This Katy Keene review contains spoilers.
Katy Keene Episode 11
“What is it going to take for you to stop doubting yourself, Katy?”
At one point in this latest episode of Katy Keene, an attendee at the prestigious Meta Gala (see what they did there?) is glimpsed wearing a bejeweled medical mask. What was clearly meant to be a throwaway joke at the expense of anything goes fashionista vapidity now is thrown at viewers like a brick.
This sight gag was featured in the pre-air review episode I watched, but I’m curious to see if it made it to broadcast because the brief moment totally rips viewers out of the carefully constructed fairy tale that the series is constructed and back into our grim socially distanced presence. Even though Katy Keene takes place roughly five years in the future currently depicted on Riverdale, it now feels like a pre-Covid 19 period piece. Or does it just add to its wish-fulfilling allure? I think it does, especially now.
We collectively yearn for the distraction of a Met Gala, or of any socialization really, so in a way the show’s countless scenes of live music, shopping and bar-hopping feel like pandemic porn. Katy Keene has truly become the escapist saga it has always yearned to be…albeit due to tragic real world events that have made its lightness so immediately appealing.
At one point in this episode Guy’s latest high-profile client remarks “I think you might be the most earnest person I’ve ever met, don’t change” to Katy. It is advice that the series itself should take. Despite its flaws, Katy Keene is providing a fun distraction right now. That is very much appreciated.
All that said, let’s get into the substance of this episode. Once again Katy, reeling from her rejection into Parson’s saves Guy’s ass by giving one of his lackluster creations a bit of the Keene magic. The Guy character possesses three moods: Angsty, mean and horny, all of which are showcased tonight. But wait, there’s a latecomer – gratitude. In an unpredictable bit of character development, Guy gave Katy a much needed confidence boost by telling the fashion world’s biggest and brightest that she is a talent to watch. He didn’t have to do this, but he did. The argument can be made that he did this just so he could sleep with her, a terrible move for all involved to be sure, but I believe that he was genuine in the moment. His success also illustrates to Katy that you don’t need Parson’s training to thrive.
In the wake of last week’s scattered take on the Me Too movement, the messages being sent here are mixed. Katy is making her way up the fashion ladder on her own terms, not that a gossip-loving word will care if news of this dalliance gets out following the Price Errol incident. She is a character who is earnest, and will ultimately succeed. But boy, does she make some terrible choices involving men.
Speaking of which, I am pleased to see that this show is attempting to make Katy and K.O. friends. They had a bit of a romantic spark on the red carpet, but they work better platonically. K.O. and Alexandra are a much more realistic pairing, given their shared lack of character definition on the show to date. (He says with a meow louder than anything the Pussycats could ever muster).
Surprisingly, Pepper’s plan of building her and the Pussycats’ respective brands at the Meta Gala was a success. But dark times are ahead for Pepper. There’s just two episodes left this season, and now that Hannah has revealed the truth to Alex, her downfall feels imminent. Can she talk her way out of this mess? If so, what accent will she use?
Lastly there’s Jorge. Sigh. The scenes between him and his parents were powerful, with Johnny Beauchamp delivering a deeply human performance here. He’s a gifted actor tasked with bringing an inconsistent character to life week after week. There is hope for Jorge yet. He was realized that, to borrow a line from The Samples, you can’t love anything until you can love yourself. So as much as he thought he wanted to get back with Bernardo, he’s instead going to spend some much needed time working on himself. Hopefully he will be all the better for it.
Next week: Pepper’s lies catch up with her. Maybe?
• How did Hannah know Alex would be at Chubby’s? Her line about loving Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” was fantastic though.
• I am all for a friendship between Amanda and Katy. What’s the over/under on Amanda being the one to convince Katy that Pepper is full of shit?
• Have we seen the last of Hannah?
• Ginger doing Evita as her next show. Yes please.
• Just so we’re clear, Guy is an absolute mess. If it weren’t for Katy and his sister constantly cleaning up his messes, he’d still be in a drunk tank somewhere.
• It was nice of the security guards to wait until Josie and the Pussycats’ performance was over before stopping them.
• “No one has more hustle than Pepper Smith. She’s good people.” Well Josie, you’re half right.
• Josie did not mention Riverdale once tonight. Well done.
• Pepper’s lawyer is Sierra McCoy, because of course she is.
• The funniest line of the night is Katy being asked if she had a “face transplant with a Disney princess.”
• Casey Wilson delivered a fun guest performance, basically playing herself tonight. I hope she returns to the series again.
• Fake celebrities attending the Meta Gala include Annie Hathaway and Bizou Phillips.
• God there really are going to be diamond encrusted face masks at whatever the next celebrity event is, aren’t they?