Beer Nuts: 'Horace & Pete'

By Wren, Celia | Commonweal, April 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

Beer Nuts: 'Horace & Pete'


Wren, Celia, Commonweal


In the second episode of the new online show Horace and Pete, a young woman walks into a Brooklyn bar. She's pale, pretty, mild-mannered, and wears a preppy tomato-red coat. She asks for white wine, but amiably settles for Budweiser on hearing that the bar sells only hard alcohol and a single brand of beer. All in all, she appears much more genteel than the average customer of this neighborhood dive--until she throws her head back, pounds her hands on the bar counter, and shrieks like a chimpanzee.

Such disquieting moments abound in Horace and Pete, created and written by the comedian Louis C. K., who stars in the series alongside Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Jessica Lange, and others. A tale of a dysfunctional family running a hundred-year-old watering hole, the series looks much like a sitcom. But it abjures that genre's breezy tone, slick banter, and tidy plot twists, and it takes a tonally complex approach to sobering and provocative topics, including guilt, bigotry, family rancor, sexual fantasies, and mental illness. Everything about Horace and Pete--its seriocomic ambivalence, its performance aesthetic, its production values--seems calculated to knock viewers out of their comfort zone.

There are moments when you don't know whether to laugh, cry, or wince, as you acclimatize to the travails of Horace (Louis C. K.), a divorce who is glumly running his family bar with Pete (Buscemi), who has been hospitalized for mental illness. (While in the hospital, Pete met Tricia, the woman in the red coat, who has Tourette Syndrome.) Helping out as bartender is the mean and boorish Uncle Pete (Alda), to whom modern civilities are entirely foreign. "This place ain't racist. We served coloreds here in the '30s!" he barks at one horrified patron. "I got a picture of a n****r sitting right there on that stool in 1930!" With Uncle Pete serving the booze, even ostensibly casual barroom chat has a jagged edge. One conversation between customers and bartender devolves into an unpleasant and foul-mouthed argument about abortion, hell, and the fate of unbaptized souls. Another involves an unsettling anecdote about a U.S. soldier in a Nazi concentration camp. As if the Petes weren't enough of a handful, Horace also has to deal with his sister Sylvia (Falco), who is suing to gain control of the bar. And he longs to reconcile with his hostile daughter, Alice (Aidy Bryant), who at one point tells him, "I'm trying to be able to think about you without puking. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Beer Nuts: 'Horace & Pete'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.