reading-book 4

Episode Five – Vaginatown

Who’s Who At This Point

  • Hank Moody = Nick Carraway
  • Lew Ashby = Jay Gatsby
  • Janie Jones = Daisy Buchanan (Only mentioned, not seen)
  • Trixie = Jordan Baker
Parallelisms & References
  • Hank claims, “The road to Lou Ashby’s house is paved with goodish intentions”, referencing the popular proverb “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, which means that someone may commit ‘bad’ acts intending for the end result to be ‘good’. This is a solid connection to the acts of both Gatsby and Ashby – both mean well in their actions, although their passion is misplaced – Gatsby is attempting to wrestle away a married Daisy and Ashby a married Janie; Ashby also tends to commit ‘rockstar’ antics simply because that is why is expected of him, much like Gatsby has parties not only for Daisy, but because it is expected. Ultimately, their intentions lead to both of their demises.
  • Hank says to Chloe Metz, “Letting some guy order you off the t.v. like you’re Chinese takeout; is that really what it’s come to mean to be a member of the fairer sex…”, to which Chloe answers, “Fucked if I know, I’m just glad my kid’s a boy.” – this is a reference to Daisy’s comment, “…the best thing a girl can be in this world is a damn little fool…”, its meaning that men treat women as beautiful objects and care little for their intelligence, aspirations, or accomplishments; much like Chloe.
  • Ashby states, “…you’re in Ashby’s world, now.” – which may be taken as a reference to Nick entering the wealthy world of West and East Egg, where common moral and ethic beliefs are skewed and deformed.
Cultural References
  • Hank says about Chloe, “…I want to fuck her, but I kinda want to punch her in the face, too…” – this is a direct reference to Hank’s stolen novella Fucking and Punching.
  • Hank tells Becca, “Shower the people you love with love…” – a reference to the James Taylor song of the same name – and then, “…we don’t care what the mean girls think.” – a reference to the movie ‘Mean Girls’.
  • ‘Vaginatown’ is an obvious play on the movie title ‘Chinatown’.
  • Daisy claims that she wants to be a contract star for, “…the Vivids, the Digital Playgrounds, Adam and Eve…” – these are three of the biggest production companies in porn.
  • Runkle asks, “Do you want me to fluff your costars while I’m at it?” – a porn fluffer is tasked with keeping the male stars erect during filming.
  • Hank compares Ashby to “…Doug Henning…” – a popular magician credited with revitalizing magic during the 70′s and 80′s.
  • Ashby says, “…I have to hit the Troubadour.” – a famous establishment on Santa Monica Blvd in L.A. where countless famous artists have had their beginnings; such as Motley Crue, who is alluded to later in the episode.
  • Runkle and Ronnie Praeger discuss Cassavetes – referring to John Cassavetes, a famous actor and filmmaker who pioneered independent film and a style known as cinema veritie.
  • Hank claims that Ashby is, “…a prince among the non-princely.” – this is an obvious sarcastic comment due to Ashby’s overall behavior and the fact that “…ordered [Chloe Metz] off the t.v. like she was Chinese takeout…” – the quote itself is a take-off on Shakespeare’s quote of ‘A man among men’, or ‘A prince among men’.
  • Chloe Metz is, in my humble opinion, an underhanded salute to Rachel Ray, with her larger-than-life persona and high-volumed voice.

Episode Six

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