Still Up – Season 1 Episode 2 “The Dress” Recap & Review

The Dress

Episode 2 of Still Up begins with another night. Lisa, who is a bartender, has just finished her night shift. She has also deleted her account on the dating site. Lisa takes the bus home, which is mostly empty aside from a trio of troubleraisers.

Lisa has just lost her Aunt Em, who was a pillar in her life. She recounts an instance from middle school when Em helped retrieve Lisa’s canvas shoes from school bullies. Em created a scene by waltzing in the middle of a school day and physically taking the shoes off them.

It was a staunch display of not just her ideals but also Em’s love for Lisa. However, Lisa “borrowed” a green dress from Em a while ago and never returned it. Em’s dying wish was to get buried in that dress. Lisa’s plan is to surreptitiously put the dress back in the house and hide it “terribly” so that it is found by the people dressing her.

Danny has been making strides in his personal life as well. He has a match from Amy, a personal trainer on the dating app. Lisa encourages him to keep things simple and take the first step. Amy responds to Danny’s texts. Lisa suggests Danny be as normal as possible and do all the easy things first before any heavy conversations.

Veggie has sent a video he has made to Lisa. She falls asleep while watching it, only to discover that not only has she missed her stop, but Em’s dress is also gone. No, not stolen, but “borrowed” by a young hooligan in the bus whom she “shushed” earlier. What makes things worse is that he is wearing the dress like it is his own!

She goes over to ask for it back but the trio keeps shushing her back. She calls Danny, who tells her that Amy wants to go out. But Danny has a problem. He has spotted a “mound” on his “thingy,” which he is convinced is cancer. Lisa tries to discourage his train of thought and lays her own problem upon him. Danny cannot see the local doctor due to his frequent, trivial visits to her. He instead wants Lisa to look at it and assure him it isn’t cancer. But before that, Lisa has to deal with this “dress problem.” 

Danny suggests she cause a scene because it is the man who is in the wrong here. She takes his advice and marches ahead. But the move does not go as expected. In fact, she comes the worse off in this exchange as no one around her is willing to help. She dejectedly calls Danny back, who eagerly asks what she thinks about the mound. Lisa says she hasn’t got it and a terrifying look covers Danny’s face. He has mistakenly sent the photo to Amy, his potential date. Lisa does not think it is a bad move, although it is definitely risky. It might be a blessing in disguise as it would force Danny to leave his house, which he dreads to do.

He tries opening a window and taking the first step. But a pigeon spots the opportunity and flies through it. Lisa’s mind harkens back to Em’s act of courage from that day in school. She opens the recorder on her video and confronts the man again. She starts taking off her clothes and the man is forced to give the dress back. A victory at last for Lisa! She is quite far off from her stop and walks back to Em’s place. She keeps the dress inside but has nothing other than Em’s “tasteful” dress to wear.

Danny reports good news from his end as Amy has taken the entire thing in a jovial stride. Also, the mound is just an ingrown hair and he doesn’t have cancer. The episode ends with the pigeon, who had earlier smashed into Danny’s window, flying out after Danny thought it was dead. He is also nervous about his new beginning with Amy which might bring him back to living his life. 

The Episode Review

I don’t know if it is the writing or my own male experience but Roberts’ character has a much better arc. For some reason, his scenes in the solitaire of his apartment are well worth sticking to. Lisa has yet to truly amount to something substantial. The writers are still finding their feet with her character. There is confusion as to how to characterize her as an individual with imperfections and conceits.

The friendship’s representation is alright. Some aspects of it feel derivative but it is authentic enough to be believable. Although the format itself seems quite useful in episode 2, the plot here was not quite convincing. The show looked out of its depth, bereft of ideas to define the plot with anything memorable. The chosen setting of the bus felt bland and was without surprises.

Episode 2 is a weak follow-up to an otherwise strong opener. Its one-dimensional tone lacked rhythm and wasn’t as engaging as we had hoped it would be. 

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