It's The First Marciano/Parker/Made Reference Hat Trick On Dinner For Five

Plus inspirations, hernias, and the politics of offering a line reading.

The third episode isn't D45's best work, I wouldn't say. An entire segment is devoted to discussing the painful-but-necessary cutting out of scenes and entire roles to serve narrative flow -- it's a big part of why Jon Favreau scores that reference hat trick -- but then another segment, in which Favs is talking about the hernia diagnosis that wasn't, crawls by. It should have gotten cut, probably, but you have to figure they didn't have much else.

Not for lack of trying on Fred Willard's part, certainly; the guy's putting the "star" back in "conversation starter," valiantly asking discussion questions and almost interviewing his tablemates. Now and then with this show, though, you get one of those "you should never meet your heroes"-type guests who confirms you probably can't hang out. Here, it's Illeana Douglas, and that the episode opens with a story about how she acted like an asshole to Favs on a panel like five minutes after they'd met is not a coincidence, I'm sure.

But is S01.E03 typical?

Dinner For Five-esque Element Present?
The guests Christian Slater, Douglas, Jeff Goldblum, Willard
Rocky Marciano reference? Finally! And...interminably.
Mrs. Parker reference? 2016-12-12-d45-oh-word

Wait, WHAT?! ...Hee.

Swingers/Made reference? Yahtzee!
Booking bust Everyone's fine -- Slater is surprisingly un-Nicholson-y, sweet, and an attentive listener, and reader, I still would -- but Goldblum is disappointingly all over the place; he's not incomprehensible, exactly, but his way of telling stories is like watching a guy tearing through every room in the house looking for his phone with an Uber waiting at the curb.
Were we ever so young? Douglas eye-rolls that audiences "have no idea the time spent" on lighting and shot set-ups, which I guess was still true in 2002? Project Greenlight had just debuted in 2001, and I feel like viewers of this show would be versed in the sausage-making. Douglas also bitches about how "they" put roles that got cut "on that computer thing," and Favreau is obliged to explain what "IMDb" stands for to Slater.


Oh, tinted shades indoors. Get thee behind me.

Industry dish Willard used Joe Garagiola's "flowery phrases" as the inspiration for his character in Best In Show. There's also this weirdness:


..."Collaborated"? Come on, man.

Lissen lissen lissen [hic] Goldsie could stand to cut back on the espresso, maybe; otherwise, no.
6 / 7
Final Score
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