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  1. Tried to watch this a year or so ago, quit, took another crack at it recently and binged straight through two seasons. It's so enjoyable I don't even mind some television conventions that usually get under my skin. For example, in the scene where the girls are up all night studying, I just have a hard time picturing a situation where Claire would neglect to prepare for an important history exam without the show giving us a good episode as to why. Same with James, actually. And when Ms. De Brun interrupted the English class to request her B45 form (or whatever) from Sister Michael, that didn't feel realistic. Go to the bursary office or whatever. AND when you really binge through you can see how often Michelle is day drunk - particularly the day they nearly burnt down Finula's Chippy. Lots of Michelles in life, but still I might not choose to hang out with her every day. Somewhat upthread it's mentioned that the adults are more affected by the "troubles" than the kids, who are focused on their own concern. No, the adults are just as focused on their own concerns. For example, when a bridge is roadblocked, Aunt Sarah is frustrated because she needs to visit the tanning parlor, and Erin's mother Mary is beside herself because she can't stand the thought of keeping Erin at home another day. The Girls MUST go to school. The parents are just so wonderful on Derry Girls. The way the parents were ready to go on their knees to Sister Michael when she declared they'd be suspended at home for a week. The way Ma Mary has to have a full wash load, and became obsessed when Michelle's ma didn't want her big bowl back. And when she cried to Finula. "What do you expect me to do on a Friday, Finula? Cook? You expect me to cook!?" Lisa Mcgee, the writer, revealed the big bowl secret by saying she guessed Michelle's ma did a lot of baking for family and neighborhood, felt unappreciated, decided to retire from baking and leave the bowl with Mary. Serve everybody right. And nobody noticed.
  2. It's very typical for TV and Waller Bridge addressed this by saying she didn't want to struggle with the financial logistics for Fleabag to afford that flat so she gave herself permission to ignore it. I was also, at times, curious who was running the cafe when Fleabag was off doing something else during cafe hours. Did they introduce waitstaff? I don't think so because she had to recruit the small loans guy at one point. As talented as Waller Bridge is, IMO Michaela Cole wins because she never skirted the financial realities - an obstacle every single show I can think of succumbs to because these shows want to write what's convenient to write and they find the financial logistics oppressive. But Cole - dialogue, structure, pay offs, knock your socks off, jaw hitting the floor - all earned, all supported by the story structure and plot developments - and Cole never skirted the challenges of being poor. The succession of events in the homeless shelter bathroom - I couldn't breathe they were so crazy, so real, and so hilarious. Also as you say they didn't have to do a Cole and make Fleabag's wardrobe part of the plot structure - a couple of lines of dialogue would have handled it. But I also think a show like Fleabag is aspirational while pretending to maybe more authenticity and "relatability" than it has, and that's another reason it sells. We can tell ourselves it's oh so real and relatable when the fantasy aspects are what's marketing it. Many reviewers have pointed out the surreal glamour of the opening shot of S2, and how the women buying that jumpsuit weren't just buying the jumpsuit, but wanted to own the whole vibe of that shot. Fantasy. It's very well done and I enjoyed it, just chafed at some of the by products ,such as the congratulations for giving Fleabag a real working girl's wardrobe.
