themed Our Town, and it’s insane but also kind of fun, and the show wisely puts it in the background as character dramas unfold backstage and in the audience. And by the end of it, in between body slams and outlandish costumes, the play’s enduring message about appreciating life and the ones you’re living it with ends up bringing all of those dramas together for a moment. And then some over-the-top kayfabe leads to a poignant philosophical moment and a big emotional payoff. We find ourselves saying this every week at this point, but the way The Big Door Prize manages its dizzying shifts in tone so effortlessly is a joy to behold.

Stray potential:
• The latest in this town’s insanely-themed businesses is a combination hardware store/beauty salon called “Nails & Nails”