This Katy Keene review contains spoilers.
Katy Keene Episode 6
“That’s when I knew I was royally screwed.”
As this episode opens, Katy realizes that it’s time to move on from K.O., a sentiment that is echoed by her friends. And viewers. She has only ever experienced romance with him, and let’s face it, dude was super lame. (I still can’t believe that the ever-candid Jorge has never spoken up to tell Katy this fact). After learning that her mom did in fact work at Lacy’s for a short while, she is thrust into helping Prince Errol Swoon and his bride-to-be Patricia prepare for their engagement photo shoot at Lacy’s. Not really having time to process this information.
Unfortunately, the pair are bickering and Katy uses her flawless people skills and fashion sense to save the day and the shoot. It’s there that she meets renowned photographer Will Buckingham (Justin Davis). Sparks don’t exactly fly between the pair, it’s more like a Zippo that needs more fluid. But there’s enough of something there for Katy to invite Will to the listening party for Josie’s EP at Chubby’s. Afterwards, the pair kiss…and it’s terrible. But Will noticed that Errol had eyes for Katy, and while he may be terrible at making out he is a solid student of human nature.
Turns out that Errol does have the hots for Katy, so much so that he shows up unexpectedly at her apartment. He goes to Jorge’s drag pageant incognito with her, and they wind up spending the night together. The next morning, K.O. arrives to pick up some of his belongings. Spoiler alert: He is still as dull as ever. He and Katy share what only can be referred to as the opposite of a Breakfast of Champions before Gloria summons her prize employee to Lacy’s with a work emergency. Patricia, acting strangely aggressive to Katy as if she knows what went down the night before, asks her to design her wedding dress.
It would appear that Errol is a royal cad. Did he ever even break up with Patricia? Or is their reconciliation extremely fresh? We’ll find out in the coming episodes! I for one was Team Kerrol, as he seemed like a genuine guy. Besides, his pep talk to Ginger helped save her evening (more on that in a second). With a show that is a fairytale like Katy Keene is, would it be too on the nose to have her literally become a princess? At least she and Errol have chemistry together, which can’t be said for her and Will or, ugh, K.O.
The second biggest storyline tonight involved Josie, who was juggling the arrival of her mother (Robin Givens, reprising her Riverdale role) with the release party for her EP and having to tell Alexander about the clause in her contract that says she must look after him. Well, the last of those worries was preempted by Alexandra, who tells Alex all about the contract. He subsequently gets into a drunken rage and confronts Josie about it…at her release party. Turns out that Alex is an addict, and he is working on himself. But as the episode ends his future with Josie remains uncertain, yet obviously far from over. (Josie, you can do better, come on). More clear is that Sierra once again supports Josie’s music, going so far to warn Mr. Cabot not to mess with her daughter’s future.
Sierra isn’t the only supportive parent in the spotlight tonight either. As Jorge prepares to battle against some vicious drag queens for Ginger’s coveted Thursday night spot at Molly’s Crisis, his mother enthusiastically helps prepare the performance. She even gives Ginger her Ms. Puerto Rico dress. These scenes are especially touching given how fearful Jorge was of revealing his Ginger persona to his mother. She has accepted them both wholeheartedly, and again this show should be applauded for its handling of LGBTQ+ issues.
Despite the wicked machinations of the comically sinister Deveraux (portrayed by drag superstar D.J. ‘Shangela’ Pierce, Ginger gives the Ms. Washington Heights contest her all, delivering a powerhouse performance. In the end, she loses her slot to Deveraux. Then, magic happens. Katy’s co-worker François (the great Nathan Lee Graham) just so happens to moonlight as a famed drag queen, one who hosted the contest and was so impressed with Ginger that he is going to be her Fairy Dragmother and help her become the hottest star in New York City.
As for Ginger, we didn’t get too much of her schemes tonight. She did reveal her soft side though when she decided against her initial plan of bilking Raj (Abubakar Ali) out of his inheritance because she has grown so attached to him. Raj took this news unreasonably well, which is something of a contrivance, but since he is K.O.’s roommate it’s likely he will play a greater role as the series goes on.
I’m not sure that I like Pepper showing her softer side this early in the season. The idea of her acting as a Fagin to Didi’s Artful Dodger is a welcome one and presents plenty of storytelling options. Honestly though? I was hoping that Pepper would spiral out of control in her obsession to make the Pepper Plant viable, dramatically screwing with everybody’s life in the process.
But as I’m learning, Katy Keene just isn’t going to be that kind of series. It is so lightweight that every edge gets dulled almost immediately. Six episodes in and I hope the series rectifies this somewhat. There has to be a happy medium between the insane drama of Riverdale and the supernatural happenings of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Katy Keene can fill this slot. I appreciate its frothy escapism, especially right now given (gestures wildly at 2020). That being true, a bit of darkness can be fun sometimes. On TV at least.
- The best dialogue exchange of the night: “How did you know where I lived?” “I’m a prince, Katy.”
- Prince Errol Swoon. It is still amazing, no? The show is going hard on the Prince Harry/Meghan Markle thing here which is a weird move, so I’m not sure how I feel about Mr. Swoon here.
- It’s endearing that Katy walked to her childhood mailbox to send off her Parson’s application. I’m really enjoying the slow burn of how the show is revealing more about the relationship between Katy and her mom with each subsequent episode.
- I don’t think the paper from Ms. Keene’s work file at Lacy’s contained any significantly dark information about her, this show is far too upbeat for that. Instead, it was probably something that Gloria wanted to shield Katy from that, when inevitably revealed, won’t be that big of deal in the long run. Also we know nothing about Katy’s father, so he could actually be a Lacy himself, and Katy is the secret heir to the store or some other lofty development. I wouldn’t rule anything out here.
- The relationship between Gloria and Katy is growing into one of mutual respect. I would much rather have the series continue to take this route of having Gloria as a surrogate mother than the expected villainy this episode hints at.
- Is it weird that I’m low-key shipping Sierra McCoy and Mr. Cabot?
- On Riverdale, we knew that Josie’s father Myles was distant, but I don’t think it was ever established that he is an alcoholic.
- Kudos to writer Davia Carter. This was the most emotionally resonant episode, mainly due to the scenes between Jorge and Josie and their mothers. Jorge has been an infuriating character at times so far. This installment marks a significant upgrade is how Jorge is being written. I love the idea of Jorge getting drag tips from François — a character who is almost superfluous given how often Katy works for Gloria.
- Josie’s horror at watching her mother dance was a nice character touch. Ashleigh Murray is really killing it here in a way she was never given enough screen time on Riverdale to do.
- I know that Pepper talks a lot of shit, but it feels plausible that Jared Leto only gives butterfly kisses.
- Ashleigh Murray singing with André De Shields was the finest musical moment on this young series to date.
- If you are going to present the honor of creating a gown for a royal wedding to a designer, would you do so in such a strange manner as Patricia does in this episode?
- “No empire has been built without one rusty nail Mr. Cabot, just ask Hiram Lodge.” It seems that Sierra McCoy shares her daughter’s penchant for making Riverdale references to anyone and everyone.
- When will this show let Broadway vet Daphne Rubin-Vega sing?
- Next week, Ginger performs Kiss of the Spider Woman!