Season 1, Episode 8: To Hell in a Handbag


"All I know about women's fashion is to tell them it looks good and try to figure out whether it unhooks in the front or the back." -Conrad

"Y'know, it's times like this I'm glad I had my tear ducts removed." -Faye

"Hey. Made-for-TV-movie hug?" -Molly

Written by Michael B. Kaplan, Directed by Ken Levine

Guest starring Meagan Fay as Mrs. Hudson, Victoria Jackson as Carol. Also starring Rick Zumwalt as convict. Cameo by Donna Mills.


Molly is short on her rent money, and has just been turned down as a photographer for a catalog. She comes to Conrad's office and tells him this, and asks him that if his company is looking for any freelance photography, would he please recommend her. He says he's really sorry, but they're not looking for any photographers right now, but he's sure that all she needs is one break and her career will take off. Shelley comes in and mentions a salad dressing account that they have in which Faye is looking for a photographer. Conrad gives Shelley a "shut-up" look, but Shelley goes on to say that she's sure that they could get Molly the job since they can recommend just about anyone they want. Molly leaves her portfolio with Conrad and exits his office extremely happy. Conrad is upset that Shelley did that. He tells Shelley that he's really not sure that Molly is ready for such a big job, and that he's not ready to put his career on the line like that, and he's now going to have to make up a story to keep Molly from getting the job without knowing why. Shelley apologizes.

Later, at his apartment, Conrad tells Molly that he recommended her to Faye, and that Faye was all ready to hire her, but then they lost the account. Molly is disappointed, but understands.

The next day, Molly stops by to pick up Conrad for lunch and sees Faye at the reception desk. She thanks Faye for considering her for the job and says that she was sorry to hear about the loss of the account. Faye tells Molly that she never heard anything about her before and they didn't lose the account. Conrad comes out to join Molly for lunch and she is furious with him. He apologizes for lying to her, but tells her that she never should have put him on the spot like that because he's not willing to chance his career on her like that and he's only been at his job for two months. She says that he was the one who told her that all she needed was the big break, and if her best friend isn't going to give it to her, who will?

Conrad sees Molly at her new job, subbing for the mug-shot photographer at the police station after the regular photographer got stabbed 57 times. She is not interested in talking to him, but he tells her that he talked to Faye about her and Faye said she could have the job. Molly continues to ignore him. Conrad says she has to talk to him because he went to bat for her. She asks him what happened to his all important career. He says that their friendship is more important than his career. She says she doesn't want the job, and he doesn't understand. She says that he was right, she shouldn't have put him on the spot like that and ever asked him to put his career on the line, because their frienship is more important. They make-up and have a made-for-TV-movie hug which brings the convict that Molly is photographing to tears.

Florie has decided to take up a new hobby after watching the various things sold on the home-shopping network. She starts making women's handbags. She brings them by Conrad's office and asks him to help her sell them. Although Shelley and Conrad encourage her, when she leaves they agree that the bags are the most hideous things they've ever seen. Conrad tries to market them to women around the office, but is greeted with screams of horror. He hides the handbags and decides to give his mom a check as if he had sold them. Nina busts him, and says that she's going to tell on him. Instead, she recommends to her mother that they bring more handbags over to Conrad's office and raise the price, since the first batch sold so well.

Conrad is pitching an ad to a very indecisive woman who recently took over her husband's company after her divorce. She runs West-Coast Storage, and the only idea she likes is Conrad's scenario of a son hiding his mother's hideous handbags intead of selling them and needing a storage place for them. Conrad is pleased that his idea was accepted until he realizes that West-Coast Storage is expanding to the East Coast, and it is almost guaranteed that his mother will actually see this ad on TV. He invites his mother to lunch to explain to her what's going on, and she sees a parade of elderly women in the office. She asks Conrad what all the old women are doing there, and he says that they're auditioning for an ad that he wrote. He tells her about the ad, and she says that she always knew the handbags were awful, but she's upset about how old looking all those women were. She says she's not that old, and she doesn't want all her friends who will see the ad to think that her son sees her that way. Conrad ends up getting the glamourous Donna Mills to play his mother in the ad, and she's much happier.