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S03.E07: Marvelous Radio

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Midge and Susie head back to NYC and hustle for work. Abe is elated when someone publishes a piece he wrote. The Maisels gather.

 

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oh of course she bombed. Way too much Sophie. I didn’t have to see the whole play. 1-2 minutes would have conveyed the idea.
 

well, we got hot doctor for a little while, it sounds like he isn’t over Midge. Poor Rose.
 

the radio bit was fairly entertaining.

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There are too many "bits".  I kinda want to punch Suzi. What was the point of asking that old woman whether she still needed tampons? What an incredibly crass joke. The gambling is obviously going to get bad. 

This show has lost its charm.

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Re. Sophie and the play...so confusing on many levels. 

First, Sophie supposedly attended Yale drama school.  I assume one who is a student of any drama school would have acted in at least one play.  She seemed bewildered by the whole process.

Next, I know it was done for the irony & hilarity factor, but for Sophie to be taken seriously portraying a 25 year old "Miss Julie" would be a real hurdle for a legit theater crowd (and producers & investors) to surmount. 

Next, so she got stage fright and fell into her "comedic" persona as a comfort zone to get through the performance.  Why would a 1960's theater crowd (who paid to see a serious artsy play by August Strindberg) be rolling in the aisles at Sophie's Borscht Belt schtick? Her co-star was a serious actor, so did the audience anticipate that Sophie would be doing a comedic take and Gavin was the actor going outside of his comfort zone? 

Sophie's frumpy character and her "put that on your plate!" seems like it'd be suited to an entirely different type of audience than the type that willingly pays for Strindberg. It would be like paying to see a Verdi opera.... but Cardi B. is "Aida" & interjects her "OKurrrr!" every few lines.  

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58 minutes ago, Razzberry said:

I think we have a winner on the Ugly Hat contest.  What the hell is that supposed to be?

maisel3_7a.jpg.a92a8b5cbedd42a572c217738f6f41a5.jpg

This show has made me really appreciative that we don't still wear hats on a daily basis anymore.

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1 hour ago, BusyOctober said:

Next, so she got stage fright and fell into her "comedic" persona as a comfort zone to get through the performance.  Why would a 1960's theater crowd (who paid to see a serious artsy play by August Strindberg) be rolling in the aisles at Sophie's Borscht Belt schtick? Her co-star was a serious actor, so did the audience anticipate that Sophie would be doing a comedic take and Gavin was the actor going outside of his comfort zone? 

I could buy that with the "stunt casting" (probably not called that back then), a good bit of the audience actually were fans of her shtick.

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1 minute ago, SoMuchTV said:

I could buy that with the "stunt casting" (probably not called that back then), a good bit of the audience actually were fans of her shtick.

That was the business plan that Susie pitched to the producers. 

Susie ripping into Sophie might be my favorite scene for Alex.

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So is Midge doing all of this commercials, and Suzie so obsessed with finding Midge paydays, because her gambling debts are hurting their fiances, and Midge has no idea? I wonder if that will be a big reveal. 

Phyllis Schlafly...that woman really was a monster. 

Sophie, after all of her diva demands and all of her bullshit and all of the work that Suzie and everyone else involved in the play did, threw it all away because she got nervous. I wonder if some of the people laughing weren't laughing so much in a "this is hilarious" way or in a "this is so god awful I love a train-wreck" so bad its good way? Suzie telling Sophie off was a real highlight of the season. 

Poor Shy, "exhaustion" takes awhile to heal I guess. 

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I wonder if the theater-goers expected to see Miss Julie, the Comedy.   For one, she's far too old and just a really bad fit.  It would be like seeing Joan Rivers in Romeo and Juliet.  That wasn't the intent, but from the big laughs they got maybe they should go with it.

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On 12/11/2019 at 11:55 AM, tennisgurl said:

So is Midge doing all of this commercials, and Suzie so obsessed with finding Midge paydays, because her gambling debts are hurting their fiances, and Midge has no idea? I wonder if that will be a big reveal. 

Phyllis Schlafly...that woman really was a monster. 

Sophie, after all of her diva demands and all of her bullshit and all of the work that Suzie and everyone else involved in the play did, threw it all away because she got nervous. I wonder if some of the people laughing weren't laughing so much in a "this is hilarious" way or in a "this is so god awful I love a train-wreck" so bad its good way? Suzie telling Sophie off was a real highlight of the season. 

Poor Shy, "exhaustion" takes awhile to heal I guess. 

I said in another thread that Midge has made enough of a name for herself to be opening in smaller venues, like clubs. She would be getting paid way more than a box of tampons. Susie really is being shown as a crappy manager this season.

Edited by qtpye
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Phyllis Schlafly - What an awful woman.

