The Avenue recap, episode 3: interview with a non-empire
The word “empire” is used in the titles of a lot of acclaimed works: Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind, the Empire State Building and now, The Avenue. The web series decided to gradually elevate its characters’ non-titles (intern-editor, vlogger-celebrity) by creating empires out of nothings and cutely playing off popular vampire fiction, in episode three: “Interview with an [ugh] Empire.”
We didn’t spot any moguls, but we did wonder how Jessica—a model who never works—can afford to go shopping (wasn’t she just complaining about not making rent in episode two?). But more importantly, what’s really in Gregory’s purse? We assume his collection of Lisa Frank stickers, craft glue, vials of glitter and some helium. We’ve done a lot of the work so other people don’t have to risk brain failure (we’re close) from watching this kind of reality, and this will be the second-last recap of a show that never should have happened in the first place. Look forward to our finale recap to come, but first check out the full rundown of episode three, including “Interview with an Empire” images, after the jump.
@0:22 Episode three opens with a close-up of Gregory applying lip gloss in the back of a cab. We doubted his skills as a call girl makeup artist, but his ability to make touch-ups on the go while talking on his cellphone is nothing short of admirable. He’s chatting to Arta, who was apparently tickled by their two-second meeting from episode two:
@0:48 “Just out having some brunch. Just wondering when you were available to do the interview.”
@1:16 “I’m free any time after 5:30. Have you ever been to The Beaconsfield?”
Surely only high-profile editors sip beverages at The Beaconsfield. What were you thinking, Arta? Gregory, obviously still very new to Toronto and taking the city by way of losing boyfriends, is confused by the suggestion.
@1:29 “The Bea-cons-field? I’ve never even heard of it. I’ll Mapquest it.” Cute, Gregory still uses Yahoo!
Claire and Jessica conveniently bump into each other at Haus, a clothing store on Bloor St. W.
@3:10 “How come you and your friend haven’t been at yoga?” Jessica, it’s simple. People are put off by you, including Claire, who reluctantly takes your phone number in The Avenue’s attempt to create a tortured L-Word moment. Since when is Jessica this fascinated in a not-fascinating Claire? Why does a show need to have a lesbian? We think Gregory is certainly sufficient.
@3:49 “Well, I’m going to go.” Good job, Claire. Suppress those urges. You’ll be curious another day, with some treats from Gregory’s mystery purse.
At Gregory’s school, or set (we never do see him taking classes). Enter the attractive(?) Dylan
Greg: @4:11 “I feel like I see you all the time now.” We’ve officially met Dylan for a grand total of five seconds before this moment.
Dylan: @4:17 “Just killing some time before basketball.” Jock!
Greg: @4:19 “You play basketball? Weird. Okay, I can totally see it now.” What?
Greg: @4:57 “I have the perfect friend, and I think you would be perfect for each other.” Perfect.
Dylan: @5:05 “Is it a girl?” Not gay.
Greg: @5:17 “I can send you pictures if you want. That might be less creepy.” No 20-year-old man who shops at La Senza Girl could ever be considered creepy.
@6:04–6:30 Arta busily enters her workplace, chatting on the phone about samples with some guy named Andrew. Jessica, the model, ambushes Arta, who again is very busy, and asks if her magazine is still looking for models. Perturbed, Arta asks Jessica to email her. She tells Jessica she’s very busy with meetings three times before she leaves. She’s busy. Very.
Gregory’s brunch date
@7:20 Gregory’s date Peter wears a Circa T-shirt. We think it’s really decent of Greggy to date outside his typical circle of drag queens, Priape sales associates and waiters who moonlight as Cher impersonators.
@7:42 “I’ve seen a lot of your YouTube videos.” Peter makes it clear very early on that he has some sort of mastery of the Internet. We think this is just as creepy as someone telling us they’ve Googled us on the first date. Why is dating so hard?
@8:00 “You appear to eat pretty well.” Gregory looks by no stretch of the imagination well-fed.
@8:01 “Oh, thank you.” Gregory’s response is as classy as they come. We’re not sure how we’d respond to being told we eat well either. Well, maybe we’d order the most expensive item on the menu. Gregory wants eggs.
@8:42 “I do well for myself. No need to worry.” We thought it was a bit strange staged for Peter, a secondary character, to be so probing about the economics of being a virus going viral on YouTube. We’re not so certain doing well for himself has everything to do with YouTube, but The Avenue often asks us to pretend, so we’re willing to play along (sometimes).
@8:53 “I think I just lost my appetite.” Then leave. Gregory doesn’t leave, because what else is he going to discuss with Claire and Rachel later? Makeup? His horrifying YouTube music video? Anything for a story.
@9:06 “So, I saw your ‘what’s in your purse’ video and I’m curious: can I ask that everything that is in your purse, is in your purse?”
@9:10 “Um yeah, but you never look through a purse. That’s the rule.” It’s only the rule if what’s inside your purse is anything but the essentials. And Gregory has made a video about what’s inside his purse, so we’re intrigued to know what kind of new additions would call for such secrecy. We can only imagine.
@9:34–10:20 The following conversation occurs over speakerphone, and we’re supposed to believe that Peter doesn’t hear anything. “Hey. Hello. Hey. Um, I’m on the date with Peter right now. Lisa it is so bad. He’s like, crazy. He’s crazy. He keeps talking about my YouTube. My family. I know, I know, I don’t know what to do. It is so awkward. He’s not that bad, but like, he goes overboard.” Yeah, because being this rude is so, um, gorgeous. Note to Toronto homosexuals: do not go on a date with Gregory Gorgeous. Not only will he rudely talk about you in earshot, but the glitter won’t come out for weeks.