  3. Not only is Fleabag dressed in numerous expensive clothes, in interviews the wardrobe designer pretends they're not expensive! Pretends this is what a struggling, broke cafe owner would wear. NO. No matter what the show wanted to communicate with Fleabag's attire for her mom's funeral, she wouldn't have close to 500.00 for a funeral dress. She wouldn't wear Reformation (at her dad's wedding). She wouldn't even wear COS (every piece sold there between 100.00 and multiples of 100.00). She'd be dressing like Boo. The High Street is expensive. It's not a fallback for people with no money! Designer is not a default for people who have stable jobs, but oh, I have to cut corners so I'll shop High Street and make do with a cardigan from Whistles! Yes, there were a few pieces that were arguably affordable for Phoebe's circumstances, but the show frequently cheated. And it's such an excuse! "Oh, we needed to communicate this or that for the character, therefore we needed to spend this!" Nope. A broke woman in only a dress she can afford for her mom's funeral communicates so much more, as Chewing Gum did all the time. And p.s., Fleatbag couldn't afford "Agent Provacateur business" (a line of sexy, high street priced lingerie). Which is another reason I favor Chewing Gum. Michaela Cole never cheated. These are very poor people, and their lives unfold like poor people's lives. But the people are smart, funny, interesting. The principle characters live in a council flat complex. At the end of Season 1, Tracy has left her family's council flat apartment, Connor has walked out of his, and they walk off together "into the sunset". In Season 2, it's some time later, Tracy is working at a convenience store, Connor comes in, and we get a flashback of what happened after they walked off into the sunset - the whole thing took place in a homeless shelter! No patting on the back, no "special episode" - just, these are unemployed, dead broke council flat residents who just walked out and they don't have money. Not - don't have decent money. Don't have ANY money. The episode wasn't about them being poor, no money, in a homeless shelter. It was just set there because that's where they'd logically end up given what happened previously. They continued with the storyline which wasn't about homelessness and money or being temporarily homeless. It's just if Tracy and Connor each left home, there is logically no other place for them to have gone at that time, and Michaela Cole respected that. Back to Fleabag - at times I was curious and also puzzled as to what Godmother saw in Dad that made her determined to have him. Don't give me penis jokes Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The house was nice, particularly for today's London, but Godmother seemed quite successful, also quite attracted to hot young men, and maybe more the sort who'd have a boy toy. There was that throwaway joke when dad said things were tight so he couldn't pitch in to Fleabag's cafe, and when she asked about a picture on a bookshelf he said, "That's a little house we're buying in France." so one of the two had money. Back to Godmother (I was just mesmerized by Olivia Colman's nonsense in the role). Fleabag doesn't do what she doesn't want to do. She was at loose ends, and I think fighting with Godmother helped fill the time. She didn't have to steal the statue - who cares - it's Godmother's work. She didn't have to pose for the sitting of the sister portrait and again, who cares, it's Godmother's thing, not the last word on Fleabag and Claire. And as far as the cater waiter debacle at the sexhibition, Fleabag took the tray and accepted the name badge. Any sensible adult could have either outright refused or simply said something chickenshit but convenient like, "Couldn't possibly, always drop everything, wouldn't want to create a mess." and scuttled somewhere else.
  4. I was hoping for a third Chewing Gum season but that's not going to happen. Everything on that show was perfect; every story for every character played out according to the stakes that were originally set and the subsequent choices made by each character. And, it was hilarious and shocking in the absolute best way (the reveal about Connor's live-in girlfriend had me on the floor.) I think there are probably marketing reasons Fleabag took off in the states more than Chewing Gum - race and the more advertising-friendly, more glamorous demographic Fleabag focused on, to name two. Apparently the Fleabag character has become a style icon. Phoebe Waller-Bridge said she ultimately did not deal with the unlikelihood of Fleabag being able to afford the flat she lived in, but when I read the costume designer's description of how he assembled Fleabag's clothes so that "everything was affordable" I lifted an eyebrow. A mostly broke, struggling cafe owner cannot afford the high street. Sometimes costume designers behave as if people with money do designer labels, and people without do High Street, when it's more like people who are wealthy often have designer pieces, people like Claire do High Street and some designer, people with good paying jobs do high street, people who are mostly broke make do and don't purchase dresses at Reformation which are upwards of $200.00, nor do they get "pieces" at Reiss. Of course I'm speaking of people who are not obsessed with clothes and not strategizing to get designer pieces no matter what their income. The dress Fleabag wore to her mother's funeral was over 400.00. Of course there's the famous Topshop jumpsuit which is more like it, particularly as Fleabag's cafe was doing well at that point. There was a time when a character like Godmom would have made me crazy, but I'm at the point where I see her and think there's manageable crazy. I can absolutely see the benefits for the dad. Fleabag likes to poke the bear and mess with Godmother - if she didn't engage it would be easier. Each thinks the other is after undermining their relationship with the dad. I imagine Fleabag reminds Godmother a ton of Fleabag's late mother. And Fleabag could have declined to be a cater waiter at Godmother's sexhibition. Godmother did do Fleabag a favor when at the portrait sitting she suggested Claire could use Fleabag's cafe to cater the upcoming corporate award event, so that was a good deed done there.
