'It Was Everything Bad': The Dinner For Five Pilot

The PILOT isn't bad; that's a quote from Jon Favreau about trying to do a sex scene. All that and more in the inaugural Show-o-Matic for everyone's favorite film-dish dinner show.

I've had "rewatch Dinner For Five and count every reference Jon Favreau makes to Rocky Marciano or getting cut from Mrs. Parker And The Vicious Circle" on my to-do list for seriously three years now, and the post-sweeps holiday slow time seemed like a perfect time to dig up my old Post-Its and take another run at it.

But as I was watching the first episode, it occurred to me -- and understand: I adored this show; I think it's maybe the best thing Favs ever did -- that his compulsive mentions of various past projects aren't the only predictable things about each episode. And thus a Show-o-Matic was born.

You can peep the ep for yourself -- but if you want to know how Dinner For Five-y this joint is before you hit play, scroll down.

Dinner For Five-esque Element Present?
The guests Kevin James, Joey Lauren Adams, Peter Berg, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Rocky Marciano reference? Not yet.
Mrs. Parker reference? Ohhhh yeah. To a sex scene with Jennifer Jason Leigh, no less.
Swingers/Made reference? Swingers; not sure Made had come out when this aired.
Booking bust The designated comedian, James, is comparatively subdued, but it's the first episode and nobody knew how to be, probably. Adams is surprisingly entertaining.
Were we ever so young? People still smoked at the table, on camera.


It's also the height of the hipster cigar boom, so that's happening. Much is also made of Berg's Truck 44, which got put in turnaround thanks to 9/11 (it apparently featured footage of a fire truck getting flattened by a burning building) and never came out.

Industry dish Part of what I loved about this show is that the guests would give you insider intel that wasn't common knowledge, although now this kind of thing -- that your script needs to have "five trailer moments"; that Sean Penn wasn't hired for a lot of prestige roles because execs didn't want to deal with his press aversion -- is much more widely known to civilians nowadays. Christian Slater's ability to cry on cue, and how it maddened his Very Bad Things co-stars, is another good tidbit.
Lissen lissen lissen [hic] Adams tells a story on herself about getting ripshit at the Globes and trying to pwn Harvey Weinstein when he'd already confused her with Renee Zellweger, but nobody's loaded at the table that I could tell.
4 / 7
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Dinner For Five
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