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'Undateable' recap: A pants brother always has your back

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Pants Buddies” | Aired May 29, 2014

It’s been one week since Justin moved in with Danny, and it has taken no time for him to feel right at home. That includes clacking around the kitchen in cycling shoes, pretending to be the sixth Backstreet Boy performing at Madison Square Garden. Danny mentally adjusts to this rousing wake-up call and stumbles into the kitchen just as Justin finishes the final notes of “I Want It That Way.” Shelly appears out of nowhere looking for a teakettle, while Burski and Brett settle in on the couch with doughnuts. Apparently the Black Eyes crew meets every Sunday for brew.

Danny explains that a very pretty girl is about to enter into the main living space, and he encourages his mentees to play it cool for the 10 seconds it will take her to get from point A to point B. Justin assures Danny that he knows how to play it cool. After all, he just “sang the most vocally challenging Backstreet Boys song without hitting one flat note.”

An attractive blonde picks her way through the vicinity, attempting to not make eye contact with any of the creepy guys looking at her as if she were on display at the zoo. Unable to hold it in any longer, Justin tells the woman that no one is judging her for this walk of shame. In fact, it should be called a walk of choices. Then he offers her an egg sandwich.

According to Justin, there’s nothing cooler than hospitality.

Back at the bar, Danny insists that he and Justin have a discussion about personal boundaries. Justin asks his sister, Leslie, why Danny refuses to let people in. She explains that his personal space has always been a no-cry zone. Then she instructs Justin to never, EVER mention Toy Story 3. Danny’s eyes begin to water as he remembers the toys all holding hands as they head toward the incinerator.

MUST NOT TALK ABOUT FEELINGS. NEED DISTRACTION.

What better way to deflect the attention off of these squishy, gushy emotions than to tutor young Burski on how to strike up a conversation with a new tenant in his building? Danny’s advice? Don’t speak to her. Remember the Little Mermaid? She managed to get a prince to fall in love with her without saying a word. Do something nice, but don’t speak.

UndateableBurski is willing to try, and runs off to “mermaid” his crush. Justin runs off to purposely initiate the awkward “which way are you going?” dance with Nicki. Danny finds this pathetic, grabs Justin’s phone and texts Nicki, asking her out to a movie. Outraged, Justin runs back to Nicki to inform her that he meant to send that text to another Nicki. Thanks to Danny’s meddling, the lie quickly falls apart in front of him, resulting in a twisted web of tales about Justin’s good friend Nick, who just so happens to be an old, blind alcoholic who hates kids.

Meanwhile, Burski scores with the girl from his building by being completely mute. He and the rest of the crew head over to tell Danny the good news, and walk in at the exact time when Justin calls him a loser. Justin is devastated that he said something so hateful about his pants buddy.

What is a “pants buddy”? I’m glad you asked.

Justin was driving Burski to a job interview once when he spilled his coffee all over his slacks. Justin switched pants with him so Burski didn’t have to go into the interview looking disheveled. Since then, they’ve had each other’s backs. Pants buddies.

It takes two seconds before Danny begins to make fun of the “underpants gang.” Justin closes in, asking repeatedly what happened to Danny as a child to make him so obnoxious. Danny senses the invasion of personal boundaries, and shuts the conversation down with one penis joke.

Leslie convinces Danny to invest in Justin and the other guys as real human beings instead of a weird, sexual science project. He heads to the bar to apologize, tosses a glass of red wine on Justin’s pants and offers an even switch: slacks for jeans. He wants to be a pants buddy. He’s totally got his back.

Undateable Quotables

Danny: For this to work, there will be no tap shoes in the house.
Justin: They’re cycling shoes, Danny. You’ll know when I’m wearing my tap shoes.

Burski: I Little Mermaided that chick so hard! I got my first date in months!
Shelly: Truth check.
Burski: In years!

Brett: We talk about you behind your back all the time. No worries.
Justin: What do you say?
Shelly: We talk about your lady hips, button nose and Lego-man hair.

Brett: Are you mermaiding me?
Burski: Yeah — I wanted to see if it works on gay dudes.
Brett: It absolutely did.

Undateable, rated TV-14, airs Thursdays at 9/8 C on NBC.

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