Prior to viewing this episode, I knew Phyllis Schlafly was a prominent conservative who seemingly single-handedly defeated ERA in the 1970's, and in an odd way, also seemed personally to embody much of what she was trying to prevent. She was a successful women lawyer at a time when there were almost none. And despite having a gay son, her antipathy for the gays never wavered.

But I didn't know she was out and about making coded antisemitic rants. But apparently she really was.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/books/review/she-changed-america.html?auth=login-email

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You know you're not doing well at gambling when your bookie advises you to slow down.

As weird as Chester is, I enjoyed the Jackie/Chester/Susie Three's Company roommates scenes.

I also loved Tessie and Susie going from talking about their mom needing 24 hour care to talking about swimming. That was a true sibling moment.

After Susie triumphantly emerged from Sophie's rehearsal, I thought Sophie might really pull this play off and transition to becoming a serious actor. But nope! Does this mean we can finally be rid of her character? The only redeeming thing about this storyline was when Imogene pointed out a few episodes ago that Susie isn't making enough money with Midge as her only client.

I really thought Rose was going to find a way to somehow convince Benjamin to let her buy the townhouse at a very low price, so I liked that she just apologized for what she saw as her mistake in trying to put them together in the first place.

On 12/10/2019 at 10:44 AM, BusyOctober said:

Re. Sophie and the play...so confusing on many levels. 

First, Sophie supposedly attended Yale drama school.  I assume one who is a student of any drama school would have acted in at least one play.  She seemed bewildered by the whole process.

Next, I know it was done for the irony & hilarity factor, but for Sophie to be taken seriously portraying a 25 year old "Miss Julie" would be a real hurdle for a legit theater crowd (and producers & investors) to surmount. 

Next, so she got stage fright and fell into her "comedic" persona as a comfort zone to get through the performance.  Why would a 1960's theater crowd (who paid to see a serious artsy play by August Strindberg) be rolling in the aisles at Sophie's Borscht Belt schtick?

 

On 12/10/2019 at 12:30 PM, SoMuchTV said:

I could buy that with the "stunt casting" (probably not called that back then), a good bit of the audience actually were fans of her shtick.

 

On 12/10/2019 at 12:38 PM, xaxat said:

That was the business plan that Susie pitched to the producers.

I agree - there were probably a lot of Sophie fans (many of whom were probably not regular theater goers) who showed up just to see her. Stunt casting isn't new and it has gotten all kinds of people to see shows that they normally wouldn't attend. I mean, how many people went to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (a musical based on War and Peace) just to see Ingrid Michaelson and Josh Groban? There have been countless instances of casting celebrities in Broadway plays to sell tickets for the exact reason that Susie gave the producers - a big name will get people to buy tickets.

And it was clear from the audience's reaction that many of them were Sophie fans. There were people yelling, "We love you Sophie!" during the show. Later when Sophie said her clothes were dirty, the audience yelled in unison "How dirty were they?" which is what you would normally hear at a comedy show, not a Broadway show.

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On 12/15/2019 at 4:16 PM, Mama No Life said:

On a side note, I am loving the background bit of Susie and Jackie living together.  Nice to see more of Jackie.

Astrid, Chaim Christian?  LOL

It really was a contrast to Midge's privileged upbringing to see three people sharing about 200 square feet of space and making the best of it.

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Someone remind me if/where we've seen Chester in this series before?

I also thought the Benjamin's reduced-price brownstone might be the Weissman's new home. Strange if the show only brought him in this one episode for Rose's apology.

I think IRL, Sophie at some point would have relaxed and gotten back into character. Of course, that wouldn't work for the story here. 

Edited by smartymarty · Reason: forgot about Sophie
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10 hours ago, smartymarty said:

Someone remind me if/where we've seen Chester in this series before?

In S2 when Midge was at Dirty Dancing camp. He was pulling a Susie pretending to work there.

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Susie ripping into Sophie might be my favorite scene for Alex.

Absolutely. Loved this! I'm bad at quoting from shows, but I loved how she said "Midge is going to be a legend!" I also liked how she threw in the fact that Sophie's other manager knew that she didn't have the goods to be a real actress.

Regarding Sophie - 

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Does this mean we can finally be rid of her character?
 

Please, please, let it be so. Haven't like Jane Lynch since the Sue Sylvester character on Glee became so obnoxious. I know that isn't her fault, but still.

I loved the opening bit with the running around, the background music, the rhythm of the activity, and the weird radio ads. The show is not perfect, but there is nothing else like it on TV, and I appreciate what they do. In addition, Rachel Brosnahan has a very nice voice with good diction and enunciation.  I liked her "little girl" voice. 

