A Hollywood Ending
The season finale of Hollywood begins after Ace’s funeral, with the group saying their goodbyes given the tapes went up in smoke last episode. It turns out though the editor made a copy he’s been hiding in his boot so Meg is preserved and not actually lost. The passion project is back on and with Dick at the helm, he decides to lower the ticket price by 5 cents and also open in 675 locations. It’ll be expensive but a story unto itself if the film is a big success.
Meanwhile Ellen and Ernie sleep together and the latter admits to having feelings for her. It turns out Ernie has cancer though and warns her that at some point, he’s going to be a real mess. She doesn’t care though and decides to press ahead with their relationship no matter what.
Jack decides to be with Claire and she admits she knows that he slept with her Mother and she’s okay with it. Avis meanwhile hears from the studio and the first ticket receipts are in – they’re a smash hit. Even better, the racial hatred has dissipated in the wake of it being such a good film. With Oscars on the horizon, the focus then shifts to see if Meg can win the coveted prizes.
They’ve all been nominated for the Academy Awards and in the wake of this, Archie talks to Avis about his relationship with Rock. As a bold statement of intent, he decides to go there with him on his arm. The night of the Academy Awards begins and apparently Claire and Jack are the couple everyone in hollywood is talking about.
The rest of the cast arrive including Rock and Archie who immediately get boos from the crowd, leading to Henry getting involved and Rock deciding to fire him.
The awards start and Anna wins her long-overdue Oscar. Jack does not win Best Actor but he’s certainly happy and holds no grudges. Instead, he asks Claire to marry him. The awards continue and Archie wins an Academy Award for his writing, Raymond wins Best Director and Camille wins Best Actress. The cast and crew also win Best Picture.
We then jump forward 1 year later. Henry apologises for his attitude toward Rock and admits he’s been going to therapy for 6 months. He’s been seeing someone now and although Rock won’t accept his apology, Henry sticks his neck out and decides to cast him in a lead role for his new movie; a movie about two men falling in love.
Dick Samuels has passed away and everyone attends his funeral. Since Meg’s release, there’s been a wave of change in the movie world with a lot of big pictures now starring women and different ethnicities in leading roles. Henry presents his idea to Avis and she decides to green-light the picture. As the episode closes out, the film goes ahead with shooting and Jack stars as the opposite lead role alongside Rock.
Given the title of the episode, Hollywood ends with a predictable Hollywood ending and a conclusive arc for all of our players. Claire and Jack’s romance feels completely crowbarred into the plot and while it’s good that the team didn’t have a complete sweep at the Oscars, the ending was predictable there nonetheless. The biggest problem with Hollywood though has been the feeling that none of these characters have really earned these spots.
While I appreciate they’ve overcome racial or sexist stereotypes to get to where they are, Ace’s death and subsequent green-lighting of the picture, the budget issues and even Jack’s convenient family life being undone and some of the contrived plot developments have really held this back from being a better title. There’s certainly potential here for a lavish, incredibly stylish drama but unfortunately the show squanders its potential with really disappointing writing.
The idea of a rags to riches story where Camille and Archie claw their way to the top of Hollywood, propped up by Jack, Rock and the others, on paper seems like a recipe for success but here the execution is lacklustre to say the least. While the story does end on a high note, it’s difficult not to feel like the show could have been so much more. Enjoyable for sure, but not the sort of series you’d return to in a hurry when the final credits roll.