“Setup Squad” recap: Episode One

 
 

The first victim client of Wings, Inc. is Tim, a gay man who looks and speaks like he just wandered into NYC off of the boardwalk of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, but not from the part of Seaside Heights the fancy house with the duck phone. Think an extra who just happened to stroll into the Shore Store to buy a cheesy T-shirt before ducking out, unnoticed. Tim is a nice guy, and not bad looking, but in the New York City dating world, just being a jolly bloke won’t cut it. Said Jonathan, “This is New York. This ain’t Buffalo.”

Diva Lauretta is assigned to help “aw shucks” Tim become more comfortable with gay culture and with approaching other guys. To get Tim out of his comfort zone, Lauretta takes Tim to Therapy, a swank midtown bar whose clientele makes Tim look and feel like a Boston terrier in a room full of Persian cats. One man snidely tells Tim to drink vodka instead of beer, as if drinking distilled liquor from potatoes would admit him to the brotherhood of starched shirts and impeccably styled locks, courtesy of Frederic Fekkai.

Next, Lauretta takes Tim to a sexy gay novelty store. As Tim swats at an article of clothing that resembles the love child of Batman Speedos and a Kmart ripoff of Frederick’s of Hollywood panties, he hollers “Shock jock? Anti-muffin top elastic?’ This is not what men wear.” Agreed – but I’d like to make a clarification. No one – not men, not women, not anyone of any gender in between — should be caught wearing those. Fug is universal.

As Tim huffs and puffs in frustration, Lauretta asks whether he would be comfortable in an equally tacky and tasteless straight porny store, and he admits that it wouldn’t bother him. Lauretta calls him out on having a double standard, and a small flickering light bulb switches on in Tim’s head, and he agrees to loosen up a bit.

Eventually Tim is escorted to a gay sports bar and, despite being heckled over his gold chain, finds his cojones and his people, and for Lauretta it is mission accomplished.

Next up is single mom Zakeenah, who needs a little coaching in approaching men. Jonathan is assigned to the task. The first attempt at conversation is an epic fail, as Zakeenah loses her cool and walks right by her target into an empty hallway – and keep on walking. After a bit of sweet talking and encouragement, Zakeenah chats it up with a handsome man at a bar, and Jonathan happily reports to Renee that Zakeenah has her groove back.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Renee has an announcement for Meredith, Jonathan and Lauretta. A new recruit is joining the firm. Her name is Helen, a stand up comic who matches people up via her comedy routines.

But all is not well. As soon as Helen comes within 10 feet of Lauretta, the claws come out. Like two Siamese fighting fish tossed together in a fish bowl, they immediately take an intense dislike to each other. It’s like being transported to the mid-’90s and hearing Tupac diss Biggie in “Hit ‘em Up” and Biggie diss Tupac in “Who shot ya” except in high heels. And we know how the Biggie/Tupac saga ended. No bueno. Meredith sides with Lauretta, probably because no matter if you are gay or straight the “new girl” must undergo a period of hazing before she can become part of the sisterhood.

Renee’s solution to the problem is to liquor up the entire staff, because, as you know, if two people are at each other throats sober, placing them in close quarters and feeding them copious amounts of alcohol is a great idea. Let’s just say that it does not go well.

Sensing the heat, Helen goes to tea with Jonathan to chat. Both agree that Lauretta can be a diva on amphetamines.

Says Jonathan, “There are days where I’m like, ‘Chaka Khan, pull it back, ‘cause I don’t have a weave to pull off, but if I did I would pull it off and fight you.’”

Says Helen, “I don’t know if she thought I was going to come in and be like a little Asian lotus flower shrinking away. NO. No, no, no, no. I am a motherf—king Korean dragon, so back the f—k up.”

OK, let me take a moment to school you all in a couple of cardinal rules in this great multicultural city of ours. Rule one: the bigger the weave, the fiercer the fight. Score one for Lauretta.

But here’s rule 2: It doesn’t matter how big your weave is — the Korean lady, no matter how diminutive or dimpled — will bury you faster than you can say “bibimbap.” I am speaking from personal experience. Allow me to use the honey badger to illustrate this concept.

The honey badger has been named the most vicious animal in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Barely three feet in length, it fights cobras and eats them for breakfast, has no problem brawling with lions, and will fearlessly walk into a swarm of angry bees and devour their children as calmly as all-‘merican suburbanites munch on potato salad at a Midwestern family picnic. Basically, honey badger don’t give a s–t. See the video (with some NSFW language) below.

Now this is honey badger after he pissed off a Korean woman.

Any questions?

In the next episode, the cast grills Meredith about her bi-coastal relationship with her girlfriend in L.A., and hopefully Helen and Lauretta do not come to blows, but if they do, as explained earlier, my money is on the Korean. All right. All right. I kid. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Plus, the fiercest creature in the animal kingdom is actually a typical type-A Upper West Side mother, barrelling down the sidewalks with a tank-size stroller, crushing everyone in her path. I’m looking at you in three years, Meredith!

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