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Dr. Hottie!!  Hooray!!  I thought he was going to tell Rose he was already with someone else.  I guess they are leaving the door open for him to return, which yes please!

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What a great episode! And the running around studios to do voiceovers was fantastic. And, as pointed out by many, Susie can't read/negotiate contracts for shit. The money probably wasn't great then, but that many voiceovers would have provided more than $35 a week (and all the tampons and syrup you can carry...) A lot of performers I know/knew pay the rent with VO.

And OH how wonderful was the scene with the Phyllis Schlafly show? Susie said "fuck" on the air! 

And agreeing with the many who saw Susie's tearing into Sophie as a high point of the the show (the season, the series). I like Jane Lynch, too, but as an actor I do think she's narrow in her range. (NB: Lynch also has an Ivy League degree in acting, from Cornell.)

She plays Sophie's ego strictly for laughs, and we don't even get a glimpse of what's inside (is she playing it as a character choice that Sophie won't let it out, or Jane Lynch doesn't want to?) 

That Sophie was RUNNING from the theater at curtain call was heartbreaking. She got the shot she told herself she wanted her whole career, her chance to prove herself as an actor...and she wasn't up to it. Susie was right.

And Cary Elwes's limp dismissal of his curtain call had me completely cracking up.

 

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On 1/2/2020 at 6:06 PM, kwnyc said:

(NB: Lynch also has an Ivy League degree in acting, from Cornell.)

 

I was surprised to see that, but Wikipedia agrees: she has an MFA from Cornell. She was born in 1960, so figure she'd have been there in the early 1980s. At that time, besides the main school year programs there was (may still be, I don't know) a very good repertory theater summer program directed by a guy from Playwrights Horizons in NYC. I played music for one of thier productions in the summer of 1982; that year, one of the members of the repertory was Jimmy Smits, headed for LA at the end of that summer, IIRC.

Nearby, Ithaca College also  has very good theater and music programs, and in the 1970s the Cornell Savoyards used to have quite a few IC students in lead roles (and in the orchestra). IIRC David Boreanaz went to IC.

 

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I was kind of hoping against hope that this surreal meta Julie was secretly sophie’s plan all along. I’m a theater critic and let’s face it miss Julie is a dreary play whixh has not been shocking for a long long tkme (an aristocrat has sex! With a servant!)

 

if sophie had turned around and said Suzy you chump... it would have been soooo interesting.

 

 

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On 1/12/2020 at 12:53 AM, lucindabelle said:

I was kind of hoping against hope that this surreal meta Julie was secretly sophie’s plan all along. I’m a theater critic and let’s face it miss Julie is a dreary play whixh has not been shocking for a long long tkme (an aristocrat has sex! With a servant!)

 

if sophie had turned around and said Suzy you chump... it would have been soooo interesting.

 

 

Huh. That would have made a lot more sense. Maybe ASP et al. realized drama dummies like myself wouldn’t get the joke without a lot of in-show explaining and it was too late to come up with an entirely new Sophie story?

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:30 AM, shapeshifter said:

 let’s face it miss Julie is a dreary play whixh has not been shocking for a long long tkme

This, 1000 times! Sophie COULD have made the leap in a more carefully-considered project (a comedy tailored for her with a few scenes to show her range), but that kind of move is far beyond her raging narcissism, and beyond Susie's knowledge of theater.

Other comics have done this...I remember seeing Joan Rivers in a Broadway play called "Sally Marr and her Escorts," (about Lenny Bruce's mother!) which caused a lot of people to take a step back and say: hey, she can really act.

Edited by kwnyc · Reason: correct the title of the play
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LOVED the colors of green they chose for Midge's first outfit. It was fun to see them running around the city again. I haven't realized how much we've been in closed locations in NY or traveling with Midge on the road.

The satire of the radio commercials was too on the nose to be funny. It was too broad, too obvious.

How seriously am I supposed to take Suzy's apparent gambling addiction?

I don't think that muted blue outfit flattered her coloring but otherwise I loved it. The tailoring was perfect. It makes me wish I had such a tiny waist.

I forget who Chester is. Who is Chester?

God, that blue outfit Rose was wearing as they walked out the door. It's good this show doesn't come with affiliate links. I want to buy everything.

What location did they use for that tea room? It was gorgeous. I want to go to there. Also, there were so many wonderfully stupid hats in that scene.

Veanne Cox! She was PERFECT. I wish Rose had realized that she should be a matchmaker to earn money.

Zachary Levi! I never thought he'd be back! I loved that scene with Rose. What does he mean? Did they just want to properly send off the character or could he be back in the future???

