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Matt Spencer is a character in the HBO television series Avenue 5, portrayed by actor Zach Woods. He is head of customer relations at the Avenue 5.

Personality[]

Matt can come across as oblivious to things right in front of him and often makes comments which suggest he had a somewhat traumatic or neglected upbringing. He is self-described as a nihilist meaning he rejects moral and religious principles and also believes life to be meaningless; this point of view has inconvenienced his work a great number of times. Despite his personal philosophy he is kind, reassuring for the most part and does genuinely attempt to help people; though in a very 'Matt' way. Despite being a nihilist, Matt is eager to reach the end of his final cruise in order to be promoted to a more senior role on Earth.

Appearance[]

Matt is tall, over 6', with very dark brown hair and blue eyes; he's probably from the later half of Generation Alpha. For the most part Matt is seen wearing his Avenue 5 uniform which consists of a gray suit and teal shirt.

Occupation[]

Matt has a background in performance, but gave up trying to make it as an entertainer.[1]

Matt is the head of Customer Relations for the Avenue 5. It's his job to keep all the passengers happy and maintain a certain standard aboard the ship. However, Matt isn't very good at his job. Appliances and the facilities are constantly breaking down after the 'incident' and Matt doesn't seem to take much, if any, notice. He appears more focused on trying to fix Doug's and Mia's marriage even though there is a therapist on board. Ryan Clark has described him as being a 'wild kind of useless'.

Character Biography[]

Avenue 5[]

Matt struggles to do his job aboard the Avenue 5 mostly because he isn't overly good at it, however, it becomes far harder for him after the gravity shift as he is the first member of the crew to be verbally attacked and threatened. As a nihilist he honestly doesn't care about the passengers' world views or moral outcries which only fuels their anger with him and the Judd Brand. He's undervalued by almost all of the crew and even called 'useless' by Captain Ryan Clark after a failed conversation with Karen Kelly. While the rest of the upper crew manage to band together in a way Matt is always left out or ignored for the most part. Clark makes Matt partially redundant when he puts Karen in the position of passenger liaison without ever telling Matt.

It steadily becomes increasingly obvious that Matt is very close to the breaking point. In Was It Your Ears? he appears to slip into his own little world due to sleeplessness caused by the constant beep, and manages to time it exactly so each time it sounds he taps the air as if making the noise himself. None of the others ever make any comment on this and don't even seem to notice; this can be partially forgiven due to them all being severely sleep deprived as well.

Matt's spider avatar for which the episode Are You a Spider, Matt? gets its name.

During Are You a Spider, Matt? Iris Kimura, Captain Clark, Herman Judd and Billie McEvoy all walk past one of Matt's computer advertisements to which Billie makes a comment about Matt heading towards suicide. Not one of them bats an eye and Iris even replies that if Matt does end his own life they are all to tell HR there weren't any warning signs which they agree too.

Later he goes to 'Judd Golf' a virtual golf game to explain that the comms would soon be back online. When questioned by Captain Clark as to his avatar Matt explains that he likes spiders because he admires their infrastructure and the fact they 'play the long game. Once the comms come back online he, and everyone else present, check their messages, when Matt checks his he reads aloud that Tobey Maguire had died and been found with his throat slit in the shower.

Despite his appearance becoming more and more dishevelled and an advertisement he makes for the bar restaurant being riddled with loathing comments about his father never being there for him as a child, Matt helps Judd to work on his come-backs for the next time he has to speak with Harrison Aimes.

Continuing in his usual way Matt reveals to Herman Judd and his assistant, Iris Kimura in This Is Physically Hurting Me that Captain Ryan Clark had asked for sedatives. However, Matt doesn't stop there and actually makes it sound as though Clark not only has a drug habit but is struggling with a full on addiction which angers Judd. Shortly afterwards he stumbles across the Real Crew's HQ along with Spike Martin while Ryan is practising on the simulator because they though it was where the Tabasco was stored; turned out they wanted it because Spike was having a 'Bloody Mary emergency'. Matt manages to pick up that Billie wanted them both to leave and points it out to his friend while promising to get him his drink, He also suggests that Clark and Billie have a 'role play thing' going on.