At Jessica’s non-model rooming house
@11:15 We meet Julia, Jessica’s roommate. She’s obnoxious.
@11:24 “She gave you her email, that’s awesome.” An intern gave you her email. Awesome!
Return to the gay date
@11:39 “There you are, I was starting to get worried about you.”
@11:48 “While you were out, I took the liberty of ordering you the homestyle scrambled eggs” Peter seems like a stand-up gentleman. A little weird and clingy five minutes into a date, but nice.
@12:11 “Aside from YouTubing and being a fashionista, what do you do with your spare time?” YouTubing. Fashionista. Okay, Peter is the worst.
@12:14 “I like to shop a lot. I like to hang out with my family, do makeup, as you know. What do you like to do?” Gregory Gorgeous is contributing to society.
@12:23 “I like to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. Magic the Gathering. I got a level 85 on my World of Warcraft.” Of course. What would be the exact opposite of Gregory Gorgeous? A DND– and World of Warcraft–playing nerd archetype. The writers on this show understand contrast.
@12:34 “You seem to have a lot in common with my brother. You two should hang out.” Oh, snap.
@12:39 “Maybe I can meet the rest of your family as well.” Peter is hilarious in this moment. Not only have they just met, but he’s already discussing a family meeting. Everything we hoped a date with Gregory Gorgeous could be, this glowing exercise of gay blind dates is.
@12:40 “That’s not what I meant, but okay.” Well, this is an understandably passive stance. We can’t fault Greggy this time.
@12:49 “I’m having quite a good time. I would really enjoy seeing you again.” At this moment, Peter is stroking Gregory’s hand. It’s a cute moment. We can’t wait to get our invitation to the wedding.
At Jessica’s pad
@13:40 “I would love to be part of your magazine. Please consider me.” Jessica is talking to her roommate and her computer screen. We’d get nervous blindsiding fake editors with model requests too. We think we’re fairly web savvy, and models aren’t cast via email, ever. We suggest Jessica fast-tracks her heartbreak by just throwing her money at one of those scam model agencies. It’d certainly be funny for us, and, really, reality programming is meant to entertain.
@13:49 “No, that’s too forward.” Julia is so wise. Ambushing Arta at her workplace wasn’t forward, but emailing her to request something most women have to hustle for is?
@13:51 “I think maybe you should send her a Facebook photo. Something natural.” Of course. A Facebook picture. This is how models are employed. As prostitutes.
@14:16 “Is she a bitch?” Julia hasn’t met Arta yet. She is.
At The Bea-cons-field
@14:31 Gregory is waiting in The Beaconsfield. He’s angry about waiting for Arta, because he, like her, is very busy.
@15:00 “Sorry I’m late. I just had to talk to a client.” We assume client means mom.
@15:16 “I moved about a month ago and I’m really liking it. Honestly.” Well, honestly, how could you not love late nights at Ristorante Roma, new adventures at The Beaconsfield, and late nights at Century Room. We’re exhausted just thinking about the kind of energy it’d take to live the Gorgeous life.
@15:42 “What do you do in these little videos?” Little videos? Where is Peter to defend Gregory’s honour? Little videos? Girl, please.
@15:51 “I just do funny videos. Videos that reflect my personality.” Gregory is not funny.
@16:07 “I have never seen a guy in a dress before. How are you comfortable doing this?” You live in Toronto, right? You work in fashion, possibly? We’ll assume the answers to these questions are no and no, since we’ve seen plenty.
@16:19 “Is that your style? Very out there.” Ah, so a wise assumption here would be that Arta commutes from Brampton. If that’s the case, we understand how Toronto could seem a bit out there.
@16:51 “I’m going to have to leave. I’m looking forward to working with you.” Gregory is busier than Arta? Is this really happening? Avenue apocalypse.
@17:09 Gregory’s “Yeah, that’s right, bitch” exit. To quote a much more successful program, American Dad, she lives a fast-lane life with a slow-motion walk.
Post-date post-mortem at South of Temperance
@17:31 “He took me out to brunch. The idea is cute, but it doesn’t work.” We can’t really fathom how this line made the final edit of the script. What does this even mean? We could understand if Gregory slept with Peter and didn’t enjoy himself. Who wants to go to brunch after something like that? But it was a first date. We think Gregory just thinks the word brunch is cute to say. We’re also confident that what Gregory says isn’t so much thoughts, as words. He’s so cute.
@17:38 “No one goes to brunch anymore.” Claire is the authority on hip dining arrangements. Everyone out on Sunday morning is so behind the times. Claire, the ineffectual blonde, is an arbiter of taste. But not.
@18:00 Greg invites Arta over to brunch to take pictures for her magazine (yeah, this happens). Rachel returns to her caesars.
@18:51 “Want to just step out for a second?” Photo shoots and interviews, in the real world, only take a second.
@19:20 A boring scene where nothing goes on. Arta is apparently interviewing Gregory, yet we only hear Claire and Rachel’s winning analysis. A few references to Cruella de Vil are made.
@20:11 “I could hear you guys.” So could we, and it was insufferable.