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Recap / The Critic S 1 E 1 Pilot

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During Coming Attractions, Jay meets an actress named Valerie Fox, a star in an upcoming movie who begin dating, but Jay is then between love and artistic integrity when he has to review the movie.

Tropes in the Episode

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Jay even lampshades this before he begs for Valerie to come back to him but ignores him as she takes the bus to the airport so she can go back to L.A.
  • Badass Israeli: Spoofed in Rabbi P.I., with Arnold Schwarzenegger as an undercover cop who poses as a Hasidic Jew. And gets some scenes with Arnold killing bad guys.
    Mugger: Eat lead, Rabbi.
    Arnold: Sorry, that's not kosher. (Fires gun, cutting to next scene with him with a baby and a crime boss)
    Crime Boss: All right. If you are a real Rabbi, circumcise this child.
    (Arnold then throws the circumcision knife into his chest)
    Arnold: Hava Nagila, baby.
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  • Bad "Bad Acting": Jay finally has to review Kiss of Death, which Valerie stars as a Femme Fatale that says (before killing a man) in a stilted voice "I'll give you a kiss, all right", then switching to a loud, raspy voice "A kiss of death!!!". Unfortunate for Jay, who has to put integrity about love, though he does at least attempt to sugar coat it and give off constructive criticism.
  • "Basic Instinct" Legs-Crossing Parody: As Valerie sits with Jay, she recreates this after Jay asking her about being compared to Sharon Stone, to which Jay asks the cameraman "Can we get a shot of that?"
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Jay gives advice to Marty that lying is only acceptable for the greater good, after which two women approach him asking if he's Dustin Hoffman, to which Jay responds to with a seductive "Yes".
    • A Flashback to Jay's childhood has him wanting to horse and Jay, who even then was fat, states he is less than 80 lbs. and get on the horse, breaking its back, to which the stableman gives out a Big "NO!"
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  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Valerie Fox really dresses in layers of sheep. Initially appearing as the Nice Girl, even strongly insinuating she likes him for his personality rather than his looks to everyone, even his family, and not just to get a good review. But after Jay ends up giving her a bad review, he slaps him, tells him off and quickly leaves him.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Duke yells at Jay for his Caustic Critic reviews, stating movies should be ranked from "good" to "excellent". Jay asks what if he doesn't like them, to which Duke retorts that's what "good" is for.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Hiya, Wee-wee! Still wettin' them drawers?"
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Jay tries to get out of reviewing Valerie's new movie by Playing Sick. Unfortunately, Duke sends him a copy of the movie for him to review. After she's shown to be awful, he goes of to review it and keeps his integrity. Despite him giving out constructive criticism, she doesn't take it well and breaks up with him.
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  • Friendship Moment: Jeremy tells Jay not to rush into anything with Valerie, as he considers Jay the one decent guy he's met in America.
  • Hope Spot: After giving the review, Jay rushes to the apartment, hoping Valerie hasn't left him, and find her there much to his joy. But said joy is short-lived when she tells him off and breaks up with him.
  • Man on Fire: Happens to Jay while Doris sprays his head when he tells her much he makes, shocking her, the cigarette falls out of her mouth onto Jay's head, lighting it ablaze.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Jay introduces Valerie to his parents
  • Misplaced Retribution: Invoked, with Jay, still bitter after the break-up, when Marty points him to a screening of a new movie with Sylvester Stallone as a concert pianist. That alone is enough for Jay to go and let loose his anger on the film.
  • Properly Paranoid: Eleanor openly suspects that Valerie is using Jay to get a good review. Margo is more polite about her suspicions of Valerie just using Jay, and she apparently has to ask such questions a lot.
  • Race for Your Love: Jay follows Valerie to the airport, thinking she'll changed her mind and go back to him. He keeps expecting her to as she boards the plane and it takes off. It's only a matter of time before he realizes she's not coming back.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Jay reviews Home Alone 5, with the parents realizing again they left Kevin at home and he's 23 years old, which them cuts to an adult Kevin doing the famed scream.
    • The musical number "Beauty and King Dork", which is an homage to Beauty and the Beast, complete with a CGI ballroom.
    • Seinfeld is seen on TV in a parody that Jay and Marty watch on TV.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Jay inadvertently says a man about to jump to his death when he tells Valerie on a police microphone "I love you" very loudly, to which the man says that was all he needed to hear as he goes back in the building.
  • To The Bat Noun: "TO THE MULTIPLEX!"
  • Verbal Backspace: After the "Beauty and King Dork" Imagine Spot where he sings a part of it, to which Valerie asks what he said. He then says "How useful is the spork? Like at Kentucky Fried Chicken."
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Jay has an in-universe reaction to the movie version of Family Affair with Marlon Brando as Mr. French.
    • As noted above, Sylvester Stallone plays a concert pianist, which Jay expects to provide a lot of fodder for a review.
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