LAUREN: Andrew is fighting his basic instincts, and winning by losing
SIMON: Sounds like an ad for a Zen casino
The Big Bang Theory has a laugh track, as does Two and a Half Men, but not THE CRAZY ONES. Nor does it have a studio audience. This could be out of respect for the intelligence of the audience, but more likely it is because both Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar speak so rapidly there just isn’t room for audience response, canned or otherwise. One is left to consider the dialog without outside encouragement. The approach makes their type of humour work better. All the implications of zen gambling, for instance, take a while to sink in.
The episode’s opening scene has Simon & Co. pitching a campaign to some Allstate executives. As Wolk sings Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” behind Simon’s pitch, one exec (Rod McLachlan) spontaneously declares he will attend his daughter’s gay wedding (even if his daughter’s the one wearing the tux and both partners are named Karen). What makes this more significant is that the show is set in Chicago, Illinois, and gay marriage is not yet legal in that state, though same-sex civil unions have been legal there since 2011. Further, Allstate Insurance has its corporate headquarters in Illinois.
THINGS WE FIND OUT ABOUT SYDNEY
- She learned to pick a lock at the age of 9
- She has no drivers license
- She does not like to be corrected
Lauren Slotsky (Amanda Setton) delivers this week’s bit of CRAZY ONES philosophy. An afficionado of Shark Week, she makes the observation that Andrew (Hamish Linklater) is to Zach (James Wolk) as a remora is to a shark. Later in the episode she generalizes the observation to: “Maybe everyone is somebody’s remora.”
It takes a good actor to make a character extremely irritating and James Wolk manages that on this show with Zach. There is a subplot with a woman named Claire (Jen Lilly), with whom Zach breaks up in a very condescending way. There is another scene where Zach tries to cheer up Andrew, again in a very condescending way. There’s more of this, but you get the idea.
BEST GELLAR MOMENT – Watching Zach break up with Claire, Sydney says of Andrew “He’ll be on her like a pimp on a runaway.” When Lauren looks surprised at the simile, Sydney says “Hey, I know stuff.”
The dad and daughter that Simon and Sydney run into in the ‘Electric City’ parking lot are played by John Marshall Jones who had an uncredited appearance in the Robin Williams film GOOD MORNING VIETNAM. The daughter was played by Teala Dunn, who played a little girl in the 2005 Oscar nominated film TRANSAMERICA.
The woman in the focus group was Dana L. Wilson, who is best known for being Detective Angie Miller on DEXTER. Her first film role was in GOTHIC VAMPIRES FROM HELL (2007).