Still Up – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Pharmacy” Recap & Review

The Pharmacy

Episode 1 of Still Up begins at around 11:27 PM when Lisa starts a video chat with her best friend and fellow insomniac Danny. She is on her way to the Eastfield Pharmacy to pick up medicine for her daughter Poppy. She has contracted chicken pox and is apparently “scratching herself like an ape.”

Danny is hiding out in his own house. The story behind this is funny. His next-door neighbour, whom he affectionately calls “The Cat Man,” invited Danny for the 17th birthday of his cat.

But Danny is a fierce introvert and an asocial person. He made an excuse for not coming which has imprisoned him in the house for now. Danny told the Cat Man that he would be visiting all the Disneylands in the country for the next month. It is a tricky situation for him now. The only person who could probably help him out is Adam, who lives nearby. But he is a chit-chat and would tell the building about Danny’s secret within minutes of learning it. 

Lisa’s partner, Veggie, is taking care of Poppy currently. He knows about Danny and does not consider him as a “threat” to his relationship. Lisa’s problems are compounded when she sees Kate at the pharmacy. Kate is Zach’s mother, who has come down with chicken pox. Zach and Poppy go to the same school. Kate suspects Zach got the pox from Poppy, whom Lisa took to school despite her illness. Ironically, the reason for the same was her competitive spirit with Kate.

An hour passes and Lisa still isn’t able to get the meds for Poppy. The pharmacist isn’t behind the counter. Danny suggests she debit the money from the card machine and scamper off with the meds. She does not want to stay long with Kate. However, Lisa debits the wrong amount, twice, and now must stay back and wait for a refund. Danny also talks about his relationship troubles. The last one was three years ago. Chloe, his ex-girlfriend, broke his heart and Danny hasn’t been able to recover.

The immediate task for him to navigate is the pizza situation. Since the rule change, the delivery man cannot go into the building. Danny must come out to fetch it. And the man also has to take a picture to ensure he delivered it. Danny tries going out but fear drives him back in. The CatMan takes the pizza instead.

Meanwhile, Lisa has found an online dating site. She sets up his profile to bring him out of his rut. Danny has ordered another pizza. He notices that the man takes a gander around the building every half an hour. Before he comes back, Danny will have his pizza. He calls the delivery man to the side of the building. But his windows are jammed. In his desperation, Danny asks him to slide in the pizza “slice by slice.” He agrees to do so on the promise of a hefty tip. The mission is barely successful.

The clock has now ticked to a quarter to one and the pharmacist isn’t out yet. Danny describes how romantic his first date with Chloe was when he hired a canal boat covered in fairy lights and drank cheap champagne with her. Veggie sends Lisa a text. Poppy is up and asking for her. Lisa gets desperate and tries to take the medicine and some more from the other side of the counter. Before she can leave, a woman comes in asking for a prescription fill for Anne Cooper. Lisa tries to do her best but keeps messing up. She goes around the back and is shocked to find a body. The pharmacist has been dead for three hours.

Lisa finishes up setting Danny’s profile. He instantly gets a match. It is Lisa herself, which surprises her. She cuts the call and makes an excuse to Danny. The episode ends with the Cat Man staring at Danny through his window, asking him about Disneyland. 

The Episode Review

Episode 1 of Still Up is highly suggestive of another TV show based around a cross-gender “platonic” relationship – Apple TV+’s Platonic with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, which was a big hit with audiences. Robertson and Thomas offer a different dynamic, of course as they are both younger than the pair in the aforementioned show.

But the inherent differences go beyond their age and generational context. I like the storytelling format where the two characters are in separate locations connected via video call. This will give the creatives more avenues to explore varying facets of their lives and use individualized locations for humour.

The writing is the most impressive quality of the first episode. It is easygoing, organic, and interesting enough to follow. Ultimately, Still Up’s fortunes will rest in the hands of its two young stars. Both have shown serious potential in their bodies of work. They seem to have a likeable camaraderie on screen. Let’s see how they build it up.


Next Episode

You can read our full season 1 review of Still Up here!
  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment