01x02 - Liza Sows Her Oates

[Rock music]

♪ ♪

You lost your virginity in your parents' basement while watching The Notebook?

At least it's romantic.

Chick flick.

And what's the connection between 9/11 and first hand job?

Both happened while I was on the bus to middle school.

That was a busy bus.

And while you were giving birth to Caitlin?

Younger Liza was going to her first concert...

Spice Girls, Asbury Park.

I dressed as Sporty, though right now I feel scary.

Do not let fear get in.

You're doing this.

And you're staying with me, so I can live vicariously.

I'm nothing but a lab rat to you.

A hot lab rat with a fancy new job.

Man: Hey!

Who's ready to go off the grid?

Oh, look how cute Caitlin was then.

Look at you and David. You actually look happy there.

We were on vacation together in the Bahamas, where I later discovered he gambled away Caitlin's college fund.



Are you sure about this?

Because when I erase your Internet presence, you're gone forever.

I have to do it.

I can't have the people I work with finding my life online.

I don't need the details.

Wait, wait. I'm getting a message.

Don't worry.

That bitch will never find you again.

That bitch was my daughter.

Honey, hey, I got your message.

Is everything okay?

Caitlin: Mom, I don't want to come home.

I want to finish out the school year in India.

Liza: Are you sure?

I don't want you to stay if you're unhappy.

Caitlin: No, I'm not unhappy.

In fact, I'm very happy.

I met someone.

His name is Arjun, and he's beautiful.

His lips are like pillows.

That's great, honey, and very descriptive.

Is he in class with you?

Caitlin: Of course he's in class with me.

He's this premed genius, and he wants to take me to Goa this weekend.

Honey, I'm glad you're staying, but I don't want you going to Goa with a pillow-lipped genius.

Caitlin: Mom, how can you make decisions for me from the suburbs of New Jersey?

Caitlin, I love you, and I am very glad you met a boy that you like, but listen to me carefully: Do not go to Goa.

Josh: I'll go to Goa.

In fact, I would love to go-a to Goa with you.

Uh, honey, you're breaking up.

We will talk about this later, okay?

Excuse me, sir, are you stalking me?

Actually, I thought you were stalking me.

I mean, this is my studio that you just happened to be loitering in front of, so...

We're neighbors.

I bet that's probably why we met at the bar around the corner.

So, neighbor, what's going on?

You got any plans tonight?

You want to take a stroll?

A stroll?

Yeah, through the Burgh.

I'll show you all the sights.

I would so love to take a stroll with you, but right now I am very late for this job that I can't be late for.


How's 8:00?

That's perfect.

Good day, sir.

Oh, my God. What am I doing?

[Energetic dance music]

♪ ♪

And you're telling me this now, one week before the book comes out?

No, no, no. We'll deal with it.

What choice do we have?

That is just effin' perfect.

Joyce Carol Oates writes the best book of her career and Sue Grafton moves the release of her new mystery to the same date.

She can't hold a candle to Joyce Carol Oates.

I actually wrote a paper about her in college.

Joyce Carol Oates and the riddling nature of female desire.

Well that sounds like a riveting marketing plan to me.

Well, how are the reviews?

I bet they're amazing.

Oh, and do you think reviews sell books?

No, your generation has absolutely destroyed all pretense of critical relevance.

What about Michiko Kakutani from the New York times?

The only way a good review by Michiko Kakutani could sell books is if her twerking ass caught fire.

JCO deserves a number-one debut.

We need to sell her to a younger audience, to your fetus peers.

Got it.

Figure this out.

That's why you're here.

Uh, yes, of course.

What's that?

Anton Bjornberg, the hottest writer to hit Sweden since Stieg Larsson.

And better yet, he's alive.

I never heard of him.

Nobody has.

The book just got translated, and he's in town meeting every editor at every publishing house this week.

I've got finish reading this thing by tonight.

Wow. Can I take a look?

Oh, you can keep this copy.

I've got a pdf on both my iPads and my kindle.

Do you want one for yours?

No, this works.

Hey, what are you doing for lunch?

Possibly being eaten by Diana. Why?

I'm supposed to meet Lauren, and I could really use your help keeping her entertained while I read this thing.


Yes. You're the best.

Back in an hour.

And think about Oates!

Lauren: Okay.

Hector and Dorf made the most insane video for their new underwear line.

First you think you're looking at a giant furry pen1s, and then it suddenly stands up and you realize it is actually a golden retriever puppy.

So many of your stories involve penises.

It's totally gone viral.

Oh, cool. Is there, like, an app for that?

So, like, no.

Hector and Dorf are avant-garde fashion visionaries, and we planned it that way.

Are you really just gonna sit here and read your Swedish book?


I would love to see that video.

Yeah, no, no, no, I'll send it to you with a...

Oh, with some of our new moisturizer.

You're developing crow's-feet.

That is very unusual for women our age.

Yeah, I know, I know.

We have this premature eye wrinkle thing on my mother's side and I spent way too much time on the beaches in Goa.

The... uh, what you doing there?

Cover yourself, woman!

We are not at Burning Man.

What? It's perfectly legal to be topless in New York.

Plus it's topless Tuesday on Twitter, okay?

I need to tweet.

Wait, you're putting that online?

Hell, yeah. ♪ToplessTuesday, ♪ LunchWithTheGirls.

I don't think she means us.

Lauren: Listen, okay, I am empowering women.

Breasts aren't shameful.

Hey, ask Rihanna.

Lauren, you are doing this for the attention.

No, no, no. I need to feed the beast.

I've got over 35,000 followers.

And climbing.

Hi, hey.

Like me on instagram and Twitter.

I'm Lauren Hector Dorf.

Remind me never to have lunch with you on Tuesday again.

I do not believe this.

Lauren's boobs are trending on Twitter.

No way. Trending?

That's good, right?

She is like the Kim Kardashian of fashion publicists.

"LunchWithTheGirls" is trending too.

Just since lunch?


Okay, I have a crazy idea.

There are no crazy ideas, only bad ones.

Do you really want to pitch me a bad idea?

You want to get Joyce Carol Oates attention on social media.

Move the release of her book to Tuesday.

Why would we do that?

Topless Tuesday.

Excuse me?

Topless Tuesday. It's a huge deal.

Women post topless selfies on Twitter to support female empowerment.

We could run a viral campaign with our fans on social media.

♪ ShowUsYourOates.

Rihanna posts topless selfies all the time and has, like, 35 million followers.

Just another 35 million nails in our cultural coffin.

Bring me a fresh bar of 70% dark chocolate.

And get me Joyce Carol oates' agent on the phone.

Josh: I grew up in this small little town in West Virginia.

They basically filmed Winter's Bone in my backyard.

No way.



I'm a total hillbilly.

Who just could not wait to get out of there.

So after high school, I bummed around the world for a couple years.

I was in Europe. I was in Asia.

Until finally I started apprenticing for this guy in Tokyo who was like this master tattoo artist.

I love that story.

That's why I totally dig that you lived in India for all those years, you know?

Well, yeah.

Yeah, living in a third-world country really changes your perspective.

I miss it so much.

[Beyond the sea playing]

Oh, oh. This is amazing.

You have to see this.

♪ somewhere ♪

Look at this guy.

♪ beyond the sea ♪

He just drives around the city just singing.

♪ My lover stands on golden sands ♪

He's terrible.

Yeah, I know.

♪ And watches the ships ♪
♪ That go sailing ♪



Best meatballs in Brooklyn.

Just stay right here. I will be right back.

Woman: Liza?

Oh, my God. Michelle, Tom!


Where have you been?

You moved, and you disappeared from Facebook.

I have been so worried about you.

Yeah, I've been staying with my friend Maggie.

She lives nearby.

The lesbian artist?

You could have stayed with me.

What are you guys doing here?

Oh, every month we come to Brooklyn to try out a hot new restaurant.

Well, by "hot," she means "overpriced."

You know, we should introduce Liza to Richard.

Richard is an absolute catch, also recently divorced.

Promise me you'll call.

I swear.


Liza, it's so good to see you!

Oh, don't be a stranger.


It's straight ahead. It's straight ahead to the left.

Can't miss it.

Who's that?

Oh, yeah, uh, it's just some older woman looking for directions for the subway.

And she kissed you?

Yeah. She was very...



Omg, mouth-gasm.

Oh, my God.

They're the best.



Babe, I can't.

I have to finish reading this book.

Why are you staying over if you just want to read?

Good air conditioning and better sheets.

What, I can only stay here if I have s*x with you?

No, babe.

It's just been three whole days.

Okay, well, why don't you read something for once?

That copy of The GoldFinch has been on your nightstand for over a year.

In 400 pages.


I promise.

Josh: Okay, so this is where you live.

Liza: Yep, with my roommate, Maggie.

She's a really awesome artist.


Some might describe her work as really...


One more thing you should know about me...

I'm all about work right now.

So no time, really, for personal life.

Didn't like the kiss, huh?

Of course not. No.

God, no. I loved the kiss.

It was superb. You're an excellent kisser.

Best kiss I've had in years.

Seriously. I mean it.

But I...


The work thing.

I got it.

I will try and keep my distance, neighbor.



♪ You bring a joy with you ♪
♪ A certain peace that's hard to find ♪
♪ I never knew someone like you ♪
♪ Who sees me clear as sky is blue ♪



How was your date with Josh last night?

It wasn't a date.

It was more of a neighborly tour.

That kiss was very neighborly.

You saw that?

Hmm! I felt that.

And I was two floors up.


I don't need any more trouble in my life right now.

Well, one woman's trouble is another woman's fantasy.

My fantasy is restarting my career, not macking on some sweet kid who would take tattoo needles to his eyes if he knew how old I was.

That kiss was hot, though.

It was so hot.

It's never gonna happen again.


♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh ♪
♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

Kelsey: Liza!

Oh, God, I finally finished that book.

Did you read it?

I'm so sorry, I didn't.

I had kind of a date with Josh last night.

Ooh, that hottie you met at the bar?


God, at least one of us is having fun.

Thad masturbated next to me all night, but I did not let him break my concentration.

Wow, I wish I had your focus.

How was the book?

You know, the translation is a little stilted, but he is amazing.

The book is about his life, but he makes every detail feel universal.

I'll finish it tonight.

If I can sign this guy, it will change everything for me.

Where have you been? I've been e-mailing you all morning.

I'm sorry, it's 8:00 A.M.

I didn't realize all morning had started yet.

We have a photo shoot.



I'm always serious.

Haven't you figured that out by now?

So are we gonna get to meet Joyce today?


Not today.

[Cell phone rings]



Michelle: Lizey.

Guess who saw your picture and really wants to go on a date with you.

Tom's very available friend Richard.

Wow, that's very nice, but I don't think I want to...

Michelle: Oh, Liza, honey, listen to me.

What happened with you and David is terrible, and losing that beautiful house.

But you need to take a chance, and I can vouch for this man.

Recently divorced, very good looking, owns his own business.


Honey, this is good for you.

Just say yes.

Okay. Okay, okay.

Just give him my number.

Michelle: Fabulous.

Wonderful. This is all very empowering.

This one.

More banner, less boob.


Now post it to Twitter.

God help us.

Word on the street...

Bjornberg's signing with Knopf.

His agent wouldn't even let him take the meeting.

Well, then you have to find a way to meet him.

What do you mean? Like, stalk the guy?

No, I mean don't let someone else's rules get in the way of working with a writer you're passionate about.

You are wise.

I'm on Twitter and nothing is twittering.

You forgot the hashtag.

Right. Hashtag.

Liza, get in here.

Look at this, look at this.

ShowUsYourOates is trending.

Joyce Carol Oates fans from around the world are freeing the nipple in solidarity.

And maybe, just maybe, they will even buy one of her books.

Oh, my God.

I don't believe this.

I know. We've gone global.

Excuse me. I have a small Twitter emergency.

Oh, my God.

You are turning back into a pumpkin.

Really? Way to make a girl feel good before a blind date.

No, I'm kidding.

You look pretty.

Very ladylike.


I'm not sure that's a compliment.

Oh, 100%.

I like ladies.

It does feel nice to be wearing my own clothes.

Some of those hipster thrift store finds smell like weed.

Well, God's in the details.

Anyway, it's great to see the old Liza back.

Well, this old girl is about to go on a date with an appropriate-aged fellow whose references I might actually comprehend.

Hmm, where's he taking you?

Roberto's, this really nice Italian place in Paramus.


All right, don't give me that look.

I'm excited about this.

No, no, no, I'm excited for you.

Are you?

Honey, you're my friend.

I want what you want.

Crazy thing is, my life just got interesting and I can't even talk about it.

Nobody thought that healthy food and Mexican food could go together, but I was a believer from the beginning.

And let me tell you, chipotle has been very good to me.

That's wonderful.

Mm, and my ex-wife.

She still participates in the upside, believe me.


How was your fish?

It was very good.


It's hard for me to eat out with everything I know about the food business.

Sometimes too much information's not a good thing.

You know, when Michelle told me that you were 40, I thought, "whoa.

"If I wanted to be with a 40-year-old woman, I would have stayed married."

Sorry, that's a very... That's a bad joke.

You're very cute.

Thank you.

Now you ask me a question.

Excuse me?

Go ahead. Ask anything.

I know these blind dates can be awkward.

How long have you been divorced?

Two years since it's been final, but it hadn't been good for years.

Honestly, we stuck it out for the kids, who couldn't have cared less.

What about you?

It really hasn't been that long.

We've been separated about a year.

We actually haven't signed the divorce papers yet, because we can't afford the lawyers.

We're actually too broke to get divorced.

How's that for comedy?

Or tragedy. Take your pick.

I'm sorry, there's just this one email I have to respond to.

No problem.

[Phone chimes]

Can I get anybody dessert?

Oh, I'm done.

Yeah, me too.

Hey, nut.

You looking for someone?


I just really needed to do that.


I'll see you around the Burgh.

Wait, that's it?

For now.