Avenue 5: Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?
February 12, 2020 11:08 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

With Judd worried about his reputation, Iris arranges a meet-and-greet with several passengers in his luxury suite. Ryan and Billie bond with the engineers, before Ryan steps up and to earn the title Mr. Wetsuit. Matt encourages Frank to become the man he always wanted to be. "Fly safe!" "Fly drunk!"

Avenue 5 gains traction as the wet suit hits the fan (Kate Kulzick for TV/AV Club; rating: B)
Comedy is subjective, and highly personal. What kills for some will land with a thud and crickets to others. Yet no matter how high-minded and cerebral the writing, no matter how lofty the inspiration and aspiration, sometimes the best comedic choice is a good old-fashioned poop joke. After three episodes filled with surprise reveals, actor showcases, and social commentary, Avenue 5 finally gains momentum, and it’s thanks to a river of feces blowing out into space.

The series has struggled mightily in the first half of its season, and even this episode lacks the wit and humor one expects in a show with this stacked of a cast and crew. What it does have, though, are stakes and by the end, energy. The hull has ruptured, the entire ship is in immediate peril, and Ryan is being sent out into space to plug the shit-stream and save the day. Nothing all that dramatic is likely to happen—Hugh Laurie isn’t going anywhere—but at long last, the frustratingly paralyzed main characters are being forced into action. It’s a welcome change.
Avenue 5 Episode 4 Review: Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder -- Captain Ryan gets ready to rise to a crappy occasion as Avenue 5 plunges new battles in episode 4. (Tony Sokol for Den of Geek)
In the opening montage of Avenue 5, episode 4, " Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?," we see astronaut Spike Martin (Ethan Phillips), kibitzing on the bridge. He's trying to look at the dials and sensor readers which the crew are expertly fingering, especially the hand model who was born for the job. Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) is doing his best to keep the astronaut away for the faux equipment because he's the only one on board who might be able to actually read what they say.

The irony is this skill could find a solution to clean up the captain's mess, except the astronaut is also ill-equipped to do it. Spike Martin was the first Canadian to land on Mars. He's masturbated to constellations, Gemini, the twins. He has peculiarly muscular follicles which can support a pony tail. But he was hired for the same reason the captain was hired, and everyone on the bridge was hired. He looks the part. It's just sad that everyone can see through him, from wannabe divorcees like Mia (Jessica St. Clair) to don’t-wanna-be-astronauts like Zeke, the knowledgeable Passenger Child. The kid is smart enough to see though everyone as he shuttles Spike clear of any soft landing.
posted by filthy light thief (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I guess I'm entertained by this show. I can't really tell. The sets and special effects look dated. They are not representative of modern HBO production values.

On the plus side, the British actors are doing an amazing job with their American accents.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:44 PM on February 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

For what it’s worth, I have found and started reading a PDF of the nineteen-nineties translation of Aniara, and kinda wish I could listen to it read aloud. Wonder if Hugh Laurie’s available?

I remain fascinated by the probable connections between Galaxy Quest and Visit to a Small Planet Revisited. This show and that poem and the movie are, I dunno, a second instantiation of this phenomenon, and I am FASCINATED.
posted by mwhybark at 6:31 PM on February 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

I can't help it, I'm a sucker for anything Ianucci does. Ditto Hugh Laurie tbh. Plot? Who needs it. This is endlessly hilarious to me, doubly so whenever Zach Woods starts speaking. THAT WORD CLOUD.
posted by supercres at 9:11 AM on February 13, 2020 [8 favorites]

« Older Avenue 5: I'm a Hand Model...   |  The New Pope: Episode 5... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments