Why is it so much fun to make fun of Los Angeles? Showtime does a bang-up job of skewering show business with "Episodes," and now HBO brings Englishman Stephen Merchant to L.A. for "Hello Ladies." Merchant and American "Office" scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky explore what it's like to date in Hollywood if you're sweet, shallow, tall, not famous, and really British. Merchant is awesome at awkward. So we get to cringe-laugh, which is always fun.
The premise is simple. Web designer Stuart Pritchard (Merchant) wants a dream girl. He has a girl who is a friend-tenant: Jessica (Christine Woods). And he has wingmen: married-but-separated and still smiling sad sack Wade (Nate Torrance) and wheelchair-bound, quick-witted Kives (Kevin Wiseman).
Stuart and his circle of friends are learning the hard way about dealing with ladies. So we tallied up the lessons from last night's episode. Get schooled below.
1. Don't laugh at a lady when she's shooting her Web series. Stuart can't keep a straight face while being an extra in Jessica's production. He says it's because she's playing a teenager. You mess with a woman's Web series, er.. age, you get the horn.
2. You need more than a limo to turn a separation into a rekindled romance. Wade believes that a night in a limo will make his estranged wife want to stay with him. It doesn't. She asks for a month off. Ouch.
3. "Don't disrespect the limo." Stuart says that "Clooney" or "Lopez" might be in there. Or, you know, some awkward single dudes.
4. Los Angeles ladies don't, like, like culture. Jessica tries to mix things up for her leggy, airhead girlfriends and plans a night of talking about North Korea while listening to jazz. It backfires. They want to talk about GOOP and nightclubs and hear "music with words." After all, hello! It's Saturday!
5. Do ask an L.A. woman to name three jazz musicians. She might answer, "Miles Davis, Lance Armstrong, and the Loneliest Monk." Ha. Good one, writers.
6. Limos are not impressive. As Jessica says. "I've seen a long car before."
7. Don't stand up in a limo and poke out of the sunroof to sing "Born to be Wild" while the limo driver is making a nine-point turn. That's all.
8. If a girl with a headset tells you can't get into the club without a reservation, then you can't get into the club without a reservation. 100 percent.
9. Yes, even if you have a limo. 110 percent.
10. Don't say "Hello ladies" to ladies who are on dates. Boyfriends with biceps don't like that.
11. Do call out "Hello ladies" to ladies who are visiting from St. Louis. The tourists are rather easily coaxed into a limo party.
12. There's no crying in (the back of) limos. When Wade feels the tears coming, he asks the driver to pull over so he can whimper in the front seat. Polite, right?
13. Don't mess with teachers. Stuart ditches the limo and the St. Louis teachers for Jessica's airhead friends. He manages to get back in the limo after things don't work out with the ditzes … but he also gets told to "f--- off."
14. Know your bra size. Make sure you wear fitting According to Stuart, if you don't want him to stare at your chest, "then you should wear a bra that fits."
15. Gals before Guys. Stuart assures Wade: "I am here to talk ... unless there are women around."
"Hello Ladies" airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.