I feel like season 3 has been better about bringing on actors like Jason Alexander to inject life into the plot and make the actors they have step up their game. Jane Lynch as Sophie was a miss but the season 3 guest actors are much better.

It's weird that they insisted on doing the bris if they couldn't get Will Brill. They can make the timeline whatever they want it to be.

It was interesting how they introduced Phyllis Schlafly. Midge was just focused on her job and her interest in women's liberation is so shallow that all she thought about was a woman running for office. She didn't think about her policies at all. It brings back that thread about Miriam being ill-informed and not reading and how her jokes about women in her act are questionable.

I was expecting since it was live that Miriam would go on a rant the way she used to in season 1 in her act. I didn't think she'd refuse to speak at all and that Suzy would jump in.

Irene was a small part for Lucy DeVito but she was great.

That giant blue hat Midge was wearing in the phonebooth. Want it.

I feel like they're suggesting they might get the apartment back. But I don't know how that will happen. Midge isn't making THAT much money and Rose hasn't attempted to fight for her share of her inheritance.

Even before it started to go off the rails, Jane Lynch wasn't that good in the play. Her acting was flat and it was ridiculous for her to be playing a role that young. Anyway, I had no idea it was going to go in that direction. I thought Sophie was jealous of Gavin and the actress playing Christine. It was wild for her to fully derail the play to do her comedy shtick. Even if she wanted to ham it up, she fully went off script and started doing stand up. That would NEVER happen.

I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. On the one hand, it was a big acting moment for Alex. On the other hand, I'm not sure I needed Suzy to chew out Sophie. Why couldn't Suzy just have that win? The writing in this show is somehow both great and terrible at the same time.

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Re. Sophie and the play...so confusing on many levels. 

Thank you! Your comment perfectly summed up what was so baffling about this storyline. I was willing to go with some inaccuracies but this was too much. And I don't know that the writers ended up anywhere satisfying for all this nonsense to have been worth it.

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I could buy that with the "stunt casting" (probably not called that back then), a good bit of the audience actually were fans of her shtick.

I don't know. Even being a fan of someone, you go to see them at most put a twist on a character. To rise to the level of the material and take it seriously. I went to see Chicago (possibly the most stunt-cast show of all time) to see Brandy and Jennifer Nettles (separate times). I enjoyed seeing what they brought to the character and hearing the slight twist on the vocals. I obviously didn't expect them to sing it exactly the same way an actress who had gone to a major musical theater college would have. But I still would have been thrown if they'd started singing their own songs for no reason and turned it into a cabaret act. 

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I really thought Rose was going to find a way to somehow convince Benjamin to let her buy the townhouse at a very low price, so I liked that she just apologized for what she saw as her mistake in trying to put them together in the first place.

That was strange. It felt like we were being led that way. 

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She plays Sophie's ego strictly for laughs, and we don't even get a glimpse of what's inside (is she playing it as a character choice that Sophie won't let it out, or Jane Lynch doesn't want to?) 

I'm not sure. I like Jane so charitably I want to think that this is the way she's been directed to act the part. Sophie doesn't have layers because we're supposed to support Midge. She doesn't even get a lame Miranda Priestly moment. If this was the last we were going to see her, it would make sense for this to be the moment when Sophie finally broke, realizing she was letting her fear hold her back from being truly great. But no, there was none of that this episode. 

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Sophie COULD have made the leap in a more carefully-considered project (a comedy tailored for her with a few scenes to show her range), but that kind of move is far beyond her raging narcissism, and beyond Susie's knowledge of theater.

I know Jane Lynch can sing but we don't know if Sophie Lennon can sing. Still, it would be pretty easy to find her a non-singing or speak-singing part in a musical. It actually is a better fit for stunt casting an older actor.

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Weird association time.  Sophie's Broadway disaster reminded me of an old episode of Happy Days where Ralph decided to change his image into a sophisticated Cary Grant type to get girls.  So he wore a tweed coat and carried a pipe and talked like he was at the polo club.  The first girl he tried to impress it all fell apart and he immediately reverted to the rubber nose and the glasses with the dangling eyeballs.

On 12/30/2019 at 7:26 AM, MoreCoffeePlease said:

I loved the opening bit with the running around, the background music, the rhythm of the activity, and the weird radio ads. The show is not perfect, but there is nothing else like it on TV, and I appreciate what they do. In addition, Rachel Brosnahan has a very nice voice with good diction and enunciation.  I liked her "little girl" voice. 

She could do cartoons like The Simpsons.

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For anyone interested in more about Phyllis Schlafly, please check out the FX on Hulu miniseries "Mrs. America," where Schlafly is played by Cate Blanchett. It also features Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, a character who appeared (briefly) in "Mrs. Maisel" on the "Miami After Dark" show.

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