When the passengers try to walk out the airlock thinking they never left Earth Matt is the only one who manages to talk any sense into them but even this fails and a passenger - Mike - dies when he goes out. After seven people die by being jettisoned out the airlock Matt ends up cowering in a corner asking if it's all his fault; he'd genuinely been trying to help. Karen Kelly does take some form of pity on him and offers him a somewhat comforting pat on the knee as she walks away.

After the deaths in Eight Arms But No Hands, Matt changes the airlock codes and vanished claiming he needs to 'work on himself' which is clearly a result of him believing himself responsible for seven people's deaths. However, the rest of the crew needs the code so they can jettison the trash and avoid the extra journey time. He's then flooded with messages of random comments from everyone from Billie and Iris to Mads and Mia in an attempt to hide Ryan's original stupid message of support. He later sends another message to Ryan Clark to clarify that he doesn't intend to commit suicide and is actually going to hide out on the ship for the next three years; his disappearance sparks the main crew to go in search of him. As it turned out Matt hadn't actually been making any real attempt to hide and openly stands in a hallway eating a candy bar when Ryan and Judd stumble across him. He informs them he'd been itemizing his thoughts, one of these being a comment which gives the episode it's name (this is the second episode to get it's name from something Matt has said) Ryan unsuccessfully pats him down for the codes before Rav Mulcair and the searchers descend up on them and Matt slips into their group to watch Rav's conversation with Judd unfold and eventually reveals the new airlock code to Ryan. After Judd runs off to the shuttle he follows with the angry group of searchers more to see what will happen next than anything else.

Relationships[]

Friendships[]

Frank Kelly[]

Matt and passenger Frank Kelly appear to be on rather good terms and have formed a casual friendship in spite of their clear age difference and roles aboard the Avenue 5. In Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder? he is seen encouraging Frank to be more spontaneous and tells Frank to find the 'new you' while they sit at the ship's bar. Matt pushes Frank to do things that make him happy such as wearing a necklace with a shell on it. This push actually gets Frank to get himself such a necklace and new outfit before he attends Judd's cocktail party.

Spike Martin[]

Matt is one of the few people who doesn't instantly come across as irritated with or hostile towards Spike Martin. While they aren't close they do appear to be slightly more than just acquaintances. Their minor friendship is probably derived from the fact Matt is known to ask very blunt or rude questions completely out of the blue yet this doesn't seem to bother Spike who takes it at face value. In Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder? Matt asks if Spike has ever masturbated to a constellation, rather than being outraged or offended by the question Spike calmly answers that he masturbated to Gemini once.

In He's Only There To Stop His Skeleton Falling Over Spike is the first to agree with Matt about throwing the Half Way party while everyone else thinks it's a bad idea since they aren't half way any more. Later Matt names Spike as one of the heroes - along with Ryan Clark - who saved the Avenue 5 from the ruptured wetsuit.

Herman Judd[]

Matt appears to be one of the few people Judd actually likes though their relationship hasn't quite reached friendship levels. Matt's tendency to either roll with or ignore Judd's idiocy has made Matt one of the select few that Judd will actually open up to. During Was It Your Ears? Matt picks up on Judd being jealous of the new baby boy because the child gives everyone aboard hope. They then descend into a theoretical conversation about doing the baby harm 'if it were a competition', Judd talks about destroying the boy emotionally while Matt suggests a strike to the soft spot of the boy's skull.

Quotes[]

  • "No, I think that's a ro- no, that's an asshole. The puckering's beautiful." (About the maid's towel folding to Doug and Mia)
  • "So you're at peace. I'm gonna go fix some more passengers now." (Matt to Doug and Mia)
  • "Do you love to drink? I know my dad did. Why don't you come down and enjoy a nice, cold glass." (Matt's video advertisement for the ship's bar)
  • "I am trained to make sure your body wash gets replenished, not to rectify the catastrophe of human existence." (Matt to irate passengers)
  • "Eat the rich!" (While riling up the the passengers)

Trivia[]

  • He was born in Pennsylvania, before the fires.

References[]

  1. Icon HBO.png HBO. Armando Iannucci to Bring Humor to Space with ‘Avenue 5’ hbo.com. Retrieved on November 24, 2019.
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