Jenny starts to pimp out Wayne in “Big Pimpin'”, while David and Violet’s new podcast idea gets them into trouble.
This recap of Bless the Harts season 2, episode 11, “Big Pimpin'”, contains spoilers.
At this point, Family Guy is a cultural institution and almost nobody has heard of Bless the Harts, but watching them back to back proves that, at least at this point, the latter is a much more coherent show. “Big Pimpin'” follows a similar A and B plot structure, but both storylines seem rooted in character rather than off-the-wall, self-referential excess, making for a tighter twenty minutes of animated comedy. Again, though, it doesn’t seem like many people watch or care about Bless the Harts, so it’s probably for nothing. But at least I’m paying attention.
Here, Louise’s boyfriend Daniel falling off a cruise ship to his death works as the catalyst for two stories. In the first, Jenny, in an attempt to mollify Louise’s on-going, elaborate grieving process, volunteers Wayne’s services as a kind of stand-in boyfriend in exchange for spa days and other luxuries for her and Brenda. In the other, Betty claiming that Louise killed Daniel gives Violet and David an idea for a true-crime podcast in which Betty basically just accuses the entirety of Greenpoint of murder.
The A-plot is funny because it helps to round out Wayne’s character — he’s not just a big muscular meathead who longs to go mudding with his buddies, though he definitely is that as well, but he’s a sensitive, compassionate guy who, out of sheer politeness, keeps going along with Louise’s increasingly ridiculous demands. When he discovers that Jenny is being paid to essentially pimp him out he sees it as not just as a betrayal but exploitation of his nature. It’s a funny, unusual angle.
The podcast thread gets some laughs as well, for one thing, because it’s a neat little skewering of the ease with which a new true-crime project can spring up out of nowhere, but also because, again, it does a lot for Betty’s character. All the people she publicly outs as murderers are people who slighted her in some way during her life, often years ago — in Louise’s case the offense is hereditary. That’s exactly the kind of thing she’d do, based on what we know about her from previous episodes. It’s a good mix of topicality and serialization. Bless the Harts season 2, episode 11 hardly proves the show is the funniest on network television or anything of that sort, but it does prove it’s better than it seems to get credit for.