  5. Just binged 2 seasons of this thing. Part of me feels that "Chewing Gum" did a lot of it first while focusing on a lower income bracket - the laying groundwork, plotting, paying off the groundwork is every bit as brilliant as Fleabag. One woman show, conspirator with the camera, sex-obsessed but as a way to illuminate cultural burdens on women - all there. Everything beautifully resolved (thematically if not personally, just like Fleabag). That said, Fleabag is also wonderful and Episode 1 of Season 2 was insanely good. My favorite part of the priest relationship was Fleabag starting to take spirituality a bit seriously - or at least having a curiosity - instead of it just being the priest tempted. The way it played within the value system of the show, it didn't make a sensational hoo ha out of the priest's violation of his celibacy vows. It was a "sin" but also human, and priests (those that aren't pedophiles) are human, and it didn't make him a hypocrite. He was tempted, he fell in love, he had sex, but his faith and his love for his vocation was steadfast. As a character point, I thought that was essential, otherwise it's just soap opera. Loved Fleabag but also spent most of my viewing time rooting like crazy for Claire to break out and break free. So glad that happened. Loved that sister relationship. The Boo reveal in S1 was also absolutely perfect as an organizing principle for Fleabag's acting out. Dad and Godmom. Godmom was godawful, clearly terribly jealous of Fleabag, likely because Fleabag resembled Dad's dead wife (despite the remarks about Mom looking more like Claire than Fleabag). I thought there was a lot more very dry, shorthand and nonexplicit communication between Dad and daughters than is sometimes recognized, and they all understood each other despite wishing life choices were different. I understood what he meant when he said daughters screw up fathers more - so much implied. The guilt, responsibility coupled with the boundaries and expectations - hell. While Godmom WAS awful, I'm glad the wedding went through. At the end of the day she's probably right. She'll care for the dad while Claire and Fleabag probably don't want to be showing up for end stage day to day geriatric caretaking (they'll show up, but won't be tasked with being principal caretakers). Godmom has a lot of energy. She's passive aggressive, sure - there are worse things, and both Claire and Fleabag are sharp as tacks and know exactly what's going on. Fleabag clearly enjoys sharpening her teeth vis a vis a few of Godmom's gambits. Godmom WAS talented, by the admission of both stepdaughters, and as appalling as her sexhibition was, I completely believed in the Japan tour. I also felt all three women (Godmother, Claire, Fleabag) had fallen into a rhythm by the time Godmother asked them to find dad to begin the ceremony. Godmother obviously wants to control dad and have her own way, Dad is willing to be controlled, but as well Godmother is ok with the daughters showing up as long as she can get her shots in, which, if Claire and Fleabag ever choose, can go in one ear and out the other. It's a good deal for dad - an extra infusion of money, a wife with a lot of energy whom (I guess?) genuinely, weirdly loves him and is prepared to do the necessary caretaking when the time comes. It just seems workable to me, and funny, and of course God mother is obnoxious, but there are worse remarriages than that.
  6. I think in the context of the Amy Sherman Palladino universe, Susie is a fantastic manager. On a different show, the gambling losses and the unsigned contract would tell us something about Susie's management chops. Here I think it was just an excuse to set up Joel even more in Season 4 (the former) and plain bad writing (the latter). I don't interpret some of the WTFs about talent management as saying anything about Susie, but reflecting the careless, results-oriented ASP. Same as I don't think Midge's extravagant wardrobe, high end lifestyle and mysterious ability to purchase back her old apartment are meant to reflect anything about her cluelessness about money. It's all ASP. IMO we're meant to see Susie as a gem. She's human and makes the occasional humanizing mistake, but Sophie wanting her to be her manager, and Susie's ability to get that damn thing onto Broadway is meant to show us that on top of all of her extreme hustling for Midge. We're meant to absorb the energy, not the details. I'm fine with it because Borstein is the draw for me. I'll watch Susy's stuff without Midge involved but not so much Midge's stuff without Susie (unless it's with Lenny). Speaking of Lenny - the fact that MMM adheres extremely closely to the real Bruce's actual performances and appearances is sometimes discordant with the anachronistic dialogue they deploy in the rest of the show. We've got onstage Lenny saying "Dig", "Cat" and a lot of other archaic sixties jargon while Midge and the rest of the comics are pure post-2010s. Thankfully Kirby is skilled enough to pull it off.
  7. Much as I love everything about Luke Kirby's Lenny Bruce, or anything that gives him the chance to open up a bit as Lenny, I thought the bar scene where Midge was acting like her experiences were on par with his were tone deaf. Midge has plenty of challenges has a comic, but she is also tremendously privileged. She is in no way tormented. She does not turn her frustrations inward, eaten alive by her battles to express herself as her passions and drive demand. She externalizes her anger. She does not internalize. Anybody who can get as excited as she did over being allowed back at B. Altman's freaking make-up counter can't in any way count themselves in the same universe of experience as Lenny Bruce.
  8. What really pisses me off is the show runners think they can force the issue. They can WRITE him into fan supporting him. Fans don't hate him because he cheated on Midge and all the other schmucky things he did. Fans will always have "reasons" that they'd throw away if the acting was compelling, the actor sexually or emotionally appealing, and there was chemistry and charisma in the mix. Michael Zagen is a perfectly competent actor who does very well at one thing - a sort of unassuming decency. "Let them sleep late, pop." Romance? He sucks. Anger? He sucks. Leading man schtick? Sucks. Charm and all those endless flashbacks to when Joel and Midge met in college? MEH! I never saw Gilmore Girls except small bits and pieces but I read comparisons between Christopher and Joel. Was the Christopher actor just not cut out to sell it? I can't think it's the jerkitude that turned fans off. TV is full of horrible jerks and fans sometimes don't even perceive it or they hand wave it because the actor pulls it off with the character or suggests motivation and layers. With the right actor the show runners wouldn't have to do any rehab on Joel. We could see it in the performance. He feels eclipsed by his stunner of a wife but truly loves her and is coming to recognize his own attributes and strengths. That whole cheating episode was beneath him! I just don't know how this thing was cast and the "network" said, "Yes, Michael Zegan is our heroine's true love and the one the Rachel Brosnahan character will continually fuck in every season and be her true love eternally." HBO hemmed and hawed over Jon freaking Hamm! Maybe Amazon is too new to the series business or maybe to get the show they had to give the show runners full creative control.
  9. I wish it was Jane Lynch being Jane Lynch. It was her strangled behind her "Sophie voice" - the primary distinguishing characteristic she chose for her off-stage persona. Outside costume and the rest, it's just the speaking voice and composed demeanor, nothing else. I don't know what the hell happened there.
  10. Now it does but back then that's how it looked for some in that socio-economic strata. I remember reading a book by one of Princess Grace's bridesmaids. She was a mom, had all kinds of adventures including being a bridesmaid, danced all night with Marlon Brando at the Waldorf to keep him company (her husband was Brando's agent), and then came the line, "We celebrated my 24th birthday". Adulthood started earlier. People WERE babyfaced. When I look at movies back then I see young people dressed as adults but they have kid faces. It's just now the culture is so casual people in their thirties and forties don't always look all that different from people in their twenties, but back then people in their twenties dressed just like the "real" adults and had embarked on their real lives. Another thing is sunscreen. A lot of actresses on this show are pale and use suncreen and that is a blessing for the skin and keeps them looking young.
  11. I feel like they should have picked one in-law. The strongest IMO are Joel's mother, Shirley, and Midge's father Abe as characters - all the actors are fine, but we don't need full on stories for all the secondary characters. Roll the dice, pick one, and have that one in-law show up intermittently, not every episode, and not with their own separate storylines or needing to be served by the writers constantly. For God's sake we've got FOUR in-laws dragging this thing down. It's not an ensemble show or shouldn't be. If the show runners want this hilarity, do a different show about those four. Don't tack it onto Mrs. Maisel. The show runners are already ripping off videos and movie musicals because they also want to do musicals. The Joel writing just annoys me. You can't write in chemistry and charisma and IMO that's the problem. The two actors don't really go and IMO the scenes together are a drag because of it. I was watching Jane Lynch's performance again and all it is is the voice. She's adapted a voice for Sophie to contrast with the onstage persona and she's STUCK in that one note voice thing. There's nothing else. Great. Well that sets up perfectly for end game of them being back in the apartment remarried only now he's a club owner and she's famous and everybody's happy. Kill me now.
  12. There's really no danger at all. Rachel Brosnahan is the lead and Alex Borstein as Susie is someone that can't be outshined. I just think Lynch didn't find the playable part of the character, so the character is flat. She needs to "get" her. It's unusual to see an actor as experienced as Lynch just not pull it off, although you certainly can't tell by the Emmys.
  13. All I know is today I read an interview from last year given by Amy Sherman Palladino and her husband. Talking of S3, they said Midge was definitely going on tour and would fuck a lot of hot men. She fucked no hot men. Who did she fuck? Fucking JOEL. Again. That's how it's going to be until we love him, declare he has charisma and that they have chemistry. If we don't, they will force him and force him forever. I know some like him but I also know a lot are where I'm sitting. Three seasons, three times they fucked even after they were split up. We're in for a 4th time in S4 because he's now her money manager. I absolutely can't stand it when show runners fall in love with something and can't let it go. In the case of MMM it's many things, but the goddamn apartment is one. LET THE CHARACTERS MOVE ON. On the one hand we have Lenny Bruce a few steps from destitution for realistic and historical reasons, and on the other we have Midge opening for Shy at 4k for the whole tour (so, was she paid for the part she was kicked off?) able to buy back the fucking apartment. I'm also confused. If that's the Columbia apartment, then Columbia's going to have another professor live there, not sell it. Is it her marital apartment that her father in-law actually owned or whatever the complication in S1? I'm too irked to go back and sort it out. I also like Shirley but I don't know why she's on this show. It's one thing to have Midge's parents on the show although I think they are on far too much. It's another to have the parents of her freaking ex-husband. Shirley would be great on another show. I don't need about six shows in one show.
  14. I thought I did, until this character was introduced in Season 1. I thought it was a horrible performance. Lynch is very talented, and extremely technically competent. Most actors, if miscast somehow, are able to give a decent technical performance even if the character doesn't exactly come alive. I thought Sophie was absolutely flat to an almost amateurish extent. I thought she was a bit better in S2 and this S3, but not to the point of constantly bringing her back. By comparison, I've always liked Tony Shalhoub and was kind of pissed he was in Mrs. Maisel, because you don't cast Tony Shalhoub unless you're going to give him lots of material and I didn't want Midge's parents to be sucking up tons of airtime and needing to be served by the writers. That said, he can be hilarious and any time he gets anything that remotely works he does a great job. The character he's playing now isn't even close to the Abe he played in S1 but he makes it work. Or, at least, nothing about the oxygen sucking of Midge's parents and in-laws is down to how Tony Shalhoub plays Abe. While I think non-star casting for Sophie would have been a lot better. This is just off and not funny and I put it down to Lynch. ETA about the cost to Midge's career if she slept with Lenny Bruce - if people are watching and gossiping, then hanging out with Bruce at a sultry Cuban nightclub in Miami and slow dancing with him, sitting in bars with him, going to his work with him (the second time she's done it) are going to hurt her career a whole lot more (if the association with a famous comic will hurt her own comic career and I don't think it will) then having sex with him in his tiny hotel room at 5am when nobody is around. What would they do if it happened - issue an announcement? It's the friendship that causes the gossip. But Bruce seems to be struggling at the moment and can barely get himself booked, let alone set fire to Midge's career, so the show should be consistent on that point. And finally, Midge is never going to be alone unless she wants to be. Many comics are introverts, and the self-exposure involved in what they do has a cost, and many are prone to depression and all the rest. Midge is a psychological battle ship, she's an extrovert, she makes a best friend everywhere she goes, and that's true if she's a comic on the road, a comic at home, or not a comic. She'll never be alone in a bar sucking down somebody else's drink wondering if her entire life is going out with the tide., At the very least she'll have an enterprising somebody or other sitting right next to her as a sounding board and advice-giver.
  15. I'd not watched the S2 finale before since I read she slept with Joel and I hate Joel and think he and Midge have anti-chemistry. Nothing to do with how he acts or looks. The two don't mesh, end of, IMO. He's not in her league. But then I read that Luke Kirby won an Emmy for this episode and had to see it. His performance is really extraordinary. Just the way he's seen through the Dublin House door, bending to retrieve something under the bar counter and walking away - this is a fully lived-in character. The only discordant note to me was when Lenny opened up a bit about getting tired of it, and Midge was amen-ing next to him. It didn't sit right. While the chemistry between them is great, Midge's experience as a comic is kind of shallow at this point and we know damn well Lenny Bruce's wasn't. For her to be like, "Yeah man, I'm in that same club except I do it in heels." felt cheap and wrong to me. He's obviously living and working on a different plane than she is at the moment, than most comics were at that time, and paying a bigger internal price. But that said, Kirby's performance is just note perfect. ETA - for another perspective on parents who travel - I have a bunch of siblings and was never happier than when my parents went on vacation or my mother went back to school or my parents were gone doing something. It gave me a feeling of freedom and adventure for myself when I imagined myself as an adult. I wouldn't have liked it if I were farmed around to different relatives' homes, but as long as my home base stayed consistent I would probably have enjoyed even more absence. I think it really depends upon the personality of the parents and the personality of the children. I believe there are parents who can give their children security even if they're not physically present all the time, and children who can feel secure even if their parents aren't physically present all the time. If children feel emotionally neglected it could be because they are. And if they don't, it could be because the parents manage to convey that the kids are not an also ran or afterthought no matter how much actual time they are in the home.
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